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PERFECTIONISM


“Approximate Perfection is more perfect than perfect perfection.” - unknown 


Prompt:

Is there anything in your artistic practice that you feel overly self critical about?

Why? Do you feel that this has limited your growth or happiness as an artist?


Thoughts and Actions:

What is perfectionism? Perfectionism is holding yourself to impossibly high standards.  The throughly that what you do is never good enough. Some people mistakenly believe that perfectionism is a healthy motivator, but that's not the case. There is a big difference between doing your best and obsessing over unattainable goals. We are all always a work in progress.


Perfectionism more often than not leads to unhappiness, because often we cannot measure up to the expectations we set for ourselves… as they are a moving target.


We are our own best critics too… because we are inside of our own experience, we see all the flaws (because we try to work through them) where someone outside of our experience may not.


What makes perfectionism toxic is that while those in its grip desire success, they are mostly focused on avoiding failure, which results in negative thoughts.


Perfectionism is driven primarily by internal pressures, such as the desire to avoid failure or judgment. Competition can also play a role, along with the pervasive presence of social media and the ‘power of comparison’ it makes so readily available.


Perfection is an impossibility in reality. Constantly striving for perfection can lead to negative outcomes, like procrastination, avoiding challenges, rigid all-or-nothing thinking, toxic comparisons, and a lack of creativity. 


How can we moderate perfectionism?

Letting go of comparison mindset can help you achieve at a high level, without being tethered to some impossible ideal. Practicing mindfulness, being present in the moment, using compassionate self-talk, and challenging negative self-judgments are all steps toward the moderation of toxic perfectionism. 


In the end, we have to remember an endeavor can be worthwhile even if it’s not perfect. And, perfection is subjective.




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