Salvador Dali once said: “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it”. This among many other nuggets of wisdom stick with me, the lesson is strong and quite basic. Dwelling over the details and flaws is similar to digging yourself into a hole. I agree with it from a logical stand point and can even stand here and preach it as the righteous path.
But get me in the throes of writing, artwork, editing, or what have you and that lesson is a million miles away. Perfection is my creed and the Undo command is my faith, I expect nothing less of myself other than the very best and what I’m seeing just isn’t good enough.
I’m both of these people yet neither of them at the same time. My perfectionism does have its limits but I do tend to dwell on problems way too often. These two very different sides need to find a happy middle ground in order to give myself any inner peace.
Another perfectionist quote that sticks by me is “done is better than perfect.” In order to make progress you need to tidy any loose ends, make peace and move on to new endeavours but I choose to see things from both angles. I’d like to analyze the work I did. See what I did wrong and how I could improve it. Make modifications in order to turn it into something I can be proud of. But yes, there also has to be a point I can lay things to rest, stand up and start something new.
Striving for perfection can seem like a great big wall for progress. In many cases it’s the absolute first wall you hit. Your dreams and goals are massive in your head. It’s so crystal clear in your mind but what you’re making in person doesn’t represent that true vision or spirit. Why settle for anything less than amazing?
Because the path to amazing has several hundred steps in front of it. But we all know that, right?
What I’m saying is, (and yes this also applies to me talking to myself) go easy on yourself. It’s really not as bad as you believe it is. Walk away, come back to it after you reset your emotions and fatigue. It’s cliche absolutely and I’m not the first to say it but the advice still stands. Instead I’ll offer this:
Don’t aim for perfectionism but persistence.