“Does perfectionism keep you from doing what you love?”

“Does perfectionism keep you from doing what you love?”

By Sydney Francis

One trait that has kept me from making art every day (and, truthfully, from even considering being a professional artist) is my perfectionism.  I don’t like that the painting or drawing doesn’t come out like the picture in my head.

 Sydney Francis, Mixed Media, Cactus at Oak Creek

"Cactus at Oak Creek" by Sydney Francis, 5 of 30 Art Every Day

Have you ever let your perfectionism keep you from doing something you love?

Perfectionism is the voice in your head telling you are not good enough.  And “I am not good enough” thinking can lead to procrastination. And procrastination can keep you from taking action in the direction of your dreams and goals.

For example, I earned my first art degree in 1993 and my MFA in interdisciplinary art in 2001.  It has taken me 18 years to overcome the perfectionism and procrastination I feel in order to put myself out there as an artist.  Don't follow my lead on waiting! :)

The main reason I set myself the 30 day Art Every Day Challenge is to overcome my resistance and procrastination to making art and battle the “I’m not good enough” thinking about my art.  It doesn’t really matter if I am good enough at art or not, it is something that I enjoy and love. Therefore, procrastinating on making art doesn’t serve me.

Scott Moore Disc Golf Series, Acrylic Ink

"Disc Golf Prayer Flags" by Scott Moore, 6 of 30 Art Every Day

Drawing, painting, art making and any kind of creative endeavor requires practice. If I avoid making art because I don’t feel good enough, I will never get better. If you are a perfectionist about your art, like me, I invite you to join me in the 30 day Art Every Day Challenge. You can start at any time! And if visual art is not your thing, I invite you to create your own challenge.

Committing to a positive habit of making art every day is one antidote I have found to the affliction of perfectionism.

I also think affirmations work.  The first time I came across the idea of perfectionism being an expression of “I’m not good enough” was in reading Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, over 20 years ago.

Here are some inspiring, parting thoughts from Louise Hay:

You are neither too much nor too little. You do not have to prove to anyone or anything who you are. You are the perfect expression of the Oneness of Life. In the Infinity of Life you have been many identities, each one a perfect expression for that particular lifetime. Be content to be who and what you are in this life. Do not yearn to be like someone else, for that is not the expression you chose this time. Next time you will be different. You are perfect as you are, right here and right now. You are sufficient. You are one with all of Life.

There is no need to struggle to be better. All you need to do is to love yourself more today than yesterday and to treat yourself as someone who is deeply loved. Love is the nourishment that humans need to fulfill their greatness. As you learn to love yourself more, you learn to love everyone more.

Together we lovingly nourish an evermore beautiful world. We are all healed, and the planet is healed, too. With joy, we recognize our perfection and the perfection of Life.

And so it is.(1) 

First Quarter Moon in Gemini, Watercolor by Sydney Francis

"First Quarter Moon at Sunset" by Sydney Francis, 6 of 30 Art Every Day

 

1. “I Am Perfect Exactly As I Am.” Louise Hay, 3 Dec. 2014, www.louisehay.com/i-am-perfect-exactly-as-i-am/.

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