The 4 lies perfection has been telling you.....AND why it's time to TUNE OUT
I created Revel in the Mess because our creative callings, our businesses and most of all ourselves, were never meant to be perfect. Perfection is a mirage in the distance that we’ll always be chasing, until we decide for that’s no longer worth waiting for.
If you’ve been hitting snooze, staying in your creative hibernation or hoarding your ideas, chances are you’ve been believing these lies that perfection is telling you….
Lie #1 - That we’re not ready or we’re not creative enough because we need to know more, be more or have more, in order to start.
What this lie looks like in real life: Maybe you’re always reading blogs, listening to podcasts, taking courses, but never doing anything with the information you’re consuming. You’re constantly putting off projects until tomorrow or next month, delaying starting because you need the perfect website, tools or bank balance to begin. You don’t feel like you can give yourself permission to start because perfection is telling you, you’re not enough.
Here’s the truth: Those are called expectations. Ridiculously high, unachievable ones at that. Perfection LOVES to overcomplicate everything, which makes starting feel OVERWHELMING. That’s why it lies to you and tells you that you need to have or be more, to even begin.
I believe we don’t need all the answers or resources to start. Instead of asking "what's everything I need to know or have?", what if we asked, "what's the bare minimum I need, so that I can begin RIGHT NOW?".
Everything we create is made one mark, scribble, line, splatter and layer at a time. Give yourself and your creative callings permission to evolve in the same way. And most importantly give yourself permission to START. To start simple. To start today. You'll be surprised how many answers you find and what you create, along the way.
Lie # 2 - That our creative callings or cravings must give us a guaranteed result like gaining status, a title or making us famous or a set amount of money, in order for it to be worth pursuing.
What this lie looks like in real life: We avoid painting or drawing because we believe it will never end up in a gallery or be worthy of selling. We feel writing is pointless if we never become a journalist or a published author as a result. We question the validity of our creative callings and cravings, because the outcome is uncertain. We feel silly or indulgent for spending time making something just for fun, just for the joy of it.
Here’s the Truth: Creativity isn’t just a hobby. It’s more than that. It’s a part of your life. It’s part of who you are. That’s why it’s meaningful. That’s why it matters. Your creative calling or practice doesn’t have to have a point or end goal. I believe that showing up to create everyday simply because it’s fun, it brings you joy and you have a desire to MAKE something are the ONLY REASONS we really need to get started and to keep going.
Lie #3 - That what we create needs to be perfect in order for it to be worthy of our time, energy and resources, otherwise, what’s the point? Anything less than perfection is failure, so it’s better to wait than risk falling on our face.
What this lie looks like in real life: Believing that the page or canvas is better left empty than filled with our incomplete sentences and stories or messy brush strokes and lines. It’s having art supplies, ideas and half written novels collecting dust in our homes and in our minds. It’s feeling that we’re better off and safer to wait until tomorrow, next week or another year, because making something imperfect would be lazy, settling and worst of all embarrassing.
Here’s the Truth: This all or nothing attitude when it comes to making, robs us of our creativity, curiosity and worst of all our joy. What perfection really loves is a clean slate, a blank page or empty canvas. It’s crisp, smooth, symmetrical and like every other canvas or page out there. So the moment we add to the page or canvas we’re gambling with perfection (and it’s a losing game).
Creativity is a messy process and the only way to truly fail at it, is to decide to make nothing at all. Even if it's a humble first sentence or that first brush stroke on a blank canvas. It doesn't have to be perfect to count. Even if it falls way short of what you envisioned, it still counts. The sooner we can embrace this process, the messiness and all it has to offer us, the quicker we can get back to what really matters...creating.⠀
Lie #4 - That whatever we create needs to be grand, unique and a huge leap for it to be worth pursuing.
What this lie looks like in real life: Waiting to start your own business, until you can quit your current job and focus on it full time. Or waiting to start your creative calling until you retire. It’s believing that if you can’t go for it in a big, public or splashy way, than it’s better to wait it out.
Here’s the Truth:
I believe that experimenting and giving in to our creative callings is the best way to learn about ourselves. You can't just sit there and think about what you want. Unless we experience it for ourselves, what we’re doing is just falling in love with the idea something.
Maybe you want to be a writer so you experiment and start off with writing a blog post, one line a day or a short story instead of waiting for when you have the time to write a novel. Maybe you want to teach and so you experiment by hosting a one hour workshop to start instead of waiting until you have the money to get a certification.
By experimenting we give ourselves the opportunity to see if we enjoy the process, how it feels and decide if we want to keep going or pivot and try a different experiment. Experiments are less overwhelming and give us a chance to start creating without all of the expectations. Experiments let us focus on the doing, the making, the creating in small and simple ways. Imagine for a moment, what you would try in your life, business or creative practice if it was just an experiment?
I believe we all have ideas worth following through on and that we all have the creativity and curiosity already within us to do it. If we want to print, publish and pursue our ideas there’s no way to avoid the messiness that comes with it.
I’ve listened to these lies too, that’s how I know them intimately and can write about them in detail. They’ve caused me sleepless nights, to pause more than one project and to second guess almost every decision. There’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed if you’ve believed them too. Perfection is FEAR. And when we’re creating anything, FEAR will always be present, whether it’s staring us in the face or hiding around the corner.