“Perfectionism is fear in high heels and a mink coat pretending to be fancy.” — Elizabeth Gilbert .
Another way of saying this: the enemy of good is better. Do you notice perfectionism in your life keeping you from sharing your gifts with the world? I struggle with this in the art I want to share with the world, often feeling the impulse to tweak my images or prose indefinitely. I also struggle with the drive to juggle many tasks at once, as if doing many things well makes me a better human.
Does this impulse to control affect aspects of your life in or beyond your work? Do you find yourself rationalizing that things need to be in a certain form or condition before you can work on a project? Do you hold on to expectations of experiences or relationships too fiercely? Or maybe you hold back in an area of life because you believe it doesn’t fit with the curated story of you that you’ve constructed for yourself.
This barrier—perfectionism—is a form of fear. We can locate this emotion in the body, observe it, and ask ourselves if we want to push beyond it. Observing our patterns that hold us back is an important step in moving beyond our fears and stepping into our dharma. I’ve been making an effort to notice how my ego reacts when others point out my imperfections and I’ve also tried to share consciously my vulnerabilities and ways that I’m letting go of perfection. If you notice yourself in a pattern of perfectionism, maybe take note of it (without judgment) and ask yourself if it’s OK
to be slightly more vulnerable than you’re comfortable with at this moment.