Are you like me? Do you expect yourself to do everything perfectly, all the time - even though you know it isn’t actually possible! I hope some of you are like me! I can’t be the only one! It has been one of the hardest lessons of my life and l am still learning it! Why do we expect perfection of ourselves and yet make allowances for others? I am so hard on myself at times and l have been like that over the past week with this piece. It just won’t do what l want it to do. And l have spent sooo long working on it. Far too long. Going back and back. Adding layers, adding color. And at the end of it all, it still isn’t quite right and l have no idea what to do about it!
On one hand there is an upside to relentless perfectionism - it pushes you to progress. I never want to lose that desire to get better at something. But the downsides really outweigh the up. Being continually dissatisfied with what you do is not a good place to be. There has to be balance. Whether it is art or life finding balance is so difficult.
Somewhere along the way we have to learn to accept the way things are, recognizing that we cannot always make them the way we want them to be. A few things in life can never be changed by us (the advance of time, the cost of living, the idiot at work who treats everyone badly), but most things can be improved with persistence and determination. By picking yourself up and trying again.
I was thinking it is like a baby taking its first steps, and it takes two little wobbly steps and falls over! We don’t say, ‘two steps! And you have fallen over already! You might as well not bother, you will never walk!’. No, the camera comes out and photos and videos are made and granny gets rung up and everyone is excited because baby is ‘walking’. The truth is baby is on the floor more often than baby is walking, but we see only the progress. We need to start thinking of ourselves like that. Be excited about each baby step of progress. Keep picking ourselves up, make another baby step and be excited about that too.
So my flower didn’t work as well as l wanted it to. I will pick myself up, draw my next piece and move on, and the next time l draw a flower it will be better - not perfect, but better! And l am ok with that.
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