Paralyzed By Perfectionism
Practice makes perfect, however what happens when the journey to "perfection" keeps you at the starting line? There were many times in my life that I felt that way. I felt that I needed to dot all of my I's and cross my T's in order to be ready. It's one thing to prepare well but it's another thing to be crippled by perfection.
I must say that perfection had crippled me because I thought that whatever I did was never good enough. I knew that if I had made a mistake then everyone else listening would have heard it and remember it just as much as I did. Even if someone came up to me to compliment me on my performance when I was younger, I wouldn't believe them because I know that I had made a mistake that wasn't even noticeable. I had a lot of fear in me because I thought that I wasn't good enough. On top of that, comparisons made my fears and perfection a whole lot worse.
Perfection caused me to second guess myself and it lowered my confidence in my musical abilities. I thought to myself:
"Who would want to listen to me play?"
"I'm not the best in the world and since I'm not the best in the world then I don't matter."
"The world only accepts musicians that do not make mistakes."
"If you make a mistake, you can easily be replaced and become irrelevant."
These thoughts have crippled me for years. I guess there is a part of me that wanted to be accepted. Everyone has that feeling. It feels great to belong. Many people have asked me for many years, "Why aren't you playing out and performing live?" I would answer "I'm not ready yet. I don't believe I'm ready." After a while I had to ask myself, "When will I be ready?"
One day I was reading the Bible and this one statement popped of the page:
"If you wait for the perfect condition, you will never get anything done."
After reading that, I had to make a choice. Either go out and do my best with the best preparation possible or live in regret of not trying because I wasn't perfect. So I have made the choice to go out and play more and invest in my craft as a musician. People are going to say what they want and that's fine. As long as I am doing what I love and embrace the process, I'll be fine. The conditions are the variable, but my love for creating and playing music will forever be the constant. Do those thoughts and questions about perfection still grab me? Sometimes they do. Probably because of the fear of the unknown and for wanting to do things right. As long as I do what I can control (pray, practice, produce, perform) I'll be just fine!
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