👀 Perfect Your Perfectionism
#210 | Just do it badly
Over the last couple of weeks, I received some really great feedback about my JOTs from some friends. While I was super-duper thrilled about this, my brain went into total lockdown.
For the life of me, I couldn't think of what to write for today's JOT. I spent hours scouring the web, hoping to find something that would spark joy and get my creative juices flowing.
But nope, nothing worked (some that nearly worked were a gallery of summer vacation photos from 1950s America, an A.I. experiment where you play the piano and the computer responds with its own little tune, an article about the role of gifs in popular culture).
So I decided to write about the lockdown itself. The virus that brought about the lockdown is an old enemy of mine - perfectionism.
I became paralysed by the fear of not being able to write something that would generate equal or more expansive reactions from my readers.
As a kid, I'd throw a tantrum if my ponytails weren't perfectly symmetrical when I went to school.
When I got my report card at the end of the year, I'd be devastated by As and A plusses. I just had to get an O for Outstanding. In EVERYTHING.
As I grew older, this perfectionism found its way into the smallest of habits and grew deep roots in all the areas of my life that required my intellectual and creative abilities.
Whether writing an essay for homework or making a song - it all had to be perfect.
Now, at the age of 26, my perfectionism is a debilitating presence in my life.
It stops me from doing things I want to do, like writing poetry and baking caramel tarts - because what if each poem and each tart isn't..
It's one of those tunnels that doesn't seem to have a light at the end.
But it's not all bad. I've found that educating myself about how my brain works makes me feel a little less powerless against these psychological struggles. So I'm always on the lookout for (non-scammy) content creators who shed light on these topics (and are qualified to say what they're saying).
ASAP Science is one such duo. I first came across their YouTube channel ages ago and have since followed them on Instagram and Spotify too.
They make science easy to understand and they make me laugh as I learn (maybe if my school teachers had taken this approach, I wouldn't have left science by the wayside after class 8).
On their podcast, 'Sidenote', they did an episode on perfectionism, breaking it down to see what makes it as sticky as the wad of chewing gum that attaches itself to your hair right before a big presentation.
That's my Thing for today.
As I type this out, my brain is saying, 'NOT GOOD ENOUGH'. But I'm gonna pretend I can't hear it.