Author Walter Mosley wrote, “It’s a mistake to be a perfectionist. If you can’t make mistakes, you can’t be an artist.”
I would like to add that if you can’t make mistakes, you can’t fully live your life. How else will you learn and grow? How else will you able to create a life filled with meaning and beauty?
The past two weeks I’d forgotten all about these inspirational words and had gone a bit overboard trying too hard to be perfect, to create the perfect new budget, to accomplish everything on my to-do list perfectly everyday, and at the same time to perfectly please everyone all the time…geez! I know. What was I thinking?!
Trying too hard to be perfect drained all the creativity and spontaneity out of me. It tightened my shoulders and clenched my jaw.
I felt like I was stuck in mud that was so deep and thick I couldn’t lift my foot out of it. I was physically exhausted and all I wanted to do was watch really bad TV.
I had thought I was being responsible, and it took time to realize my actions were being driven by cleverly disguised fear demanding I worry. “What will people think if I make mistakes?”
Ah, my familiar buddy, fear. Instead of pushing it away or getting angry with myself for being afraid, I embraced my fear. I held it gently, explaining that I understood…because I did. I imagined it quieting down, sighing and curling up just like a cat curling up on a bed. It will certainly jump up again when startled or feeling threatened, and it will also certainly quiet down again when it hears the soothing voice of compassion.