Hi, my name is Mick Silvers, and I suffer from perfectionism. Oof, that felt good to get off my chest! Does anyone else struggle with perfectionism? This has been something that I have always battled with, but recently I have experienced its grip tightening around me as I work on my master's degree.
Unfortunately, when I allow perfectionism to have a tight hold on me, I simultaneously squash all my creativity. Creativity cannot exist in a world of perfectionism, and this is the more significant issue! Our creativity is what makes us unique within this world. Our creativity is how we express our identities. To be creative is to allow ourselves to be seen for who we truly are. Therefore, to be creative is to be vulnerable. So when we allow perfectionism to rule our lives, we stifle our vulnerability. Within a perfectionistic lifestyle, we lose all capability to be creative. When we cannot be creative, we are incapable of being vulnerable, which leads to a life of disconnect and abandonment. To live a life of creativity is to live a life of transparent authenticity.
Creativity can feel like the scariest thing to practice because it requires risk. What if I fail? What if people see the flawed parts of me? I think that's why I feel more comfortable allowing perfectionism to control my life. When we allow perfectionism to rule, we do not take risks; without risks, we cannot challenge ourselves or the norm, and without challenging, we are incapable of growing and reaching our goals. Creativity is the tool for achieving our purposes, and perfectionism is the mechanism that keeps us complacent in our lives.
"To live a life of
creativity is to live a life
of transparent authenticity"
I often see perfectionism as a protector because being creative is to be exposed. And let's be honest with ourselves, being fully seen is the scariest thing ever! Yet, I would argue that perfectionism is not the protector that we think it is. Perfectionism is not preventing us from being hurt but numbing us from being human. When we numb ourselves, we will never feel the joys of true belonging. Instead, dropping the shield of perfectionism, leaving ourselves exposed, and allowing others to still love and accept us creates true belonging.
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