I love writing and have kept a regular journal for as long as I can remember, but when I know someone will read my work, I agonize over the topics I choose, the tone of my writing…really, every word that I write. My editor kicks into overdrive and instead of being a fun activity, blogging becomes a laborious exercise. This is something I need to overcome, because this way of thinking seeps into other areas in my life as well. I edit myself before speaking in uncomfortable social contexts or meetings at work; I have difficulty releasing songs that I write or record on my own because they aren’t perfect; and I can’t seem to make major life decisions or changes because I am paralyzed by my need for perfection, my need to make the so-called “right” choices for my life or my art.
I realize that life does not work this way – that there are no “perfect” choices and there is no “perfect” art. We simply must make choices and create, and realize that our choices and our creations are reflections of who we are in a given period of time. They will always be imperfect, no matter the circumstance. We might look back and wonder at our decisions, but at least we moved forward and put ourselves out there. If I am able to look back on these turning points in my life and see how I have improved or grown, then isn’t that a good thing? When we are paralyzed by fear and perfectionism, we stand in indecision, staring at the paths in front of us, contemplating which one is more suitable, and I think we stunt our growth. In my case, this often resembles making endless pro/con lists and doing ridiculous amounts of planning and researching and revising – and after hours or days or weeks of doing this – am I really any closer to making that choice or reaching that goal?
The reality is that our attitudes and perspectives influence our happiness with our choices, as much as the choices themselves. If this is the case, then why stand paralyzed by perfectionism, anxiety, and indecision?
In answer to that question, I am hitting publish on this post, even though my mind is questioning its relevance and importance as a blog topic. 🙂