If there’s one thing that stifles creative pursuits and efforts to get more organized, it’s the desire to achieve perfection. People fail to start getting organized because they haven’t figured out the perfect solution for every piece of their project. Others don’t start creative projects or begin scrapbooking because they’re afraid the result won’t be perfect. Giving up the quest for perfection is liberating.
This week, do something, anything, imperfectly. Do something you’ve been avoiding because you didn’t think you could do it well enough. Try a new scrapbooking technique, even though you’ll be clumsy. Tackle an organizing project … even if you don’t have figured out every single last detail of the final product.
Now … a little story. I can speak to the topic of perfection very first hand …because you see, I am a recovering perfectionist. I am bound and determined not to pass this trait on to my kids. Don’t get me wrong, there are a time and a place to do your best and create the best possible project, product, output, whatever the case may be, that you can. However, there are also times to simply let go of pressure and judgment … and see what imperfect beauty you create along the way.
In December, my son had a Young Authors project to do for school. His quest was to author and illustrate a book. I went out and bought a blank bound book, handed over a pencil, eraser and colored pencils … and let him at it. Collin and I talked about possible topics for the book. It seemed the project was supposed to be fiction …something the child would create with characters and a plot. My son wanted to write about cars, a non-fictional, fact-based book. “OK,” I thought, we’re not doing this to win … we’re doing this so Collin can enjoy the experience of creating a book … HIS book.
So Collin wrote about cars and drew pictures of cars and wrote about being safe in cars and rules of the road. It was completely his creation. He chose what to write about. What pictures to draw. I corrected no misspelled words. I didn’t worry about places where the eraser didn’t quite catch all the stray marks and mistakes. I simply adored his creation and watching him create.
His book is precious. It’s pure. It’s real. It’s something far better than perfect.
The icing on the cake? Collin and his little book have been selected to represent his school at the State Young Author’s competition. Yes, I’m a proud Mommy. And after this experience, a wiser one, too.
See … there is something better than perfect. I call it … authentic. Seek authentic and see how freeing it is.