perfectionism, something that has been holding me back my whole life. It’s not a fancy answer to ‘what is your biggest flaw’ in an interview because it’s not fancy at all. It eats you up from inside. You will see piled-up poems in your notes, never visible to the world. You will see a lot of artworks half done because you didn’t like how it was going, you will see lecture notes never completed because you missed one lecture in between and never wrote anything in that book again. Even when I am writing this my head is like: am I describing perfectionism right? Maybe I don’t have perfectionism, I am just lazy? I don’t think I am doing it right.
But what is right. Is the most common way the right way? But that doesn’t work for creative projects. Does it? the common way is the redundancy of creativity. Is the unique and innovative way the right way? It doesn’t feel right though, it feels unknown. Maybe there is no right. But I think deep in my core I have a certain set of rules on what is right and what is wrong. Maybe if I find those rules encoded in me, I would be able to figure out a way to crack the code. Let myself be visible.
Perfectionism either causes my lack of confidence or my lack of confidence is the reason for my perfectionism. Either way, it has always been limiting to me. And I think confidence and perfectionism are two sides of the same coin. Lack of one can lead to lack of another, at least that’s my case. Even when I know the answers to a teacher’s question, I never answer, fearing a minute chance it might be wrong. I look at all the works people post online, admiring their confidence, while all the works I have done stare into my eyes, asking “why are you not showing us to the world? Why are you not letting us fulfill our purpose?”. And all I do is stare back at them with guilty eyes.
But at the core, the fear of judgment is the root for both my perfectionism and lack of confidence. Yes, I always tell my mom ‘why are you always afraid of what people will say?’ But I think I have that problem too, not the same kind though. For me, the fear is not what people will say if I go against the social norm, but instead is the fear of how people will judge me based on my work.
Creativity is vulnerability. And I’m scared of the backlash I will get if I let my guards down and show my true self or at least the current self that I am aware of. There is no quick solution to all these but I really do hope I can take a step in the right direction as I move forward. Trying to step out of my unnecessary overthinking, and post something vulnerable online frequently, pushing past my comfort zones and slowly showing myself through my works. So I am posting this here, hoping someone facing the same problem knows they are not alone. All of us are broken, and every day we try to walk in the path of growth. So before I overthink and back out, let me quickly press the ‘publish’ button.
To the moon and back