I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! The warm streak in Michigan continued through the weekend and looks like it will last for a few more days! This past week, I’ve been working on some projects and crafting but I ran into a bit of a roadblock…
So, I’m about as Type A as they come! Even though, as the youngest child of the family, I’m supposed to be footloose and carefree. I was a fun-loving child, but I was also a worrier. I had to grow up pretty quickly and life took a serious turn after my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was in middle school.
Those were tough years and I think somewhere along the line, the worries of life took over and the fun took a backseat. Recently, I’ve been trying to make a concentrated effort to give over my worries and fears to God and live each day in a more positive frame of mind in all areas of my life.
Time For a Change!
As a part of this change, I’ve been trying to make more time for creative pursuits. As a child, I loved doing anything creative and would fill notebook after notebook with drawings and stories. My friend and I used to create little activity booklets for each other with word searches, puzzles, and mazes.
As I grew older and my responsibilities grew more numerous, unfortunately, I stopped creating. I have dabbled in crafts here and there. Julie and I usually try to do some kind of craft at Christmas, and I did crafts with my kids when they were younger, but I did not regularly feed my soul with creative pursuits. One reason I let this go was that I didn’t make a conscious effort to make it a priority (check out this post for tips on how to find time for creative pursuits).
What Is Stifling My Creativity?
Lately, I realized that there was another thing holding me back-perfectionism. It struck me the other day when my niece was helping me with a sign I was making for my mantle. I was stressing over some imperfections and she said, “It is a homemade sign, it is not supposed to be perfect. Get over it.” Whoa-slap in the face reality check!
I realized that I mentally sabotage myself many, many times when I sit down to craft or work on my art. That voice in my head that says, is it good enough? Who would want to look at this? There are so many people that are way more talented than you. That line is crooked, why do you even bother with this… and on and on. Talk about not relaxing!
I often think that if what I’m doing is not to an impossibly high standard or perfect, then it is not worth the time or effort. The main point of a hobby or crafting is to enjoy the PROCESS! I need to have fun and find joy in creating art and see beauty in the homemade, imperfections and all.
Julie was giving a piece of advice to my youngest the other day and it really resonated with me. She told her to speak kindly to yourself, if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, then you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself. Powerful words of wisdom! I would never critique my friend’s artwork as harshly as I do my own!
I am a work in progress, but I’ve come up with some ideas that have helped me push past the perfectionism and start enjoying my creative pursuits.
5 Tips For How To Keep Perfectionism From Stifling Your Creative Pursuits
1. “Good Enough Is Good Enough”- When I am obsessing over a detail on something, this phrase helps me push past the roadblock of perfectionism.
2. Taken from my niece-“It is homemade, it’s not supposed to be perfect. Get over it!”-This one pretty much speaks for itself.
3. Just start working on something and keep going. Set a timer if you need to. Sometimes I hesitate to start something if every single circumstance isn’t perfect. If I’m tired, or there is unfinished work around the house or numerous other excuses which keep me from starting the creative process. Once I start working on something without putting a ton of pressure on myself I get into a “flow”, relax and dare I say, even have FUN! Silly, I know, but that is what I’m trying to overcome.
4. Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. When I get stuck in a place of worry or perfectionism, I read scripture or pray. This immediately brings me peace and reminds me that God, the ultimate Creator, gave me certain gifts and talents and I need to nurture them.
5. Work on projects with a friend (refer back to number 2). If my niece hadn’t intervened that day, I would have been hung up fiddling with that tiny imperfection for way too long. Plus, crafting with friends is just plain fun! Put on some music, share some snacks and great conversation and let your creativity flow!
This is the picture, now proudly displayed on my mantle. (*Coming soon, a post on how I styled my “non-pumpkin” finds for fall, which includes this sign.)
Does anyone else struggle with perfectionism? I would love to hear any tips and tricks that have worked for you!