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The Lie: You Have to Be Perfect to Create

Oct 14, 2020

Yes. It’s a lie. But, do you believe it?

How many of you—raise of hands, ’cause I can’t see them, and if you’re really raising your hands I love you so much!—don’t do something because you stick to the excuse, “I’m not good at it.”

If you’re not raising your hand, or you shook your head and said, “That’s not me,” uh… denial. It is you. It’s all of us. It’s sad. But it’s true.

When faced with an idea to do something creative that we have never done before or that is out of our comfort zone, the first thought that comes to mind is, “I’m not sure,” or “I don’t think I’ll be any good,” or “What about all the people watching who will recognize my failure?”

If you’re really not one of these people, that’s awesome. You’ve graduated Creative and Fearless school. Google a diploma and have a party. You win…

But if you are one of those people—again, there’s a lot of us—let’s look at that title again: The Lie: You have to be perfect to be creative. Yes, it’s a lie. The truth: You don’t have to be perfect to create.

What?!

Yes.

You don’t have to be perfect to be creative.

The Lie, or Perfection: The Trap of Noncreativeness

The real lie: Perfection. Perfection is not a thing. Really. It doesn’t exist. Not in this mortal realm where life is all about learning and progressing. If anyone were perfect, they’d be with God.

I am not perfect. You are not perfect.

The idea of perfection is a trap. It’s a snare that keeps us from living our true potential to create, to progress, to learn. The idea of perfection keeps us from trying new things that we could possibly, maybe, become good at.

Everyone Has to Start Somewhere

It’s true. Everyone has to start somewhere. Yes, some people are born progenies, like Mozart. But even he had to learn the names of the notes and experiment.

We, you and I, also need to start from somewhere.

I want to learn photography. I don’t think I’m very good at it. I don’t know enough about lighting and angles and poses and all that jazz. My camera has a lot of settings and options. A LOT. It is a little intimidating. BUT, I can learn. If I really want to learn this creative art, I have to start somewhere. So, I started small. I don’t have a ton of time to spend researching and reading every article on photography. But I have a camera. I experiment. I learn new things when I can. I’m not perfect, but I can learn and maybe become okay or good at it. I can enjoy it and have fun with it.

Yoga Has Taught Me It’s Okay to Fall

I practice yoga, and I LOVE it! I love the creative movement. I love the way my body feels when I’m done. I love the mind/body connection.

But the best lesson I have gained from yoga is that it’s okay to fall.

When I first started doing yoga, I was intimidated. I was worried I’d be out of place since I couldn’t do the fancy stuff like headstands or camel or crow or chin stand. I remember going to a class and everyone but me could do this fancy trick where you cross your legs on top of each other, place your hands on the floor, and lift yourself up. I complained to the teacher, “My arms aren’t long enough.” She patiently answered, “You’ll get it with practice. It’s in the core.” She was right.

I was embarrassed in classes at first because I easily fell out of leg balancing poses. Everyone around me could hold them. Why couldn’t I?

And then I learned about the ego. Oh the ego—the thing that makes us think we have to get it right every time, or show off, or be perfect. I learned that yoga is about letting go of the ego, letting go of perfection, embracing my body the way it is today.

It was hard. Some days it’s still hard. But I do a lot better when I fall out of poses. I get right back in. I recognize that I’m not a bad yogi just because today I fell out of dancer pose.

I enjoy yoga so much more because I recognize I’m not perfect. I recognize that it’s about continual learning. I recognize that I’d rather progress and find joy in my successes.

Let Go of the Ego and Create

Let go of the ego. Let go of the idea of perfection. Embrace the idea of imperfection. Let yourself fall. Then pick yourself back up. Let yourself learn. Let yourself enjoy the process. Let yourself celebrate your successes.

It’s not about perfection. It’s not about failure. It’s about progressing and finding joy in the journey.

What do you want to learn? What creative avenue do you want to pursue? Do it! Go after it! Learn. Fail. Enjoy every moment of it! And share it, with me, with family, with a friend. Share your successes. Share your failures.

What are you waiting for? Start creating today! #alwayscreate

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