PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS

2013/02/19

JELLYFISH

To know me is to know that I am a perfectionist.

It’s not a quality I particularly like about myself as all that’s resulted from it is stress, stress eating (notably, ice cream and Cheetos) and the constant feeling that nothing I do is ever as good as I want it to be. Now, with going back to school and learning about talented photographers, graphic designers and artists on a daily basis, it’s hard for me that I am nowhere near being that good yet.

But I try to remember something a wise (and handsome) manfriend once told me, “Progress, not perfection.” I try to remember it again and again, because it’s about the truest thing I’ve ever heard.

It’s easy in this insanely connected world to feel defeated when browsing the Internet and envy so many people who are creating amazing things, running their own businesses, writing intelligent AND witty articles, managing successful blogs and sharing all their rightful talents with the world. The Internet makes it so easy! That’s the beautiful thing about it though – the fact that we can share our lives and work with people all across the earth, most of whom we’ve never met.

But it can also suck the creative soul right out of you! It can leave you (read: me) feeling like your ideas aren’t as good or as worthy. That what you do isn’t at that high of a level, so why do it at all? That’s where the ol’ perfectionism and impatience kick in and make you (again, read: me) feel bad that you aren’t there yet. This feeling has hit me especially hard lately.

In an effort to both escape the comparison trap and better myself, I am giving up the Internet. Okay, okay…not the whole Internet, but I am limiting social media + blog reading to 10 minutes per day. Six-hundred seconds, that’s it. Because it’s finally time I step away from the computer and spend my precious free time creating things instead of reading about people creating things.

Less computer, more practice. Practice makes progress. Progress > perfection.

Am I right or am I right?

P.S. This is a watercolor of a jellyfish I did in my inaugural effort to step away from the computer and create more. I liked it so much, I framed it. It’s now hanging comfortably and happily on my bathroom wall. I’d say it’s a dang good start.

Lauren February 19, 2013

Beautiful post love! This is so true and I couldn’t agree more. Ever since I moved to Chicago, I haven’t had nearly the time I once did to devote myself to social media, blog reading or even blogging for that matter and it’s actually been so nice to feel like I’m living in reality again. Not that I discredit any of the wonders of the Internet but I think you are so right in that it’s far too easy to loose track of who you are in a world of comparison. Good for you hun!

Danielle February 19, 2013

A great start. xx

Kimberly February 19, 2013

What a great post. I find myself focusing on the same things. Keep in mind that you don’t always see the struggles of others on the internet. I try to remember that when I have the same kind of feelings, but it’s hard.
And yes, that’s more than a good start. 🙂

Stephanie R February 20, 2013

I sparkle everything you’ve said in this post, and think “progress, not perfection” will be my new motto as well. It’s amazing to see how your work is evolving in exciting and lovely ways!

Lillian February 20, 2013

I love this post! Perfectionism is my biggest, most persistent demon, and I can totally relate to your situation. My mom sent me an awesome article last spring that touches on what you’re describing — the idea that progress is more important than perfection — and this idea has totally changed the way I view myself, my goals, and my accomplishments. Thanks for a wonderfully written article, and props on your decreased internet time! 🙂

Elizabeth February 28, 2013

Girl, I am trying to do the same thing! I drew a picture of my dog with bunny ears in Illustrator. My manfriend told me to stop analyzing and researching the crap out of things and just DO. I love what your guy said, “progress, not perfection.” And this is the first time I have written a comment (anywhere) using my new website! EEKS… “progress” I tell ya.

Ashley March 3, 2013

I just LOVE this! I’m so glad you decided to frame it. I’m sure it’s such a nice reminder to take a step back and it’s also a nice pop of color for any room! 🙂 I really need to figure out a way to take more time for myself, but I find it really hard as I try to build this career. Suggestions welcome! 🙂

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