The pursuit of perfect.

Published: 14 October 2014

What are you talking about?

Think about it for a minute. So often we want to be perfect. Perhaps this desire stems from a fear that those engaging in the output of our work will find flaws in it or scoff at our attempts. It is paralysing, almost suffocating.

I suffered from this recently. Being the kind of person that does a significant (perhaps to much) introspection I discovered that I was pursuing this perfection. Checking every note two to three times, scolding myself when ever I hit bum notes, trying to figure out how I could make things better, more in line with those I look up to.

Only after a chat with a fellow musician did it start making sense. I explained my situation and was told, quiet accurately, that I was over thinking things. By continually comparing myself to other players, I was not allowing the music to come from me. It was coming from some contrived place that was scared of being told that it sucked.

I was furious when I discovered this was the problem because I had told myself I won't slip back into it. It creeps up on you though, before you know it the quiet whispers that have been lurking in the back of your head take over. The doubts and fears grow and before you know it, all you had worked on just vanishes. The fog of fear covers everything and before you know it, the notes no longer make sense, the playing is jagged and the feeling is gone.

That being said, now that I know what has been bugging me I can fix it. The doubts will always be there, the over critical analysis of the creative work will always be there but as opposed to allowing it to get me down I am going to rather use it as a means to refine ideas. Not over work but refine.

And continually remind myself that all I need to do is play, just play.

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