4 Reasons Why Perfectionism Is the Enemy of Creativity

How perfectionism can become fear of judgement in disguise.

Perfectionism can be a great asset when you have to prepare an exam or make complex calculations—but it can quickly become your enemy if you are a creative for the following reasons:

1. It creates anxiety

If you are a creative and a perfectionist you are also probably scared to get your work out there. But in creativity, what is good enough? It’s subjective, and you should NEVER think that what you create is worthless.

2. Procrastination

The chances are that if you are a perfectionist, your work will NEVER be ready. There is always time for little edits—true, but maybe the world needs your work NOW. There is no harm in procrastination, but remember that time passes by quickly and every creative work has its right time to be released.

3. Fear of judgment

Perfectionism can be fear of judgment in disguise. I know many aspiring writers that even wrote books, but don’t want to share their creation because they think it needs more work. This might be true—but more often than not, the problem is that they are just afraid of receiving feedback. When I self-published my non-perfect first book, I was scared too, but then I told myself: “If I can inspire even one person with this book it’s worth taking the risk.”

4. It kills inspiration

Ultimately, all these negative thoughts connected to perfectionism can kill inspiration.  How can you create something good if you can’t stop thinking about reaching perfection? Like Stephen King teaches in his book “On Writing,” you have to write with the closed door and edit with the open door. You need feedback to create your masterpiece.

The bottom line is, there is nothing wrong with perfection, but like everything in life, it needs to be balanced with something else—in this case, it’s courage. You need to be brave to put yourself out there—it’s not easy, but remember that the world NEEDS your work. Create at the best of your ability, but set a deadline. Otherwise, the chances are that your work will never see the light.

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