“The Persistence of Memory” by Salvadore Dali
One of my lifelong goals has been to become less of a perfectionist.
They say that a goal should be specific and measurable. And this “goal” is neither of those. I don’t expect to completely conquer perfectionism, but just to become more and more okay with “not perfect”. It’s more like a target to be aiming for than an achievement to attain and be done with.
What’s so bad about perfectionism?
Perfectionism leads to procrastination. As I become less of a perfectionist, it should be easy to recognize my progress. Being less of a perfectionist should lead to accomplishing more.
Perfectionism can also cause major roadblocks – not just for artists but for everyone. It’s especially heartbreaking to see perfectionism in kids. I always want to urge them to abandon this toxic mindset before it becomes too ingrained in their personality. But how can I counsel them to resist perfectionism when I still struggle with it myself??
How to avoid falling prey to perfectionism
We need to adopt and model a new standard for ourselves and others… “not perfect”. We can still apply ourselves and do our best without adding the unrealistic expectation of “flawless”. Surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, famously said, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”
To be a perfectionist is to procrastinate living life and allow your precious time to “melt away”. So, next time you’re tempted to give in to perfectionism, try this. Let this painting by Salvadore Dali be your mental image for what perfectionism will gain you. Here’s to “less perfect” and a lot more accomplished!
Here are 5 ways you can use ART to free your students from perfectionism…
The one great thing about striving for perfection is the things you learn along the way to realizing that you’ll never get there. Things you might not have learned if you were less obsessed.
Of course,you have to bail eventually and broaden out. Best wishes on doing that.
Cheryl Trowbridge says
Very good point about the things you learn while striving for perfection. Thanks for your comment!