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Friday Thoughts on Doing Things Imperfectly

May 22, 2010

A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault. ~John Henry Newman

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~Harriet Braiker

I can’t tell you how many times I stop myself from doing something because I feel I won’t be able to do it up to the standards that I have set for myself. In some ways, I’m a terrible perfectionist. This is probably not really that apparent to others, because I do many things very imperfectly, haha. But it’s taken me some practice to be okay with that. And I still practice to let things be ‘good enough’ and not beat myself up for doing things imperfectly, sometimes even badly. Sometimes, the most important thing is in the ‘doing’ of it – the actual act of sitting down and giving it your focus for a time.

This week, I made my first pillow case – woohoo! I really enjoyed just going through the process of cutting the fabric, pinning things together, sitting down at my sewing machine to put it all together. And it worked! It is an actual pillow case. And it now sits on my couch, happily adding another punch of red to my living room.
The problem is that I made it a little too small, even though I measured everything. And it looks a little tight, the seams of the hems where the buttons are pull. As a result they are not a straight line!!! The horror. Now, in the grand scheme of things, I do understand that this is no big deal. And I’ll likely manage to make the next pillow case a little bigger. Yet, it bugged me quite a bit that it was too tight.

It’s little things like that, which can, if I’m unaware of them, subconsciously keep me from trying things again. Because all I remember after making something is the frustration I felt of not doing it ‘perfectly’. So that’s why I think it’s important to be aware of perfectionist tendencies, because they really take the joy out of an activity.

Another thing is this blog post – I have been procrastinating on it, because I felt I needed to find the right words for what I wanted to share. You may have noticed that the title says Friday thoughts, and this is because I like to post these kinds of posts on Friday. But it’s Saturday night by the time I finish this post. Not such a big deal…but being aware of the reason I’ve been putting it off makes me realize I need to just sit down and do things sometimes rather than wait for ‘the right time’.

I’ll leave you with a last quote:
The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”
~John C. Maxwell

Is there anything that you’re giving yourself a hard time about? What would you try if you would just give yourself permission to do it imperfectly, maybe even badly.

Wishing you a great weekend!


One Comment leave one →
  1. May 25, 2010 7:04 am

    Oh, it looks like a lovely pillow case! I think too small is actually quite nice, as it gives it that comfy, cosy, over-stuffed look! And I’m so glad you made it red! I’m a bit of a perfectionist, too, and know just what you mean about not wanting to get started sometimes… but I always try to remember that handmade things aren’t perfect unless they’re imperfect!!

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