Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

I can’t tell you how many times I heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” I’m sure the intention was good in drilling that into us growing up. But, I actually never thought about that saying until just now. The good aspect is to teach to keep trying. But it also highlights this concept of perfection. When we create art, is it ever perfect? When I do sessions for clients, are they ever truly perfect? When I coach people on creating new habits, does that mean, we never drift back into an old habit occasionally? What happens when we look at only imperfections? Are we ever satisfied with how it is? How we are as is?

We are all works in progress. Perhaps the saying should really say, practice supports us in learning more. I know it doesn’t sound as good. But striving for perfection can block you. It can stop you from showing your authentic selves, your gifts, or your art because you haven’t achieved perfection yet. But in truth, sometimes what helps others the most isn’t the perfect parts. Show how we keep going even with imperfections is a valuable lesson.

I appreciated the advice taught in one of my art lessons. When you aren’t sure if you are done and you think you still might need to do a little more with your painting. Stop! Give it a rest. Walk away and do something else for a while. Then come back with fresh eyes. Decide then if you need to tweak any parts of a painting. So is true in life and projects that I don’t think are perfect enough. Best to stop and let my brain rest. Then come back with a fresh perspective. Too often, I need to keep plugging along and I wind up making it worse instead of better. That pause can be so valuable. But that idea isn’t perfect yet. You convince yourself that working at it will make it better and you aren’t going to stop until you achieve that idea of perfection.

So today, I tried pausing today on this painting. I thought it needed more tweaking, but I stopped and now giving it a rest before deciding if I want to do more to it. I noticed already that my eye isn’t seeing the little things that I thought weren’t working. I thought I needed to add more to it but now, I’m not sure I do!

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