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This little reflection is something that I shared a couple of years ago but I’m going to share it again because it’s really resonating for me right now:
One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned about painting is that, at a certain point, you have to let go of the painting. It has to be finished. One of the worst things I’ve done (and the slowest most painstaking way that I’ve ruined a painting) is to continue on making adjustments, for the sake of “perfection.” “Perfection,” l’ve noticed, is the voice in my head that finds a fault where there is none and is usually driven by a rigid view of what I think others think.
When I was young, “perfectionism,” actually had a positive connotation. It was associated with working hard and being detail-oriented. But the horrible reality of being a perfectionist is that nothing is done. Nothing is good enough.

Perfectionism is the nemesis of creativity, because it keeps you chained to past projects and holds you back from creating anew, unhindered. I think Julia Cameron explains perfectionism best: “Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough-that we should try again.”
Each day, I need to remind myself to choose creativity over perfectionism, and the days where I make the right choice are always the most rewarding.

Aku setuju dengan pernyataannya. Tapi kadang perfeksionisme ini muncul bukan sebagai dorongan untuk tampil sempurna tetapi untuk menyenangkan “pihak lain”. You want to look good enough for others. You want to please other people. Kalau aku merasa diberi tanggung jawab, aku merasa harus memenuhi tanggung jawab itu tapi disertai dengan rasa bersalah yang menurutku tidak sehat. Karena aku ingin menyenangkan pihak lain, aku menjadi cemas jika orang lain tidak puas. Padahal kepuasan dan kesenangan orang lain tidak bisa dikontrol oleh diriku.

Ketika aku berhasil memuaskan harapan orang lain, aku kemudian dianggap sebagai standar. Kerjaku dianggap baik dan menjadi ukuran dari orang-orang setelah aku dan di sekelilingku. Aku merasa hal itu jadi beban karena tidak ada orang yang mau menjadi versi kedua atau ketiga dari diriku. I want to be average. I am happy to be an average student, average activist, average worker, average in everything.

How can you escape perfectionism when you are surrounded by people who demand you to be perfect? Althought they won’t admit it. I need to get away from it. Being perfect means go with the rule people made for me. I can’t be creative, I can’t be loose, I can’t find my details. I work well with goals and targets. I am very good at making other people happy in a way.

It’s suffocating. I am tired, physically and emotionally.

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