First off, it’s NOT about being perfect. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying you don’t need to practise. Even the pros continue to practise, because as it is said, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” But perfection is an ideal, and an ideal is not only for the most part, unreasonable, but it is also static. As things are always changing, to survive, we must also adapt to those changes. Ideals don’t allow for this. Instead, we need to look at it as a model and be prepared to make changes, if and when necessary. We set ourselves up for failure when we aim for perfection. We need to practise to get better, not perfect. We need to strive for excellence. We need to do the best we can do – NOT perfection.
If you strive for perfection, you can caught up in a whirl wind of thinking that you are not good enough. Give yourself a chance and realize that it’s not meant to be perfect the first time you attempt something (or any other time). Don’t let yourself get paralyzed with the fear of not being good enough before you even begin! No matter how slow the progress is, you are still moving forward (“One step forward, two steps back” may be slow, but it’s better than being stuck and not moving at all.)
You are your worst enemy, if you believe in perfection. If you do make a mistake, no – correction – when you make a mistake – own up to it. After all, you are human. At that time, I’m sure you did what you thought was best, considering the circumstances. Perhaps the time in question wasn’t picture perfect (as it often isn’t). All you can do is make the best out of your current situation. Don’t keep replaying the event – “Why did I do that? I should have…I wish I had…” Don’t beat yourself up. Hindsight really is 20/20. And you can’t go back and redo it now, anyways.
If you did the best you can do, you need to let it go and move on. Let yourself be satisfied, and let yourself move on. And don’t let this discourage you. Nobody likes to make mistakes, but you set yourself up for failure when you expect perfection on your first attempt (or any attempt). Ease up – it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s not only part of the process, it’s a progression. That’s right – you’re making progress even when you make a mistake! The important part is what follows: stick with it, learn from it, and try again!
You will need to have many practice runs before you’re excellent at something. But stay focused. And remember, it’s okay to seek guidance. You’re not expected to be an expert when you’re new at something. It may take longer than expected, and that’s okay (But, again, don’t overthink things – know when to let it go and move on.) You may also have doubts when you find it really challenging, also expected (Nothing worth having, comes easy). But in the end, you will come to realize that it was worth the struggle.
Rather than focusing on perfection, just be your true authentic self. Be in the moment, feel it, and it will fall into place. It will feel right. There may be certain steps you have studied, but at some point you need to let go of that because it’s already part of who you are. You know what you’re doing now. Trying to remember that text book example exactly step by step is counterproductive now. Get over it! Not only that, there’s theory and then there’s application. That’s right – sometimes a curve ball is thrown at you and you need to deal with it – just follow your instincts and do the best you can. Remember, everything is in a state of flux and things are always evolving. We, too, always need to adjust and rise to a new level of excellence.