Fighting against perfectionism.

4th collumn "forever" /infinity symbol - good but not finished - far left, just not finished

When I was growing up, the notion of a perfectionist was that of a tortured artistic type, highly committed and driven regardless of the circumstances; constantly striving up to the final seconds to iterate upon and improve whatever they were engaged in.
More recently, the idea of perfectionism has changed to a more complicated psychological and personal trait, associated not with drive and empowerment, but instead as a difficult long-term blocker. And I am an inclined to agree. The idea of perfectionism as an inspiring force of unbridled ambition, able to elevate few to higher and higher achievements is to me an obviously unhealthy one. As conversations around mental health, health in the workplace, social media, eco-stress and lockdown continue 

I had this view, or this view of it was around I felt and this miss-represents what it is/was.
Now we think more this and I agree.
This rings true for me, and is something I find to be a big obstacle to both my personal and professional life.
The first thing to say, is of course, that if you are struggling with perfectionism and the issues linked, go and talk to someone.
This really, is a letter to myself. A message of growth I hope to return to, time to time, as a reminder and means to help fight against some of these issues working as a full-time creative - and at time of writing, an independent one.
thinking that you know how a project or piece or work is going to turn out. 
This one is really hard, and for me one of my biggest blockers. I've done enough projects now to a lot of the time have a good idea of how a new project is going to turn out. It's an important foresight to have when looking at a new brief, or deciding what work to go for, or when trying to come up with something a bit more radical. But it can often get high-jacked.
Getting bad feedback, misaligning with a new client, or coming back with something off-brief because something key wasn't mentioned in a call or we all assumed we were on the same page when we weren't. These can often trigger a kind of 'cut your losses' reaction ...
When instead approaching a new project with as much an open mind as possible, trusting in the creative process, in yourself and allowing new ideas and creative directions to emerge results in a stronger, more recognisable process, and often greater work as well.
but this may be personal to me. !
Time to think.
and having too much
time to think is good and often I think I do my best and most insightful work when I've had a chance to properly think over and attack from every angle. Those frantic single-day deadlines or periods near project delivery call for me to just make decisions and keep rolling. 
when I have too much time to think, my mind begins to wander in search of larger problems. I begin to compare myself to others and I can feel a lot more isolated and afloat.
Too much time without something clear to focus on? can also lead to trying to tackle too many problems at once
If you have a manager or creative lead, part of their job is to keep you motivated and focused, finding a balance getting your best work (which may include time for thought and reflection) and efficient use of time. If you're working on your own you have to do this for yourself, 
and it's been one of the hardest things to contest with and ironing out how you actually work best - may take your whole career? not helped by the ebb and flow of freelancing, constant difference types of projects and the demands/impacts of everyday? life... as well

Overthinking can also result in giving yourself more boxes to tick that you might otherwise. It can open up doors and possibilities when you're conceptualising but can sometimes lead to hamstringing yourself by trying to achieve too much at once. Prioritising is always helpful, and don't be afraid to simplify/focus things down again.​​​​​​​

Forever means never.
It rings true in my personal life too, in my free time I do a lot of creative craft projects. I do these purely for the enjoyment of them and the notion of not set time limit is both blessing and a curse.
Perfectionism creeps in. I can spend as long as I like so in many ways I feel free from perfectionist intrusions, if something is not right it can be redone. I can work on it when I feel like, not when I need too. But this can turn into "forever to do, means never done." It is the hobbists dream and the creatives nightmare. And loads of tiny projects, small blog posts and little drawings I do just for fun lie on my desk unfinished, sometimes for years.
The pressure-free environment of "forever and for fun" also means that a space that should soothe the other stresses of everyday life and of work just seems to add to them. Turning to "I'll do that when I have the time," or only doing it when I feel I can afford, or have earned the time to spend hours on something that isn't stressing about work.

One hobby that seems to reject all of this is expressive painting. Putting paint to paper and simply painting how I am feeling or what I am 'seeing' is both calming and liberating. Music is a great companion to this and painting music is a great way to escape of a lot of things and connect with others. The approach is equally simple and free-flowing, it is done when it FEELS right: or when I feel as if I have down whatever it was I was trying to capture or express. Like a sketch. When it no longer needs one more brush stroke.
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