Leave My Perfectionism Alone

Leave My Perfectionism Alone

Perfect is not the enemy of good…

Several weeks ago, I’d asked you, my dear reader, what to do with my course *[Waves of Focus: Guiding the Wandering Mind](https://www.kouroshdini.com/waves-of-focus/)*, a series for the powerful and creative mind that can at times, fall into scatter, distraction, or hyperfocus.

Previously, it had been a cohort-based course, an online setting with a group of fellow peers. The aim was to harness an engagement that only a classroom can provide.

But it was pricey, locked in time, and limited in the number of participants that could attend.

Many of you liked the idea of a membership site, where we could still participate and learn together, alongside recordings, forums, and regular live discussions.

Many of you also requested a stand alone product, where you could focus in your time.

So now, I’m diving in to create both: a video course and a members site.

Head down, fingers pounding at the keyboard, I’m once again in love with the flurry and flow of the creative process. Frustrations form and resolve into new ideas, cresting, crashing, and rippling throughout the drafts. Over and over, challenge and play draw me in.

But haunting me are accusations of and arguments against *perfectionism*.

Quite possibly a projection on my part, a fear within made manifest staring at me from without, I increasingly see such posts on whichever social media site that has decided to distract me for the moment.

**Arguments against perfectionism** seem to come in different forms:

– “You’re just scared”
– “Perfect is the enemy of good”
– “You need to create an MVP (minimal viable product)”
– “Just get it out there!”

… and the like.

All of these comments are valid in their own ways, all coming from caring voices.

I can understand the concern.

Perfectionism is much akin to procrastination, driven from fear and other such negative emotions.

We continue to work on something until, well… forever. We can keep telling ourselves that it’s just getting better and better.

Maybe it is.

But, if it’s never released, what did it amount to?

Striving for perfection can even destroy something directly. Once we go past “good enough”, the risk of continued attempts can scuttle it:

> “I’ll just add a little bit more salt to this soup, and… aghh!

And creating a Minimal Viable Product makes wonderful sense as well. You create something with enough features to attract early-adopting customers, validate a product idea, and have a point from which to iterate.

Even while I can understand such concerns, I keep returning to:

> “What differentiates perfectionism from *mastery*?

Mastery is about guiding a flow of play into a craft, allowing a process to develop at its pace, nourishing it along the way, to make something **good**.

It’s about caring.

It’s about a path to *meaningful work*, where artist and audience can share and learn in a richness of experience.

Certainly, mastery and perfectionism overlap in that either can last forever.

But they also overlap in the same way care and fear can co-exist.

While I could say, this isn’t my first rodeo, that I’ve created and released products before, there is no guarantee that some element of procrastination isn’t at work within me now.

There is something of a trust in the creative process and living sense of flow. And, I like giving things the time they take, fostering conditions for their growth.

Isn’t that patience, after all?

The distinction is perhaps best found within, much like a difference between cleaning for the sake of cleanliness from that of obsession. Am I acting from joy and meaning or from fear?

There is no perfect state, in which one exists without the other. But when a creative process is alive, its spirit asking to be nurtured, I much prefer to follow its lead.

– Kourosh

PS If you enjoyed these ramblings, consider my newsletter, [*The Weekly Wind Down*](https://www.kouroshdini.com/samples/), a regular return to finding mastery and meaningful work in our daily lives.

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