Thoughts on perfectionism, fear and practice

November 25, 2014

My tendency is the opposite of concentration and focus. My mind keeps going sideways and deeper down into everything.
In my mind I know the way to get better is practice, I do. But I cannot seem to get there.
So I know a whole lot. But at the end of the day, I have nothing to showcase that knowledge.

In my journey to finding a new direction, I’ve spread my tentacles in many directions.
In the last few months I’ve experimented with watercolors, drawing in watercolor pencils, refining drawing skills in general, programming – HTML5, CSS3, PHP, JavaScript, JQuery, Story-telling, structures of stories, building characters, writing humoristically, animation, animation languages, animation software, creating apps, creating ebooks, ebook formats, single-page websites – examples, showcases, effects, parallax, and probably a few other things that I forgot about.

My tendency is the opposite of concentration and focus. My mind keeps going sideways and deeper down into everything.
Moreover, I find that instead of getting to it, whatever it may be, I have a very strong tendency to research. If I want to draw, I don’t pick up a pencil and let it touch paper. But rather – I go online and look for articles about drawing, I read about it, I watch tutorials, I look for examples to give me inspiration (which more often than not, have the opposite effect – I get discouraged “I could never produce anything this good”).
In my mind I know the way to get better is practice, I do. But I cannot seem to get there.

So I know a whole lot. But at the end of the day, I have nothing to showcase that knowledge.

At the rate I’m going, When I’m old and on my death bed, when I will look back on my life, I’ll have lots of “inside information” – But nothing material, nothing physical out there.

I am all thought, zero action.
Where does this come from? I think one reason for this action-paralysis is fear. My fear walks hand in hand with Perfectionism. They are like love birds, never separating. “I am no good”, “if I can’t make it perfect – better do nothing at all”.

Second, probably a close relation, is my huge lack of confidence in myself. I do not trust myself to even try (if it won’t be perfect). So reading about it, learning, educating myself, are all meant to give me this strong, solid backing. “This is the way to go” “This is how you do it right”.
It’s a vicious, circular whirlwind I cannot get out of.

“How hard can it be to just give it a try?” I ask myself. “Really, don’t do the thing itself yet, allow it to be flawed, just TRY, just Practice”. But then, as the blank paper stares at me, I try to think of what to try, what should my far-from-perfect practice be about, and I go into a second spin. So I go online to read about ideas, or about how to get ideas, and exercises and tutorials on how to get started, how to structure the process, and I am lost once again.

On a positive note, writing this little piece is a good step in the right direction!
Instead of mulling over it for days, till replaced by other thoughts, I sat, I wrote.
I did. I took action.

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