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November 22, 2013

How I Learned to Create without Fear. ~ Rikki Iwanowsky

 

“Nothing stops the forward march of any creative endeavor like the need to do it absolutely perfectly. And who is to judge what is ‘perfect’ anyway? What I have judged full of flaws so many others have called terrific. Maybe the definition of Perfection is something that actually gets done.” 

~ Neale Donald Walsch

I have often been paralyzed by the fear of getting something wrong.

This is the reason why I hid my creative side away for many years. I couldn’t show it to the world until it was “perfect;” until it was “ready.” I thought, surely I have talent. I could catch glimpses of it here and there, but it wasn’t good enough yet.

Looking back, I was waiting to put it out into the world until I knew for sure that it would be admired by all who saw it (and that was never going to happen). So, yes, I was paralyzed.

But I’m not anymore. And this is why.

What I realized when I started putting myself out there is that, for all your anxiety and pining over perfection, other people simply don’t care as much as you do about whatever it is you’re doing.

And this is truly a profound and liberating recognition.

I realized that all I can really ask of people/onlookers/friends is that they allow me a space to do what I do, to wiggle around, squirming awkwardly into my “art.” Maybe some people will like it, maybe they will care, but the vast majority won’t even notice. What power this is, really, what freedom!

Not only will I never be perfect, I never have to be perfect. No one expects that of me.

The other major realization I had was that I’m never going to get “it” done completely. There will always be something I wish I said or did better, and you know what, that is exactly the inspiration for the next piece and the next piece and the next one: trying to touch something more and more real. 

I will often be reading something from a writer that I love and I will think, “Wow, this is truly great, I never could have come up with this.” And it’s true, I couldn’t have. Those thoughts and those words are uniquely theirs. It is their precious gift to the world.

I also have a unique and precious gift to share with the world—but more importantly, I now understand that the only way I can do that is to actually do it. Like, Neale Donald Walsch says, stop worrying about perfection and just act, create, put it out there.

The consequences can’t be as bad as if we stifle that creative impulse.

Maybe we pursue perfection or truth or beauty as an ideal goal in our creative endeavors and the actual pieces that are born into reality are just symptoms of that pursuit. This one might grasp some little kernel of what we are reaching for, and that one something else. Or maybe we missed the mark on that one, but at least now we can see it. It doesn’t matter.

All of our creations are merely offshoots of something greater that is within all of us. What we create doesn’t make us great or loveable or perfect. It is our innate greatness, lovableness and perfection that makes whatever we pursue, whatever we give form to, great if we can tap into it.

Like a series of “failed” experiments, we hone in closer to discovering something about ourselves and our lives.

No more hiding. No more excuses.

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Assistant Editor: Terri Tremblett/Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Shinan Ahmad}

 

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