Dealing with perfectionism while at the same time, you need to generate your creative thinking.


Being creative is a must when you work at an advertising agency. However, the workload is overwhelming. It’s normal if you handle more than one project at the same time with very tight deadlines, while you are also obligated to be a perfectionist in your job with no space for mistakes. But how can that be? 

Like Worry Lines, an anonymous artist says that perfectionism for me had always felt like a driving force. At first, it propelled us to give the best of our work. But, at the same time in our career, it has changed. The desire to be perfect was no longer motivating, but stifling. As we became more overworked and overwhelmed, perfectionism started to become a block rather than a propellor. 

When we face a long to-do list, perfectionism would stop us from doing anything at all because we knew that there was no way we could do it all perfectly, and in our hand, anything less than perfect would be a failure, and a failure was terrifying. It was a really paralyzing thing. 

Of course, perfectionism doesn’t always seem so terrible, as it can also be what drives us to create in the first place. But when the drive is accompanied by a fear that whatever we’ve written, painted, cooked, or crafted isn’t good enough, then it’s time to recognize that in an effort to ensure everything is done flawlessly, we may actually be holding ourselves back.

Well, these mindsets hopefully help you to deal with perfectionism while at the same time, you need to generate your creative thinking.

Being “the best” doesn’t actually make people happy

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In an interview with “The Atlantic Monthly” about his book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?, Raj Raghunathan talks about how the need for mastery and being the best at something is holding us back. First, he says, being the best is a difficult thing to assess. “What are the yardsticks for judging somebody on a particular dimension?”

In addition, he points out that even if you think you know those yardsticks (and regardless of if they’re relevant), they’re “ones that we adapt to really quickly. So if you get a huge raise this month, you might be happy for a month, two months, maybe six months. But after that, you’re going to get used to it and you’re going to want another big bump.” Sounds exhausting, right?

So instead of measuring ourselves against others and arbitrary “yardsticks” or ideas of what’s perfect, Raghunathan suggests we don’t compare ourselves to other people, and just “become a little more aware of what it is that you’re really good at, and what you enjoy doing.” This is sound advice, but for some of us, even if we know we’re good at something, we can still feel stifled by the idea that it needs to be perfect.

Everything boils down to fear

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Fear of failure is real and it’s not to be taken lightly. However, Bruderer says, that while people are afraid they’ll be embarrassed or that they’ll fair or that someone won’t like what they create, most of the time that’s not a plausible result. “It’s important to determine when the fear is an excuse,” she says. “People are missing out on a lot of things in life because they want to be perfect or because they’re scared of losing something or even scared of what will happen if they gain something.”

Take action and set goals

Photo Courtesy of Markus Winkler

In order to set perfectionism aside and accomplish the goals that matter to you, Bruderer suggests you set a clear target and outline what you want to achieve, set a date you want to accomplish it by, and then clearly outline the steps you’re going to take to get there. Lastly, it’s important to make sure those steps are actually going to help you achieve your goal. If not, revise them. It’s okay not to get it right the first time.

Exercise perfectionism with a simple exercise

Whether it’s submitting an article to a magazine you admire, finding a space to hold your first art exhibit, or signing up for pottery classes, there’s a chance that by answering those two questions on paper, you’ll discover what steps you need to take next.

Here other a couple of exercises that may help you when perfectionism rears its ugly head.

Write down a list of things (at least three) that you’re doing right

Instead of focusing on what (you think) you’re not doing well, take a few minutes to make a list of things you’re are doing well or that you know how to do well in relation to your goal or project. This is a great way to remind yourself of your strengths and why this is something you set out to achieve in the first place.

Learn to enjoy the ride

Whether it’s an assignment for work or a personal project, make yourself work on it for 30 minutes or an hour without stopping to be critical. Just write or paint flowly. Whatever it is, just do it. If you catch yourself stopping to reflect or criticize your progress, make yourself go forward and tell yourself you can fix it later.

Do your best and forget the rest

Doing your best and being perfect are two very different things, especially since most of the time, only the former is realistic. When it comes to creativity, all you can do is your best. And that has to be enough. Allow yourself to recognize when you’ve done your best and to be not just okay, but happy with that.




#THE S MEDIA #Media Milenial #how to be a creative thinker