Can Perfectionism and Comparison actually enhance our creativity?

Welcome to my first blog, I’m not much of a writer so please bear with me as what I’m conveying is important. I wanted this blog to be about something I find sits very close to my heart as one of the hardest challenges I face on a day-to-day basis. Being creative when fronting perfectionism and comparison is very limiting but I believe there is an opportunity to shift our mindset, I hope this information helps you like it’s helping me.

Creativity can be expressed and explored in so many different ways and has the power to enhance ourselves as humans, to engage in creative projects where we consistently work on and dedicate our time to, it gives us a sense of purpose above and beyond our regular responsibilities. Not only does creativity lead you to innovative thinking, but it also inspires effective problem-solving.

However in an ever-changing world where it feels as though we should be creating at a rate that much exudes a lot of our typical capacity and expectations to create. It’s hard to drawback to the intrinsic feeling of what being creative innately enhances within us.

Creativity for me comes and goes and as I’ve mentioned it is easily affected by the prospects of perfection and comparison. I don’t like to put pressure on myself in that if I don’t feel naturally creative I won't push it but I do also believe a lot of how we as humans experience life is based on the way we choose to perceive it and I think our minds are our own harshest critics.

Rather than looking at perfectionism as a limiting belief. I want you to consider the prospect of perfectionism in a way that will benefit your creativity. Something creative will never be ‘perfect’ and whatever mistakes you think you may make should be looked at as growth. Perfectionists tend to have a desire in which they like to understand all aspects of the task at hand, this element of curiosity is strongly linked to creativity. The different tangents we often elude to cultivates a much more diverse set of ideas and information than a more narrowly focused approach.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun”

  • Albert Einstein

The prospect of comparison I find can be a result of not having a strong focus or clear vision that aligns with your values. Like we looked to perfectionism I think there is the opportunity to flip our mindsets. Rather than thinking of comparison in a negative light, I think it’s important to really think of yourself, your values and try to stay in your own lane to minimise those limiting thoughts. We as creatives should look to what others have done in a collective light and how that can build into how we choose to create, comparison can be a teacher if we decide it to be.

Although if you are anything like me and find it hard to manipulate your thoughts, I have some practical tools that I am using for when I'm feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of being creative, here is what I am currently doing to minimise my fears of perfectionism and comparison that will hopefully help or resonate with you when you feel you’re in a prolonged creative block.

I have found myself reading a booked called ‘Tiny Habits’ from Bj Fogg and in a funny way it helps towards my restrictions I face with perfectionism and ultimately interwoven with comparison. To put it simply it’s about how starting small can make lasting change, I am implementing this wisdom across many aspects of my day to day life but also find it helps when I’m wanting to be creative too. I then pair the tiny behaviour mindset with advice from author Jay Shetty, he talks about doing actions with purpose and full intent. Think about it, when do you ever sit down and just paint or do an activity without something else on in the background. If we focus solely on being creative our intrinsic feelings will start to develop.

Everyday I will do something solely creative for myself, that is minimal, so it’s never overwhelming and I will do it with no distractions. I find that this helps for when I am feeling like being super creative that I don’t find myself in a rabbit hole of creating the perfect piece and I don’t have someone else’s work to compare to and don’t get me wrong there is still space to find inspiration and it not be comparison but again I encourage you to do it with intent.

I know this was a lot to take in but if you can take anything away from what I’ve said today is to just focus on your positive mindset, create for your values and yourself. Creativity is a powerful tool so don’t hold back - you’ve got this. Mistakes mean growth.

“Stay in your own lane. Comparison kills creativity and joy”

  • Brene Brown

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