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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Perfectionism and Doing it Scared

Misty Trees, Watercolor, ©DeborahBollman, Sold

Boy, that title just about says it all. I’ve just gone through that dreaded period in the life of a creative where the well feels like it had run dry. As a painter I had there is nothing quite as intimidating as staring down a blank, glaring white sheet of paper when you have lost all inspiration.

Judging by my email I can say with assurance that this seems to be a fairly common thing among those of us who create... be it a painting a painting, writing a book or blog content, composing a song... 

I’m going to be very transparent here. I was doing everything in by bag of tricks to avoid that sheet of paper that was staring accusingly back at me. I would “get” busy. If I’m busy, well, then I don’t have time to paint. There are too many other important things that need to get done! 

I finally reached a point where the guilt from not painting got so bad that I had to take a step back and re-assess. I had to get to the bottom of things and I decided to work with a mindset coach to try and figure out why I was trying to avoid doing something that I loved and what I discovered wasn’t pretty. 

One of the key insights that I learned is that it is not laziness or procrastination that was stopping me. It was...wait for it.... perfectionism. Yes, you heard that right. My artwork had gotten to the point where I was making good sales and had I put the pressure on myself to make every painting count. I no longer was painting for the fun of it anymore but for the market and a living. 

The fear of “getting it wrong”, screwing up and the prospect of what if next thing I paint doesn’t even come close to being as good as the last thing that I painted was stopping me in my tracks.

I work in watercolor and those of you that know watercolor know that the odds of “getting  it right” (whatever that actually means) every time is pretty slim to none. And that concept of possible failure was death to the perfectionistic ego that I was starting to become a slave to.

“The Solution”

My coach said you simply have to “do it scared”. You can’t wait until everything aligns and the fear will  magically go away. It just doesn’t work that way. Just do it scared. So I did. And you know what? It works. It feels really uncomfortable at first but I had to give myself permission to be imperfect. And guess what? The fun came back.. it led me back into the fun of seeing what the paint could do and pushing the envelope. And the bonus some of those paintings that I considered "mistakes" sold right off the easel.

An Even Bigger A-ha

And from this came an even bigger a-ha moment when I realized that we aren’t just talking about about perfectionism in just painting anymore.

We were talking about life.

How do you handle that blank paper, canvas...sheet of paper and perfectionism? 

I'd love to know. 

Leave your comments in the section below!

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...


The proponents of "FAITH ONLY" salvation like to present the paralytic as an example of one who had his sins forgiven without being baptized in water. Their position is, since Jesus forgave the paralytic without being immersed in water; so then, baptism is not essential, for those living today, in order to have sins forgiven.

PARALYTIC SALVATION: Luke 5:18-20 And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and set him him down in front of Him. 19 But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus . 20 Seeing their faith , He said , "Friend, your sins are forgiven."

PARALYTIC SALVATION: Jesus forgave his sin because of the faith of friends.

Can men today be saved like the paralytic? No, they cannot!

The paralytic was saved without FAITH.
The paralytic was saved without REPENTANCE.
The paralytic was saved without CONFESSING Jesus as the Son of God.
The paralytic was saved without being BAPTIZED.
The paralytic was saved without BELIEVING that God raised Jesus from the dead.
The paralytic was saved without CONFESSING Jesus as Lord and Christ.


The paralytic was saved before the New Covenant was in force. Jesus had to die before the New Covenant was available.

Men today have to meet the terms of the New Agreement, that is the New Covenant.

NEW COVENANT: Hebrews 9:15-17 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who lives made it.

The apostle Peter told all men how to be saved under the New Covenant. (Acts 2:22-41) A.D. 33 The Day of Pentecost.

New Covenant terms of pardon.
FAITH: John 3:16
REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Luke 24:47
CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, Colossians 2:12-13, Titus 3:5, John 3:5, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-7

Was the paralytic saved? Yes, so was the thief on the cross, Enoch, Abraham, and many others before the New Covenant was in force, however, it was the blood of Jesus that washed away the sins of those who died under the Old Covenant.




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