Wednesday, June 17, 2020

How Perfectionism Prevents Creativity From Flourishing

Both of my parents were perfectionists.  It was a bit difficult for them to accept
the fact that they had given birth to a free spirit who did not feel harnessed by
that perfectionistic behavior.  Perhaps I rebelled against it because I 
understood the tension it created, or perhaps I was just wired differently.
I am not sure.

My Daddy was less concerned by the perfect than my Mama.  She had to
make sure that everything she started must be finished without mistake.
I never understood her attitude completely until she told me that her
own father once criticized her for using an eraser to alter a word on
her homework.  He asked, "Why must you use an eraser?  Why don't
you think carefully before you print out your homework assignment?"
She told me she never forgot those words, and from that moment on
she was very careful.  It's my belief now that she carried that sense of
caution throughout her life.  

She never realized our fully embraced her talents, of which there were
many.  She always had beautiful flower gardens.  She always decorated
our home to perfection.  She was an excellent baker and she could
decorate a cake as well as any professional.  She sewed many darling
dresses for my dolls, and her Christmas wrappings were always so 
original and beautiful that we hardly wanted to open our gifts.

One of her pursuits was taking a china painting class.  This was
her first creation.   I didn't see it for the longest time because
she didn't think it was very good.  She compared herself to others
in the class and envied their talent.  In my mind, it is a beautiful
plate and it shows to me that she indeed had the soul of an artist.
It's charming in it's simplicity and conveys a sense of joy to
the eye.  I only wish that she recognized this talent she possessed,
and that she would have enjoyed it more fully.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Oliver


  1. This really made me smile ~ I've called myself a "Recovering Perfectionist' for about 8 years now ~ it is SO freeing!!!

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  2. Hi Susan,

    My husband is fond of saying that "The perfect is the enemy of the good." How true that is! My dad was a Type A perfectionist, and I've always wanted to be those things because I thought I would get more accomplished. These days I'm just glad to be me and glad to be here.

    I hope you're feeling well.



  3. I often look at the photos first and then go read. And when I saw that china, I thought "What pretty plates! So light and cheerful and airy!" And then I read back. Funny you say what you do -- it's somewhat similar to the thoughts in my post today about painting. I'm glad your mum finally shared with you.

    I hope all is going well with Oliver and if you've started your next treatments. Hang in there!

  4. I have the identical teapot. Love it! The plate is charming.

  5. I thought you were describing my own Mother.... As an art teacher early on in my career (I taught GED and Adult enrichment classes at the local vocational school.) The difference between adults and children in art, is kids are into the 'process' and adults are fixated on the result. Sadly, many adults are paralyzed by perfection---I always emphasized the emotions connected with art---and interpretation of artwork. If you can get people to let go of their 'perfection' it is amazing how enjoyable making art can be. From another free-spirit! Sandi

  6. Just came across your blog although seems like I've read it before long ago. With all this sheltering place (boring!!!) I've been looking for new blogs to read. I have read through a few of your recent posts and I love your clear and colorful! Your style is very sweet and creative. I have no idea what my style is!!!!!! Been trying to figure that out for years:) I love the name of your cottage. I live in a "farmhouse" style home with a big front porch and have been trying for a long time to think of a name for it. Just haven't come up with one that suits me. Our name is Luckie so I've been trying to come up with something around that and use a 4 leaf clover for a motif! Maybe I'll figure it out before the house falls down! If you ever need another blog to read, please feel free to drop by mine. I write about anything and everything. I love to write and never know what I will come up with next. Now off to read more of your posts:)

  7. I keep looking for a new blog post. Starting to worry about you thinking something is wrong. Surly hope you are not sick again. Can you please post if something is wrong. I have you in my prayers, Love you and hope everything is alright.

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Oliver and I LOVE and read every comment.


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