We've been teaching folk art for over two decades, and one thing we've learned is that perfectionism is an enemy of creativity. It's an enemy of progress, and of enjoyment.
We named our 12-week course Progress Not Perfection so our students were reminded often that learning to paint isn't about achieving perfection but it is about enjoying the journey.
It has become a mantra for our students when they're struggling with a brushstroke or project. However, we didn't realise just what a big part of our lives it would become too. At the office, we find that we are using just as much as our students to tackle our perfectionist tendencies, and it's working.
It's a reminder to embrace every part of the journey. It's a reminder that the mistakes and problems we face in business and life are an opportunity to learn, to grow. They aren't signs we need to look at things a different way and that we shouldn't give up!
Everytime we say it, it reminds us to look at how far we have come. Just like we remind students to look back at their painting journals, we are reminded to acknowledge that 2 years ago, our Masterclass was only a draft and our 12 week mentorship was just a twinkle in our eye!
Maybe it's because this mantra takes the fear out of imperfection, but it is also becoming easier to do new things. We have recently ventured on to Tik Tok and are creating a lot of new content in front of the camera, something we haven't done a lot of before - all because of this saying. We have created our mentorship course, embraced new technologies, apps and processes all things we would have put off until we were absolutely sure we had perfected EVERY SINGLE THING.
So the next time you are fearful of doing something new and worrying that your efforts will not be good enough or perfect enough, why not tell yourself it's progress not perfection that matters?
Give it a go and see what happens.