Outside of things like math tests, “Perfect” is mostly a myth. Yet it isn’t even just that. You expect to make no mistakes — or only just a few — on your way to doing difficult tasks: learning the piano, writing a business plan, parenting, or creating the next hit Broadway play. Cindy Wigglesworth, author, says “Well written and entertaining, this book is full of helpful advice. I recognized myself in some of the stories – and I bet you will too! Don’t waste time criticizing yourself. Use your time instead reading this book and trying the tips within it!”
One such tip is looking at the “Critical Voice” as opposed to the “Creative Voice”. And by “Critical” in this sense, I mean “analytical”. A giant step we can take out of perfectionism is to distinguish between these two abilities, and when to use them. For example, all of us are music critics. We know what we like, we know what sounds good, we know what is boring. We don’t always agree exactly on those, but we know the difference between a song by The Beatles, and something done in a garage by four guys who don’t know what they’re doing.
But what about you? What about when YOU want to write a song? You have a lifetime of critical evaluation of music. But writing it? You are just starting out. And — surprise! — when you are just starting at something, you suck at it. Perfectionists, though, expect to be very good at things, very quickly. And so you quit writing songs, because your critical ability to know how good a song is, is FAR more developed than your ability to actually write a good song. See what I mean?
“I have lived a creative life as a singer songwriter for over fifty years. Yet, locked away inside my perfectionist heart is a restrained longing to paint and to write books. I give thanks to John Connor for his insightful and illuminating book The Straightjacket of Perfectionism — he has provided me a key to free my creative soul. I recommend this book to stymied perfectionists everywhere.” — Dana Cooper Singer-Songwriter Even people who know how to write a good song — and Dana Cooper was written many good songs — have areas in which their perfectionism trips them up. So get The Straitjacket of Perfectionism, and come with me to get free of the trap of ‘perfect’, and open up to progress — taking steps and then really taking leaps — toward your greatest goals.
“You have a lifetime of critical evaluation of music. But writing it? You are just starting out. And — surprise! — when you are just starting at something, you suck at it.”