What always slowed me down is the need to be perfect. I was raised to seek nothing but the best. If things were less than perfect, the only person I could hold accountable for a sub-standard way of living was myself. In fact, as a teenager, I sought to be perfect and the best at everything I did SO MUCH that I suffered a crushing nervous breakdown at 16 from the amount of stuff on my plate.
While I don’t think I overburden my schedule NEARLY as much as I did when I was a kid (imagine days of 5:30 am – 11 pm, not including the time needed to actually DO my schoolwork), that nagging concept of perfect still hasn’t completely left my mind.
When I started drawing Fish ‘N’ Chimps back in 2004, it eventually fell to the wayside because I was too busy with my social life and found that I sucked at architectural design and drawing backgrounds. When I tried to run my own website starting in 2003, it quickly became a ghost town, never seeing any new content as work, school and partying took precedence.
And the longer I would procrastinate and fail to work on all the things that I’d started, the less important they’d seem to be. To the point that only just NOW, 7 or 8 YEARS later, am I actually seriously looking at my to-do list and trying to do something WITH it.
So in the end what’s more important? Getting something done so perfectly the first time around that no one dare contest the amount of time and effort it took to get it done, or SHOWING people the amount of time and effort that it takes to get something done, and maybe getting the added bonus of some extra help along the way?
Maybe the first option work for you, but trying to do everything myself has been the source of far too much grief and far too much frustration for far too long now.
With great perfections comes great procrastination — BECAUSE YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO PULL IT OFF.
So stop keeping your vision and genius in your head and start getting it out there! I’ve learned:
- It’s not too likely someone will outright steal your idea, especially since the more you talk about it, the more people know it’s yours, and if you’ve got it copyright, even better
- There’re going to be haters no matter where you go in life, so if people cut your work to shreds, don’t cry over it. LEARN from it. Figure out what caused the reaction and improve it for the next go-around!
- There’ll always be someone better. And if you’re constantly comparing yourself to them? Or constantly trying to BE them? You’re not getting ANYWHERE.
So seriously — keep it real. Start with what you have and grow over time at your OWN pace. But without putting the work in, you’ll never get anywhere. Things will figure themselves out whenever they need to. And like it or not — not a moment sooner.
–Casey E. Palmer