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Why perfectionism is a no-fly zone

“I am the world’s most disciplined half-ass.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
My new book, Art & Soul, Reloaded, is about being a maker. It is my contention that we are here on Planet Earth to create, to make beautiful things.

I believe our greatest longing is to expand the universe, to make things that, until we came along, didn’t exist.

Maybe it’s a vision for a new way of being. Maybe it’s a song that might change someone’s life. It doesn’t even matter what it is. We are all being called to breathe life into the new.

Right now most of us, instead of being makers, are consumers, really talented consumers, I might add.

But despite the insistent drumbeat of the marketing machine, consuming will never fully satisfy. Whether it’s finally getting the new Porsche on your Vision Board or polishing off Season Six of Modern Family, it’s a half-empty pursuit.

I believe something—maybe your Higher Self?—is tugging at your heart, whispering in your ear—There’s more. There’s much, much more.

I’ve discovered, in my own relationship with creativity, that the “other woman” is often perfectionism. The belief that whatever I’m working on is supposed to be stellar in every way. This foolhardy notion often stops me in my tracks.

However, when I let the need to be perfect go, when I pooh-pooh the old voices that insist the project must be ready for the New Yorker, I find I get a lot more done.

My motto, as I’ve often said, is “Dare to Be Mediocre.”

It has served me well.

I encourage you to join me, to snub your nose at perfectionism. Step up to the plate. Be the the maker you were created to be! The world desperately needs what you have to say.

Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.