Passion + Perfectionism: A Catch 22?

Passion + Perfectionism

Just pondering. . .

I know when I have something to be passionate about (let’s leave eating English Muffins with butter out of this), I want everything about it to be absolutely perfect.  However, I will tell you right now, I’m not normally a perfectionist. I do things well and hard enough to get by and make me feel fulfilled in the end.  I get things done but I don’t bust my b*lls making every perfect measurement, idea and motion sync.

However, when I’m passionate about something (today’s passion: writing, finishing my own novel), I am a perfectionist freak.  Most of the time, I’m very content with what I write because it makes me happy to write.  I feel fulfilled while I’m doing it and the product I come up with is effortless and easy. BUT, when it comes to showing my product to other people and possibly publishing something and getting more out of it – I cannot think it is perfect enough.  This is my first experience with perfectionism.  I’ve never been that type A person, so it’s a new thing for me.

Writing is what I am passionate about.  Is this why sparks of perfectionism arise? The obvious answer seems like, yes – if you’re passionate about something, you want others to feel that passion nearly as equally as YOU do.  And the way to make that happen is to do it perfectly, so the positive vibe and the work you have accomplished is passed on in a wonderful and perfect light.  People who play baseball for a living don’t ‘F’ up every play because they only want themselves to feel great.  They want others recognition so others can visually see their passion come to life.

But why?  Why can’t we just be passionate about something and not have to worry about making it perfect?  Are there circumstances when this does happen?  If so, what are they?  Aren’t things we are passionate about suppose to be carefree and effortless, like I had mentioned before when I write? Yes and no.  Maybe there is a healthy balance between the two, depending on where you are and what you are doing with you passion (whether or not others are involved).

And most importantly, I feel when others are involved, we become more perfectionist.  Why don’t we try to make our passion perfect when we are the only number in the equation?  I understand we want recognition, but the natural (un-perfectionist) recognition we receive when we are by ourselves…why isn’t this enough for others?

Perfectionism always bothered me.  I thought perfectionists were not laid back, too worried about what others thought and completely caught up in themselves (too selfish to care about their own feedback).  But, are perfectionists completely innocent? Are they like any other human being who wants to put their passion out on the table and have everything authentically enjoy?

You be the judge.  Is passion and perfectionism a simple math problem?  And if you can, put your passion on the table for yourself – and whatever your perfection level – have fun doing it.

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Categories: Life & Happiness


University of Saint Thomas graduate. Minnesota-bred and happy to talk about the weather any time you’d like! Strongly believes any situation can be bettered by a slice of generously buttered toast or Phil Dunphy. Would get arrested to touch Justin Timberlake’s face. Always trying to be a better person by not wishing horrible karma on people driving slow in the fast lane. Hear more: @twitter @instagram


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