I think perfectionism is just a high-end, haute-couture version of fear. I think perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it’s just terrified. Because underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, “I’m not good enough and I will never be good enough.” We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time because nothing is ever beyond criticism.
— Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic


Perfectionism is often held up as a virtue. Mercedes Benz, Lexus, BMW and the multi-billion dollar you-name-it industries would have you think that pursuing perfection is most important. Sure, its important in something requiring precision: surgery, space travel  for example. But even surgery is far from flawless. And look at all the mistakes NASA made when they left Matt Damon on Mars. I wish I had considered this point of view and this reality earlier in life. I have crippled myself pursuing perfection in certain areas - all of it an attempt to fool my fear into believing that I was in control. That it was my lack that produced certain outcomes; if I was better, perhaps it would have gone another way. I know it was fear that held me back. My heart was in the wrong place. I pursued a certain outcome, a goal, but denied myself joy, celebration, and fun in the process, in the name of “discipline” or “excellence.”

What a shame.

Had I been pursuing with the vigor of joy I posses every time I design a yoga class or create a playlist or write an email or blog post, things may have gone a different way. But, I know that now. I know that perfection is unachievable. As Ms. Gilbert writes, “It’s a myth and a trap and a hamster wheel that will run you to death.”

So many of us believe in perfection which ruins everything else because the perfect is not only the enemy of the good; it’s also the enemy of the realistic, the possible, and the fun.

I don’t think that I can truly stop myself from pursuing, improving, refining, but I am going to add fun to the process. I want to do it simply because I love it and I want to like it. I think going forward, I want to pursue for the love of the journey, with curiosity, wonder, and great joy.