Thursday, December 18, 2014

About that Thing Called Perfectionism.....

I had a MAJOR epiphany recently! A MAJOR ONE!!!  One of my wonderful FB friends Barbara W. (you know who you are. I always enjoy your insightful posts. We may not know each other personally but I think you to be brilliant *hugs*) posted a video that gave me a MAJOR revelation when it comes to perfectionism. Now, I don't consider myself to be a serious perfectionist (instead I'm often plagued by Paralysis of Analysis, #3 on the list)  but I do recognize that sometimes I have to fight the the tendency for perfectionism to creep into my sewing. Well this little revelation really was mind altering for me. Anyhow I'll let you watch it for yourself before I say anymore. Here it is.......

The video link is HERE and watch the 4th video with Elizabeth Gilbert (woman in the pink top as seen in screenshot below).

Did you get that????

 Isn't that crazy? ???

Perfectionism is another form of fear! I never, ever, never, ever thought of it like that! Did you know that? Did you ever think of it that way?  I  particularly loved how she described Perfectionism as the "Haute Couture High End of Fear". That was a very profound thought for me.

Personally, again I don't have a serious struggle with perfectionism in my day to day life. I mean I already know I'm not a perfect wife or mother and I'm ok with that. I give it my best and am loved just the same. However in the past I tended to have more moments of perfectionism when it came to my sewing. I had those tendencies for years and unknowingly. It wasn't until I met my mentor Mr. Jim---some of you  know him as Gentleman Jim--Master Tailor of 53 years experience, that I realized this high standard I was holding myself to was a bit unrealistic and frankly I needed to as they say to "take a chill pill". Mr. Jim helped me dispel alot of the false notions that I had about sewing and what a sewing professional should be doing.  I've been coming down from that ever since and I'm WAY more comfortable in my sewing and with the fact that things can be done right but they don't have to be done perfect.

 I personally feel like the fear that's perfectionism hides itself behind good intentions---- but they are intentions that are self defeating!!! Perfectionism itself doesn't exist nor will it ever. When it comes to sewing I recognize that when I'm making clothing I intend to offer my best craftsmanship and talent. Perfectionism will never be obtained but instead an offering of my craft that comes from the heart and originates from the soul is what's produced. That is enough. That's more than enough!!!! It in of itself is a great gift. It's in shunning the idea that is "perfectionism" that we shake off the fear and struggles that go with trying to obtain it and instead embrace our gifts for what they are. Again, that's enough---that's more than enough!!!

It's funny I've always subscribed to this notion about craftsmanship.....

"Craftsmanship is the ability to cover your mistakes"

So it's NEVER an issue of whether mistakes will happen. They ALWAYS will. I look at all of the garments I've made over this year and none are completely flawless. Maybe to my clients they are but as the creator I know better. But they are made so well that the beautiful total package easily eclipses and minor imperfections. I love the feeling that that knowledge gives me. It makes me so comfortable with myself and abilities. I plainly makes me feel like an artist!!!! Which is what I LOVE!

So lastly, I also think perfectionism is one of those "sneaky boogers" in that most people who are suffering from it or even have minor tendencies don't even realize they do. I found this neat little list that will help you tell if you are a perfectionist! If you see yourself here I encourage you to re-think the whole idea of perfectionism and to give yourself the grace and room to be your best you and to grow! Remember perfectionism is a form of fear and fear in any form is self-defeating! I encourage you to work towards letting it go.......... Until next time, Happy Sewing!


  1. I took a class by Kenneth D. King once and he said that in sewing, the goal is the illusion of perfection. I have never forgotten that!

  2. Good -- fear has robbed me many times of my opportunity to create. I had to finally say to myself, if I ruin fabric and end up with bags of wadders, so what? The process of learning includes mistakes and redo's. Most successful people have failed at something, so I'm in good company.

  3. It is hard to understand how fear and perfectionism go hand and hand. Learning to let go and giving yourself permission to make mistakes takes time. I have to keep reminding myself that its the journey itself and not the end result. Thank you for this insightful discovery.

  4. Funny. I just made a project but was not happy with it. So I took it apart (something I never do) to make it perfect. Then it got worse and worse. Now it is in shambles. I fought the fear when I decided to attempt to redo it.

    Now, I have to fight the fear that I will never get it right and start over with confidence.

  5. Thanks for your very therapeutic post. I'm guilty. So, starting now I will use the tools that you've shared!

  6. I actually did know that perfectionism & fear went hand in hand...only b/c of my life experiences. :) Thank you for this wonderful post!

  7. This was like soup to my soul. I am guilty of this. Thank you for this timely post.

  8. Great post. It's a reminder for me to stop letting my fears/ perfectionism stand in the way of the bigger picture.
    I really like those times something read or heard moves you.
    Thank you

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I recently read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, so this totally made sense to me.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and for following me on my 10,000 Hour Sewing Challenge:)


Related Posts with Thumbnails