I have two journals – a writing journal and an art journal. I love journaling, but many of the pages have sat unused for years. I used to think that these empty pages meant that I didn't have as much to say. But I have recently realized that it's not that I don't have anything to put in them, but that I am censoring what I put in them. I am subconsciously requiring my thoughts, writing, and art to be good to warrant a place in my journals.
It may be the English major in me or the crippling perfectionism. But I default into requiring my work to be worth something – a masterpiece if you will. Which is dumb. Journals are meant to be filled with anything and everything. Thoughts, prayers, ideas, word vomits, and more belong in journals. But even now I can catch myself thinking "Is this the best way to say this?" or "Does this make sense?" – which is not the point of journals.
My perfectionism was keeping me from writing. And since writing is something that improves with practice, I was literally keeping myself from improving because I was not "good enough" to write crap in a pretty journal. Very self-defeating.
When I realized that my perfectionism was hindering the amount of journaling and drawing/painting that I was doing, I started to wonder, what else in my life am I holding myself back from pursuing because I am not "good enough" at it yet to warrant doing it?
I know that sometimes, I don't try to climb some routes because they seem just a bit too difficult. I don't draw or paint as much because I am not as good as my friend who is an art major. I don't play piano very often because I am not as good as a different friend. If I think that I am likely to fail, I will typically avoid doing it. And in my attempt to not fail at things, I avoid possibilities to grow, succeed, and experience new things.
My perfectionism is keeping me from getting better at the things I enjoy doing and am fairly good at. Perfectionism is a self-defeating game, and I am good at it – almost perfect. But I don't want to be. I want to fail at perfectionism so that I can succeed at other things. Otherwise, perfectionism is going to make me fail at life. I need to let myself fail at things so that I can grow. I need to fail at perfectionism and fill my journals with anything and everything and not wait for a masterpiece to manifest.