How do I stop nitpicking?


#1

I feel like I spend way too much time trying to make things perfect and I simply can’t seem to stop when something is not exactly the way I want it to be. I just feel so incomplete if something I’ve made is not perfect and everything I make has imperfections. I don’t know what to do, does anybody have any tips?


#2

My comorbid freebie is OCPD, so perfectionism is something I have frequent discussions with my therapist about :grin:

It’s quite a slow process, for lots of reasons, but I feel I am making progress.

And this week I realised that it is even arrogant of me to expect perfection from myself, when I don’t expect it from others. Someone said to me, ‘only God is perfect’, at which point I said that I didn’t think there was a God partly because I don’t see how a perfect god would let so many bad things happen to so many good people. But that makes me incredibly arrogant, doesn’t it? If even 'God" isn’t perfect, who on earth do i think I am, striving for perfection???

So I googled striving for perfection, wondering what others had to say about something which I had always assumed to be a good thing, and found a nice article from someone who saw a difference between striving for excellence and striving for perfection.

So I think the tide may be changing here… :slightly_smiling_face:


#3

It’s a really interesting topic, I’ve come to the opinion that striving for perfection is a positive thing but expecting to reach perfection is negative.
To be happy with your best efforts but with ideas and intensions of improving your next.
The difficulty is in working out what is worth attempting to perfect and what isn’t, but that’s a whole different question.


#4

Deadlines help. Part of why I started publishing a weekly webcomic was to challenge me to work faster even if it isn’t perfect (I could always fix it for print, right?). At first, my art took a big step back from the more polished stuff I had procrastinated on before. Also, sometimes I’d have to go with unfinished pages. But I went with it and got better over time.

I used to say I could draw well or I could draw fast but I was still working on drawing well quickly. Perfectionism still gets in the way any way it can (e.g. when trying to fix it for print) but it doesn’t paralyze me lke it used to.


#5

Yeah, this distinction is what the blog/article called excellence vs. perfection. For me, it seemed helpful to give one a different name, even if that’s a bit contrived.

Edited to add link:

Striving for excellence vs. Striving for perfection (Victor Cheung)


#6

I see what you mean, I guess people’s perception of excellence and perfection differs, I can see how changing the wording can help you see things from a different point of view, which is always helpful I think.