"Make a Bad One"
It's a concept that literally changed my life.
See, I want to do everything perfectly, right from the beginning. I somehow believe my first attempt (or even my 100th attempt) at a new skill should have professional results. But the moment I put my pencil to paper, my brush to canvas, my measuring spoon into flour, or my fingers on the keyboard, I seize up.
WHAT IF I FAIL?
THIS LOOKS LIKE CRAP.
I CAN'T DO THIS.
I'M NO GOOD.
The next step, however, is one I'm particularly good at: Epic Procrastination.
I'll collect recipes, but never attempt them. I'll buy books on painting but never open my paints. I'll purchase workout clothes but never sign up for an exercise class. I'll write down ideas but never put them into practice. I'll talk about it a lot, but never have anything to show for it.
Because I want to be good....immediately. And actually DOING something scares me to death. Because I know it's not going to be any good.
The best advice I ever heard was simply to "Make a bad one."
Paint a bad painting. If it's horrible, that's ok. You weren't trying to make it perfect. You were experimenting.
Ice a birthday cake, badly. If it looks like a Cake Wreck, who cares?
Do Zumba like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz - stiffly, with a lot of noise.
Sew a badly designed quilt. It will still do the job of keeping you warm.
Write a bad story.
Play your instrument until your ears bleed.
Doing something badly gives you the freedom to make mistakes, experiment and go easy on your poor little perfectionist self, who is dying a slow death with every ill-planned move. When you worry less about the outcome and simply enjoy the process, good things can happen....often inside you.
Focus on the experience, the burgeoning joy that wants to come out, and the feeling of freedom that comes from not caring about the result.
Today's Be More Creative assignment is....you guessed it:
Make a bad one.
What are you afraid of trying? What do you wish was perfect, right from the get-go? Stop that kind of thinking right now, and GO DO IT BADLY. On purpose.
Don't overthink, over-analyze, or over-work. Just enjoy being bad.
Tell me: what will you do badly today? How does it make you feel? Can you tell that you're kicking perfectionism right to the curb when you do it?
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