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confessions of a perfectionist

December 8, 2017

i don’t remember when i became a perfectionist. when i was younger, i never paid attention to details and would always go with the flow; actually, i still do that. but as i sat there the other day, deleting a post because i felt it wasn’t good enough, i realized (maybe?!) i’m a perfectionist.

it’s been happening more lately. i filmed and edited three or more videos. they were done and dusted, but i never published any of them. all thanks to this voice in the back of my head that said, “this sucks!! nobody is ever going to want to watch or read this!!! you’re not contributing to anything!!!!” and when it gets to that, i hesitate. i begin to question why i create content in the first place. to gain popularity? to get free stuff? it’s not either of those, but i can’t seem to remember the real reason; i delete anyway.

in ballet, i always feel like i never work hard enough – never doing it “full out.” although some people say i work too hard, i never believed them; there are SO many people doing better than me!! why can’t i be like them?! why can’t i pointe my toes harder? or turn more? or just, spend more time practicing or stretching??? that’s the mentality i have daily; it’s part of ballet – striving for perfection in an art form that could never be perfect. never quite good enough, and always room for improvement.

since i was a child, i’d say i never tried my best. just before that final push, i’d stop – which is part of the reason why i never considered myself a perfectionist. i’d stop for fear of disappointing myself; i set the bar too high and when it doesn’t get there, i give up. trying your best and realizing your best still isn’t good enough is its own kind of agony.

i know it’s good to fail, and i know YOU WILL PROBABLY FAIL. the first blog posts, videos, pictures, pirouettes are always going to be bad; it’s guaranteed. however, knowing that and putting it into practice are two completely different things. my brain is like, “IT’S OKAY IF IT SUCKS,” but another part of me is like, “WHY DO YOU SUCK?!”

i’m trying to accept that it’s okay to make bad content. it’s okay if nobody sees or appreciates it. YOU will appreciate it. your future self will cringe so badly, but also see how much you’ve learned.

to the perfectionist inside me and inside all of us: go. be consistent with the bad sh!t you make. one of these days, the past will pass and your work will be worthy. your progress is perfection.

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a twenty-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer or practicing yoga. she currently resides in los angeles, california.