How to be creative without being a perfectionist
You can celebrate creativity because God made you creative!
God, the creator, is the source of all creativity and in creating us in His own image. He gave us the gifts of creativity. As creative people, we are often prone to perfectionism and possibly driving ourselves slightly mad trying to reach an unachievable standard. This can result in feeling like we aren’t enough and not being able to muster up the courage to admit “my work is good.”
It always feels incomplete, unfinished, and never quite good enough. And that’s okay. If anything, it’s normal. If frustration is your constant companion and battling of the voices of self-doubt is an everyday affair, you are not alone. When the voices tell you that your creativity is not beautiful, when they try to steal God’s joy of creating beauty through you, I hope that you can take it to heart when I say that those voices are wrong.
This feeling of never being good enough is so prevalent because you will never achieve that level of perfection you see in your mind. Be it on paper, film or any medium you choose, it will always seem like something’s missing and that’s because your art is never finished. The same way that our work with God will never be completed or perfected on this earth.
The problem, however, is this feeling’s tendency to lead one into despair, a slippery slope to quitting. And that’s the one you thing can not and must not do, regardless of how little value you place on your work right now.
Though there is no solution for overcoming this feeling of not feeling good enough, I encourage you to celebrate.
Celebrate failure! Because of your failures, failure is a gift, it is your ally.
Celebrate grace! Grace is a gift that we have received and seen modeled by the most loving, grace-giving person we know, God! Don’t forget to give yourself lots of grace.
Celebrate forgiveness! Forgive yourself when you create something that is simply horrendous (failure is so ok!). Laugh it off. This is only but a small part of your process to greatness, the process that we call “practice”. See it, appreciate and embrace it for what it is, the not-good-enough to get better.
Finally, celebrate creation! God gave you a gift. You are creative because God placed in you a love to create. So do what you love, what you were made to do, and do it to your best ability. After all, that’s all God has ever wanted of you.
Written by Thecla Li from Biola University. Find out more about Biola today.