Perfectionism Update

Hello everyone! What beautiful fall weather we have been having here in Springfield! I’m quickly rediscovering my love for fall! Hooray for sweater weather!

My internship is quickly coming to a close. I only have about 3 weeks left! Where has the time gone?

One of my very first blog posts was about a fun topic called “perfectionism.” I promised that I would give an update on how I was doing with my perfectionist tendencies later on in my internship, and I figured it’s about time to share that update!

Perfectionism is something I believe I will continue to battle, but I’ve seen some huge improvements over the past 5 months. I’ve learned to avoid over-planning, to take things as they come, and focus on the positives. Here are some things that I have found beneficial in keeping my perfectionist self in check.

At the end of the day, tell yourself one thing that you did really well.

No matter if my day was amazing or the worst day I’ve had, I considered at least one thing I was proud of myself for. I wrote this down in my daily journal or told myself this on my drive home. This forces your brain to focus on a positive for at least a few seconds, and it usually carries over for the rest of the day.

“A finished product is sometimes better than waiting for the perfect product.”

This is a topic discussed in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. This has been a game changer for me as I continue songwriting and finish my final assignments and projects. Don’t get me wrong: I have not lowered my standards. Rather, once the assignment is finished, I don’t obsess over it and continue to make changes. If you wait for the perfect product, it may never come. 

In 10 years from now, who is going to remember that mistake you made?

This is one I tell myself on repeat. Who is going to remember in 10 years, 10 months, or even 10 minutes the chord you missed or the not-so-brilliant thing you said? No one. To be blunt, they probably didn’t even notice or care in the first place. 

Perfectionism is very common in the music therapy world. We want to be the best we can be because not only are we affecting our lives, but the lives of our clients. It’s important to not lower your standards, but keep in mind that it’s okay to not be perfect. The things I talked about above have helped me tremendously throughout my internship. If you have other tips in how to push perfectionism aside, please share them in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading and have a fabulous week!

Emma Kovachevich