Facing perfectionism

I am a perfectionist and I can't let go.

As a design student I am constantly in the midst of at least one creative process and somewhere on the way I always find myself in a never ending cycle of non-constructive self criticism. I always struggle when it comes to finding that spot when it's time to finish and let a project go. I never get that satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

In my first semester I have not handed in a single assignment that I have felt completely happy with and recently I started asking myself: Am I just a bad designer?

No. I just think I am and that's what affects my academic performance negatively.

Overworking is vicious, but in order to stop it I have realized that I have to change my entire creative process. From drafting to finishing touches, every step is heavily affected by almost subconscious self-evaluation process, accompanied by doubt. 

"I can't do that, I don't know how to accomplish that, I don't know if that's really a good idea."

It's time consuming, boring and not very helpful. It has to stop.

 Trying out techniques for a school project a few weeks ago. I used up an entire A3 aquarelle pad. 

Trying out techniques for a school project a few weeks ago. I used up an entire A3 aquarelle pad. 

So, this is it. Today I'm facing perfectionism and starting my journey toward being more constructive and kind to myself. From now on, I accept good enough. I will start following through even on the ideas that seem crazy at first. From now on I am going to keep an open mind and accept that I can't make everyone happy, which means I'll have to prioritize. I will strive to make myself happy, allow myself to be proud of my designs and illustrations and remember that I'm here to learn how to be a great graphic designer, but also how to develop strategies to get there.

My perfectionism is not isolated to my academic performance. Figure skating is a sport where the strive for perfection is the very core. However, I enjoy all the hours put into making a perfect spin far more than the ones spent staring doubtfully at a computer screen in the middle of the night before a deadline. So... I guess I'll start with one area of my life.

 Being able to accept long-time progress with small victories along the way actually sounds like a healthy non-perfectionst's approach.