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Old 04-25-2007, 08:51 AM   #1  
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Default Don't let the "perfect" become the enemy of the great!

Hello all, I was just listening to an interview with the author Tim Flannery on a *completely* different topic from crafting, but he said something that totally resonated with me as a scrapper, cardmaker, and stamper. He said, "Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good," meaning don't let your doubts about how you could make your cards, layouts, etc achieve the mythical status of "Perfection" stop you from achieving and appreciating beautiful projects that you have made.

I know for me, it seems like a lot of the times I've sat frustrated in front of a blank card base, or staring in dislike at a card I've just slaved over, it is because I am overwelmed with the pressure to make something Perfect out of the gate, or I am filled with doubts as to how nice what I've just made is or how I could make it closer to Perfect. I do get nice cards resulting from this effort to achieve Perfection, but the process is much less enjoyable and it is very easy to get paralysed or stumped for ideas from the pressure.

It is great and important to have look at our items we've made and think of ways we could improve them next time, but I feel it is equally important to NOT accompany that critical analysis with negative self-talk about how a card is embarassing or what have you.

Just a thought I had yesterday at work listening to my podcasts that I thought I would share.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:55 AM   #2  
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PERFECT!
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:57 AM   #3  
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So you're saying that I should stop fussing with the layout and BG stamps for a card I designed last night for a swap that my family says is 'really cute' and leave it the way it is!

That's great advice, thank you for sharing it.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:58 AM   #4  
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In other words, I totally agree!
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:09 AM   #5  
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Great advice, for cardmaking, and for life in general. I think we all tend to be waaaaay too hard on ourselves and expect too much.

Jane Fonda said something similar that I liked a lot. She said she had been afflicted with the "I must be perfect" syndrome all her life. She finally decided: "Good enough is good enough."

Thanks for posting this positive thread for all of us today.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:17 AM   #6  
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This applies in so many areas of my life!! This definitely resonates with me, too. I am constantly having to remind myself that something is good enough to be considered "done"!
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:24 AM   #7  
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KUDOS! Like almost all have said...not only in cardmaking or scrapbooking...but in everyday life. I seriously need to take that into mind. I'm gonna have to write this down and frame it in my crafting room, and living room, and kitchen...and I could go on....but I wont....lol. Thanks for that great inspiration. Would you mind if I was to copy this and share it in my MSN group to remind my members not to stress themselves?~Gabby
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:53 AM   #8  
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I love it!! It is soooo true--not just with crafting, but everyday!!! I need to learn to do my best--and if that's not good enough for someone, it's their loss. I can feel good about it if I know I've done my best.
Tough lessons for me to learn!! I am such a perfectionist!!
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:10 AM   #9  
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Or, as Mary Poppins says, "Enough is as good as a feast!"
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:12 AM   #10  
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Oooooooooh, thank you so much for sharing! I know I need to stop being so hard on myself since I just brought in 4 cards for our clerical staff which I think are "ok" but everyone is wowed by them and so impressed that I made them. We are definitely our own worst critics.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:13 AM   #11  
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Thanks Mel, I definitely know I am guilty of that, but I'm trying to let it go, not always very successful, but I;ll keep trying!
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:13 AM   #12  
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I worried all night about a card I designed today for a card class...was it good enough? Too simple? No pizazz?? I almost redesigned it totally but honestly I was out of time. Guess what. That's one that folks liked... And, the big ha ha was that the one card I thought was "perfect"...they all did something different to theirs.

Lately I've been hanging my head in shame when I see all the wonderful cards in the gallery and on blogs...how does one compare? Thanks for this word of advice at such a time!
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:06 PM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mahloumel
Hello all, I was just listening to an interview with the author Tim Flannery on a *completely* different topic from crafting, but he said something that totally resonated with me as a scrapper, cardmaker, and stamper. He said, "Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good," meaning don't let your doubts about how you could make your cards, layouts, etc achieve the mythical status of "Perfection" stop you from achieving and appreciating beautiful projects that you have made.

I know for me, it seems like a lot of the times I've sat frustrated in front of a blank card base, or staring in dislike at a card I've just slaved over, it is because I am overwelmed with the pressure to make something Perfect out of the gate, or I am filled with doubts as to how nice what I've just made is or how I could make it closer to Perfect. I do get nice cards resulting from this effort to achieve Perfection, but the process is much less enjoyable and it is very easy to get paralysed or stumped for ideas from the pressure.

It is great and important to have look at our items we've made and think of ways we could improve them next time, but I feel it is equally important to NOT accompany that critical analysis with negative self-talk about how a card is embarassing or what have you.

Just a thought I had yesterday at work listening to my podcasts that I thought I would share.
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:15 PM   #14  
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Thanks. I've been so hard on myself lately. It brought me to tears.
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:52 PM   #15  
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I have a friend who says the Amish always leave an imperfection in their quilting or such because only God is perfect. Not sure if this is true of the Amish but sure makes a person think.
Thanks for the post. Many of us needed that!

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Old 04-25-2007, 04:16 PM   #16  
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"Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good" - I love this. I really struggled with SCS and all the great cards in the gallery. I would never post (or make) anything cause I figured my cards couldn't compare to most of what was posted in the gallery. Then, I think it was Joan B who had something in her blog about the issue and it really struck home with me. I finally realized I had all this stuff and was doing nothing with it because I felt I could not compare. So, now I am taking part in some of the weekly challenges and posting and really enjoying myself. So what if my cards are not like what you find in the DD gallery. People still ooh and ahh over them and it feels good. And I am really enjoying my stamping time - which is what it is all about.
Thanks for sharing the sentiment of the interview.
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:25 PM   #17  
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Wow, I was so drained and exhausted when I came home from work, but feel so much better now from reading all the great posts here.

APandi, I don't know any Amish folks but my DH cross-stitches, and I've been told that when x-stitchers make a sampler, they always intentionally make one stitch wrong.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FaieeMom
Would you mind if I was to copy this and share it in my MSN group to remind my members not to stress themselves?
Go right ahead, Gabby!
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:30 PM   #18  
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this is great - so glad you shared!
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:40 PM   #19  
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Mel thanks for the good words....I too often find myself feeling "less than perfect" and try to remind myself that my best is the best best I can do and I should be happy when I know I have done my best!
Thanks for the nice reminder!
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:11 PM   #20  
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I was perfect once.

Sometime back in 1963, evidently? . . .



. . . according to my Gramma. I think I was about 6 mos. old., but, I don't remember it much . . .

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Old 04-25-2007, 05:18 PM   #21  
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Thanks, Mel. I needed that. Soooo much! ((((hugs))))
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Old 04-25-2007, 05:21 PM   #22  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mahloumel
Wow, I was so drained and exhausted when I came home from work, but feel so much better now from reading all the great posts here.

APandi, I don't know any Amish folks but my DH cross-stitches, and I've been told that when x-stitchers make a sampler, they always intentionally make one stitch wrong.
Go right ahead, Gabby!
That's why I have mistakes in my x-stitch. Oh, I guess you said intentionally, and one....LOL!
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:17 PM   #23  
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Wonderful words to live by. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:09 AM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by etsdas
That's why I have mistakes in my x-stitch. Oh, I guess you said intentionally, and one....LOL!
I was thinking the same thing! Intentional mistake? Oh yeah, sure! Same goes for knitting.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:48 AM   #25  
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Great post, Melanie!
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:55 AM   #26  
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I just went through this on Tuesday while working on my two nieces' graduation cards. I was almost to the point of just going out and buying two cards because I wasn't sure how my cards were going to turn out. If I were making just ONE card, it wouldn't have been so bad. Both girls (step-sisters) go to the same school - so they have the same school colors, etc, but I didn't want to make the same card for them. I did buy two single color tassels (one orange and one royal blue) and took them apart and reassembled to make two orange/blue tassels. So I knew that I wanted to incorporate that into each card. Aaaaargh! Anyhow, I finally gave myself a mental pep talk that 1) my card wouldn't be the "end all" of cards for these girls and 2) they'd most likely look at and set it aside. Once I took the pressure off having to make THE perfect card for each of them, I was able to knock the bricks down of my creativity block and the cards turned out pretty darn good. I need to take pictures to post to my gallery.

It's hard to not want to make a perfect card. I need to relax my standards that I place on myself. Perfectionism sure takes the fun out of being creative.

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Old 04-26-2007, 06:06 AM   #27  
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We have been drilled most of our lives to always do our best on everything. That can destroy people. ONLY do your best when only your best will be good enough. Otherwise, good enough is good enough and sometimes not very good is good enough.
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:37 AM   #28  
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Thanks Mel,
Apparently we all needed this pep talk. I don't know how or when it happens, but somehow comparing ourselves to others and the perfection bug bites becomes a part of our lives.
I wonder how many awesome things I've let go of because I felt it was not perfect enough. Hmmmm. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:24 AM   #29  
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Great post, I really needed to hear this!
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:05 AM   #30  
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Boy, I needed to read this today. Thanks for sharing your uplifting and stress relieving insight.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:46 PM   #31  
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Mel, I hope you don't mind, but I really enjoyed what you shared, and found it to be so insightful.

I just wanted to KITTT.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:59 PM   #32  
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It's so interesting to me that I always feel like I'm the only one with certain feelings and then along comes a post like this that makes me realize, once again, that we all have soo much in common! TFS
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:11 PM   #33  
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Sweet! What a wonderful thing to share with us all!
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:42 PM   #34  
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Thanks for the reminder, Mel! Sometimes it's easy to forget what it's really all about.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:18 PM   #35  
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Great post Mel! Sounds like there are many more out here like me -a perfectionist! My recycle bin is full of card parts I didn't deem good enough.

Just tonight I was happy with my dragonfly trifold card I just made UNTIL I did a search in the gallery and saw the completely awesome creations by the ladies on this site. Then it didn't look so good to me anymore. After thoughts of scrapping it, I had to remind myself that the lady I made the card for WON'T see the gallery I just did.

Great timing for me to read this thread! Hugs all,
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:26 AM   #36  
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I am sure there is someone else who would love to read this today!!! BACK TO THE TOP!!! WHEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:35 AM   #37  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by peggysue
I was thinking the same thing! Intentional mistake? Oh yeah, sure! Same goes for knitting.
too funny - I wonder how many other people had this same thought - it sure applies to all the crafts I do
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:13 AM   #38  
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Wow!! What a great share and at such a welcoming time. It is so incredibly hard to not compare your work to others and it can be so self-sabotaging. Thank you Mel for posting this....
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:29 AM   #39  
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Thank you for sharing this. I think I need a daily reminder, so I'm going to add this to my siggy line.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:56 AM   #40  
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LOL, this is great advice, Mel!
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