• Anastasia

Find Pleasure In Doing Things Badly

How to find joy in the process of creation and let go of perfectionism.

When I was growing up, children were told to do things well or not do them at all. We had hobbies for two main reasons: either being good enough at it to make it a career in the future or being best at it to get a trophy or put it on a CV.

Most of the time having fun wasn’t a good enough reason to spend time and money on something you can’t excel at. Extracurricular activities were chosen with rational practicality — it made more sense to do something now that can pay off in the future.

Sounds reasonable. This was supposed to prepare us to be adults one day and navigate life without the help of our dear parents. And while the intentions were the best, we kind of unlearned to enjoy things without a higher purpose.

The joy of doing

Think of the babies when they first start drawing — so adorable, yet so terrible. Their brush movement technique is off, they don’t understand the harmonious combination of colors, objects look weird and they often use walls instead of proper canvas.

Do they care about any of it? No. Do they enjoy painting? Absolutely.

The thing is that to enjoy doing something you don’t need to be good at it. Of course, you’d probably enjoy it even more if you were doing it well, but lack of talent isn’t a limit. As long as it doesn’t involve live beings and can’t harm others you can explore, try, experiment and go nuts.

You don’t need to be the next Picasso to enjoy painting. Or Adele to love singing. Or Shakira to adore dancing.

Don’t let the fear of judgment or nonconformity stop you from doing things you enjoy. The technique can be improved, skills can be learned, art can be mastered. But first, you need to learn to trust the process and enjoy it no matter how the final result looks like.

When you eliminate the pressure of doing things perfectly well and just allow yourself to be bad at things and still enjoy them, you’ll open up a whole new world of possibilities for yourself.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Stop apologizing for doing things your way. Worst case scenario — you won’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would and move on to something else, no one will even notice. Best case — you might discover a new passion of yours or a cool way to do things. Either way, you win.

Originally published at https://medium.com/ on April 18, 2020.

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