Perfection Disguises Insecurity
(Language Warning for Our Sensitive Readers)
"Perfection" is the disguise of insecurity.” - GaryVee
I was scrolling through Instagram earlier today, like the basic millennial that I am, and I came across a post by Gary Vaynerchuk. He was talking to a young music producer about the perception of perfection in our craft that actually cripples us in chasing our dreams.
In the video he calls out the guy’s “need for perfection” as actually being his insecurities manifesting themselves. Ultimately the producer must admit that his confidence is crippled because he believes that his work must reach his own standard of perfection. And Gary calls BS.
And in thinking about this video, Gary’s right. Go figure, he’s worth 163 million for a reason.
In the time that we spend waiting to be “perfect”, it’s time that we’re wasting not working on our craft and putting ourselves out there. We're too busy stuck comparing ourselves to others and what others have made. And ultimately it makes us lazy and afraid. We've created our own barriers to what we want to be when we grow up by choosing to believe that "it's just not ready yet". And when we point fingers at our craft it shifts the responsibility. And that’s unacceptable.
And I would be remiss if I haven’t made the same mistakes. The first real film I ever made was a film about a blind girl who gets sight for a day. It had so much potential. In my (quite inflated) head the film was my magnum opus, a poem for the decade, a look at society that points to inerrant truth of the universe.
I got a C.
The due date came and went and I was crippled in insecurity. It wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t ready. It needed adjustments, and reshoots, and better coloring. (Little did I know that the story had no real substance, but that’s a blog post for later.) There had to be something that would separate me from my peers as the “most impressive (deep) young filmmaker in my class”. And there was nothing. And in tears and anxiety I handed in the project.
It’s at the bottom of the page if you want to watch it. And I don’t want to claim to be a “success story”, but I do recognize that my first stuff is my worst stuff. I think Snoop Dogg said that (more profanity though). You’ve got to be willing to put your worst foot forward. So that 10 years down the line when you’ve found the method to your madness your dream can manifest itself as the best of what you bring to the table.
If you haven't tried to do it yet, whatever it is, it's not going to be what you want if you're waiting for it to be magically perfect when you're 30. You're not going to magically feel safe doing something later if you can't face your insecurity and fear now.
And if you wait for your dream to manifest itself with no work, your dream will be a failure.
Don't let your dream project be the first thing you try. You will have no idea if it’s any good or not if you wait around to see if it’s any good! Don’t put all your creative eggs in one dream basket. Nothing will kill your desire to try again faster than a dream that doesn’t deliver on your expectations of greatness.
Pick a different project, make it, and FAIL AT IT! Pick a story you don't care about and write it. Pick a film that isn't your magnum opus, get some friends and make it. Get your paints out, think of what’s in your head and put it on a canvas.
Light the failing project on fire if you want to. Quite artistic of you. (Personally, I keep my worst stuff)
AND FAIL! Fail upwards, and you can only get better from there.
Perfection is the disguise of insecurity.
rise, fail, rise again