The Perfection Trap, or You’ll Always be Your Own Worst Critic

File Under: Opinions Are Like Assholes

I’ve tried to start multiple podcasts where I dole out advice based on in-my-own-head musings that I get on a jag about, but there’s plenty of those already, right?


  • Focus on output rather than a beautiful, polished, result
  • Always be goal oriented, focus on where you want to be rather than where you are now
  • Don’t give up, take a break, accept yourself as you are, and go back to output

A rule that I’ve set for myself with this blog is Progress Over Perfection.

I’ve referenced before a Youtube artist named Sycra, who has a number of videos about what he calls Iterative Drawing. I’m not even going to get into the topic with you, but he harps on a pretty important subject that he calls ‘mileage.’

I’ll keep this short and sweet: Sycra explains in his video that the most important thing for an artist is mileage, or the idea that the more you draw, inevitably the better you will get.

If you try to draw something perfectly out the gate, you’ll most likely frustrate yourself to the point of giving up any hope of artistry altogether. Instead you should draw and move on. He goes on to talk about drawing, like, 20 different heads at a time or 20 different hands at a time or some odd, but the idea is solid.

This is somewhat akin to the 10,000 Hour Rule, but I’d like to give some perspective and clarification if I can. Let’s push this further.

Putting in the time will inevitably make you better at something, but keeping a goal in mind will make you excel.

I’ve been making music as a hobby for 20 years. This is something that I’ve regularly invested time in. About 7 years ago, in a moment of self reflection, I found that my skill level wasn’t where I wanted it to be. In many cases, one might get upset or frustrated, but instead I told myself: “Every time I work on music I’m going to focus on pushing myself to the level I want to be.”

Within a year I was making music at a much higher level, and within 2 I was at a point where I was creating things at a level exactly where I wanted to be at. This definitely doesn’t mean that everything I created was perfect, but I was able to output and push forward.

I want to impose this method on my blog, and my whole life. Be goal minded and push forward.

Do you have a similar story? If so, or even if you’re at a creative block of some kind, comment below and let’s figure this thing out.

Side Notes:

  • Thumbs up emojis make me livid

Stock Photos via