I wanted to raise this question because it's been on my mind lately. The issue arose for me in 2000. I had a baby girl with another on the way and I was pretty depressed. Really depressed! I have never felt like that before, My wife suggested I go see someone to talk. The guy I went to was great. he said I had an "All or nothing mentality". I would either do something completely and until it was at a state I felt was perfect or I wouldn't try at all because what would be the point. The issue was coming up because I wasn't practicing at all because everytime I would start there would be an interruption. I wasn't cleaning the house because I could never get it to the state where it was perfect and if I did someone would come along and mess it up and I didn't have the energy to keep it perfect so why even start. Through these talks it also came out that I would feel bad depending on if I played bad(or less than perfect) I never composed music because it was never good enough when I tried. I never recorded myself because I never thought it was good enough to use(I did a studio recording in the early nineties but never did anything with it because a week after I recorded it I didn't like it)
Talking to this doctor was very enlightening for me. I didn't realize how ingrained this was in my thinking until he kept pointing it out in our conversations. Some of the things he said to me pop into my head almost daily. SInce that time I created a website(that isn't perfect), I put sound clips on it (that I'm far from happy with), I put clips of my playing different mouthpieces on it almost weekly( before I wouldn't have the courage to do any of this),I started teaching and have a large number of students now, I've written a few method books(that also are not perfect)
My point in all this is I've been alot more productive and happy as a person when I let go of the perfection thing, do my best and then let it go. I've had people criticize my website, my playing, my clips(Although the majority of feedback has been very supportive) and things that would have devastated me before don't even bother me. If someone points something out I listen. Thank them for the help, weigh what they said, try to improve, and keep moving on. Keep progressing forward.
I know this is more personal stuff than I feel comfortable sharing but I wonder how many other people on this forum are held back by their "all or nothing" mentality. Honestly, I was practicing alot but I wasn't doing anything because I was never good enough(in my mind)
It still comes out all the time. My wife asked me the other day when I would make a CD. I said I needed to practice for 6 months straight to get to that point.....There it was again. That thinking that I'm not good enough now stopping me from doing what I should be doing. Maybe I'm alone in this. Can anyone else relate to what I'm saying?