I was invited by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) to attend a 2 day session called “Nuts & Bolts“, a talk given by Seth Lepore and Amy Smith (of headlong.org) – two very funny and informative artists from Philadelphia. I like what GPAC is doing for artists. They weren’t even charging that much for entry – I believe it was a donate what you can afford event. They served breakfast and lunch and even had a nice selection of healthy foods – which I’m very happy about, the way to my heart is most often food related. And I’ve been steadily (*slowly) moving my food selection to be more healthy.
Anyway, I happened to bring my camera to the event and decided to create this video to help the organization out and expose artists to a local and potentially very helpful nonprofit. As I continue to live in Pittsburgh, my goal is to contribute to the culture in this city by using my voice & perspective.
You’ll notice I’m not speaking at all in this video because on that day my energy and feeling to do it was zapped.
Believe it or not, I really beat myself up over it the rest of that day because I feel like I gave in to my comfort zone. There was a sense of obligation in my mind to have more of a presence for the video, but I really wasn’t feeling it. No idea what could’ve been said on camera that would have made the video any better either. Looking back, everything was completely fine- that’s how I felt, after all. But internally, there was a battle of negative self-talk there that was felt the whole day.
A huge desire of mine is to push to make my camera presence better (a challenge) but it’s easy for me to confuse that with my perfectionism.
If I hadn’t made it how I perceived to be imperfect at the time, there wouldn’t be a video at all. As if to say “all or nothing!” which is a big part of me at this time that I’m actively working to improve. I only just realized a few weeks ago from Brené Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” that perfectionism is actually a toxic beast. Turns out, it’s not a good thing at all. Here’s how she defines it in her book & I’ll let this finish the blog post:
Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame. Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal. Additionally, perfectionism is more about perception—we want to be perceived as perfect. Again, this is unattainable—there is no way to control perception, regardless of how much time and energy we spend trying.