I started making music when I was 13 years old. As a young aspiring musician I was always told to better myself and be as perfect as possible.
I was quickly sucked into that whirl of self destruction that is “perfectionism”.
The biggest musicians or actors or film makers in the world, were always described as being perfectionists.
Especially my favorite, Michael Jackson, was probably the most perfectionistic artist in the world.
WHY IS PERFECTIONISM SELF DESTRUCTIVE?
Although Michael Jackson created the best performances in the history of music, was he ever satisfied and happy with the results?
When he debuted the moonwalk on the Motown 25. After he finished the performance, he went backstage and started crying because he had make one mistake while dancing.
The question is, did anyone that has ever seen that performance of his, ever thought that he had made a mistake?
Honestly…I don’t think so.
The only one who was not satisfied was Michael himself. He spent his whole life trying to prove that he was perfect.
WHAT IS THE POINT OF PERFECTIONISM?
From a psychological prospective it’s all based on a lack of self-esteem or self appreciation.
My theory, from my own experience is that…
Knowing Michael Jackson’s terrible relationship with his father during his childhood. It could seem that Michal was actually trying to prove to his father that he was perfect so that his father could not criticize him, or better yet hurt him in anyway.
I had a similar childhood problem with my own father…I will talk about it one day.
Until my mid 20s I spent most of my life, trying to prove the world that I was perfect, so that nobody could ever criticize me and therefore hurt me like my father did when I was 8.
I used to work 10-12 hours a day on my music and my art to perfect it as much as possible. Until I fell ill from a nervous breakdown.
I was always stressing myself about wanting to be better and more perfect.
Was it worth it?
Mainly because people didn’t even notice the difference between a well produced song or a perfectly produced song.
I was the only one that noticed the difference, and I wasted my time and energy, and especially my health on completely useless things.
BEING IMPERFECT IS WHAT MAKES US HUMAN
I loved all of Michael Jackson’s live performances, but I was always disappointed in the fact that he never sang live.
The reason he always lip-synced, was that he was trying to put up such a perfect show that his human body couldn’t keep up with all of it.
He couldn’t sing and dance at the same time.
I would’ve preferred seeing him dance a little and than actually sing live, and not be all that perfect. He would’ve still put up an amazing show.
WHY “GOOD ENOUGH” SHOULD BE THE NEW PERFECTIONISM
My approach to my music and my art has changed significantly since my recovery from my nervous breakdown, which forced me to bed rest at the age of 25…
Since my breakdown I have changed my work mentality from “PERFECTIONISM” to “IT’S GOOD ENOUGH”.
I want to enjoy the process of making music and performing my music and not exhaust myself for useless perfectionism, which by the way no one notices but me.
I enjoy my little human mistakes, because they are part of my art and the fact that I am a human being and not a machine.
Every performance is going to be different for this very reason.