Recently, I went to a big family gathering where my cousin wanted to try his hand at stamping for the first time. He just took off with it! I was so pleased to see how much fun he was having as he created bracelets for our family. When I saw his bracelets, they were nowhere near what I would have been comfortable gifting to people. This is not a critique of his stamping but a reflection on what I believe is acceptable for myself. That thought sparked my curiosity - is this a “thing”? This blog is all about our relationship with the "P word"... PERFECTIONISM and shifting the perspective of perfection from the end result to the journey.
The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman - a book about pitfalls of self-doubt and how it affects our lives as females - shares that women are more likely to credit the team or the circumstance to their success than their own ability. In a recent Time Magazine article, they quote Hilary Clinton, “‘Too many women are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short.'" Maybe this is the sum total of generations of social conditioning. Perhaps it’s because we want to check off all of the boxes before we can move forward with a task. Whatever the reason may be, this is a powerful thing to notice. Do you stamp the same word again and again until you get the perfect bracelet to give?
When was the last time you were given a HANDMADE gift? What was your reaction? Did those imperfections actually enhance your love for the gift? This the beauty of being a Maker. When you are doubting your skill, I invite you to take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that this bracelet is the perfect representation of the connection you’ve just made with this other person. Each bracelet is unique, unforgettable, and those are the qualities we cherish deeply. SO how does this apply to you, you incredible Maker? Don’t restart a word when you hit a snag. Keep going. Finish the word. Then look at it - really look at the entire bracelet as a whole and ask yourself how it is perfect? How is this perfect for the conversation that you’ve just had with this person?
Wisdom from other Makers:
"I'm an extreme perfectionist. Stamping has helped let go of that a little bit. Enough to understand and accept the tokens when a letter is a bit off or word not quite centered. Like us, like life, its not perfect. So our imperfections are what make it perfect!" - Rene R.
"I want to redo the necklaces for my grandkids, but my granddaughter who is 8, said, 'It’s still beautiful.' I could learn a lot from that little girl. All I saw was the glaring imperfection. She saw only the beauty." - Suzy S.
"This year I was getting too hung up on stamping them perfectly and frustrated, as I had many to do! Then I remembered what I always teach them...we learn more from our mistakes and struggles, so actually, imperfections were actually perfect." - Pam B.