Perfection Paralysis

Hi I’m Elisa and I used to be a perfectionist. I read somewhere of a term called Perfection Paralysis, I didn’t have this problem but it’s interesting to share:

Perfection paralysis: spending too much time on the details that you don’t get anything done. You are unable to share your creations because you think they are not good enough.

Today I filmed a Bach Prelude and Fugue, and in every take I made at least one mistake. I either forgot what was next, or got a sequence of notes wrong.

I’m trying to decide if I should post the video with the mistakes or try again later which will take time out of my schedule. If I had perfection paralysis I would spend hours trying to get a perfect take, but I won’t do that. I have two students to teach and more pieces to work on today. So… those mistakes will have their chance to shine today.

But what I’ve experienced playing the piano is that no one will notice the mistakes.

For example, on Easter Sunday I was terribly nervous to play for a big congregation. I played a complex Prelude for church, messed up so many chords, and my parents said there was nothing wrong. I was astounded they didn’t notice.

Almost every piano video of mine is “imperfect” and they still sound good to me. The big picture is to improve every week.

So it’s myself who I am a perfectionist for, my standards are high. Nobody cares if I make a small mistake. They don’t know the piece unless they’ve played it before.

What matters most with my music is that the emotion and message gets across. Mistakes are the human element of a piece. Wrong notes are improvisation, spontaneous, capture the audience’s attention and reel them back in.

I’ll upload the Prelude and Fugue with the small mistakes when I get home. ☺️❤️

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