Today, according to the Google Doodle, is Bob Ross’ 70th Birthday. I’ve blogged about the painting classes I’ve taken before over here, here, here, here and here so I’m no stranger to a paintbrush. I have no real art background, though I’ve always wanted to paint especially since I loved watching his series “The Joy of Painting”. I thought his voice was so soothing and who can’t smile at the idea of a happy little tree? But perfection kept me from attempting to paint.
I’ve noticed that the fear of making mistakes keeps people from trying. I’ve read many posts on Ravelry asking if a project is too difficult for a beginner or someone writing that they could “never get my x to look as nice as y’s.” And that thought (anything I do will never be as nice as her’s) means that anything we attempt we look at with a critical eye.
We have to stop thinking that way! Bob Ross would often say on his show, “We don’t make mistakes, we make happy accidents.” And that is a sentiment that I try to live by, especially in my crafting. Letting go of perfection is easier said than done. And it is very difficult not to compare ourselves with others. We can see our own flaws so clearly but not in others or in ones that we admire and strive to emulate. Especially as a newbie. It’s easy to think you’ll never get to where they are because it’s easy to forget your heroes started out in the same place you are right now.
When I’ve spoken about my journey with cancer, people sometimes remark that I handled it with grace. “I could never have handled cancer as well as you did,” they say. Which makes me pause and say to them, “I’m sure you could have.” How I am so sure about that is because YOU are awesome. YOU make good work. YOU are full of grace.
So I challenge you to let go of control, just a tiny little bit. Send out your work as is because it’s good enough.