DO ENTERTAINERS HAVE TO BE PERFECT?
By J.C. High Eagle July
DO ENTERTAINERS HAVE TO
BE PERFECT? As
entertainers, we can well see that perfectionism is
rampant today. A great many people try so hard to do
right . . . and be right.
To me, our fear of making a mistake has a different
meaning. It is an expression of our highly
competitive way of living. Making a mistake becomes
so dangerous not because of the punishment - of
which we don't think - but because of the lowering
of our status, of the ridicule, of the humiliation,
which it may incur: "If I do something wrong and
you find that I am doing something wrong, then I am
no good. And if I am no good, then I have no
respect, I have no status. Then you might be better
than me. Horrible thought!"
Actually, people who try so desperately to avoid
mistakes are endangering themselves. The reason is
two fold. First, when you think about the mistake
that you might make, you do to yourself the greatest
harm by discouraging yourself. We know that
discouragement is the best motivation for doing
something wrong. In order to do something right, one
has to have confidence - self-confidence. When you
think about the mistake you might make you express
your lack of faith in yourself, your lack of
confidence in yourself. And, consequently, out of
this discouragement we are more prone to make a
Second, there is another psychological mechanism
that makes concern with mistakes so dangerous.
today that everybody moves in accordance with his or
her expectations. When you expect to do something,
are really convinced you will do it, you are
stronger to do it. You may not always do it because
there may be other factors involved. But, as far as
you are concerned, when you expect to behave in a
certain way, you are most prone to behave in this
Most people who make mistakes feel guilty; they
feel degraded, they lost respect for themselves,
they lose belief in their own ability. And I have
seen it time and again: the real damage was not done
through the mistakes they made but through the guilt
feeling, discouragement, which they had afterwards.
Then they really messed it up for themselves. As
long as we are so preoccupied with the fallacious
assumption of the importance of mistakes, we can't
take mistakes in our stride.
And so the mistaken idea of the importance of
mistakes leads us to a mistaken concept of
ourselves. We become overly impressed by everything
that's wrong in us and around us. Because, if I am
critical of myself, I naturally am going to be
critical of the people around me.
If I am sure that I am no good, I have at least
to find that you are worse. That is what we are
doing. Anyone who is critical of himself is always
critical of others.
How many things would be different in everyone's
surroundings if we hadn't lived: How a good word may
have encouraged some fellow and did something to him
that he did it differently and better than he would
have otherwise. And through him somebody else was
saved. How much we contribute to each other, how
powerful we each are - and don't know it. That is
the reason then why we can't be satisfied with
ourselves and look to elevate ourselves - afraid of
the mistakes that would ruin us - and try
desperately to gain the superiority over others.
So perfection, therefore, is by no means a
necessity; it is even impossible. This "right'
morally and "right" logically is very often an
offense to human relationships. In order to be right
you sacrifice kindness, patience if you want, and
tolerance. No, out of this desire for rightness we
don't get peace, we don't get cooperation; we merely
end up by trying to give the others the idea of how
good we are when we can't even fool ourselves No, to
be human does not mean to be right, does not mean to
be perfect. To be human means to be useful, to make
contributions, not for oneself, but others.
To take what there is and make the best out of
it. But that has a prerequisite: that we can't be
overly concerned with their shortcomings, we have no
respect, neither for ourselves nor for others. We
have to learn the art, and to realize that we are
good enough. As we are - because we never will be
better, regardless of how much more we may know, how
much more skill we may acquire, how much status or
money or what-have-you.
Perhaps consider NOT trying to become famous, and
make music just because you’re passionate about it.
It appears to me that the paradox holds true: make
good music only if you feel inspired to do so, don’t
try so hard for others to acknowledge your
narcissistic greatness, but do something worthwhile
(like charity or fundraisers), and by not trying so
hard to “make it” you will be noticed and
appreciated by society.
If we can't make peace with ourselves as we are, we never will be able to
make peace with ourselves. And this requires the
courage to be imperfect; requires the realization
that I am no angel, that I am not superhuman, that I
make mistakes, that I have faults; but I am pretty
good because I don't have to be better than the
others: Which is a tremendous belief. If you accept
just being yourself, we learn to function, to dour
best regardless of what it is; out of the enjoyment
of the functioning we can grow just as well, even
better than if we would drive ourselves to be
perfect - which we can't be. Don't be afraid to be
imperfect . .