For Top Performance: Don’t Fall Into The Perfectionist Trap

Don’t Believe All Your Own Beliefs: You Are Not A Perfectionist!


Whenever I hear the student say in a guitar lesson “Yeah but I’m a perfectionist”, I’m never really sure if they carry this label as a badge of honor or as an excuse.

Let me get this straight right away:

“Being a perfectionist is NOT something to be proud about”
Loving yourself… IS!

Nobody should put that amount of unhealthy pressure onto themselves.
We are all human beings, not robots.

There is also beauty in imperfections.

I cannot begin to sum up the number of times that I did something I did not intend to do on guitar, and that turned into a song or an amazing solo idea.

Question Everything, Including Your Own Programming.

I used to be a perfectionist many years ago.
One day I decided to train my mind not to label myself like that anymore, and to get rid of the whole notion altogether that I was a perfectionist.

It’s amazing how far your upbringing and education programs you into adopting certain belief systems about yourself and your environment.
That is why it is so utterly important to constantly question everything.

When I questioned the whole validity of myself being a perfectionist: I realized that I was ONLY that, because my parents, when I was a child, had used that term a couple of times during my youth when they talked about me or referred to me.

I had taken over that belief from mum and dad.
After all: when you’re a child, your parents are authority figures. Hence: if they say something… it must be right.
Not so!

Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with doing your best and striving to get the best possible results.
Striving for excellence is admirable.

Perfectionism vs. Excellence!

However: there is a difference between being the kind of person who strives for excellence, and being the kind of person who labels himself as “a perfectionist”.
“Excellence” is realistic, perfection is not.
Perfection is an illusion and leads to disappointment as it can never be achieved. It’s akin to the horizon that keeps moving away as you keep moving towards it.
Where does it start, where does it end, when is enough, enough?
The reason why perfection can never be achieved is that it is subjective and unmeasurable.
It’s in the eye of the beholder. Whatever it is, one thing’s for sure: “it’s never good enough”.

Excellence however is attainable and measurable.
It is measured by the feeling of contentment and satisfaction that you have when you believe that you accomplished what you wanted as well as you possibly could.

Always strive for excellence, but never be a perfectionist.
Excellence can come in many different forms and shapes, but there is only 1 specific “perfect way”. That is… “the perfect way”.
By default then: perfectionism is boring, limiting, narrow, and lacking in personality, diversity, and freedom.

More importantly: there is this very interesting contradiction, that perfection tends to be more readily attained when one the least tries to obtain it.
I think that is all the more reason to choose not to be a perfectionist.

Do Your Best Forget The Rest!

I like how Tony Horton from P90x says it: “Do Your Best… Forget The Rest!”
Do all you can as well as you can.. but nothing more!

Meanwhile: never forget to have fun on your journey.
Ultimately; that’s really what music and guitar are all about.
Perfectionists miss out on all that fun.

What does all this have to do with learning music?
The worst, slowest progressing students, are always those who claim to be perfectionists.
It kind of defeats the whole purpose of being a perfectionist in the first place, doesn’t it? 🙂


Hit me up anytime at if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.

These free lessons are cool, but you will never experience the progress, joy, and results that my students experience in lessons when you’re learning by yourself from blogs and videos.

That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, exposed to way more creative ideas than you can get from a blog or YouTube video.
There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.

If you want to see amazing results and progress in your guitar playing, buy your first lesson here and get started ASAP.

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