Just Let Go

Back in the SCAB archives, I spent some time pondering how hard this ‘hard’ at SCA is prior to our start. Shockingly, it’s turned out not to be the sort I was expecting, so far.

I have to preface that we are in term one still, which is designed to be a steady incline into it all. So I promise to update you, very avid reader, in terms two and three with what this elusive term for the school really means.

While we’ve been hammered with briefs left and right over the past four weeks, it has all been a lot of fun. With no pressure of doing work to go into our books, we’ve had real freedom to play with the techniques our esteemed faculty have been generously dishing out.

So yes, there has been some fatigue from all the new learning, there’s been strain from grasping things and executing them but really, not a lot to make me think ‘cor, this is going to be one hell of a backbreaking year’. Until we’d reach Fridays.

Fridays have typically been days where we present quite a bit of work and days where I would expect to impress and leave feeling accomplished. What I didn’t realise is that being in a room of 40 other very talented and skilled classmates would mean that this wouldn’t necessarily be the reality, at least to begin with.

I would leave most weeks feeling defeated and questioning if I really was cut for the creative world. I.e. imposter syndrome. And i.e. what I can now identify as blatant perfectionism.

You see, I spent a lot of the pandemic, like a few of us, as time to introspect. I reflected on what needed to change, developed fresh resolve and a focus to be of proper service to the world. I learned to go easy on myself and to develop healthier ways of living.

So I felt ready to enter the SCA arena. I was ready to be a student again and to be messy and clumsy in the beginning. Except, when I actually started to be those things, I realised I wasn’t ready at all. I was shocked at how quickly my inner voice switched to one of discouragement. I was shocked at how hard I was being on myself.

Just when I thought unidentified perfectionism would be the ruin of me, I discovered Steven Pressfield’s ‘The War of Art’. In the book he spells out resistance, and that one of its forms is perfectionism, explaining the art of being a vehicle to your work and depersonalising the creative journey.

And so, I’ve been doing what he says. Be patient, focus on showing up, trying consistently and being a professional. To see mistakes and ‘failures’ as part and parcel of being in the arena and better than not participating and getting any feedback at all. In essence, I’m learning to let go which, on paper, sounds easy but that’s the bit that has been the ‘hard’ so far.  

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