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overcoming perfectionism as a musician

Perfectionism to me, has been a by-product of my innately competitive and hungry personality. I see myself as a student, always learning from those with a greater wealth of knowledge – in music especially.  

But I also share a deep desire to see where the limit is and exactly how far I can push my abilities. 

However . . .


In the age of social media and the evolution of world-wide connectivity, it’s hard not to be mesmerised by the pool of talented and diverse musicians. Just browsing through Instagram’s curated feed, we see children who are unable to talk – capable of playing Chopin and Bach through to Monk and Evans. This not only makes me proud and hopeful for the future generations but also tended to sow a seed of doubt into my own capabilities and unconsciously I began to draw comparisons. 


I had already lost the race before it had even begun.

My competitiveness would lead me to draw comparisons between myself and other musicians so as to visualise and gauge my inexperience and what I would need to do in order to close this gap. Like setting myself a new checkpoint, a tangible goal to which I can focus all my efforts towards. While this is encouraged as children and can foster unimaginable growth, as an adult with responsibilities and a desire to turn a passion into a career, I realised that it was pointless trying to strive for perfection as we are constantly built to learn and seek greater challenges. Trying to achieve perfection before even attempting to build a career for oneself, would only mean you fall further behind. 


I had to reverse engineer my competitiveness as a driving force to be fearless and not as a tool for comparison

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To overcome this perfection driven mentality, one must offset it with fearlessness. The fearlessness to display your talents at this current point in time and to embrace that you will not only be displying your very best but also worst. Because extenuating circumstances in ones life will always play a deciding factor as to how “perfect” you perceive yourself. 

Today, you will be measured by your fearlessness to adapt to a digital era and embrace the online networking age where millions of eyes could see you thrive or fail and it is how you deal with these potentialities that will distinguish you amongst the rest.

Perfectionism is an excuse for our fear of judgment.


By being fearless, we take more risks, make more mistakes.


We learn from these mistakes and consistently improve.


It is consistency, in fearlessness, that we should seek to achieve.