Take a Break from Being Excellent and Become Something More
Excellence. Perfection. They’re things we’re all striving for or at least dreaming about. We want to be masterful, powerful, sensational. We want to do something difficult and make it look effortless. And maybe you’ve found your thing, something you latched onto and poured yourself into until one day you discovered you were really quite excellent. But now you might be feeling a little bit bored or a little bit stuck because excellence, you’ve discovered, is not enough. You need to keep
stretching, you need to keep growing, and you need to master other things in order to keep moving forward.
Maybe your paintings are divine, but you haven’t a clue how to sell them. Maybe your poems are exquisite, but you don’t know how to get them
published. Your blog could have some dandy posts, but no one’s reading them because you’re completely lost when it comes to helping people find you.
It feels so good to be excellent. You’d just as soon keep doing this thing
that you’ve mastered. You’d prefer to continue gracefully skating your perfect figure eights until the end of time, but you know there’s more to this creative life than that. You need something new in your old bag of tricks, but you can’t stand the thought of beginning again.
But begin you must if you wish to go further, and in order to begin you may need a break from being excellent. You may have to set aside your wizard’s wand, whatever that may be, and pick up a broom or a hammer instead. Of course, you won’t abandon your magic, but you may have to walk amid mortals for a time before you can take things to a whole new level.
Katheryn Bieber, the untamed force behind Embracing Your Creative Spirit,
has been working through and writing about this very thing. She shared in a note on her Facebook profile that blogging made her feel like trying on ugly prom dresses. She’s a master at making things with her hands,
but a novice at making things with a mouse and keyboard. But in order to share her imagination, spirit, and amazing mastery of things hand made, she had to take on the role of a beginner. Instead of skating perfect figure eights, she became the awkward kid doing everything she could just to stand up without holding onto the railing.
I applaud Katheryn and anyone else who takes a break from being excellent in order to become something more. I think of comedian Steve Martin laying down his trademark bunny ears in order to act in movies and then taking a break from that in order to write books and then taking a break from that in order to record an album of banjo music. I admire him and Katheryn and all the others like them for the example they set. It’s absolutely