• Arielle Donce'

Perfection Paralysis

Updated: Jul 11

There is a famous designer who said" if you love your first release of a line , you waited to long to release it " I could be paraphrasing, and I actually don't remember who said this but if I leave this blog page to google it and get the right answer , I may never make it back. NO, I am not worried about anything life threatening or thinking I may "die" but I am absolutely sure I suffer from a common disease . My diagnosis ," Perfection Paralysis " OR PP ... yeah I made that up also , but I have no time to google or fact check at this point . I have been releasing this blog for a year and it's just TIME. It's not perfect, my grammar is probably trash , but I will learn to come back bigger and better time after time and most importantly not hold myself back. I've been on the verge of a releasing many projects on several occasions and PERFECTION has held me back from moving forward with beautiful , well thought out "practically perfect" projects.


For whatever reason , during whatever time - I found the holes in my work . A hair out of place , a word miss- read or over analysis of my looks have caused many projects to be completed and scrapped all before they saw the light of day . Time and time again. For some reason, in the moment of working through a project , I could never allow the beauty to outweigh my need for things to be undeniably PERFECT...


You need examples ? Okay ...

Exhibit A:

The Pieces of Me Project


This was a passion project, started with intention of reconnecting African Americans to their true ancestral history . As a descendant from a TBD part of Africa , my goal was to discover my roots , and my ancestors true story and bring those like me one step closer to knowing where they come from. As an African American , its hard to to factually define your ancestry , because well, slavery and a history rewritten . Our past were taken , our traditions were hidden and the goal of this project was to find the true story : my ancestry were not "slaves" they were, first PEOPLE , who were enslaved . I never really thought about this until I was in my early 20's ,all these years in school , all I knew is that I was a decedent from slaves but never once learned of their culture , educational advances and rich history. That AHA moment (I can never resist an Oprah ref) was ground breaking . School never humanized my ancestors stories, the goal of the Pieces of Me project was to do just that .


I developed a well flushed out multilayer project . 1st step , paying homage to our culture through photographic story telling . I creative directed a huge shoot , every detail was strategically planned - 5 models, 3 makeup artist 2 hairstylist , 2 photographers ,2 videographer, a stylist, an assistant director and a body paint artist. All amazingly talented and equally passionate about the messaging of the project - We arrived , we geled - it worked , it was seamless . Everyone who was supposed to be in the room was there , working together in perfect harmony . Each flash , concept change , and breathe taking moment told me ,I was exactly where I was supposed to be . We were creating with purpose - it was magic .


Okay I'm over talking ...GOT It Fast word to my shelving the entire project and never releasing a single image - PERFCT


Yes after the magic "ancestral dust" settled - I paused . I cared so much about the integrity of the project and it being impactful , I over analyzed every detail. Small imperfections in a backdrop - "do we need to reshoot?" "Wait we missed the Black history month deadline , do we wait until Juneteenth ? Im fast forwarding through a-lot of detail , the documentary I started , The show pitches I created , and the additional WORK from the amazing team around me . I didn't want to let anyone down so it had to be PERFECT , welp perfection ultimately landed the vision back on the shelf - with the excuse of "I will release it at the right time , timing is everything " In the moments of the pause ,I though what I was doing was BEST , in retrospect , the PAUSE is fatal for a perfectionist . It simply gives us too much time to think and find flaw . Me not wanting to disappoint , essentially disappointed. Ahh The irony - the funny thing is , no one was ever mad at me , or lost faith in the project , they gracefully accepted ... Timing


In honor of those amazing souls , who showed up and continue to show up - See a few images from OUR shoot :






Perfect example...Right?

But what is perfection? Who is the judge of this? I use to view my perfection as a sign of an over achiever, a person who held themselves to a high standard , but then I googled- yes google is all knowing ....GOOGLE is perfect. And here's what she told me "Perfectionists are often insecure and anxious about falling short of their own standards—as a result, they constantly live in fear of private shame and public humiliation.


... No matter how hard-working and accomplished a perfectionist might be in the

eyes of other people, he or she never feels good enough" and I paused , I took a deep breathe - WOW me , did google just read me ? After my shock and perfect amount of overly dramatic dismay, I think ... I ponder...have I been hiding my insecurities under the blanket of perfection? Was this fear preventing me from flourishing? After much thought, and honest reflection -I have to admit - lady Google was right . She no doubt was on to something ...







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