So much in our society today is about being perfect. Wait, that's not true. It is also about pointing out why someone or something isn't perfect. So much so, that many people (me included, ahum..) at times feel paralyzed. If whatever I want to create isn't going to be perfect, isn't going to live up to what people expect me to create, why even bother trying? And that is a shame, because why are you keeping yourself from following your dreams just because you are afraid of not being perfect enough?
Especially in music, where so many things are subjective as it is, playing perfectly doesn't even exist.
So first things first: being perfect in everyone's eyes is impossible. BAM! There, I said it. Seriously: NO ONE CAN! Because what is perfection? If you would ask ten random people how they would define this term they would most certainly come up with ten different definitions. Especially in music, where so many things are subjective as it is, playing perfectly doesn't exist. Now, did this made you feel better? I hope so! There is nothing you have to live up to. Does this mean you are done? If you want to, sure. But perhaps there is more we can get out of this idea of being perfect. Because, as it turns out, it is all up to you, isn't it? If there is no universal meaning of being perfect, you can decide for yourself what you want this term to signify. You get the chance to be the perfect version of yourself.
I am allowed to let go of the opinions of others. So are you!
During my studies I was often told many things I should change about myself. The way I was standing, the way I studied, my technique, my ideas about how the music should be played, etc. Although I have learned a lot from this, at times it was hard to hold onto what I wanted myself. And I get it. As a teacher you want your student to learn things and become better at what they do, but at the same time you don't want that student to loose their own voice. It is a hard balance to keep. But that is also true for the student. You want to learn from your teacher but you also want to develop and keep your own voice. Now that I have graduated, it suddenly feels like I am in charge. I can decide for myself what I want and what I think is important while making music. I need to let go of these ideas of others or even better: I am allowed to let go of the opinions of others. So are you! Of course you still can ask others for their opinion but if you don't agree with them that is okay too. Much of what I have been taught was very useful and I use it daily while practicing but it feels differently than before. Now I use it as the tools to create music which I like best instead of trying to do what a teacher wanted me to do. Trying to be perfect to others is not part of that.
Your imperfection is probably exactly which makes you perfect.
In music especially, the things which others might describe as imperfect, actually are the things which make you special. A vibrato which is executed in a slightly different way than one normally would might be exactly that characteristic element which makes you stand out. Your imperfection is probably exactly that what makes you perfectly you. Whatever being perfect entails to you personally might change over time but I do hope that you realize that you, and ONLY YOU, are in control of its definition. If the definition of someone else overlaps with yours, great! You might strive for the same! But at the same time it is totally okay too to notice that what someone else finds important doesn't really matter to you. So go out there, grow, be bold, be you and believe that you can in fact become perfect, whatever that means to you!