Calling It Good: A Reflection on Imperfection

Written by: Meghan Yoho, MA, LCMHC

A couple of months ago, a colleague at work put together a Bob Ross painting party for a fun-focused staff meeting. We had canvases and whatever brushes we could find, paper plates for palettes, and paints pretty close in color to what Mr. Ross was using. An old YouTube of the show instructed us as to how we were to create happy little trees, mountains, water, and light. As I said in my About page, I’m not good with visual arts, but Bob Ross made it fairly straightforward (even if he was too fast for us to keep up with). A project like this in a room of therapists and therapy-adjacent administrative staff can produce a lot of anxiety about whether or not they can accomplish the task at hand to their standards. I finally reached the point where I realized my painting had departed from what we were supposed to be creating and I decided to call it good.


I’m not usually one to call it good when I haven’t done what the instructor asked, but I decided the only one who had to approve of my work was me, and it was way better than I ever thought it would be, so I decided to be pretty satisfied. I elected to hang it in my office as a starting point for conversation with any clients who feel bound by their own expectations of perfection. For people striving to be perfect, there’s an idea that we should be able to reach that, even though we can all say the words, “Nobody’s perfect, I know that.” Shoulds can be really harmful when they only serve to narrow our focus to what we didn’t or couldn’t do. Every should is a choice. I chose to stop comparing myself to Bob Ross or my colleagues. I chose to take pleasure in what I did. I chose to show it off instead of hiding it. I chose to be vulnerable with my own expectations.

I’m glad I did.