How to dump the toxic struggle for perfection

Or at least how I managed to

I can trace my first memories striving for perfection back when I was attending the second grade at primary school. I remember the class being tested in an extremely comprehensive hour-long test. I was feeling prepared and ready to tackle it as per usual. At the end of the day, the teacher asks me to come to her desk to check with me my results. “Well, you could have scored ‘Excellent’, but because you did this spelling error I’m gonna give you a ‘Bravo’. For the future, you should pay attention to every detail before handing in your test”.

To my 7-year-old self, this was so unfair and shameful. It equalled with disappointment. How stupid was I to let that minor mistake ruin my perfect score! So much studying and preparation for a spelling error to prevent me from “Excellent”? I had to change the way I studied. I had to study deeper and revise even more. I wouldn’t allow it to happen ever again. I would never disappoint my teacher, whom I admired so, ever again. I would never provide less than was expected. That’s when I first remember saying: “I wanna be perfect”. Which effectively meant give my absolute concentration and infallible performance.

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