I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to certain things. It’s not exactly a surprise, because my mom is a perfectionist to a point that it’s basically unhealthy. This concerns me. I do not want to allow myself to let it get that bad, because it interferes with her life.

So perfectionism. Turns out that I’m kind of addicted to getting A’s on my school work. I mean, it’s one thing to work hard to do a good job and get an A. That’s healthy. What’s not healthy is me sitting here seething because my professor took FOUR points off of a 100 point assignment, and I am making assumptions about the reason. It’s also not healthy that I am refusing to go onto Blackboard to view his comments on my paper because the thought of it makes me so anxious I could puke. I mean seriously. 96/100 is still an A. I still have a high A in the class. So WTF is my problem?

For all I know, he knocked four points off for some legit reason rather than the reason I think it might be, but THAT makes me anxious, too. I hate making mistakes. I mean, I make mistakes all the time, but for some reason my brain has zeroed in on this need for perfectionism in my schoolwork. Work that is often completed and submitted at night after the kid has gone to bed and I am bleary-eyed and desperate to finish and get to bed. So is it really any surprise that I might make a mistake or two?

Am I truly expecting myself to get straight A’s all through this program while parenting a small child and ultimately also going back to work? I mean, it would be nice, but it would also be nice to not kill myself trying to achieve that objective. And it would be REALLY nice not to spend more evenings riddled with anxiety about logging into Blackboard because I will be unable to ignore that little red flag telling me that I have new grades/comments to check and I’m afraid to see them.

A 96 is a good grade. Heck, it’s a GREAT grade if you compare it to my high school report cards! (Not that I wasn’t smart. I just refused to do my work.) There is NOTHING wrong with a 96. Except that it’s not perfect, and apparently my brain desires perfection. It’s unhealthy. I have to find a way to get past this so I can just be HAPPY that I got an A even if it’s not a 100%.

My other professor knocked off one point out of 100 for two typos this week, which feels dramatically more acceptable than 4 points for some strange reason. Can someone please just turn my brain off? This is ridiculous.

Spoiler:  I just checked, and I was kind of right that my ethics paper regarding media coverage of school shootings offended the major metropolitan newspaper editor in him, but he was kind of right also, because there were some points I should have explored a bit deeper. I really need to let this go.

2 thoughts on “Perfectionism

  1. It looks like you were extra anxious about this particular grade but not so much the other one, so it isn’t just perfectionism, perhaps you were really interested in that particular paper and what did the teacher think was wrong. You are an engaged student. 🙂

  2. You forgot: THE PURPOSE OF GOING TO SCHOOL IS TO LEARN. IF YOU ALREADY KNOW IT ALL THERE IS NO LEARNING AND that is a waste. You learned in/from those 4 points. Remind your self of this.
    Also, perfectionism is a trap denying yourself a life of joy because no one is ever 100% perfect ~but more importantly it traps your children as they watch you and learn from your behaviors …… and I swear They hear what you say that is self-negative when they are 4 blocks away and deeply asleep. SO, WHEN you think a negative or perfectionist thought you need to identify it and contradict it. AT ONCE. Best is when contradiction is outloud so You hear Yourself name the error and renounce/deny it and then replace it with a honest accurate truth. PS: Nobody knows it all even those who say they do…….
    Please forgive me for jumping up and down about this…. This is so important for you, and your daughter.

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