Thoughts on Excellence

I spent years caring so deeply that I couldn’t do anything.  I cared so deeply about trying to be excellent, trying to live up to an inner standard that I was crippled as a result.

This quote from Brian Koppleman on one of his recent podcast episodes really speaks to me.  Because I have the same kind of perfectionist streak.  Especially when it comes to academics.

I wanted to do well so badly that my anxiety would take over, leaving me unable to function.  Even when finals were coming up and I knew I had so much to do.  I just couldn’t.  I emotionally and physically shut down. But why is so much emphasis put on doing well anyway?  Why aren’t there points for effort?  I was so busy trying to live up to an arbitrary standard that I sometimes forgot why I was even in school.  I forgot that I was there to chase my dreams and do what I love.

This “standard” also applies to writing my novel.  I know what good writing is, but I’m not sure if I can do it.  Of course, I like what I’m writing, but that doesn’t outweigh the thoughts of “what if no one likes it?”

It really sucks.  I wish I could find a balance between not caring what other people think and doing my best work.  I can’t let my anxiety take over if I want to achieve all my goals in life.


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