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.