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Overcoming Perfectionism

I got my first assignment back on Saturday. I had been waiting, dreading, waiting, dreading it. I was disappointed with the result - 13/20 - but can honestly say I deserved it and with hindsight, it's more than I should have got. It's still a credit, but that damn little perfectionist voice in my head wanted no less than 20/20. Which is nearly impossible at Uni, especially in the arts.

A battle has raged in my head since that day, but now we have a truce. My first knee-jerk reaction was to give all this up, declare myself a loser, berate my stupidity, tell myself who was I kidding to ever think I could do this. It was a blow for sure, but realism has to be allowed to play the game too. 

So, this is what I learnt (after a good talking to myself):

  • It was my first assignment attempted for over 10 years. I am bound to be rusty
  • I am here to learn - no point getting a perfect score - means I know it all
  • There is plenty of margin to improve
  • I have learnt where my weakness's are, and where I need to put energy to improve
  • 13/20 is not a failure
  • Analytical essays are tricky at the best of times.
  • I need to work hard at my technical side of writing - that's what let me down, my ideas and argument where well received.
  • I need to use less comma's (my lecturers comment!)
I have a new assessment due on 3rd May. I have done a lot of the research and notes, ready to write a draft today. Then the hard work of editing - this is where writers really earn their keep.

I feel good about this - I overcame my natural tendency to give up when things are not perfect. Maybe I am growing up at last!

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