How my perfectionism led to my failure

While studying for yet another exam, I began thinking of how I gave in to distractions when I studied and how I did really seem to make a lot of excuses as the senior I used to visit had told me. I don’t remember when or how it started, but I always tried to follow my dad’s most favourite phrase of doing our “personal best” in everything that I did. In elementary, I remember staying up to finish a poster project because I didn’t want my parents’ help in case they would make it less-than-my-ideal. Everything would always have to be “perfect”. My grades had to be perfect, my behaviour had to be perfect, my life had to be perfect. I changed my behaviour around people to make it “perfect” to them and changed my personality as a result. To be a perfect daughter, I studied to get that 100%. Little had I know that people could not be perfect no matter how hard we tried. So I grew up. My standards dropped. I faced the harsh reality of the not-so-perfect world full of not-so-perfect people. So I made excuses to make up for my imperfections.

Of course, in the context of the senior I visited, the excuses I made were to avoid doing things that she asked me to do. (Such as demonstrating how I exercise in her tiny bedroom) It was funny how she would remember I always found some excuse or another for many things. Anyways, it made me reflect on my usage of excuses conscious and subconsciously. By assuming the worst and finding or creating reasons for it, I could excuse myself from the disappointing result. But it also led me to find more reasons and cause more reasons for disappointments. Which then led to my depressed feelings of being a failure when it was all due to my stupidity. I would watch dramas throughout the night while studying, wasting my time. Then I would reason that my bad marks were because I watched those dramas. But in actuality, I had not tried it without. To be on the safe side, the cautious perfectionist me made it so that there would always be an excuse. An excuse to be a not-so-filial granddaughter, an excuse to be an ignorant sister, an excuse to be a horrible friend. Excuses are illusions of having a split path with a self-justified reason that allowed me to find myself in the same destination.

It’s so easy to make and come up with excuses. Life happens. Excuses could absolutely be legit. However, most excuses I find myself thinking of usually don’t have any substance to them. Everyone goes through life. What makes me different that the same thing happening to someone else was handled better by them? What gives me the right to blame my shortcomings on my choices and not myself? If it was a choice that I could have changed, I am the one to blame. Rather than blaming on the circumstances, my reaction to those circumstances are my own. Some old habits really are hard to change, and I still find myself watching dramas then guilt-ing myself into depression for my marks, but no one said it’d be easy. The harder and less traveled path really does seem to be the “right” one in most cases. I just hope that the little choices to choose the path less traveled will make it easier to choose the hard path as life goes on. I don’t want to fail life, look back, and realize how I could have lived in a totally different way.

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