I thought I’d share a story. I was a middle school history teacher years ago and had one student who was a crazy perfectionist. She always had to get A+s and meet with me after class to make sure she understood everything. One day before a test, she stayed behind to ask me tons of questions – of which I knew she already knew the answer, but she just wanted some validation. I turned to her and said, “M.L., you know what your goal should be for this test?” “What?” she asked. I said, “I want you to try to get a “B”! She looked at me dumbfounded but smiled! I explained to her that she always got A’s and wouldn’t it be interesting to try to get a B. Well, she ended up with an A-/B+ but I thought it was progress!
I think she ended up at Harvard. I tried to look her up and couldn’t find her, but I hope she remembers that story!
(As a related note, I was a similar student. But now I crank out blog posts in 1 hour instead of the 5 it used to take me a couple of years ago! So much better!)