How can being a perfectionist be crippling?

I am a perfectionist. Well I like to think I am. I used to be a lot worse when I was younger. Always wanting everything to be perfect, including my hearing.

I would beat myself up inside if I misheard or didn’t catch what was said because of my deafness. I used to think hearing people heard absolutely everything until an old hearing boyfriend of mine said “even hearing people don’t hear everything.” That to me was a revelation. I thought hearing people did!

There were plenty of times I asked my old hearing boyfriend to repeat himself and in frustration he used to mimic me when I spoke by saying “sorry?” This was so that I repeated myself to feel his annoyance of having to repeat myself. To be frank he wasn’t always deaf aware and was “too busy to learn British Sign Language.” It was hard for me to be the teacher of the subject when I myself was learning or when I’m asked “how do you sign (insert word/s here)?” It made me feel less confident in my signing abilities as I was doubting myself if it was the correct sign.

Anyway, I came here to talk about copywriting and me being a perfectionist. I received a grade B on my latest assignment as I didn’t read the brief properly. It made me remember how English can be a funny old thing and you sometimes have to re-read a sentence for it to make sense. Especially if written English doesn’t come naturally to you.

I have trained hard over my life to get to where I am with written English to a standard many D/deaf people do not have easy access to. I did English Language as an A Level at school and received a grade B. For my GCSE’s I got a grade A. I guess my love of books helped plus reading subtitles on TV that have been preprogrammed. Forget live subtitles – that is something that needs to be worked on i.e the news.

Yes I should still be proud I got a grade B for my latest copywriting assignment but a small part of me is thinking “would this have happened if I wasn’t deaf?” “Am I less of a perfectionist than I thought I was?” In the end you just have to let yourself go and learn from your mistakes.

Here’s to me reading the next eight copywriting assignments ‘perfectly’ until I graduate from the course!