You Fool, You Failed Again! — A Life Lesson on Perfectionism

By valo | Neurodivergent_AI | 28 Jul 2022

A personal experience meeting the reality of failed goals


Being ashamed of one’s failures is toxic for one’s mental health and deters success. (Photo: Canva Pro)

There are times when one feels ashamed of their mistakes. You may worry that others will see you as incompetent or unworthy if they know about your errors. This leads to a perfectionist mindset, where you feel the need to strive for flawlessness in everything you do. While this drive can sometimes lead to notable accomplishments, it also often results in tremendous stress and anxiety. Falling short of one’s own high standards feels like a personal failure, which can be incredibly demoralising. Ultimately, trying to be perfect is both exhausting and fruitless — It is impossible to achieve flawless results 100% of the time, so why bother? Instead, it is important to forgive oneself for mistakes and move on; after all, nobody is perfect!

My recent experience

About three months ago, I decided to take up blogging. I had spent some time thinking about taking up writing seriously. I knew that it might be tricky to post daily with my busy timetable, but I decided to challenge myself anyway. A person smarter than me has noted that a challenge means that it will be difficult; it would be silly to expect that it will be a breeze. So, I challenged myself to post at least once per day for the next 100 days.

The initial excitement was keeping the motivation at a very high level — as happens for many of us. Then, a couple of weeks into the challenge, it was starting to get draining. I also repost my stories to other platforms because I expect to find more readers that way. It was tiring. I had ideas but fitting it was getting ever more difficult. I was pushing through, anyway. At one point, I allowed myself to publish after midnight. It technically counts as the next day, yet, since I have not gone to bed, it feels like the same day in a sense.

This is rather typical for many people but even more strongly expressed among the neurodivergent ones of us, especially for those with ADHD. I even noted it in one of my stories.

Living with ADHD: struggles with time management and executive functioning

That was a relief, and I started enjoying writing again to the fullest, worrying less about the clock hitting midnight. I was still feeling more successful when the post came out before that, though. I even published more than once a day on a few occasions, and it felt great. Then came an event which would keep me busy for four days, taking nearly all my awake hours. Still, I thought, I have multiple drafts and ideas, some almost ready for publishing. I will manage to finalise them just before going to bed. 


Yes, I had the drafts. Yet, I overestimated my energy reserves. 

I failed my goal. I am a loser.


Shame is among the most corrosive feelings. (Photo: Canva Pro)

The lesson

While grumpy about my failure, I started thinking what to do. My motivation level was low, yet I was enjoying writing, so I did not want to quit even though I failed. Then I made a realisation.

Is my failure actually a disaster?

Yes, I did not meet my goal. I cannot fix that. Still…

Is that the end of the world?

In fact — not. I enjoyed the time writing, and I even started gathering tiny earnings.

Is my failure fixable?

I cannot go back in time and post articles. But what I can do is to start from day 1 again and go on with my challenge.


There are many paths to the goal. Sometimes one needs to change them. (Photo: Canva Pro)

Getting back on track


  • When something goes wrong, stop and analyse.

  • Evaluate what happens.

  • Find out the reasons.

  • Identify the exact reason.

  • Search for ways that this could be prevented in the future.

  • Think about steps to go back on track towards the goal.

  • Start implementing them.

Final words

Aiming high is always good. Yet, the aim should not be completely rigid. Mistakes will inevitably happen. Some will be minor, others will require change of plans. Maybe the initial path to success will get blocked. Still, flexibility and perseverance are critical to success. Giving up is not an option unless it leads to harmful consequences on one’s physical and mental health.




This article is reposted on my other blogging and social profiles.

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A scientist and artist, a fan of technology, recently became a blogger.


Life with invisible disabilities but full of opportunities. Mental health, autism, ADHD

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