I corrected a misspelling in my blog draft before exiting. Why? Somewhere deep down I had the paranoid thought that someone might see it and judge me for it. First of all, no one is going to see a draft. Secondly, it is a draft, so even if they could see it, they would understand.
But my perfectionism/paranoia told me otherwise.
I think it has something to do with my being graded in school all the time. I cared about my grades and I worked hard to get good ones. Through the experience of being academically-inclined, I also developed a sense that I was always being watched, always being judged. Perhaps I even internalized the teacher’s critical eye, just as our mother’s words become our internal voice as we grow up.
Whatever the case, there are surely a lot of benefits to being a good student. But there are also other side effects to look out for: perfectionism, over-achievement, being overly critical of oneself, etc.
It’s good to be proud of how much one has achieved, but it’s also important to look at psychological byproducts of that process, and what messages they may have taught one about one’s sense of self-worth.