By Kate Williams
Perfectionism is a quality that I struggle with first hand. Even as an adult, I find myself obsessing over errors in my weekend softball games and silently competing with the runner on the next treadmill at the gym. As a child, I would spend countless hours tearing out pages of sketchbooks and notebooks because there was a misspelled word, a fragmented sentence or even a smudge from my left-handed cursive. A mistake meant that the entire project had to be redone, because if everything didn’t line up perfectly, including my penmanship, it wasn’t worth turning in. Projects and deadlines became daunting, because how could the perfect drawing be executed in just one weekend? After spending time with gifted adolescents throughout the summer, I realized that this was a common trait in gifted students and that I was not alone. I have found ways to focus this perfectionism into more constructive goals as I’ve gotten older, but I still see the importance (especially with gifted children) of addressing the ever “strangling” concept of failure.