Perfectionism vs. striving to be your best

Educator, Rachel Simmons, Author of Odd Girl Out, discusses perfectionism in girls.
Teaching Girls The Difference Between Perfectionism and High Standards - Parenting Advice
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Perfectionism vs. striving to be your best

Striving to be your best is a wonderful thing. But, being your best doesn’t mean being the best and I think that’s the mistake that a lot of us make. Being your best is about challenging yourself and it’s about taking risks and trying new things where there may be a failure outcome or there may be a spectacular learning experience. When you become invested in being the best, then failure is not an option. And not only do you therefore not seek out experiences where you might fail but you are plagued by anxiety. You criticize yourself internally all the time, you often drive yourself forward not out of a love of learning but out of a fear of failure; and living with that day in and day out, year in and year out, will really leave a toll on a person, on their soul. Eventually, trying to be perfect all the time really cuts you off from your passion because the passion becomes success. The passion doesn’t become what you stand for or what matters to you.

Educator, Rachel Simmons, Author of Odd Girl Out, discusses perfectionism in girls.


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Rachel Simmons

Author & Educator

Rachel Simmons is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. As an educator, Rachel works internationally to empower young women to be more authentic, assertive and self-aware.

Rachel is a Vassar graduate and Rhodes Scholar from New York. The co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, she is an experienced curriculum writer and educator who works with schools and organizations around the world. She currently develops leadership programs for undergraduate women at the Center for Work and Life at Smith College. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher in Massachusetts and South Africa.

Rachel was the host of the recent PBS television special, “A Girl’s Life,” and is a contributing writer and advice columnist for Teen Vogue.

Rachel has appeared on Oprah and the Today show, and appears regularly in the national me- dia. Odd Girl Out was adapted into a highly acclaimed Lifetime television movie. Rachel lives in western Massachusetts with her daughter and West Highland Terrier, Rosie, who is currently taking private workshops with Rachel to learn how to stop bullying other dogs.

For more information, please visit

More Parenting Videos from Rachel Simmons >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter