My whole life I’ve been terrified of making mistakes.
When I was giving a talk about Germany in my sixth grade class and the teacher asked me who the chancellor was, it took me a minute to utter his last name — all the while I was stuttering.
When I gave presentations in school, I never veered away from my index cards — not even a word. I made myself memorize the words in their exact order — perfectly.
If I fumbled, I was a failure.
When I started a job in college, the first time I swept the floor, I took an inordinate amount of time. I was worried that if the manager saw any dirt, she’d think that I wasn’t working hard enough to pick up every speck.
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