Perfection may sound great, but there is more and more evidence that striving for perfection significantly disadvantages one’s ability to navigate life’s ups and downs – which we all inevitably have. This week, Laura talks with writer, teacher, attorney, and mother of five, Gail Cornwall, about the importance of striving for excellence but not perfectionism. They discuss the research around centering our self-worth on the process of learning as opposed to our accomplishments and explore the many ways we internalize – from society – the myths surrounding perfectionism. The good news is there are concrete and tangible strategies to help oneself and others and there is, absolutely, an alternate path forward. 

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About Gail

Gail Cornwall is a former public school teacher and lawyer who now works as a mother and freelance writer in San Francisco. She has published articles, essays and Op-Eds on education, child development, and psychology in numerous publications such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. You can read her work at or find her on Facebook and Twitter.