From the time I was a small child, I've had major perfectionist issues. My school work had to be perfect. My drawings had to be perfect. I had to follow all the rules. When I fell down in any issue, I would beat myself up. This has continued until very recently and has only changed because I learned this secret: mistakes are essential to growth.
It may sound strange, but it's true. Living a perfect life teaches you nothing except judgement. You end up living your life by some worldly standard--a man-made creation that has nothing to do with the truth that is God. In my life, it has been those times I have done something out of the ordinary that I learned better coping skills (not to mention compassion for others). Ask yourself this simple question: Have I learned more from playing by the rules or by straying from them? What has given me the most surprising results?
We choose this human life as an opportunity for expansion and growth. Attempting to be perfect will limit our success. Making mistakes facilitates our development by increasing our options. While some mistakes can be horrible, they still have the potential to teach us something. I no longer beat myself up over my mistakes. I accept who I am, flaws and all, because it is my imperfection that makes me perfect.