You may know Mara Wilson as the adorable child star who gave life to one of our favorite Roald Dahl characters, the adorable, precocious, telekinetic Matilda.聽And in case you need just a brief refresher, Mara also played the youngest child in聽Mrs. Doubtfire聽opposite Robin Williams and Sally Field, as well as the cute little girl in Miracle on 34th Street,聽and has been acting聽on screen聽since 1993.聽These days, Mara spends a little less time in front of the lens and more behind her computer screen. She runs聽a popular Twitter account with over 299K followers, writes the blog Mara Writes Stuff, and recently authored her first book聽Where Am I Now?, which聽will be released by Penguin Random House on September 13.


But growing up on movie sets 鈥 especially as a kid who loved school 鈥 had its share of difficulties. 鈥淕oing to school as a child star鈥 everybody knew somebody who was on聽Seventh Heaven or was on a Disney Channel show, and kids would come to school late because they had an audition. It kind of made sense for a while, but eventually [it got] kind of hard because people started getting jealous and they were getting a little competitive.鈥

As for the kind of student she was, either in school or on set, Mara says, 鈥淚 was very much a perfectionist in elementary school. I always tried to go above and beyond in the very beginning, and that quickly became exhausting. I would always read ahead in the books and I actually got in trouble for it sometimes. I definitely did more than I needed to.鈥 When it comes to getting it right, we feel like Matilda could probably relate.


But there is a point when the pursuit of being #flawless can take its toll.聽鈥淚 do think, though, that perfectionism, it鈥檚 a problem, and after a while, in middle school and a little bit in high school, there was this attitude I had like, 鈥榃ell, if I can鈥檛 do it perfectly, why do it at all?'鈥 Mara tells us. 鈥淎nd that, I think, is a toxic thought and I think that kills creativity and any kind of progress.鈥

But someone聽gave her a piece of advice that turned her outlook around: her dad. 鈥淢y dad is an engineer, and he always says, 鈥楾he perfect is the enemy of the good.鈥 And you need to remember that. That has helped me a lot,鈥 Mara says. Next time聽trying to get something perfect 鈥 whether it鈥檚 as small as your cat eye or as huge as parenting 鈥 repeat this mantra to yourself. It鈥檚 no use driving yourself up the wall trying to get something perfect, when doing something very well will make you much happier.

鈥淚鈥檝e learned to make mistakes in the past few years,鈥 she tells us with聽a smile. 鈥淎nd I鈥檓 okay with that now.鈥

Will you be taking聽Mara鈥檚 advice? Tweet us @BritandCo!