perfectionistOften in my coaching sessions people talk about a range of problems be it low confidence, low self-esteem, stress, depression and anxiety etcetera.

Often underpinning this is “perfectionism”.People may have seriously high standards, hate failure, self critical and generally giving themselves a hard time if things aren’t just right.

Rolls Royce Mini

This perfectionism can be found at home and or at work or even about how a person is. At home a perfectionist may have to have everything in its place and immaculate cleanliness. At work a person may be extra thorough or detailed meaning that the work is good but often takes much longer and maybe too long. The phrase, “providing a Rolls Royce when a Mini will be ok” is often used for people who work like this. 


Perfectionism can lead to a person putting pressure on themselves and others around them which can lead to stress, anxiety, feeling worthless, depression and more serious mental illnesses.

Perfectionism can happen to anyone however, some people are more disposed to it and it may have developed over years even stemming from childhood.

Are you a perfectionist? Or do you recognise perfectionism in someone you know? Is it getting in the way of your life and holding you back or even making you ill? If so then take action now. Small changes in your life can have big impact….

Here are 10 Tips to help

1.       Where does your perfectionism come from? What childhood scripts are you saying to yourself? Where do the “should / oughts” come from? Are you positive or negative about yourself? Create a mantra – “No-one is perfect” – “All you can do is your best” – “Everyone makes mistakes”. Write onto sticky notes and say out loud daily.

2.       Don’t eat a full elephant– split tasks into small chunks so you can create mini results for yourself, and you can see your progress being ticked off your to-do list. Choose easy tasks to complete first.

3.       Plan time to “plan” but then STOP – move into“action”.

4.       Make sure you build in rewards for when you finish your work.

5.       Accept the task / project is a “work in progress” FOREVER – it’s never complete or perfect and can always be improved upon.

6.       Check yourself – Does it really matter to be less than perfect? What’s the worst thing that can happen?

7.       Reflect on reality of “failing”. It really doesn’t happen much. Reflect on what happens after failure / mistakes – does it lead to lessons learnt for next time?

8.       Quality vs Deadline ….check standards are realistic….Is a Rolls Royce or Mini required?

9.       Complete the minimum standard first and then look at what you can improve and add in. Reviewing is good for improving tasks.

10.   Get some perspective….what would a friend/ colleague/ coach say to you? Can a friend help tighten up deadlines for you?



What 3 things are you going to try today to combat your perfectionism?

What help and support do you need?

Who can you get that help and support from?

On a scale of 1-10 how committed to doing this are you?

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