Who doesn’t want to be perceived as perfect?

But beware! Perfect is not at all the same as perfectionist. Perfectionism can be a double-edged sword: on the one hand it can motivate you to be a high achiever and deliver top quality work, but on the other it can make you dissatisfied with life, never feeling things are ‘good enough’, causing anxiety and more severe mental health problems, and hinder rather than help your progress. Do you identify with any of these traits?


  1. Do you set impossibly high goals? You are a hard worker and will accept nothing less than perfection – but your goals are often out of reach. You consider ‘almost perfect’ as a failure.
  2. Are you highly critical, both of yourself and others? Do you hone in on mistakes in a negative way? You are judgmental and hard on yourself and others when failure (or perceived failure) occurs. You even downplay successes and find it hard to celebrate them.
  3. Are you scared of failing? You resist change and new learning curves, preferring to stick with the comfortable. You avoid things which might expose your so-called imperfections.
  4. Are you a procrastinator? Paradoxically, procrastination and perfectionism tend to go hand in hand. You worry so much about ‘getting it right’ that you get paralysed and fail to do anything at all. Or you fail to complete tasks in a timely manner because you are constantly editing/revising/amending and stressing the small stuff.
  5. Do you react badly to constructive criticism? You get defensive and upset because a less-than-perfect performance is ‘not in your book’.
  6. Do you regularly suffer from feelings of low self-worth? You view mistakes as proof of inadequacy rather than as learning opportunities. You jump to negative conclusions, and one little setback can send you into a tailspin.
  7. Is your mental health deteriorating? Unmet goals depress you and you struggle to bounce back from disappointment. Negative feelings can overwhelm you. Also look out for anxiety, obsessive/compulsive behaviours and eating disorders.

Tips on how to avoid perfectionist tendencies taking over your life

  1. Lower the stakes. Challenge yourself to establish more realistic expectations of yourself and others. Don’t set goals so high. Remaining realistic will help you confront your fears of failure.
  2. Practise self acceptance, and be kind to yourself. Accept that errors and ‘failure’ are part of life, and part of any task. Everybody makes mistakes! Look on them as a positive learning experience.
  3. Re-channel your strengths. Break up daunting/overwhelming tasks into smaller steps, and set a goal and deadline for each one. Prioritise the importance of each step and be prepared to be less ‘perfect’ about some things. This will maximise the impact of your effort.
  4. Keep a list of your accomplishments. Write down what you have achieved this week/month/year, be it a sparkling kitchen, a book, a project. See your worth come alive on paper!

Hi, I’m Emily Claire.

I’m an Online Business & Accountability Coach helping FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS ditch the overwhelm, scale through SYSTEMS, and TAKE ACTION with MORE STRATEGY and LESS STRESS. I’ll teach you how to break through perfectionism, stay motivated and strategically build daily disciplines, systems and habits into your life that will push you into action.

Using the “Do Less, Achieve More” method, I’ll turn you into a ROUTINE QUEEN in no time. If you’re a struggling procrastinator, or just fed up of giving up on your self/goals/promises/intentions then I invite you to check out my coaching packages. We’ll set the direction and kickstart the action, with me alongside coaching you.