4 Steps To Overcome Perfectionism


Let’s talk about perfectionism, what it is, why we indulge in it, and what to do to bypass it and get straight to action.

What is perfectionism? 

Perfectionism is fear. Perfectionists are scared people. Scared of making a mistake, being judged, failing in some way. 

Perfectionism is exhausting. Most of our judgement comes from ourselves, and often that self-judgement is the harshest before we even begin! Cutting our legs out from under us. 

Why do people tend to indulge in perfectionism? 

One reason is, like we already discovered, fear. Fear of failure etc. 

Another reason is that we are trained to have an authority figure driving our accomplishments (mother, teacher, boss, manager...). As a stay-at-home mom, we are accountable to ourselves, which is a skill to develop. 

How do we overcome perfectionism and take action?

Here are my 4 favorite steps:

  1. Be willing to put imperfect work into the world. Ask yourself: do I care more about being perfect? Or about helping people by getting my work out into the world? 

Example from my own experience: I am a songwriter and just released my first album. This was a huge accomplishment... but would you believe me if I told you, my album is not perfect? Even now, there are a few things I’d like to change. But it is OUT there. Helping people, one song at a time. Enriching lives. Enriching my own life’s experience. ...(hey perfectionist, aren’t you hungry to feel that too?) 

  1. Repeat after me: “It is not about me.” ...Really though. Perfectionism is you worrying about you - about how your work will reflect on you. In stead, take the approach of, “What can my contribution to the world, however imperfect, do for others?”
  2. Work faster. Dan Sullivan teaches: get the first 80% of your work done as fast as you can. The faster you work, the less effort it takes! Because it eliminates the option of being perfect at it. It requires a “steady and relaxed focus”— your zone of genius. 
  3. Schedule a chunk of time for your work, and get your job done. It does not have to be done - it is a DRAFT. Put down some B- work. If you want to, you can go back later and make it as great as your little perfectionist heart desires. But first, just lay it out there.

I hope these help. If your perfectionism is debilitating, paralyzing and anxiety-provoking, I would love to be your life coach and help you kick it once and for all—and finally get that action out into the world! Email me.

To being imperfect and getting stuff done, 


Liz Langston2 Comments