The Problem with Perfectionism

Are you always setting high expectations for yourself?  Although I acknowledge we all deserve to have what we want and feel good,  setting expectations for yourself which may be too high , can do your confidence more harm than good.  You see the problem with perfectionism is when you beat yourself up for not being good enough to meet your own  expectations.

It is always important to strive to do your best and encourage yourself to do new things.  However, if you are one of those  perfectionists who give themselves a hard time for not being ‘ perfect enough’ then you are setting yourself up for even more stress and anxiety.

If you have a problem with perfectionism, you may find yourself displaying the following behaviours:

  1. Setting yourself high expectations to meet and beating yourself up when you believe you have not met these expectations
  2. Dedicating a large amount of time and effort to make sure things are ‘ just right’.
  3. Consistently pushing yourself upstream to always do better or achieve more
  4. Worrying about your shortcomings, believing you are not good enough
  5. When you don’t receive the ideal state of perfectionism, experiencing negative emotions such as guilt, frustration, sadness or disappointment.

Perfectionism can literally stop you from enjoying simply achievements and prevent you from gracefully stepping into greatness.

Perfectionists take minor mistakes and make them into personal failures.  They take to heart any sort of perceived shortcomings in their life and may be never satisfied that they have done their best.

In order for a perfectionist to feel successful, they often need to at least meet or exceed their own high expectations.

However, in reality, we are human beings and we will all make mistakes, it is all part of life unfolding.  Therefore, it is often ridiculous to expect yourself to get things right first time.

Tips for reducing perfectionism.

  • After doing anything new, praise yourself for giving it a try and focus on what you did well, rather than the things you believe you did wrong
  • Ask yourself – do you expect everyone else to always get it right first time or be perfect or is it just yourself?
  • Laugh at the high expectations you set yourself
  • Give yourself a break!

On a final note,  it really doesn’t matter what happens in your life,  it is really about how you treat yourself.  Real self love is accepting and caring for yourself, whether you meet yours ( or anyone elses!) expectations.   Learn to be your own best friend by accepting that you always do your best, regardless of the outcome.  All is well.

Sydney Life Coach and Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips is the author of ‘ The Confidence Coach’.    Lisa has over 18 years experience and works with clients all over the world.   Lisa appears regularly in the media and is a popular public speaker and workshop leader.  For more information, please see

Sydney Life and Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips appears regulary in the Australian Media

Sydney Life and Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips appears regulary in the Australian Media