5 Tips to Overcome Perfectionism

Overcoming Perfectionism ObstacleThere will be no perfect timing, the right amount of money, nor enough information to get started. If we had all that in hand, we’d already be doing the thing we wish we could start. It’s something we should all know by now.

Yet thousands of people are blocked from their desire by a thing we call “waiting for perfect.”

“I will, but I need more money, and time. I need a degree. I need support, or a partner, or a place.”

“I will, but” seems to have become the new, “I can’t.” At least it’s a little more PC to act like you’re doing it someday rather than never. But waiting for things to line up perfectly before you begin is as dangerous to your happiness as saying, “I can’t.” Maybe even more so!

The reasons (or excuses) we give for not going after our dreams and desires eat away at our self esteem. As we layer one deficit on top of another, we come to believe that we’ll never be the person we know we have the potential to become. We know, even as we speak the words, that we’re selling out. We let fear dictate its form, and we give it power when we speak it into existence.

What if the word start was all you had to go by. If you could allow for slow down, and take your time, and speed up, but not stop, or quit, or go back? Nothing really has to change in your circumstances to adopt the mindset that you’re already going after what you want in life, even if you’re moving at a snail’s pace.

Here are Five Tips to use to overcome perfectionism and stop holding back

  1. Create your own Starting Line. Either make-believe or real, create a ceremony in which you cross the starting line toward the life you really want. Close your eyes. Envision the future. Vow to trust in the truth of who you are and why you’re here, then step across. Nothing will be any different once you cross the line other than your mindset and your commitment to take tiny steps forward toward whatever you want to be. Adopt a no-going-back attitude. Open your eyes so you can see the signs along the way. 
  2. Keep a Success Journal of your actions and all your small wins. Progress can be invisible, so it’s important to create a chronicle of where you’ve been. It helps remind you how far you’ve come and brings validity to your path. I hear it now; everyone informs me, “I hate to write.” But journaling can take any form. Writing is one, but there’s also photo journaling (use Pinterest or Instagram.) Or you can sketch journal, collage, whatever creative medium you prefer to represent the creation of your life. See the metaphor?
  3. Limit your access to discouraging outside input. I wouldn’t advocate sticking your head in the sand, but curate what you listen to. If you hear others (media, friends, family) talking about “how hard” things are or the futility of trying, vow to tune out, walk away, excuse yourself, and remind yourself that’s not your experience. Put your own opinions first. Value and trust yourself enough not to be yanked around by other people’s lowered expectations. Don’t try to change their minds, you’ve already made up yours, and that’s enough.
  4. Ingest Positive Motivation instead. Read books, watch videos online, sign up for motivating emails, or listen to podcasts that encourage you and affirm you on your path. Ingest some form of positive support every day, something that will help you take one small step every day. All of the above develop your new ways of being, preparing you for who you need to become to live your fullest potential. Check out our Cha-Cha Challenge for a fun and supportive way to overcome fears and meet your life goals.
  5. Find a buddy. Sometimes we need to have one person on our side – someone like a personal trainer, coach, consultant or advocate to help you keep it real. It’s easy for our fears about what we don’t know or don’t have yet to become larger than life. Working with another person can help keep those concerns in perspective. An outsider with experience has seen hundreds of people just like you make it. They can see your potential better than you and can keep you focused on possibility rather than perfect.

Want to learn more about how to get over trying to be perfect so you can get going with your life and your dreams?

Take advantage of a FREE half-hour Coaching Call where we can identify whatever is holding you back.

Thanks everyone for reading!!


  1. Lindsey

    This left an imprint, “I will, but” seems to have become the new, “I can’t.”
    I also had an observation with “negative input from others” when I witnessed a family member discourage my daughter from her passion. I advocated for her to believe in her success and happiness and not heed the negative fear-based message the other had unsolicitedly given.
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. soul

    hey Lindsey, Thanks. I think our society couches negativity in “cautionary concern”
    I am always careful who I share with because I know they want to act concerned and I often don’t want to hear their warnings. Good for you for advocating for your daughter!!

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