Being a Perfectionist is NOT a Badge of Honour


I used to think being labelled as a perfectionist meant you were somehow better than the rest, meticulous and extremely detail-oriented,  always striving to produce perfect work and optimal results in all things.  It was like a medal of honour given to those who only handed in assignments, submitted completed projects, went after their goals when everything was ideal, perfect in all aspects, above reproach, or criticism.  Perfectionists were no strangers to massive success, accolades, credentials and positive outcomes.

Today, I know that being a perfectionist is actually holding people back from achieving their goals and feeling a sense of accomplishment because, for them, nothing is ever good enough, nothing is ever worthy enough, nothing is ever deserving of praise.  They are constantly striving for an unrealistic, unattainable standard and therefore, will never be content.

“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous.  It’s about fear.  Fear of making a mistake.  Fear of disappointing others.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.” ~Michael Law

In my preparation of this topic, I came across a definition of perfectionism that I feel is spot on.

Perfectionism is a set of mental and behavioural habits that insist upon unrealistically high standards for personal conduct and achievement.  Should a person not meet these standards, they may harshly self-critique.  This leads to low self-esteem, procrastination, burnout, and emotional disorders.

Perfectionists have an ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality.  For them, something is either perfect or a failure.

Let’s do a little test to see if you have any perfectionistic traits.


Ø  Are never done. Due to the impossibly high standards, a project is never complete because it doesn’t meet the criteria for “perfect”.
Ø  Are stressed and discontent.  They are constantly worrying about having/doing everything to such a level of perfection and this mindset robs perfectionists of feeling satisfied and fulfilled with their work.
Ø  Have stifled creativity. If you are afraid of failing or being less than perfect, your imagination, creativity as well as innovation necessary for positive change and success are greatly hindered.
Ø  Never take risks. Perfectionists have a deep fear of failure and therefore adopt a mindset of “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I won’t even try.”
Ø  Try to make everybody happy.  Always the people pleaser, always wanting people to think highly of them, the perfectionist views herself as “good” if others like her.
Ø  Are highly critical of others, not just of themselves. 
Ø  Don’t/can’t delegate tasks.  They feel that in order to meet their high expectations, they have to do everything themselves because their way is the only right way of doing a task.
Ø  Personalize everything. They believe in themselves when things are going well and people like them, but any negative feedback is taken personally and is an indication of failure.
Ø  Never take time to rest or play.  They have the attitude, “I will rest or play when the job is done.”  But for perfectionists, the job IS never done, IS never perfect enough, and this often results in burnout.

Perfectionism can be coined: the unproductive mindset.  Why?  Because perfectionists get a job 90% done but due to their obsession with perfection, don’t manage to complete it.  Or, they never begin a task for fear of not being able to meet their high expectations.

Perfectionism is born out of a mindset that requires working hard at all costs.  There is an illusion surrounding perfectionism, “If I don’t work hard enough and demand perfection of myself and my work, then I or my work will be mediocre, at best.”

So, let me refer back to my statement at the very beginning of this episode:  Being a perfectionist is not a badge of honour.

In fact, “Perfectionism is the lowest standard for humans because it doesn’t exist.” ~ Tony Robbins

It is a disguised label for “I am not good enough” and a deep-rooted fear of judgement that is holding us back.

I’d like to challenge you to shift your mindset from perfectionistic behaviour to a ‘go-for-it’ mentality.

For the purpose of this podcast, I would like to touch on 5 ways perfectionism affects our mindset followed by some ways to overcome perfectionism when it’s holding you back with some simple, effective exercises and a bit more awareness.

1.)    Perfectionists set unrealistic expectations.  Harbouring the belief that “you can be perfect at any task” leads to disappointment as well as frustration with the results you get.  Perfectionists believe they can always do better.  This means that the goal or end of the task keeps shifting no matter how they improve.
2.)    Perfectionists have a fear of failure.  Many perfectionists never even start with a new task or hobby for fear of not succeeding at it.  Their anxiety levels are far too high due to not being able to do the task well enough or up to their impossibly high standards.
3.)    Perfectionism causes procrastination.  The pressure a perfectionist puts on him/herself can make that person postpone tasks continually. For such people, the standard is always ‘perfection’ which makes is very challenging to begin or ultimately complete projects.
4.)    Perfectionist often experience burnout.  Being under constant pressure is exhausting. Perfectionists spend a lot of time worrying about the task rather than working on it.
5.)    Perfectionists suffer from low self-esteem. Having high levels of perfectionism may have a significant impact on your self-esteem because you are not appreciating your accomplishments, big or small, up to standard or not.  In these cases, it is very difficult to feel good about yourself.  Over time, this compounds and results in feeling of poor self-worth.

For example, let’s say you worked really hard on a project.  You submitted it and received great feedback, but YOU believe you don’t deserve credit for a job well done because you didn’t perform exactly the way you had envisioned.  Your ‘almost perfect’ project just doesn’t feel fulfilling enough or up to your standards. You aren’t satisfied with yourself and therefore, cannot bask in the glory of doing an awesome job.

Losing confidence in yourself and your abilities is the most detrimental effect of being a perfectionist, in my opinion.  I have seen it over and over again in my work as a mindset and life coach.  Being caught up in the vacuum of perfectionism can be stifling when you strive for something so hard and set the bar so high that you end up sacrificing yourself and your worth in the process.

Once you lose sight of yourself, you begin to feel unsettled and insecure.  In addition, your identity becomes tied to how well you perform tasks, big or small.

The truth is… no one really is perfect.  Everyone one of us has flaws.

Whether you classify yourself as a perfectionist or you are a recovering perfectionist, I would like to walk you through some simple exercises I do with my clients when perfectionism is standing between them and their success.

Step 1:  Becoming aware of your perfectionistic behaviours

If you feel yourself NOT wanting to move forward with something, e.g. your proposal for work is not good enough, your social media post/reel is not good enough, etc.

PAUSE and pay attention to your thought patterns.  WRITE them down in a journal.  RECOGNIZE which thoughts are holding you back, so that you can change the self talk next time it happens.

If I were to take my podcast as an example…
§  A perfectionist would keep pushing back the official launch date, never feeling ready or good enough. 
§  A perfectionist would criticize oneself and knit pick at all the small details, never being fully satisfied with any aspect.
§  A perfectionist would procrastinate about topics to talk about, never settling on one to start with at least.
§  A perfectionist would question the quality of the recordings and the sound of one’s voice, never accepting that things will not be perfect from day one.
§  A perfectionist will keep his/her creativity and message from the world because he/she cannot focus on making progress over having everything perfect from the get go.
§  A perfectionist will plan, dream, work on, hope for starting his/her podcast, but in the end, will not be able to put oneself out there to the world because there will be too many aspects that simple aren’t perfect.

I think you get the picture.
Allowing perfectionism to keep you from following your dreams and chasing after your goals is keeping you small, safe and protected in many ways. 

Step 2:  Start focusing on the positives.

If you find yourself wanting everything to be ‘perfect’, you will likely fixate on the negative parts of your work, your appearance or yourself in some way.  It is extremely important to make a conscious effort to recognize the good.

CHALLENGE yourself to identify 3 things you can appreciate for anything that pops up you are not satisfied with.

My example:  I really dislike my recorded voice.  My podcast script needs this to be perfect.
– I am pleased with my consistency in producing my podcasts.
– I figured the technical side out on my own.
– I love the process of writing and preparing for my daily podcasts.
– I never run out of ideas and concepts for podcast episodes.

Step 3:  Allow yourself to make mistakes

CREATE two cue cards with the following quotes:

* Mistakes are opportunities for me to learn, grow and do better.
* The world will NOT come to an end if I make a mistake.  Life goes on!

CHALLENGE yourself to take on a new hobby or sport that you will likely not be good at at the beginning. Rather than trying to be perfect at this skill, ENJOY the activity itself and be happy with your efforts in slowly learning to improve at it.

Step 4:  Ditch the unrealistic goal setting habit

Perfectionists oftentimes set goals that are completely unrealistic and unattainable to reach, only due to their impossible standards.

SET GOALS that are super simple, specific as opposed to vague, achievable, measurable, and can be completed within the time frame you set for yourself.

By achieving smaller goals, you will gain confidence and feel much less stressed in your abilities to reach them.

Step 5:  Lower the pressure you place on yourself

The person who pressures you the most is yourself!  Be kinder to yourself and give yourself some grace.

The minute you find yourself imposing unrealistic standards, flip the script in your head and remind yourself:  If you’re doing your best, you’re doing just fine.

This step reminds me of children or teenagers before writing a test/exam and after receiving the results back.

->During the preparation, all you can do is review, practice and prepare as best you can.  Whatever the situation is, as long as you are trying your hardest and doing everything in your power to get your mind and skills ready for the upcoming test, you are going to be fine.

->In the situation where you get back the test results and they aren’t as high as you had expected or wanted, you need to tell yourself that the world is not going to come to an end.  Putting in your best effort was the key.  Obviously, there is room for improvement, so find out ways of getting better.  Use this opportunity to grow and learn rather than getting down on yourself for receiving a less-than-stellar mark.

There is no such thing as ‘perfect’ but we can be proud of doing our best.
Step 6: Focus on Enjoyment over Perfection

SHIFT your focus to finding meaning and above all else, enjoyment in what you are doing instead of striving to be perfect.

Again, CREATE a cue card with the words:  As I work on this task (or hobby), I will enjoy the process.  I will relish the small increments of progress I make.  I will start loving the skills I am learning.  I will focus on the present task and do my very best.

If something brings you joy and purpose, it will no longer matter whether it is done with perfection or not.
There is much more fulfillment to be had in finding enjoyment along the way.

Step 7:  Stop the procrastination.

Perfectionists are notorious for procrastinating and finding every excuse in the book to slack off.  We all know the hardest part of any task, big or small, is actually starting.

I think back to my days at school and the pending essay I needed to complete for English class.  3000 words were waiting to be written, formatted, reviewed and checked thoroughly for spelling and grammatic errors, and then submitted for grading.

Here’s my tip for you if procrastination is a real thing in your life:

Just start by creating a rough outline of what needs to be done. Next, take one small action step.  Then, take another.  Before long, the momentum will grow organically and like a snowball rolling down a hill, more and more pieces will fall into place.  Before you know it, the task will be done.
So, there you have it.
… the first seven steps anyone can start doing to combat perfectionistic behaviour and those feelings of not being able to reach the high standards you put yourself under to much pressure to achieve.
Allow me to briefly recap:
As with anything of this nature, it takes a certain amount of conscious effort to realize perfectionism is what is getting in your way AND to take action to see change happen.

I’d really like to challenge you to shift your mindset from perfectionistic behaviour to a ‘go-for-it’ mentality.  Let’s flip the script…

“Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for ‘better than yesterday’.”

Personal growth is about progress, not perfection. ~Hal Elrod

Don’t let perfectionism paralyze you and hold you back from things you want to accomplish.  Strive for continuous improvement and be sure to show yourself some love along the way.  The efforts you are making are votes of confidence in yourself.
Just in case you haven’t heard this yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

I believe in you and I know you have the ability to do great things with your one precious life.  Now, go out and show the world what you are truly made of.

That’s all for today’s dose of motivation.  I hope to have inspired you to grow.

With love,

Lisa xoxo


Restoring Your Self-Confidence


What does consistency mean to you?
How committed are you to achieving your goals? 
Does anything get in the way of reaching your goals?

I realize that’s a loaded way to start this episode.  Are we talking about consistency in relationships, at work or in your business, with your fitness or nutrition goals?  Of course, there are other areas of our lives in which we could be “consistent” too, like cleaning and de-cluttering, reading, furthering our education, and the list goes on.

Take a moment and ponder how much of a “see-it-through-to-the-bitter-end” kind of person you are.
How many goals have you started but not completed? – I know, this is a tough love Q.

How many times have you made a promise to yourself but gave up when the going got tough? – Be perfectly honest with yourself, now.

Would you categorize yourself as someone who gives up easily? — Not necessarily because the goal was too difficult to reach but perhaps your WHY wasn’t compelling enough to keep the momentum going.  Or, maybe you didn’t enjoy the journey toward the end goal that made you throw in the towel.

Why is it so darned difficult for people to stay consistent in what they want to achieve?  I wish there was an easy answer to this question.

You see, I have struggled with consistency through my own life.  And, only after some very long and deep discovery I have found out what truly held me back from getting over the finish line.

So many times, fear of failure has led me to quit, give up on my dreams, create so much overwhelm that I couldn’t go on, allowed me to believe I couldn’t carry through, helped me to come up with brilliant excuses why I shouldn’t move forward, and ultimately, overruled my will to keep going.

Although this makes me sound like a quitter, I must admit, there have been numerous successful attempts at completing my audacious goals. 

Just recently, I had to set some new health goals based on advice from my doctors.  Lose weight, move your body, eat anti-inflammatory foods and avoid the ‘bad stuff’, which came as no surprise at all.  These are things I have been trying to implement for years now.  However, this message hit home on a much different level due to my current health situation and increasing lack of mobility.

So, I had to prepare myself for a ‘no failure option’ and my commitment and dedication toward achieving these daily goals had to be extremely solid, rock solid in fact.

And, after starting approx. 10 months ago, I am happy to write that I have been able to move the needle on my success pendulum. 
Here are some takeaways that I hope will be helpful to you in setting your goals and loving the journey to success:

·         Start by setting the tiniest of goals each day.  Because I was desperately afraid of failing to see my plan through, I had to set the smallest goals for myself.  That meant being satisfied with only 15 minutes of walking as opposed to my larger goals of 5 kilometers.  Once my body and mind were comfortable with these new habits, I was then able to extend the duration.  In doing so, I created positive momentum within myself.  All the while, I had to remind myself that even tiny steps in the right direction will help me create the continuity and habit-forming behaviour that I needed to instill in my mind.

·         Set yourself up for success the night before If you don’t plan and schedule the night before, things won’t go as intended the following day.  I have been in this situation lots of times.  Lofty intentions and plans the night before, but I didn’t take the time to write down the tasks, put out the workout clothes, prepare the food I needed to stay on track with my eating plan.  There is so much truth in the saying, “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”  You really need to take a few minutes – the night before – to organize your thoughts, jot down on paper what you want to achieve the next day, put out any equipment or clothing you will require, prep your meals.  Just taking these actions will put you in a much better mindset to step into and crush the next day. 
·         Use a quote or a self-written promise to keep you motivated. A trick that really helped me this time was to write down a quote that I found particularly inspiring.  After a few days of doing this, I began creating my own mantras or sentences to motivate myself.  These cue cards were placed front and center on my desk next to my computer and I constantly glanced at them during the day.  I also listed three actions that I really wanted to take on that day including check boxes beside each to check off once completed.  You can’t forget or ignore your daily goals if they are staring at you each day.  I had never done anything like this before and I swear this really helped me gain the momentum I needed this time.
·         Celebrate each day’s win(s).  Once the day is drawing to an end, revisit what you have accomplished and be sure to celebrate it.  Go to a mirror, smile at yourself, tap yourself on the back and simply say, “I love you for sticking to your goals today.  You are amazing!”  Of course, you might have another self-love statement that you typically use.  It’s important to be proud and pleased of your small steps towards your goals.  I have learned that loving the journey to the finish line is far more important than concentrating on the end goal.  Take it from someone who has been a constant quitter!
·         Repeat your daily incremental goals to yourself constantly throughout the day.  Our days can become hectic very quickly.  We can get distracted by many different things:  work, family, world events, friends, social media, you name it – our ego thrives on distraction, but hates focus.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Where focus goes, energy flows”?  Well, if you repeatedly focus on your daily goals and revisit them (written on a cue card), your energy will be more easily directed toward achieving them.  Don’t allow yourself to let daily life distract you from your planned course of action.
·         Establish a winning morning routine.  Many successful people claim to be early risers and get a jump start on their days with various forms of a ‘winning morning routine’.  Some like movement, mediation, reading, journaling, etc. to get off to a great start.  I do believe that establishing a winning morning routine holds some magic and offers immense benefits especially if you can crush one of your tiny daily goals and set yourself up for an amazing, positive start to your day.  Although it isn’t the easiest of new habits to implement, the saying, “win the morning, win your day” holds a lot of merit.
·         Remove yourself when the going gets tough.  You will encounter moments during the day when temptation to deviate from the plan seems easier or more pleasurable then actually staying the course.  You will have to remove yourself until your mind can get back on track again.  It might require you to re-read your daily goals, go for a walk, read a book, etc.  When my husband is making a delicious snack in the evening which is not aligned with my daily nutrition goals, I must get as far away as possible from the kitchen in order to maintain my willpower.  It this case my mind would provide me with tons of reasons why I should fall back on my old habits, which would be to join him in creating a yummy snack. Our mind has these neuropathways which are established over time, and we tend to take the path of least resistance, the default pathway the one that is well-known to us rather than create a brand-new pathway with our new habits. 
·         Track your small daily wins as progress. Keeping track of your daily progress needn’t be fussy or fancy, yet it is essential.  It is proof that you ARE moving forward, that you ARE staying true to yourself, that you ARE keeping your daily promises to yourself.  Even a Post-It note placed somewhere strategic can be enough to show you that you have indeed accomplished your daily quota on commitment to yourself.
·         Give yourself some grace. Not every day is going to go as planned.  That’s life and we can’t knock yourselves down for that.  It is important to know that our minds and bodies require a little bit of forgiveness now and again.  If you start to listen closely to what your body is telling you and how you feel, that will help you determine when you need to just “be you” without a grand plan to follow.  I really think it is crucial to give yourself a day off from a routine and simple do things that light you up.  Plan to get back on track the next day though.  Letting yourself deviate from your plan to achieve your goals for too many days will only make it much more difficult to resume your daily schedule of crushing your goals. 
·         Recommit to the promises you make to yourself each morning.  If you follow my advice (which I hope you do by the way because it has taken many years of experience to develop 😊), you will get set up for the next day’s success the night before.  This means jumping out of bed the following day with a plan in place to tackle the day.  As mentioned above, there are many situations presented to us every single day that can easily derail and distract us from following our plan.  Therefore, recommitting and revisiting the daily plan multiple times during your day is absolutely essential. 
Stay the course, remain committed to your daily greatness, track & celebrate your progress, have a plan in place for those tough moments, prep the night before, be proud of yourself and express it with some self-love talk, but most of all – be true to you and keep the daily promises to yourself.  Because at the end of the day, the only person you are accountable to is…yourself!

I believe in you wholeheartedly. Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of!

With love,


A Vote of Confidence

You may be chipping away at your confidence without even knowing it! 

This revelation came to me today whilst doing my workout and listening to an interview with the well-known speaker.

We are all born with a body full of Vitamin C – known as confidence.  You may not remember this but as a baby you tried to do all sorts of things like crawling to get to the toy that caught your eye across the floor, or you attempted your first steps to follow your pet dog out of the room or to step into the outstretched arms of a loved one.  Did we fall down? YES. Did we try again? YES. Did we fail numerous times without really feeling defeated?  YES.  None of this broke down our confidence in wanting to achieve those simple things in life. 

We go through life experiencing so many ups and downs, successes and defeats, wins and losses, forward propulsion as well as emergency break situations.  All of which shape our minds into believing what we are capable of doing.  As a child, the sky is the limit, and we know no limitations.  However, as adults we are very aware, oftentimes too conscious, of what could go wrong and what might happen that we do not move forward in life full of conviction and confidence toward our dreams.

The point I am trying to make here is that confidence is deep within all of us.  As a child and through your teenage years, your confidence level was influenced by your peers, loved ones, environment and to a large extent school as well as teachers.  These factors either built you up or knocked you down diminishing your confidence each time. 

You may have carried these limiting beliefs into adulthood stemming from those experiences – both in a positive and negative sense.  We have all met people who exude confidence and are willing to go after anything they want.  But there are also people out there who avoid trying something new for fear of failure or not being good enough.  Fear and limiting beliefs will hold you in place and govern your mind if you allow them to. 

In order to create more confidence or ‘restore’ some Vitamin C back in your daily life, I want you to imagine the following:

Picture yourself as a larger-than-life, breathtaking statue made of exquisite marble standing on a pedestal.  Your pose is one of self-assurance, confidence and courage beautifully presented in your most elegant robe. An impressive sight.

Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good.

Diane von Furstenberg

You are that woman.  Now and forever.

But what I realized today…

Every time we “cheat” on ourselves, we chip away at this amazing sculpture.  Every time we give in to the belief that we are not worthy, we chip away some more.  Every time we believe the voice in our heads telling us we can’t do it, another small piece of marble falls to the ground.

You, I, we all have dreams and goals we would love to achieve.  And, we all know that in order to move closer to the end goal, there are action steps involved.  These steps make or break our progress, motivation and ultimately our success.  But, how are these steps related to confidence?

I strongly believe that confidence is closely linked to trust in ourselves.  We instill and restore the trust factor by following through on our action steps.  Every little step taken towards our goal demonstrates to us that we are staying true to ourselves.  It’s like a vote of confidence. 

In other words, if you follow the plan and do the tasks required to move the needle forward in attaining your goal, you’re voting for yourself, your self-esteem and confidence. YOU WIN!

However, if you fall short of the intended actions that are necessary to make progress, for what reasons, you are voting for your comfort zone, possibly your limiting beliefs, your fear and ego trying to keep you in the “safe zone” of your mind.  In this case, you not only lose but you take a hammer and chip away a chunk of marble representing your confidence. 

Your confidence in yourself gets crushed bit by bit if you fail to follow through on the actions you set for yourself.  Your trust in yourself crumbles away each and every time you quit on your goals, give up or fall short of the planned action, cheat on yourself, don’t follow through.

It’s not hurting anyone else when I don’t do the full workout I had planned on executing.

It’s not affecting anyone else when I indulge in the dessert, I had planned on skipping after dinner.

It’s not hurting anyone else when I watch TV instead of working on my business according to my plan.

It’s not affecting anyone else if I sit on the couch scrolling social media instead of getting outside in nature for a walk, which was one of my daily goals.

Your lack of follow through on your daily habits/actions only affects YOU, your confidence, your trust in yourself, maybe your health, but definitely your thoughts and beliefs about yourself.

This is the reason I close off the majority of my posts with…

Spark your inner hero and make yourself proud. 

Confidence always lies within you but you need to find it inside you. Confidence is a self-made thing and you will find it with daily achievements. 

You have to impress yourself, not others. 

You have to look in the mirror and feel proud about what you’ve achieved.

You have to stay true to yourself – each and every day of your life.

So, take ownership of your daily actions, build your confidence by following through on your plan, be proud of every small step forward and feel great about yourself.

I am your biggest cheerleader and advocate.  You’ve got this!

Til next time,

Lisa xo