Breaking Free of Perfectionism: The Number One Thing That Holds Perfectionists Back From Reaching Their Goals and How to Overcome It

It is so fitting (and no coincidence) that I am writing my first blog about how perfectionism holds us back, since that is precisely why this is my first blog.  You see, I too am a perfectionist, and I understand how it can be both productive and stifling.  So, I am sharing this with you today to help you break free of your perfectionism and unleash all of your skills, knowledge, and ideas so that you can reach and even exceed your goals.

The number one thing that holds perfectionists back is fear.  

We fear that we will make a mistake, that we will be judged or criticized, that we will not have all of the answers, and on and on.  We use our perfectionism to disguise this fear and we do the worst thing we can do; we wait until we are confident that all of our concerns have been addressed.  Unfortunately for us perfectionists, there are many people (who often times have less knowledge) who do not share our fear.  While we are busy getting all of the answers, they are busy dong what we hoped to do.

So how do we overcome this fear?

Ask yourself these questions:

1)  Have I given this topic/idea a great deal of thought?  Although I am the first person to say that thinking is a good thing and that most people do not spend enough time in thought, as perfectionists, chances are that we have over-thought it.  So much so, that instead of it being productive, we are stymied by it.  If your answer to this question is “yes”, move on to the second question.  If your answer is “no”, then write down exactly what you need to do to answer “yes” and schedule when you will do it.

2) What is the worst thing that can happen if I move forward on this right now?  More times than not, we realize that the worst outcome is not so bad at all.  Once we acknowledge what is holding us back, we can take action to overcome it.  Most times the fear itself is harming us more than what we are trying to avoid in the first place.

Stop Thinking and Start Doing.  Today I challenge you to take one thing, big or small, that you have been wanting to do and do it. Trust in yourself  that you have given it enough thought and allow yourself to take the plunge. Then, congratulate yourself for achieving your goal and take note of all of the good things that come into your life when you let go of your fear and break free of your perfectionism.

Here’s to your freedom!  Please share your breakthroughs so that we can all celebrate and learn from each other’s courage.  I just did!

Best to all,



About Annette Cataldi

Annette is an experienced coach with a passion for aligning values and goals as a means to a more rewarding life. She believes in the importance of a strategic vision for individuals and corporations alike and specializes in their development and attainment. Whether she is working as a coach, consultant, speaker, or facilitator, Annette utilizes her experience as a Senior Manager, HR professional and as a certified coach to propel her clients forward.
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