Get Yourself Out of Your Own Way – The Perfectionist Syndrome

You have SO many things on your to do list.

“Just start something”, you tell yourself.

Yet you just sit there and stare at your list. You think to yourself; “Everything needs to be done! Right now and just right!”

This is one of the symptoms of perfectionism.  This post will include tips on how to deal with this traint in your business.

If you are a perfectionist, you are highly aware of weaknesses and imperfections in yourself and others. You likely work to be at the top of what ever you do. Mistakes make you cringe.

While it’s perfectly healthy for people to strive to achieve high standards, perfectionists are pushed by worries of disapproval and lack of confidence. A perfectionist is highly concerned about rejection and ridicule.

This can very much result in becoming frozen and relentlesly rigid in processes. They often become so inflexible that they cannot begin a project for fear of failure or making a mistake. An initial fear of not being good enough and that being reflected in their effort effects them negatively.

Due to these symptoms, they often become and are labeled as procrastinators.

In order to get out of your own way, you may need to do some prioritising.

Begin making lists of everything you feel you need to get done. This can seem like a daunting task. The list itself may seem too big to even begin to tackle.

The best way to do this is by just making one large list of Everything! Then get a few pieces of paper and make topic or category lists.

The following is an example of some lists you can create from your main list of ‘everything’ to get you started on that path of letting go and getting it done.

Category Lists & Items :

  • House Cleaning
    • Kitchen
      • dishes
      • mopping
      • sanitize counters
    • Living Room
      • straighten sofa
      • vacuum
      • dust
  • Home & Business Budget
  • Business
    • Website Creation
      • upload WishList Member plugin
      • write content
      • make list of topics
      • days to post
    • Marketing Plan
      • social media
      • networking
      • advertisement exchange
  • Newsletter Creation

Make sure to write out ‘everything’ on your initial list first. This will simplify things enough to be able to tackle the Category List.

Now take each step individually, one at a time.

Do a little here and there and before you know it, you are off and running with it. You are no longer toddling along – you are now the marathon runner!

Remember, nothing is ever perfect. Nothing will be ‘good’ enough. We all have to start somewhere in order to improve on anything.

Mistakes happen to even the most brilliant. If you do not start – you cannot make it better! 🙂


  1. @Bobbi…Me thinks we all fall victim to this in one way or another. I am mush better than I useta was. I am getting much gooderer.;)

  2. Michael Johnson says:

    Good advise Bobbi. But ofttimes difficult to apply. Still practicing this one.

  3. Ahh, this is a topic close to home 😉
    My biggest piece of advice for my clients?

    “Fail fast”

  4. Stu McLaren says:

    I’m definitely guilty of this one.

    For me, mindmapping actually helped me get over the hump.

    Too often when our brains are full of info, we stall because we don’t know what to do first.

    As Bobbi said, just getting it out of your head makes it so much easier to then get started.

    Well done Bobbi 🙂

  5. Ken Geers says:

    Bobbi – Great advice
    I will act on this tomorrow.

  6. Hey Bobbi,
    Great advice! Sometimes that list of everything can be sooo overwhelming.

    One of my good friends suggested writing each task on a Post It Note (gosh I hope that’s what they’re called in the US!) and sticking the note to your noticeboard or wall.

    When embarking on the days activites, pull a Post It Note off the wall, do the activity and when completed, crumple the note up and throw it in the bin.

    I think this is great because of the physical feedback received when finishing the task – throwing it in the bin!

    This seems to work for the younger people in my house – who look at lists and glaze over immediately.

    I’m a list person though — so the list always works for me.

    • Jeff Pfau says:

      That’s a great idea, Charly. I do the Post-It thing (yes, that’s what we call them now…we used to call them “small pieces of scrap paper with semi-permanent glue on the upper portion of the posterior side”…but that was too long to use in a song).

      I’ve learned one thing about using Post-Its, and it’s this: break your task down into subtasks that are small enough to do in 1 to 4 hours, otherwise, you might not finish and the Post-It goes right back up on the wall again.

      Also, I used to reserve a second area of the wall for FINISHED tasks. Putting the finished task there (until the end of the week) shows you the progress you’ve made during the week. It’s kind of an adult version of the little gold stars your kindergarten teacher gives you for an excellent job.

      @Ken G.
      Subtle, but I got what you meant, heh heh. 🙂


  7. I tried the post it notes, but my screen filled up and I had to take the day off :).

    Just jokin…

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