Kick the Perfectionism Habit!

It’s A Trap!

Perfectionism is a trap. It traps us into putting off the things we say we most desire. Like success – however we define that for ourselves. It keeps us on a treadmill going over and over the same things again and again; each time attempting to make the “thing” a little better than the last time!

When I think of ‘perfectionism’ I envision a business woman polishing a piece of silver coffee service. Over and again, she applies the polish; rubs with clean cloths until she thinks she can see her reflection. And each time it doesn’t appear perfectly, she starts the process again.

What If It Is Fear?

Well what if it is! What then. How do I overcome something that may have taken root decades ago? What magic formula can I apply that will almost instantly remove fear and replace it with confident assurance?

First of all, business success is not about confident assurance. Most of us never begin a new thing with absolute certainty it will work out as we desire. If we must have that before we begin; then best not to begin at all. Nothing comes with that kind of guarantee.

I digress with a piece of wisdom. . . 

if you’re contemplating an entrepreneurial pursuit; take one of the inventories that will reveal if you are suited for an entrepreneurial lifestyle. You think you have fear and trepidation now? Just leap into being an entrepreneur and see how much sweat accumulates on the brow; and how well you sleep at night!

I’ve coached women who thought they could ease into entrepreneurism by buying into a direct sales company (multi-level marketing business); only to learn that once they have bought into. . . they ARE an entrepreneur!
And without a strong, well-seasoned and patient upline; they are bound to fail unless they are fit for such a venture!

Now back to the subject of “what if our perfectionism is really about being afraid“? Life has no guarantees, and that includes business – startup or mature venture. Here’s some thoughts on the subject with a few tips for handling fear – real or imagined. . .

  • Name it call it what it is. Say out loud, “I fear_ _ _ _  “, naming whatever it is that you are afraid of. Failure, embarrassment, financial ruin, too much work – whatever it is.
  • Place it when did it start and where did it come from? Who might have been responsible. What if a parent who said things like “you’ll never amount to anything” or “you can’t do that”? Or a teacher who made fun of your creative ideas; so much so that you stopped thinking creatively? This can be a great healing experience for Christian business women because turning to the Lord in prayer, confessing the fear and then asking Him to “place it” can be the beginning of something gloriously enlightening. Of course, once enlightened, you ask for forgiveness. Of self and the other or others!
  • Seek out – seek out an accountability partner or partners! Search for a person who is tender of heart; but tough of mind enough to hold you accountable for excuses made for procrastinating.

***Procrastination is most often the modus operandi of folks who delay starting a business or opening one under-construction! And perfectionism is the most likely cover for the procrastination which hides the fear we refuse to admit is the real reason we don’t do what we say we want to do!

  • Therefore, if we are passionate enough to really want to push through any stonewalling we encounter; we will hunt and find the hardest-nosed accountability partner this side of Heaven! And we will take the hard-nosed words-spoken-in-love to heart even though they sting like hell!

There’s so much more to this topic than can be dealt with in just one or even two posts. The genesis of fear is so multi-faceted. It can come from real experiences. Or those we dream up for who-knows-what-reason! And if perfectionism comes from a parent who was never satisfied with anything we did because they too were caught in the perfectionism trap. . . well being set free will only come after we lay it down where it belongs. At the feet of the Lord! And then we must often work through it again and again.

The Good News!

But there is good news. With the help of a mentor, coach and/or tough-minded (hard-nosed) accountability partner or partners; we can determine to put down the rag with which we have been polishing and decide the shine will improve once we’ve launched and moved from step ‘A’ to “B”. That my friends is an act of the will.

One may not think an ACT OF THE WILL is good news because it takes effort to go through that which has us trapped. But once we’ve named it, placed it and found the best of the toughest to partner with us; much of the heavy lifting is done.


Practice patience! With self and with those who gather to help you overcome obstacles – mostly of our own making. We don’t get into traps like perfectionism over night and we’ll not climb out of them at the same rate of change. Focus on each step you take and as you do; the next one – and the next one, and the next will get easier. And easier!



Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building an Online Community of Like-Minded Business Women
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]I’m Visionary Partner for Affiliated Women International (AWI) and have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and spiritually. The AWI mission is to connect women in business, especially Christian women, worldwide via our private ‘The Neighborhood’ network community. We inspire, educate, motivate and inform our members for success and encourage them to help each other succeed in life and business![/author_info] [/author]




Linda S. Fitzgerald

I have a fiery passion to see women become all they are designed to be - personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness.

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