You might need to calm down…


You’re a person who sets high standards for herself and likes things done in a particular way. Being organised and orderly helps you feel in control of your busy life when there are a lot of plates in the air. You’re a planner and a list-maker and believe there’s a right way to do things.  The truth is, you’re not that comfortable with uncertainty - you prefer order and predictability. When you go on holidays, you probably plan your itinerary to the minute because ‘winging it’ is not something you’re entirely comfortable with (or maybe you choose relaxing, unscheduled holidays because it’s the only time you allow yourself to truly relax).


You probably display...


Meticulous attention to detail and only feel satisfied when you produce your best work, even if that means taking a bit (or a lot) more time. You pride yourself on doing a top quality job and like to feel that you are doing your best in every area of your life - at work, at home, and as a parent.

(By the way, you might not consider yourself to be a perfectionist because you look around your life and don’t see perfection, but it’s important to note that perfectionism is the standard you set for yourself in your mind, even if you don’t always achieve it in reality.)

Sometimes your high standards are impossible to uphold - not just for you but the people around you. When you fail to meet them, you can feel like you’re letting yourself and others down. Striving for excellence is a positive quality but when you measure your self-worth by your ability to do things perfectly, you create unnecessary stress and anxiety.  Because you like things done in a particular way, you might have difficulty delegating because you can’t be sure anyone else will do the job to your standard. And the people around you are reluctant to help because nothing they do is ever quite good enough.

Some other downsides...

To this kind of perfectionism are that you might be prone to the ‘all or nothing’ thinking which tells you if you don’t do something perfectly, you might as well not do it at all. You probably also have difficulty taking risks or stretching yourself out of your comfort zone because you feel safest when you can guarantee an outcome.

But success is never guaranteed.

You don’t give yourself a chance to see what’s possible, to learn from mistakes and grow if you never put yourself out there and risk failing. Deep down, you are likely afraid of failure, judgement and criticism (even if the only one judging you is YOU).


The solution is

To let go of the illusion of perfection and to practise feeling more comfortable to go with the flow. Life is inherently uncertain and so the more you rely on things to be a certain way, the more likely you are to feel jittery and on edge.

paragraph divider

If you know your unrelenting standards are holding you back from making progress on your goals and you feel stressed out when your work is not perfect, it’s time to learn to embrace the concept of ‘good enough’. And if you can’t relax unless your environment is in perfect order, perhaps you want to honestly reflect on whether those standards are creating...

more stress than


Letting go of control can feel pretty uncomfortable so I’d suggest you take small steps towards learning to tolerate that discomfort. Learning to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings is a great way to start recognising where you’re getting hooked on perfectionism and to breathe through the discomfort that arises when you start chipping away at those standards and relaxing into a more relaxed way of living. 

The more you can ease off on that tight grip, the more you’ll be able to move into the flow of life and the happier you (and everyone around you) will be.