Before I do a spell check on this blog and triple check that it isn’t too long and God forbid, I’ve missed some important detail….it’s best to just get straight to the point and say (and confess) that perfectionism is a very real and pervasive obstacle to your success.

It can cripple almost anyone in any situation. Whether you’re running a food or drink business or running a marathon (could feel like the same thing sometimes) it can sabotage or simply hold you back from getting on with what really matters. And what really matters is the PURPOSE of whatever it is you’re doing and your HAPPINESS. So if you want to get more customers and feel more joy in what you do then work on testing different approaches rather than trying to find the RIGHT way to do everything because you’ll probably miss out on a lot of RIGHT ways. Put it simply, perfectionism blocks us from seeing different opportunities that might be right in front of us.

One of the key ways to get past your perfectionism is to get support and ideas from others. And for this article we spoke with Maree Ferguson, Founder of the Dietitian Connection, who shared with us the 8 ways she’s used to recover from her perfectionism. 

1. Let it go…let it flow

So you’ve got the idea in your head. Before you begin scrutinising it, best to get it all out on paper and then share it with someone you trust and who often tells you how amazing you are. Get their feedback and if it’s all good…well it’s good enough

2. Time it

Perfectionism is a thief of time among other things. So set a time limit to the task. Don’t dwell on it. You’ll find you’ll feel better ticking off the task and then getting on with other work. And then having free time to get the bedspread just perfect….just kidding!

3. Fresh is Best

Leaving something till late in the day is asking for trouble. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but we are more likely to fall into the trap of perfectionism when we’ve had a full day of being bombarded by phone calls, emails and meetings. Best to get pressing tasks done first thing…when our head is clear and less likely to judge.

4. Enough is Enough

People are receiving what you care about, what you want to share. They’re not waiting to pounce on your mistakes. So if it’s a good enough piece of work, then sharing it and letting it be received makes it enough. Simple.

5. Pick and Choose

There’s definitely an upshot to having this ism. It means you have an exceptional eye for detail and produce top notch work. So don’t let that go to waste. Discern which pieces of work you want to perfect and go ahead and do it. That satisfies the perfectionist in you, but doesn’t let it run riot.

6. Move on

Without a doubt, you’ll make a mistake. It’s called growth. The key is not to dwell on the mistake. Everyone else has moved on but you. So join in and let it go.

7. Compare Not

One of perfectionism’s siblings is comparison. When we start to compare we kick perfectionism into gear. It’s not an easy thing to not compare but if whenever possible, look away and stay focused on what you’re doing. You can’t really see what others are going through behind the scenes anyway. So the comparison you’re doing is not really based on facts. It’s based on what you’re imaging plus how you are judging yourself. It’s an equation that doesn’t add up.

8. Celebrate

It’s an ongoing journey to live with the perfectionism. I’m not sure it really ever goes away but when we do let go, move on and set limits, we should pat ourselves on the back. The reward of saved precious time and angst far outways the “perfect” outcome. And we feel more joy and success simply by feeling free from our isms even if it’s in small doses.


When we start to compare, we kick perfectionism into gear,


We want to thank Maree Ferguson, director of Dietitian Connection and member of the Foodpreneurs Formula, our group coaching program, for offering her wisdom on this very important topic.

How does perfectionism affect you?