If you’re waiting for that ‘perfect’ moment to arrive, you’ll never start. Remember, the only thing holding you back is you.


Perfectionism has been on the rise in recent years, and that’s not a good thing.

One of the most debilitating facets of perfectionism is that it can make it extremely hard for someone to move forward in life without wanting it to be “perfect”.  They often have a negative internal voice that keeps telling them that they have no business doing whatever it is that they set out to do.

Talk about stopping you dead in your tracks for fear of failure.

That feeling of not starting something because you don’t feel it’s the perfect time, the perfect idea, or that you had the perfect skills. But the truth is, now is not anymore perfect than it was the last time you’ve tried.

Here’s how you can be more aware of how perfectionism is holding you back.

1. You are completely self-sabotaging yourself.

In “The Big Leap”, Gay Hendricks talks about how we all reach a level of success in all aspects of what we do.  Whether it’s in a job, as a mother, as a partner, we hold ourselves back from going beyond that level because we’re too scared to know what more success will look like or whether we have the ability to handle it.  The same can be said as we strive for perfectionism. We get to a certain point where we become stalled and don’t move forward because we realize nothing will ever be perfect enough.

2. You will feel like a failure (quite the opposite of perfect)

Quite simply, since perfectionism is never going to be attainable, you will constantly feel like a failure for never reaching the holy grail of everything being perfect.

3. Nothing is or ever will be enough.

In the quest for a life of perfection, you are always striving for more because you never feel content with what you have.  You always think more money, more possessions, more beauty will finally make you feel perfect and have the life you always wanted.  Problem is, when you get more, you still don’t have that level of satisfaction and the vicious cycle continues. Perfectionism can behave like an addiction.    

4. You will miss out on life and being true to who you are.

Perfectionism can be debilitating.  We all have big dreams and goals for ourselves, and you may never share them with anyone for fear of judgement that you’ll never be perfect in attaining that dream or goal.  The sad thing is because the quest for perfection is so debilitating, we often never chase our dreams or true purpose in life. Because we are afraid life won’t be perfect from day 1 and failure is imminent, we stay with status quo and keep dreaming.

5. You are looking for others to give you worth and value.  

If you truly think about the need to attain perfection, it traces back to the desire of gaining recognition.  Often times if you desire to be perfect than you are looking for some external validation of your worth and value.  Unfortunately, if we rely on the opinions of others to give us worth, we end up living a life of pleasing others instead of living the life we truly want.  

In the end, any one or the culmination of all of these ways ends up leading to one thing:  unhappiness.

Ultimately, perfectionism isn’t a strength or a quality that should be placed on a pedestal.  On the inside, many self-proclaimed perfectionists are (and have been) miserable and chasing a life that will never be their own.  It’s time to live in contentment, accept that failure will happen, and best of all,

Be true to who you are.

Adapted from the original article.

Mandi Knowles, RDN, LDN is an Atlanta-based registered dietitian, mama of two, and extremely passionate about all things craft beer.  With a virtual nutrition and consulting practice, she’s devoted to helping women end the cycle of dieting and free their mind of attaining the perfect body so they can start embracing life for all that it is, beautifully messy and made with love.  Learn more at The Well Crafted Life.