TO reduce your Exhaustion
& be encouraged weekly.

Sign up & Radically
Reduce Negative Thinking.  

Reclaim your confidence

Better Thoughts Start Here.

    Understanding Control

    7 Ways You Can Overcome Perfectionism.

    woman writing on laptop

    No Time now? 
    Save it for later:   


    I'm Tess,


    hi there!

    yes please!

    Want My Free Training?

    Blog Categories


    You have some change you'd like to create & healing you want to explore. My job is to help you master both.

    Free e-book

    Turning exhaustion
    into energy...

    Download Here

    Perfectionism and anxiety often go hand in hand.  It is ok to have goals and strive for excellence, but not if it comes at the cost of your peace of mind.

    Personal Moment:

    “My own perfectionism never let me rest.  I spent decades frustrated with myself that I was not doing enough, not good enough at anything, not fast enough & that I did too much of what I called; “nothing”.

    All of this led to chronic anxiety which is why Perfectionism & Anxiety go hand in hand.” 😔

    TessRene (Teresa) Schultz Signature

    The truth is, I didn’t think I was a perfectionist.  I thought I was “just a high achiever.”

    Perfectionists are similar to high achievers, but there are differences.  People who struggle with perfectionism downplay being a perfectionist.  They think they are high achievers who just “like being busy & striving for greatness.”

    This is why we struggle with perfectionism & don’t know it:  we don’t realize the major differences between high achievement & being perfectionism.
    As a result, here’s how perfectionism might be affecting you…

    Signs You May Struggle With Perfectionism:

    1.  All or Nothing Thinking.

    You often hear from others that you are “too hard on yourself,” yet you completely overlook their opinion.

    Like high achievers, perfectionists set high goals & strive for excellence.  However, high achievers are different from perfectionists.  High achievers can be satisfied with getting close to the mark or not even hitting their goal.

    On the other hand, anything less than the original standard & goal is a failure in the eyes of a perfectionist.  For the perfectionist, it’s all or nothing.


    2.  Depressed by Unmet Goals.

    You might feel like you can’t do enough or achieve enough, OR that when you do achieve something, it wasn’t as good as you could have done.  Perfectionists are not easygoing about their goals.

    Whereas other people may see them as an exciting challenge, goals create anxiety for a perfectionist.  They hang onto them as if for dear life.  When they don’t reach their goals, perfectionists can ruminate on negative feelings and thoughts about themselves.

    Perfectionists attach more to a goal than just getting a goal; they attach their value to it.

    I’ll teach you more about setting goals you CAN meet in this article:  Healthy Daily Routines You Won’t QUIT!


    3.  Intense self-criticism from perfectionism & anxiety.

    When a perfectionist doesn’t reach their goals, they don’t look to environmental factors as a partial cause (circumstance, timing, luck, preparation, etc…).  Instead, their focus is solely on themselves as the reasons for the “failure.”

    They tend to focus on all the mistakes or ways they could have done better.  They are more judgemental of themselves & others.  This is yet another reason why perfectionism and anxiety go hand in hand.


    perfectionism and goals

    4.  Impossible Standards = Unreachable Goals.

    Perfectionists expect an immense amount of production, speed, efficiency & ability of themselves & set their standards for goals equally high.  They often fail to meet their standards because the goal was set far too high.

    Even when they achieve a goal, they don’t celebrate themselves for long, if at all.  The thrill of accomplishment is short-lived, and they move quickly on to the next goal.

    Thus the Perfectionist is constantly chasing an ever-moving goal post.  Every time they reach one goal, they have to reach another; thus, what they do feels like it’s never enough, not because of lack in them, because of the lack of fairness they put on themselves. 


    5.  Perfectionism’s Anxiety and Fear of Failure.

    A perfectionist is much more afraid of failure than most people.  They put an immense amount of pressure on themselves to perform well in life.

    They often self-shame and blame in such an intense way that the perfectionist fears not just failure but the amount of criticism they will inflict upon themselves if they fail.  Failure is much scarier when intense criticism is the outcome.


    6.  Chronic Procrastination.

    Because of the intense pressure perfectionists put on themselves, they often will procrastinate on tasks.  The reason for their delay is that our minds resist any activity that causes us stress; thus, we delay it, consciously or not.  Self-criticism is the stress the perfectionist is avoiding & the reason they procrastinate.

    The perfectionist is so scared they won’t do well on a task; they immobilize themselves in fear and do nothing instead.


    7.  Goal Focused – The View of Perfectionism and Anxiety.

    Often over-attachment to a goal is linked to a sense of unworthiness.  You may have been told that before but written it off because you think so well of yourself in what you have accomplished.

    You know you are capable of great things.  That’s why you push yourself and are proud of all you’ve achieved.  How can I say that is a lack of worthiness?

    But that’s how insidious perfectionism is.  It tricks you into believing that you think well of yourself, but listen closely to what you are saying when you describe your virtues.

    If this phrase:  “I’m proud of myself” always ends with “because of my accomplishments,” that is the tell.

    That’s the clue that perfectionism might be a struggle for you.


    dog reading a book

    All that being said:  wanting to achieve high standards is very different from perfectionism, as you’ll see below.


    You can set high goals & strive for excellence, but that doesn’t make you a perfectionist.  The pursuit of goals is a fun process for high achievers.  They don’t always hit the mark, but they always learn & grow on the journey.

    THE HIGH ACHIEVER’S main objective (generally) is to learn & enjoy the journey.

    THE PERFECTIONIST, on the other hand, is all about the goal.  Getting the goal, keeping the goal & then getting the next goal.  This is where self-value plays a part.

    The high achiever sets a goal but accepts that they don’t have total control over whether they reach it.  They accept that things happen in life & just because they don’t reach the finish line every time, that isn’t a reflection on their own personal worth.

    On the other hand, the perfectionist sets a goal &, if it’s not met, considers him/her/themself a failure for not meeting it.

    perfectionism and anxiety

    Perfectionists have a hard time separating reaching a goal from their own worth.  Like the high achiever, the perfectionist wants to achieve excellence.  But unlike the high achiever, the perfectionist’s value is rooted in the goal.

    In contrast, the high achiever’s value is rooted internally – their self-worth is intrinsic & independent of what they achieve.

    Putting their worth in things that are variable & not in their control is what can lead the perfectionist to depression, chronic frustration, anger and anxiety.


    1. Thought Distortions to challenge perfectionism & anxiety.

    Start to ask yourself about your thoughts and begin to challenge them.  Our thoughts are not truths, and in fact, they are often distorted versions of reality.  Here are a few thought distortions common to perfection & anxiety that would help you to look into:

    • Black & White Thinking,
    • Catastrophic Thinking,
    • “Shoulding” on Yourself,
    • Fortune Telling, etc…

    2. Look at the Big Picture.

    In the big scheme of things, we aren’t really in danger.  Unless a physical presence of threat is imminent, most of life’s challenges are not life-threatening, even if they feel like it at the moment.

    To get perspective, you can ask yourself some “big picture” questions:

    • “What is the worst that could happen?  Is this going to cause death or harm to anyone?”
    • “What do I need right now that would help myself?”
    • “What is one step that I can take that would get me to the next step?”
    • “Will any of this matter next month, year, or two years from now?”

    Girl looking over landscape with dog.

    3. Ask Questions about your perfectionism & anxiety.

    The next time the tendency to self-criticize comes up, hit it with a question:

    • Is that true?  Is it really true that if I don’t finish this project on time or well that I am a loser?
    • Are there other things happening around me that could’ve impacted whether or not I finished that project on time or well?

    Things that we have no control over happen all the time (hello Coronavirus) & impact our ability level.  If our value is attached to that ability, we put ourselves at risk of an ever-vacillating sense of self-worth.

    4. Learn to celebrate small things you do well.

    Break down the projects you’ve tackled into sections that were finished instead of looking at the project as a whole.  Reward yourself for the parts you completed or tried to complete, even if they weren’t entirely finished.

    Recognize areas that you’ve tried or learned something.  Acknowledge that learning something new is an accomplishment in itself.

    Our minds need regular rewards as an incentive to keep going:  our job is to provide them with that reward.


    1. Just skim a chapter of a book instead of absorbing every word.
    2. Leave the bed made without smoothing the sheets or fluffing the pillows.
    3. Show up 5 minutes late for a meeting.
    4. Purposely allow a few moments of silence during a conversation.

    Reduce your expectations one small step at a time.  If you try to “not care” about your outcome at all, your mind won’t handle such a big jump in expectations & it will put up resistance, which will feel like anxiety.

    Our brains like small steps, not BIG, sudden change.  If you take small steps, your mind won’t fight you quite as much.  At first, it will be uncomfortable, but let your mind know you’re going in a different direction now.  You’ll reduce your perfectionism tendencies & anxiety with it.

    Exercises like these allow you to see that when you are not “perfect,” nothing bad happens.  The world doesn’t implode & all the terrible outcomes you thought would happen – don’t.

    Our brains don’t like change, but they are also adaptable, so change is possible in small steps if you keep taking them.  Your brain will stop fighting you on it after some small-step practice & you’ll feel less anxious about the changes you make.

    Related Articles:
    This Is Why You Can’t Relax.
    t The Things You Cannot Change.
    How To Believe In Yourself.
    How To Keep Going When You Want To Quit.
    Why I Write a Blog. Full Community, Fears & Gratitude.


    🎁 A GIFT: 
    If you want to stay connected with me & learn more ways to produce thoughts that heal, not hurt, click the link here for my FREE e-BOOK:  Unravel Your Exhausted Mind.   🎁

    Cheering you on,

    Cheering you on,



    Know someone who could benefit?
    Share this article with a friend:

    Know someone who could benefit?  Share this article with a friend:

    Your Voice Matters,
    Tell me what helped:

    (Use any questions above as prompts)

    1. Rick Schultz says:

      Thanks for this post, Tess. I really resonate with issue number 6 (procrastination because I’m afraid I won’t be perfect). Your comment about thought distortions being to part of the problem is intriguing – is another post coming on that/them?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    A Gift
       to you...

    A Gift                to you...

    Find out how your thoughts are causing your fatigue & start to create lasting confidence.

    SWIPE YOUR checklist FOR 11 super-simple Thought changing habits you can use TODAY.

    Not a series of simple how-to steps, but the 'why' behind some of what holds you back & how to move beyond it.

    Unravel Your Negative Thoughts

    You don't have to miss the moments in your life because of the thoughts in your mind. 

    Not a series of simple how-to steps, but the 'why' behind some of what holds you back & how to move Beyond it.

    "Margi's guide was kick-ass indeed and quite literally changed how I show up on social." - Jen Olmstead

    oh la la!

    Get Our Free Guide to Kicking Ass on Social

    Taiyaki occupy farm-to-table swag fashion axe four loko. Church-key palo santo selvage helvetica iceland tumblr.





    Hi, I'm Tess.
    Your New Ally +Mindset Coach.

    Consider me your Compassionate Motivator, on hand Science-of-the-Mind Researcher & fellow human who's been there. 

    work with tess

    When you are craving change, you want someone in your corner cheering you on, but You Might Also want a proven system that works. 

    When you are craving change & life isn't supporting you, sometimes you need someone in your corner cheering you on.  

    Read the Blog & leave some comments. Tell me what landed with you or what you want more of. 

    Read the Blog. Leave some comments. Tell me what landed with you. Whether or not you know it yet, the world needs what you have. Stick with me.   I will teach you IT IS POSSIBLE to value the one person you must - YOU!      

    But You Might Also want a proven system that works.

    Stick with me.  I will teach you IT IS POSSIBLE to value the one person you must - YOU!      


    Copyright © 2020-2022 Tess René Schultz | All rights reserved | Legal |

    More Inspo from tess here:

    Download Here