The Science and Soul of Living Well

Breaking the cycles of perfectionism

September 21, 2021

In today's episode, I focus on actionable ways that you can break the cycle of perfectionism and shift perfectionistic tendencies. I highlight various principles that I think are important to keep in mind as you go on this journey, as well as some helpful strategies and tips that I have found to be useful in addressing perfectionism in my own life and in the lives of the clients with whom I work. I start off by sharing a definition of perfectionism derived from decades of research, and then discuss the importance of identifying what motivates you, on a personal level, to let go of perfectionism. We'll then talk about how to draw from any fears and hopes that underlie your perfectionistic tendencies to affirm your process of letting go of perfectionism and help you stay motivated, as well as help you flip the script on any harmful narratives about perfectionism and your worth. I'll also talk about ways to practice imperfection in a way that is accessible and can be easily integrated into a busy lifestyle, and share some ideas for learning ways to practice admiring and celebrating imperfection. I also share tools and strategies for shifting your relationship to mistakes. I close by talking about both self-compassion and self-forgiveness and ways to practice both in your life. I'll also highlight the reasons that the practices of both self-compassion and self-forgiveness are so essential to letting go of perfectionism. I loved doing this whole series and hope you tune into the final part of it! 

Additional Resources & Information

  1. Download the free 49-page workbook "A Guided Self-Assessment: Understanding Perfectionistic Tendencies" that accompanies this 3-part perfectionism series:

  2. If you're interested in personalized support in understanding and breaking through patterns of perfectionism, check out my 1:1 Coaching Program and if the fit is right, apply today for one of my final 2 spots for 2021:

  3. If you are interested in a free consultation to chat about whether the 1:1 program may be right for you, feel free to email me at to set-up a time to connect. I'd love to hear from you!

  4. For more strategies that can support you in managing perfectionistic tendencies, check out my free 4-part video series on building resilience:

  5. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram for more tips on gaining insight into and addressing perfectionistic tendencies.

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, & is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

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