Perfectionism, Procrastination and Paralysis: The three P’s that hold you back.

If you’re stuck in the cycle of perfectionism, procrastination and paralysis, it’s likely that you either never get started on your goals and tasks, or if you do then you won’t be satisfied with the results.

You can become endlessly stuck in a loop with your thoughts, fear and anxiety.

So what are the three P’s, and how can you interrupt the pattern?


The fear that what you do won’t be good enough, so you continuously strive to make it perfect.

This fear often comes from the high, often unrealistic, expectations you set for yourself, or from worrying about failure or rejection. Even if you do your best, it will never be good enough for your self-imposed high standard.


When you’re stuck with perfectionism, or worried about making a mistake or failing, you procrastinate.

Putting things off, busying yourself with other tasks, delaying, making excuses not to get started. After all, if you even don’t try then you can’t ever fail.


Eventually you become completely stuck, unable to move forward. This damages your self-esteem and confidence, and the cycle continues as your fears have been confirmed.

Here are three steps to help you break the cycle.

Accept imperfection

You have probably set your standard so high you won’t ever reach it.

Acknowledge that everyone’s perception of ‘perfect’ is different, and practice allowing a little imperfection into your life. After all, ‘done is better than perfect’.

Take Small Steps

When you’re putting things off or a task seems too big, break it down into smaller, manageable steps. You could either allocate a specific time to complete each task, or do the most difficult task first to get it out of the way.

You’ll break the cycle just by getting started.

Celebrate Success

Give yourself credit each time you complete a step. It feels much better to celebrate small successes than it does to criticise yourself for procrastinating. You’ll build confidence and feel encouraged to keep going.

Creating new habits can take practice, but just think of how good it will feel to get things done.

Are you procrastinating when it comes to making a change? If you need a gentle push forward and some accountability, contact me to have a chat about how I can support you.

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