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Solutions for Perfectionism & Procrastination
Be reliable - but not perfect Martyn Carruthers

Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

Do you suffer from limiting beliefs and fixations that
encourage perfectionism or procrastination?
Or do you cherish your ignorance?

Change self-criticism to self-support.

"Good enough" doesn't mean "perfect".

End self-sabotage and move on with your life

We encourage excellence - but not perfection. We help people enjoy quality lives - but not perfect lives. We support healthy relationships and quality work - and we assist people to change perfectionist obsessions and procrastination compulsions.

Perfectionism and procrastination increase stress and anxiety. Did your parents, teachers or employers want you to be perfect? Did you respond by being late? Here's a checklist ...

Perfectionist Procrastinator
  1. Are you a workaholic?
  2. Do you want to control people?
  3. Do you believe that you are special?
  4. Does failure mean a lack of self-worth?
  5. Do you feel that anything that is less than perfect is bad?
  6. Do you feel that perfect work reflects a perfect you?
  1. Are you often late or lazy?
  2. Do you want to feel free?
  3. Do you believe that you are special?
  4. Does reliability mean low self-worth?
  5. Do you feel that anything done perfectly is suspect?
  6. Does being unreliable seem to reflect your "true self"?

Are you an Imperfectionist?

Do you look for imperfections - seeking things that you can criticize and complain about? Do you not only criticize but condemn yourself?

Perfectionists are usually chronically stressed and self-critical. Are you entangled with a perfectionist parent? If being criticized was normal during your childhood - you may compulsively criticize yourself and others. If being controlled was normal, then you may endlessly try to control others.

Or did you rebel? Did you refuse to conform to your parents' demands and expectations? People who procrastinate are often bonded to lazy parents, who abandoned them. If being late or lazy was normal during your childhood - you may habitually be late or lazy to feel normal. If not finishing tasks was normal, then you may endlessly delay completing tasks - to fulfill your expectations of yourself.

Both perfectionists and procrastinators may alienate their families, lose their friends and hurt their partners. Do bad relationships feel normal?

Is it time to change?

If you want to change your habits, know what you want to achieve.
What does perfectionism or procrastination prevent you from doing?

Do you want to change your automatic thinking? Most people with perfectionist or procrastination tendencies seem to lecture themselves. For example:

Perfectionist Procrastination
  • "I must show people what I can do."
  • "I can prove I'm special by doing everything better."
  • "If I don't do this perfectly; people will know I'm a loser."
  • "I dare not show people my best."
  • "I can prove I'm special by always being late."
  • "If I do this well, people will expect more from me."

Do you use a lot of "should", "have to", "must" and other self-defeating talk? Perfectionist and procrastinating self-talk can generate enormous stress. Changing such self-talk, and resolving the limiting beliefs, relationship issues and emotions that generate it, are important parts of our sessions.

We can help you respect, support and like yourself instead of criticizing yourself.

Two useful affirmations for perfectionists or procrastinators are,
Be good enough - but not perfect and Prefer progress to perfection.

Your Emotions and Relationships

Which emotions drive you to be perfect or to be late? Fear of punishment is common, or anxiety that you may lose something important. Perhaps anger at some injustice? Maybe sadness at how much time and effort you have already wasted? Perhaps guilt - you did something wrong but never atoned for it?

Few people seem aware of who or what really influences their behavior. Some people recognize the influence of authorities such as parents, employers, government officials and religious leaders. And some people are aware of the power of commercial marketing to distort reality and create obsessions.

As family members were the most influential people in your early life, we can coach you to explore which parental beliefs you have accepted as rigid truths - and change the ones you don't want.

Perfectionism and Procrastination

Do you waste precious time perfecting details that other people will not notice - and if they do notice, they will not care? Or, do you say that if you can't do it perfectly - why do it at all? Do you oppose perfectionism by forever putting things off?

Procrastination is not related to ability or intelligence - it reflects values and beliefs. If you procrastinate, you may have difficulty setting goals or achieving them.

Procrastination sometimes reflects unconscious bonds to parents who didn't keep their promises, and sometimes it reflects a fear of not being perfect. If you don't finish your work - people won't notice that it is not perfect.

We hope you don't want to be a perfect client - and that you will not procrastinate. Contact us when you want to change.

Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2005-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email