Living Life As an Ex-Perfectionist

(And before you ask: Yes, this story is real with no exaggerations)

A while back I gave a virtual keynote presentation to a group of entrepreneurs.

The moment before the talk started, I watched my desktop freeze.

Oh boy.

No worries, I’ll just use my laptop.

25 minutes into the conversation, my laptop screen dies.

I find myself staring at a pitch black screen.

Can’t see my slides, my slide notes, or anyone in the group.

Oh boy.

Somehow, the facilitator finds a copy of my presentation and I wing it through the next 10 slides and 14 minutes, asking him to advance the slides for the group all while I can’t see a thing.

15 minutes later I hear, “Erin? Erin? You there? Your audio is cutting out.”


My internet connection completely dies. Done.

I grab my phone to enable a mobile hotspot.

Mobile hotspot won’t turn on.

(And again, no, I’m not making this up.)

Years tick by, but there’s nothing else I can really do at this point.

Suddenly, the Wi-Fi flashes back to life.

I reconnect to the group and finish the presentation.

Tons of questions, great feedback, and I’m told the presentation went… perfectly?



Four years ago, when I was still a perfectionist, I would have FLIPPED OUT during and after this experience, with nothing going according to plan and thinking I had failed to give a good presentation (even IF I was told it went well).

Four years ago I would have OBSESSED over how embarrassing the experience was, and how awful the presentation went despite all my planning.

Today though, I’m not a perfectionist (thank goodness).

Because I’ve eliminated the outdated, glitchy mental programming that was the root cause of my perfectionism, I felt virtually no stress as the events were unfolding–and they held no importance to me after the talk was over.




I can’t even begin to express how light and easy it feels when the little bumps in the road of life are not big deals.

As an ex-perfectionist where EVERYTHING was a big deal, I find this new way of living to be quite calm and peaceful (AND the best part: the quality of my work hasn’t suffered a bit; in fact, it’s increased).

Here’s the thing, my friend:

Perfectionism is NOT making you a better person.

It’s not making you deliver higher quality work.

It’s destroying your life and KEEPING you from being who you could be.

Is it encouraging you to do high quality work and do things well?


But other people in the world do amazing, high quality work and don’t have this belief.

Perfectionism increases pressure and stress.

It reduces performance.

It saps energy.

It’s NOT the reason you do good work.

The irony is that the joke’s on you. Your perfectionism is actually a roadblock that’s getting in the way of you doing BETTER work.

Come to the other side.

It’s really nice over here.

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