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How to Let Go of Perfectionism to Succeed Faster

Perfectionism. The word that breaks or makes a person strive to reach the top of their game.



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Perfectionism. The word that breaks or makes a person strive to reach the top of their game. The dictionary states perfectionism as the ‘refusal to accept any standard short of perfection,’ whereas my definition of the word goes more along the lines of a ‘beautiful way to hate life and send yourself to the grave early.’

And before you inundate my inbox with hate mail, hear me out. I am not saying those who identify themselves as perfectionists are ill-mannered or have the wrong intentions. What I am saying is if you want to succeed and get ahead in life, perfectionism will not get you there any sooner.

Striving for the best

Sure, a person should and can strive to have the best in life. Still, there is a fine line between reaching one’s desired goals in life and failing miserably because of the unrealistic expectations one has set upon themselves with this ideology of ‘perfectionism.’ Nothing is ever perfect in life, and there will always be room for improvement in everything we do, including chasing success.

Willingness to succeed

A person who seeks to want the best in life and to reach their desired level of success is one who is motivated by the will to achieve greatness. On the other hand, perfectionists are usually driven by the fear of failure.

Fear of failure

By fearing to fail, a person fails to live. When a person chooses to live in this manner, valuing themselves only by their achievements, they set themselves up for even greater failures in life as a whole. The reason for this is that the way they value themselves becomes intertwined with their level of success. The moment they do not achieve the level of perfectionism or success they seek, they identify themselves as failures and open themselves up to criticism. The unfortunate thing here is that the one who will be giving and receiving the criticism is no one other than themselves.

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” — Brené Brown

Embrace your losses

Rather than looking at ways to improve their methods or pathways to success, perfectionists struggle with the concept of dealing with and taking losses when things don’t go their way, which often leads to negative self-talk and the placing of unnecessary pressures on oneself. This is not only unhealthy but a difficult way to live, and after a long period of exposing oneself to such negativity, it eventually takes a significant toll on one’s emotional and mental well-being. 

To truly succeed, one must learn to embrace losses as they come and not permit roadblocks to define who they are or their level of success. Success comes to those who continue to soldier on regardless of how many times they get knocked down. Didn’t get that promotion or meet your sales target? Who cares. 

Well, perhaps your boss might, but don’t worry about that; what you should be worried about is not worrying about those little bumps in the road and being willing to accept that things can’t always be perfect or go the way you hoped on your quest to success. However, you can learn from the experience and improve your methods.

Be your cheerleader

I’ve worked with enough clients over the years to see the negative impacts perfectionism can have on a person; believe me, it is not pretty. Not only does the constant battle to be perfect take a toll on a person, but it also begins to slowly seep through to their relationships with others, including those they value the most. 

One such individual was a client of mine who worked for a Fortune 500 company. After years of pushing themselves to the extreme to achieve what they called the ‘perfect’ life, it all came crashing down, forcing them to re-evaluate their entire career and their unhealthy obsession with ‘perfectionism.’ After being pushed to the brink and having a mental breakdown, they moved to the country and opened up a little business, which by the way, is thriving! 

But best of all, they are now doing what they love without the constant negative self-talk they were accustomed to when trying to create a façade of a perfect life and chasing the idea of perfectionism.

Let it flow

There is nothing a person can’t achieve in life, and we should all strive to do the best we can. However, in doing so, we must understand and learn to accept ourselves as is, flawed and all. A person who achieves great success is not one who is perfect but rather one who is willing to be imperfect and accept that mistakes will be made along their journey to success. Perfectionism is merely an illusion that places unrealistic expectations on a person. You can only do things to the best of your ability, and if it doesn’t work, try again – that is what true success is. 

Filiz Behaettin is a best-selling author, freelance writer and speaker. Her latest book 'Elevate: the practical guide to living your best life and succeeding' is available at most bookstores including Barnes and Noble. Filiz offers 1-on-1 mentoring and consulting services, copywriting, editing and manuscript services. She is also available for corporate speaking engagements and school visits. You can contact Filiz at or follow her at

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Success Advice

Mastering Self-Management for Success: Lessons From Peter F. Drucker

With careers no longer following a straight, predictable path, self-awareness and adaptability are essential for success.



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How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



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How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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