The definition of Perfectionism:
A propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.

Perfectionism can be a great attribute in certain careers. Engineers, nuclear scientists and heart surgeons, for example, require minute attention to detail and mistakes are costly if not fatal.

In everyday life, however, the pressure of having to live up to over-inflated and unrealistically high standards often leads to stress, frustration, overwhelm and high levels of self-doubt. Self-sabotage goes hand in hand with perfectionism, and procrastination is its regular companion.

How high do you set your bar?

Is it set at a challenging but attainable level, or, is it so high up that you don’t have a chance of ever reaching it?

If you set your bar too high, you may be a perfectionist.

What probably happens on a regular basis, is that you find yourself turning things over and over in your mind, planning, re-planning, stressing about them, coming up with plenty of useful distractions to avoid taking action, and using up so much energy that you eventually give up on the task before you even begin.

You may also be great at putting things off until the last minute. Are you a master at finding ways to keep busy, so as to avoid the task at hand? Is there always a reason or excuse as to why you don’t have time to get to it. Are you a last minute Larry? With your back against the wall and limited time to get the job done, you have the perfect excuse if things don’t turn out as well as you hoped. How could they, given the constraints?

As you run this pattern over and over, striving for beyond best and inadvertently sabotaging yourself, your mind is attempting to keep you safe from failure. Ironically, failure is inevitably the result.

By not completing tasks, or doing them under pressure and time limitations, you can pretty much guarantee you won’t live up to your own standards. It’s a lose-lose situation.

The pressures of perfectionism give self- esteem a beating, and self- doubt takes over. You begin to lose faith in your own abilities, constantly second guess yourself, assume you will fail before you even begin and eventually just won’t bother trying. It’s not a fun way to live.

What if you lower the bar just a bit? Give yourself a chance to succeed?

By aiming a little bit lower, you create the possibility of achievement, build up that self- esteem, and move gradually towards the level of success you want. You enable yourself to acknowledge your victories and learn from your mistakes. These are the things that help you grow as a person.

Think of your life as a diving lesson. You wouldn’t go straight to the top to the high board on your first attempt at diving. That would be far too risky. You might stand at the bottom for a while contemplating it, watch others do it, but chances are you wouldn’t be the one up there diving off! More than likely you would start at poolside level and practice-practice- practice, noticing how you improve and feeling encouraged and self- satisfied. Next you might give the low board a try. Practice- practice- practice some more. Your confidence would increase and you would start looking for greater challenges as your trust and belief in yourself improved. Before you knew it, you would be doing triple turns from the very top high board!

Test it out…apply this principle to your life.

Start easy. Set the bar at a comfortable level. Enjoy your successes. Build up your confidence and move the bar up as you grow. Watch how quickly you start knocking over those obstacles, finishing those tasks and feeling great about yourself. Accomplishment is a powerful motivator.

Say goodbye to the problems of perfect and discover the power of achievement!

Feeling stuck in your perfectionism and want to change? Experiencing self doubt or low self esteem? We can help. Contact us at Be Ultimate today.

Be Ultimate because Ordinary is Over-rated

What Our Clients Say

I have been with the same company for nearly 10 years. Although in a leadership role and successful, I felt burned out, stressed and unhappy at work. This was impacting my work /life balance as well as my interaction with others. I needed to re-evaluate my career priorities and level up my communication skills. Cheryl took the time to listen and understand my situation. We worked together to better understand my strengths and values and how important it is for them to be congruent with my career development. With Cheryl’s guidance I focused on the steps I needed to make to remain myself, whilst becoming a better leader at work. Cheryl’s style, attitude and easy to follow steps are pragmatic and realistic. She provided me with tools I could use every day to remain focused on changes I needed to make to achieve what I wanted.This is an ongoing journey but I am now more confident, have a deeper understanding of both myself and others, have the tools to perform better at work and am maintaining a more fulfilling work-life balance.

Catherine.R – National Manager

I met Cheryl as I started a personal journey in seeking greater clarity for my career. It has turned into much more and I am most grateful to her for helping me understand myself much better as well as how to interact with those around me. Both professional and private. Cheryl has been a source of strength and insight. Her warm and friendly nature makes it easy to relate to her. She challenges the status quo and help me improve many aspects of my life. A number of my colleagues have spent time with Cheryl and all feedback has been positive. I would highly recommend her.

Ross Cartwright, Managing Director – Head of Retail Aus/NZ, MFS INVESTMENTS

We were lucky enough to have Cheryl come to our Annual Team Conference where she presented a Creative Thinking Workshop for our Team. I would high recommend Cheryl and the workshop for anyone who is looking to open their minds and expand the vision of the business. The workshop was highly interactive with the concepts and ideas being able to be implemented relatively quickly and simply into our business.

Harry, Director of Projects, PLAN ASSIST PTY LTD

I have seen and worked with Cheryl on a number of events and projects she is a part of. So when it came to organising an EA/PA Networking event, I knew she was the right person to be our guest speaker. Cheryl is an engaging, humorous and energetic presenter, who can relate easily to a room of 10 to 100+ people. She brings a world of knowledge and experience to her presentations and her real-life business examples reinforce the messages she presents. Cheryl is definitely someone I would recommend to present at any corporate workshop.

A Edmonds, Events Manager, LUNAR PARK SYDNEY

I attended Be Ultimate’s workshop on Stress Management. It was amazing! It was exactly what I needed to understand how to manage my busy days. Cheryl taught us practical, easy to implement strategies that worked for me from day 1 and I haven't looked back since. I highly recommend Cheryl as a coach, and recommend her 2 hour workshops for anyone.


I have attended two LinkedIn workshops run by Be Ultimate and I have found them to be extremely informative, professional and succinct, whilst also being very personable and fun. I have already implemented new content and knowledge learned at the workshops ... starting at the actual workshops itself!

Thanks for your fun and informative workshop sessions.


Cheryl provides an incredible bouncing board to lead you through your journey of reinvention or simply to gain reinforcement that the path you’re on is the right one. Cheryl is an awesome person who truly cares for other people, wants to see them achieve their goals, isn’t backward in coming forwards when you need the prod in the right direction and will encourage you to see the great results you are accomplishing when they may not be as obvious to you.

I highly recommend Cheryl to anyone who is looking for business advice, a change in career or simply wants to gain some solutions to taking a positive approach to life.

A.Wilson, Business Owner, CATEGORACLE

Cheryl has facilitated a number of conferences for Liquid Learning in both Australia and New Zealand and has always been a pleasure to work with! Cheryl is helpful, punctual, reliable and always professional. She is very skilled in keeping the conference running to time and lifting the energy of the room as she facilitates Q&A sessions. Cheryl also frequently runs workshops with us and does regular speaking spots which she always receives great feedback for.

Jean Young, Project Executive, LIQUID LEARNING

With the majority of delegates rating Cheryl’s keynote presentation at the IOPO Conference 5 out of 5, she exceeded our expectations! Cheryl is truly passionate about helping businesses to succeed and thrive.

Linda, IOPO Advisory Board Member, IOPO

Cheryl has been a delight to work with over the past 7 years. She has assisted our business, Independent Garden Centres, with professional development workshops, she has been of great support to me as a coach. Cheryl has emceed the last two annual IGC Retail Conferences with an engaging and fun style, and she has been one of our conference keynote speakers who held the undivided attention of the delegates with ease. I thoroughly recommend Cheryl Alderman in any of these capacities.  Cheryl is a consummate professional who quickly builds rapport, she clearly enjoys sharing her knowledge with others, and there is always an element of fun which oft missing in many professionals.

Evan Mueller, CEO, IGC

In this workshop we were introduced to a range of simple strategies that the group could adopt to manage the inevitable stress and tension experienced in corporate and every life. The cynical group loved the practical and interactive approach of this workshop and were highly engaged throughout the 2 hours. The presenters brought in lots of great exercises. I am happy to recommend this Managing Stress workshop and both presenters to other corporate groups.

L Jones, People & Culture Business Partner, FOXTEL

Working with Cheryl has had benefits that have reached far beyond me as an individual. She has helped me to become a better leader and elevate the effectiveness and potential of my entire team. Cheryl's coaching has raised my self awareness, shifted my focus to control what I can control, and given me tools to realise opportunities that I wouldn't have thought possible before our first session.

Michael, Manager of Digital Marketing, DIMENSIONAL