EP 6: Are you a perfectionist?

In this episode of the Greatness Together Podcast, we’re talking about how being a perfectionist can have detrimental effects and some ways that you can combat the never-ending battle between being perfect and feeling like a failure if you’re not.

Quote: “I like to say that I am a recovering perfectionist because I work, really, really hard at not being a perfectionist.” Sarah McVanel 



Greatness Moments:

  • Are you a perfectionist? 0:00
  • Realizing that you might be. 1:00
  • When does it begin? 2:30
  • Is perfectionism a detriment? 4:30
  • Sometimes it’s exhausting. 6:30
  • Perspective helps. 8:00
  • Beware of perfectionism vampires. 10:30
  • Support perfectionists! 12:00
  • Next episode…Comparison. 13:00

Is kindergarten boot camp? Simonne shares some possibly strange, definitely interesting, and always thought-provoking ideas from her sociology class about how external validation from our first forays into school can have a long-term impact on perceptions of worthiness. Are we creating single-digit perfectionists? Do we hardwire expectations of performance based on externally validated reinforcements? Do we adopt unhealthy belief systems before we even realize who we are?

Okay, so maybe the metaphor is a little too extreme (although we bet you’re picturing these super cute little five-year-olds running around in camouflage); however, it’s worth a look at how much of our self-worth we align to earned approval and acceptance from others. Is that why so many of us find ourselves doing battle with perfectionism throughout our lives in our school, work and personal lives?

Is there a difference between perfectionism, mastery and excellence?

If you liked our last episode, and of course you did, you will love another look at expectations, this time from how they’re socially constructed and then internalized. Just like too much ice cream can make you sick, so can performing for others and having externalized indicators of worth. Can having overly high expectations rob you of the very joy and satisfaction they are designed to secure? Let’s aim for excellence rather than perfection.


Greatness Magnified
Subscribe to The Greatness Together Podcast

“I tell my daughter every morning, ‘Now, what are the two most important parts of you?’ And she says, ‘My head and my heart.’”

– Viola Davis

Sarita Parmar

Sarita Parmar, Workshop Facilitator, Strategic Advisor & Coach

"I had the pleasure of seeing Sarah speak (and dance!) on stage at the Spark Conference. I loved her passion and message and asked if I could treat her to a beverage that evening. Sarah had dinner plans and was already pressed for time yet still made time to swing by my hotel room to connect for a few minutes. She gave me some great advice as I shared some of my career aspirations, one of them being speaking on stage! Thank you Sarah for sharing your passion with the world."

Tony Andrade

Canadian Boilermakers

"It was a pleasure speaking with Sarah. I noticed her ability to communicate with people, with my wife and I walking away from her with a smile on our faces. To an expression I use often, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." That is Sarah in a nutshell."

Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Megan van der Meide

SHRM-SCP Director of Human Resources at Shell Point Retirement Community

“Sarah, You’re not only a scrumptious speaker, but a truly wonderful person. Thank you for sharing your clear passion for all things recognition; it's refreshing and contagious. You’re a gem and I’m so glad to know you.”
Arlene (Clavette) Lynas-Dobie

Pediatric Clinical Supervisor, Applied Behaviour Analyst & Therapist, Hamilton Health Sciences

"Greatness Magnified will never leave my vocabulary again! Thanks for your amazing posts and work in edifying people!"

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve