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I planned to write on something completely different, but after a brief conversation with an old friend in which she sent me an article, I thought maybe this article would be useful to others like me.

The 3 P’s: Perfectionism, Procrastination, Paralysis.

If you’re affected by one P, you’ll be affected by two and likely the third P too. Works like a pendulum going back and forth. If you do suffer from any of the above, then you understand how truly crippling this can be for your any area of your life.

Reading the article that I am about to share was like having a mirror to look into and you can only improve upon what you know. I hope it’s insightful.

“Do you set your standards high, but always feel like you’ve failed? Learn about the 3 “P’s” and end the vicious cycle that keeps you stuck and ineffective.


Perfectionism, procrastination, and paralysis – one often leads to the next, in a vicious cycle, especially on large, long-term projects with no clear deadlines. Let’s look at each part of this cycle, and explore some concrete steps that you can take to disrupt the cycle.


Although most of my coaching clients don’t contact me until they are suffering from the second or third “P,” I will start with the first, one: perfectionism. This trait can be defined as striving towards impossibly high goals. The perfectionist is caught in a trap – he or she can never be good enough. Usually a perfectionist engages in a rigid, black or white kind of thinking about his own performance – if it isn’t perfect, it’s horrible.

I see perfectionism as existing on one end of a continuum. Up to a certain point, aiming high can help you become successful. Most academics who have made it to graduate school have set high standards for themselves and have met those high standards. There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to attain excellence. It only becomes a problem when the goal is always set beyond your reach.

The Mediocre Perfectionist?

Ironically, the perfectionist often achieves a product that is far less than perfect. In contrast, those who aim at more realistic goals can outperform the perfectionist. How could that be? The procrastination and paralysis that result from overly high standards causes the perfectionist to wait until it’s too late, then rush to do something; anything. The more relaxed realist, in the meantime, is able to put an effort in earlier, over a more prolonged period of time, with more chance to let time and subsequent editing improve the final product…”

You can read the rest here