Soul-Wise Living
Soul-Wise Living

How to be excellent and not perfect.

When you are raised with high standards, when you are coached to be better, when you are one of those people who do not want to settle for less, how do you get over perfectionism? Overcome perfectionism about learning how to be excellent and not perfect.


Celebrating Dad’s Day with my Hero!


I don’t know why I became an over-achiever and a type A. I just did. Was in instilled in me or was I born with it? Did I take my Dad’s instilling of excellence in me and turn it into needing to be perfect? I’m never going to know.

What I do know is that I have long since lost the need to be perfect. It’s in my imperfection that I am able to be a better person. It’s in my imperfection that I am able to coach as well as I do and it’s in my imperfection that I strive forward. It’s in my imperfection that I can appreciate the efforts of others and have a sense of humor over what mistakes I do make.  I have learned how to be excellent and not perfect.


Here’s a simple Formula:
1) Do your best at any given moment ~when you do this, you know that your work is excellent.

2) Allow yourself to be human ~ no one is perfect, when you accept this perfectionism disappears.

3) Laugh at your mistakes ~ find a sense of humor in them

4) Apologize for those mistakes that affect others ~ when you do this from the heart, people love you even more.

5) Make Mistakes and turn them into Mis-Takes ~ one of my favorite expression is “I made a mis-take” and I pronounce it that way ~ it allows me to learn and grow from that place.

6) Forgive yourself for a mis-take ~ after all that’s just what it was.

Have you conquered perfectionism? In what way have you discovered how to be excellent and not perfect? 

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the links below! And, don’t forget to share your thoughts below too, I’d love to hear from you!


  1. I love the mis-take reframe, Laura! Thanks for your motivational post!

    Comment by Sandi — June 17, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  2. You’re welcome, Ms. Sandi!

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 17, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

  3. Being a recovering perfectionist myself, Laura, I can relate to this post. I love the list of actions to take. Thanks.

    Comment by Lilia Lee — June 17, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

  4. You’re welcome…..reminders I need as a recovering one too 😉

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 17, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

  5. I love it. Excellence is attainable, perfection is not. Great tips and thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Lori Manns — June 17, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

  6. You’re welcome, Lori. You said it so well.

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 19, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

  7. I still struggle with this. I get so frustrated with myself when I mess up. But the reality is we’re all human and it happens. Quite frankly I think people are drawn to us even more when they realize we aren’t perfect. We then appear REAL. I love your mis-take idea. I’ll be giving that one a try!

    Comment by Alyssa Johnson — June 18, 2013 @ 8:34 am

  8. Mis-Take!!! It was when I broke the word down like that, I gave myself permission to avoid being perfect at all costs! And, you are right. I do believe that when we own our selves the good and the mis-takes, we are more attractive and desirable to be around!

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 19, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

  9. Allowing myself to be less than perfect has been a huge part of my personal development. Thank you for this reminder and the practical tips.

    Comment by Nicky Roberts — June 18, 2013 @ 9:01 am

  10. You are welcome, Nicky……it’s something that is so simple yet so hard for so many to do! I love the mis-takes I make now 😉

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 19, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  11. Laura,
    Amazing reminders for aTuesday morning – my favorites ” 3) Laugh at your mistakes”, finding humor can lighten any day and “4) Apologize for those mistakes that affect others”, people are very forgiving when they see and know your heart!

    Comment by Cindy — June 18, 2013 @ 9:26 am

  12. So true, Cindy, people are forgiving and we often forget that. I think that may be why we try to be so ‘perfect’!

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 19, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  13. Oh, thank you. I so needed to hear this today. This very minute. I’ve been suffering from writer’s block (actually, it’s more like “idea block”) when it comes to my blog. Nothing feels interesting enough to write about. But part of this is my desire to only offer truly exceptional stuff.

    But maybe I can offer something excellent that’s not necessarily mind-blowing, jaw-dropping and life-changing. Maybe I can just do the best I can right now.

    Comment by Nancy Tierney — June 18, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

  14. You are very welcome. Your stuff is ALWAYS excellent, Nancy. It’s funny ~ some of the stuff that I write that I think is less than great is often the things that people like most! 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 19, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

  15. Thanks for this post Laura! I know that many women suffer from perfectionism, we should all allow ourselves some breathing room!

    Comment by Dorothy Pang, The Natural Fertility Expert — June 19, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

  16. Indeed!!!

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 20, 2013 @ 7:46 am

  17. Such an important post Laura. I too am an ex perfection addict. Ok, who am I kidding… I still am! BUT… I have learned to let a lot of that internal struggle go… I have a sign on my wall that says “strive for excellence not perfection” !

    Comment by Kelly — June 20, 2013 @ 10:58 am

  18. Excellent ( 😉 Sign!!! 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 20, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  19. I LOVE this article Laura!! You are 100% right!! And I will add that Progress = Happiness. Perfection only leads to frustration and disappointment…it’s an unattainable standard, because we are always striving to improve and grow…so there is no perfection!

    Comment by stacey — June 20, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

  20. Oh~ I think we have a formula being created. Progress + Mis-takes + lessons + successes + allowing flow = happiness!!!!!!! I’m all about the formula 😉

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 21, 2013 @ 7:00 am

  21. Wow, Laura. What a powerful post! As an unhappy perfectionist myself I acknowledge the need to move through it, past it and release it to become a fully present and joyful person.

    Comment by Katie Mazzocco — June 20, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

  22. OH Katie!!! I believe you just nailed it “Unhappy Perfectionist” I wonder if you can be a happy perfectionist 😉 (My lightbulbs just went off!) 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 21, 2013 @ 6:58 am

  23. Thank you for this post. Perfectionism is hard to give up, especially when one surrounds oneself with other high achievers! Yet, I know that when I do pull back and focus on excellence vs perfectionism, life gets much easier.

    Comment by Suzanne — June 20, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

  24. You are right, Suzanne! I think that that pulling back is letting part of your ego go. High achievers can be wonderful for your momentum or difficult for you to stay in the flow and allow yourself to just be YOU mis-takes and all! 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — June 21, 2013 @ 6:57 am

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