Schedule a Call!

Enjoyed this article? Please consider sharing it below.

Women have been educated to be perfect – How to break the paradigm

For many, perfectionism is considered a virtue. Because of our history, we have a chip deeply embedded in our heads that tells us that we must work harder than anyone else to achieve something. Although this desire to improve can be a positive trait, it can also lead to unhealthy behaviors.

For women, the pressure to be perfect can be particularly intense.

Although organizations are making great efforts to close the gender gap in leadership positions, the truth is that women still have some obstacles to face in order to grow, be recognized and succeed in the corporate world. The challenge is daunting, but although some obstacles are external, the most important comes from within.

Today, many of us face stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace, resulting in a constant need to prove our value. As a result, we feel compelled to be exemplary professionals and work twice as hard to be taken seriously, climb the corporate ladder, and achieve success. This constant pressure ends up being very exhausting.

To break the paradigm, we need to understand where all this behavior comes from. Once identified, we can begin to rethink all our beliefs and strengthen our mentality to progressively advance in our personal and professional lives.

Culture influences women today

For many, perfectionism is considered a virtue. Because of our history, we have a chip deeply embedded in our heads that tells us that we must work harder than anyone else to achieve something. Although this desire to improve can be a positive trait, it can also lead to unhealthy behaviors.

It is common for parents to teach their children to be the best they can be, to put in all their efforts to get the best grades, and to meet a list of social requirements.

When it comes to girls and young women, the demand is greater. Research by Girlguiding UK revealed that a quarter of girls aged 7 to 10 felt the need to be perfect. This desire seems to influence thinking from an early age.

As we grow, we learn to strive for excellence and never settle for less than that. Not only do we have to be the best students, be polite and behave well, but we also have to sit like “ladies”, dress well for every occasion, be good daughters, good sisters, good mothers, please everyone and not raise eyebrows. voice.

This list of requirements gives girls the feeling that if they fail in at least one of these, they are not good enough. A girl who believes that she must be flawless, or produce perfect work every time, will clearly be very unhappy, since it is impossible for her to ever achieve her goals.

How to break the paradigm

Recognize the negative effects of perfectionism

The first step to breaking the culture of perfectionism is to recognize the negative traits it has in our lives. Perfectionism can lead to fear of failure, which prevents us from taking risks and seeking new opportunities. It can also cause anxiety and exhaustion.

Instead of striving to reach impossibly high levels, it’s key to focus on progress. Women must learn to accept our imperfections and see mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth. By recognizing them, we can change our mindset and approach work and life with a healthier perspective.

Set realistic goals and expectations

Women should set ambitious but achievable goals, rather than setting impossible standards for ourselves. It is essential to ensure that the objectives are achievable and have a clear plan to achieve them. This will help avoid the pressure of feeling like we have to be perfect all the time.

Celebrate achievements

We must take the time to celebrate when some achievement has been achieved, no matter how small it may seem.

It is important to remember that if you set realistic goals, it will be easier to succeed. Each step is an advancement in our careers, a new opportunity to recognize hard work and all the progress we have made toward our goals.

Practice self-compassion

Women need to learn to be kind and compassionate to ourselves, treating ourselves with understanding and patience instead of harsh criticism. It’s okay if something hasn’t worked the way we wanted, we have another chance to improve it.

We must break this cycle of self-criticism. As people say, “treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love.”

Find support

We are not alone. Seeking support from others can be a helpful way to maintain a healthy perspective. Whether they are friends, family or colleagues, sharing with them the challenges we face or how we feel at that moment is very helpful. Also share our goals and work experiences, you never know who can help us achieve them or encourage us to continue working to achieve them.

Additionally, seeking guidance from a coach or mentor can be very beneficial in overcoming any difficulties we face.


As women, we often face pressure to be perfect in all aspects of our lives. This pressure can come from our families, our culture, and even our workplaces; And while striving for excellence can be beneficial, when it becomes an unhealthy behavior, it has negative consequences such as burnout, imposter syndrome, and fear of failure.

By maintaining unattainable ideals, we end up becoming demotivated, we will never feel good enough and we will miss out on experiencing the joys of achievement.

Therefore, breaking the culture of perfectionism is essential to achieve success. Women can achieve our goals without sacrificing our well-being.

If you are a woman of purpose, but you feel that perfectionism is preventing you from achieving your goals, there is a way to do it without sacrificing your well-being and developing a better relationship with yourself. Join my program and get out of that trap that sabotages your growth.

The original version of this publication appeared in Mujeres Líderes

What kind of transformation are you looking to accomplish?


Did you find all you needed to know?

Before leaving, make sure to leave your contact details so we can help you reach your leadership goals. See you soon!

Schedule a Call!

Let’s talk about your coaching needs and get started on building a pipeline of diverse leaders.