1. This won’t work.
  2. I’ll start tomorrow.
  3. I’ve got more important stuff to do right now.
  4. I don’t deserve that.
  5. That’s too foolish.
  6. Everybody will think I’ve gone crazy.
  7. I’m too old for this.
  8. I’m not experienced enough.
  9. Others are so much better.
  10. I’ve got nothing to contribute.
  11. They will never let me.
  12. I haven’t got what it takes.
  13. They won’t think this is a good idea.
  14. They don’t think this is a good idea.
  15. I’m crazy.
  16. I’m fooling myself.
  17. (And I’m making a fool of myself.)
  18. I’m wasting my time.
  19. This is just too frivolous.
  20. This is so out of character, this is so not me.
  21. This is too risky.
  22. Besides, I haven’t got enough time.
  23. They count on me (and when I’m doing that thing, I will have less time for them).
  24. I’ll disappoint them.
  25. I haven’t done this before.
  26. I’ll fail.
  27. (And they’ll all be laughing behind my back.)
  28. This is too soon; I need to read this book, take this training, … first.
  29. I’m not ready.
  30. I’ll never be as successful as they are.
  31. So why bother?

How are you talking yourself out of doing something?



8 Responses to 31 fail proof ways a perfectionist talks herself out of doing something.

  1. Mindy Crary says:

    Awesome as usual An! As a recovering perfectionist, I am familiar with MANY of these phrases you’ve unearthed. I am still not totally comfortable with failure, but I am learning that failure isn’t the end of the project, it’s usually only halfway through :o )

    • An says:

      “Failure isn’t the end of the project, it’s usually only halfway through.” Love. that. That’s such a brilliant perspective, Mindy! (So gonna tweet it ;) )

  2. Ah, yes! #16 is particularly vexing me right now, but I’ve said almost off of those (only to myself, of course!) at one time or another. So far I’m pushing through anyway, but I think I need an extra shove to get my momentum back from the “I’m fooling myself” drain.

    • An says:

      You bring up such an interesting point, Joanna, that’s often so true for most of us: we say those things to ourselves, but would never ever say that to a friend that would be walking around with the same plans, ideas, dreams, … as we do. Instead so often we’d be encouraging and supportive. What would you say to a friend that would be exactly where you are today?

  3. Blaze says:

    29, number 29…is there a 29 in the house?

  4. Debra Smouse says:

    Oh, the perfectionist. Amazing how my perfectionists voice sounds much like yours. And I’ve learned “everyone”??? WHO is everyone?? That has helped me tremendously quiet her little voice.

    • An says:

      Yes, definitely. Plus, so what if “they” don’t like us? Some will not like us and what we do. And that’s cool. And others will love us and what we do. I looove that SWSWSWSW perspective: “Some will. Some won’t. So what? Someone’s waiting.”

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