Episode #37 Let Go Of Perfection - Caroline Flanagan

Episode #37 Let Go Of Perfection

This week I’m tackling one of the topics I know many of you struggle with: perfectionism. I’ve noticed that while many of you would rather not have the negative side of perfectionism – taking more time to do things, being afraid of negative feedback, the stress involved in always trying to produce to the highest standard to avoid being ‘found out’ – at the same time you are very attached to the idea of yourself as a perfectionist because of what it says about your work ethic. You see it as one of your strengths and the foundation upon which you’ve built your career.

If you are someone who struggles with perfection, seeing it as part of your identity is one of the things that are holding you back. It’s time to let it go.

In this week’s podcast I offer 6 strategies for letting go of perfection:

  1. Change how you talk about yourself.
  2. Disrupt your process by producing B- work. (Yes, you did read that right!)
  3. Plan results ahead of time

Listen to this week’s episode to discover the remaining 3 strategies and how to make them work for you. Here’s what you’ll also learn:

  1. The worst thing about perfectionism
  2. Perfectionism in the world of parenting
  3. Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome
  4. Why the most important work you can do is to get to know yourself
  5. What’s possible when you let go of perfection

Mentioned in this podcast:

  1. Upcoming events and dates for your diary:
      1. Tuesday 19 November 2019: The Babyproof Breakfast Workshop: Confidence vs Courage – which will take you further and how do you get more of it
      2. Wednesday 4 December 2019: Build Your Profile, Raise Your Visibility hosted by Katten Muchin Rosenman
      3. Wednesday 11 December 2019: Build Your Profile, Raise Your Visibility hosted by Sidley Austin
  2. My book: Babyproof Your Career – How to balance career and family so you can enjoy it all
  3. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
  4. Episode 36: For Growth’s sake
  5. Episode 35: External Validation
  6. Episode 13: Courage as a tool
  7. HBR article on women needing to be 100% qualified to apply for a role


I am more than happy to share wonderful feedback about you. Working with you has been life changing and continues to inspire me and help me grow.

Coaching client, Director, PwC Legal

I wanted to let you know that I have been promoted to counsel. Thanks very much to your coaching I have managed to get through one of the most challenging years of my career and managed to achieve what I had hoped to! I might not have made it were it not for your advice and guidance.

Client C, Solicitor

When I came into the office the following Monday, I could see the effect that you’d had. People were visibly changed as a result of your talk.

Oli Holmes, Accenture

Caroline came to speak to our Balance Employee Network about “How to babyproof your career so you can balance your life”. I really enjoyed preparing this event together. Caroline took great care in understanding the needs of the audience to make her message even more powerful. The whole process from preparing the event invitation to getting feedback was very professional with a wonderful personal touch.

Louise Walewska, Presentation Client, HSBC Asset Management

Caroline, I can’t thank you enough for the help you gave me while starting to think of family planning. Your level-headed approach to some of the things I was panicking about has put everything into perspective. Not to mention that talking through and planning how to run my company single-handedly with a child was invaluable. I really appreciate having the after-session documents to work through in my own time and have been referring to them frequently. I cannot recommend a Babyproof Your Life session highly enough when starting to think about children – everyone should do this! Many thanks again.

Client T, UK, Babyproof Client

Caroline did a fantastic job as the guest speaker at our latest Women with Ambition networking event: 'How to ensure kids don’t derail your career'. Caroline’s talk was engaging and insightful and feedback from our clients that attended was overwhelmingly positive. All of the delegates mentioned they had gained some sound advice from Caroline’s presentation, regardless of whether they were thinking about having children, were already parents or were managing individuals with family commitments. Caroline has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to continuing to develop our working relationship in the future. I would highly recommend working with her.

Sally Clare, Head of Diversity, Ambition UK