DonnaD. SAID:

I’m a perfectionist in everthing I do. My looks included. I just turned 51 and am starting to get wrinkles above my lip. This has caused me great anxiety. The problem escales because people feel the need to point out my wrinkles. I’m considering laser treatment. Why do people do say such things and how do I get over this perfectionism?

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5 Answers

  1. Sue Bock wrote on :

    “The perfectionist is doomed to starve in the midst of plenty.” ~ Willard & Marguerite Beecher

    Donna it sounds like you are in a lot of pain. It also sounds like you are painting a picture of yourself as a victim. I’d like to know a little bit more about you. What is so important about being a perfectionist? When we strive for perfection we are usually disappointed. When we strive for giving our 100% at any given time our perspective changes. What would you rather strive for, perfectionism or your 100%?

    I work as a coach and I work in a very perfectionistic (OK, so maybe that’s not a real word) profession, nursing. I give my 100% every moment while I’m at the bedside. I used to strive for perfection and now I strive for the 100% because the perfection just became so exhausting.

    Your wrinkles are just the symptom of the perfection you desire. You are more than your wrinkles. I can feel it.

    Donna, here’s a blog I wrote about perfection.

    With warm hugs

    Sue Bock, CPCC, ACC

  2. Susan Tolles wrote on :


    So many women struggle with perfectionism,which keeps them stuck in a rut, paralyzed by stress, low self-esteem, and fear of failure or of disappointing others. We constantly compare ourselves with others, ignoring the unique natural gifts and personality traits that make each of us so fascinating.

    Tammy and Betsy have shared some great advice, so I will add to what they have said “Treat yourself as you would your best friend.” If your best friend was worried about her wrinkles, what would you say to her? Wouldn’t you love her anyway? If her project/report had flaws, or her party table didn’it look like Martha Stewart’s, would you criticize her, or say “hey, you’re human, just like the rest of us?” It is in our imperfections that we become authentic and real.

    Celebrate who you are by taking inventory of your gifts, accomplishments and passions. Ask others for their input as well by sending them an email with this question: “When you hear my name, what are the first words that come to your mind?” I’m guessing their words won’t include “wrinkled!”

    Lastly, consider the women you truly admire. What makes them so special? What is really important about their lives, and what imperfections do you consider inconsequential? This will give you further insight into what really matters in life.

    “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~Lucille Ball

    Have a good skin care regimen, minimize sun exposure and embrace your “wisdom lines.” You are worth it!


  3. Leah Halvorsen wrote on :

    Perfectionism can become quite crippling. When we are harsh with ourselves through our perfectionist lens, we lose our resilience to let thoughtless comments bounce off us. We make others right, and ourselves wrong (and in need of fixing). Notice where those negative comments made by others are propelling you. The antidote to this is self compassion, and while that may not be an easy leap after a life marinated in perfection, it is possible. You have been given some great suggestions on books already, and I would mirror those. Retraining your mind and heart toward compassionate and empowered thinking also benefits from time with a coach who works with this area. You deserve to know and love the woman you see in the mirror Donna, and this is not achieved by lasering “imperfections”.
    If you have interest in talking more, you can find me at

    Leah Halvorsen CPCC, PCC

  4. Betsy Karp wrote on :

    When I was reading this I can remember back a few years ago, when some stranger I had met stated to me “Wow, look at all of your wrinkles above your lip”. I was shocked she said something and was very upset for weeks after. I looked in the mirror and saw the wrinkles and made peace with them. Yes, I do have some wrinkles, I’m human and they are not so bad. Once I made peace inside and in my mind I let it go, maybe you can do the same. Love yourself for all of you , just as you are …Because you are perfect just the way you are! Laser might work, but I have found that women who do work near or on their lips looks horrible. It’s very plastic and looks fake. I hope this helps. Betsy Karp, founder of

  5. Tammy Hibler wrote on :

    Having high standards is good when it serves you, and it sounds like your perfectionism is not serving you. The first step is awareness and you have that. Great!

    The next level is understanding what is behind the perfectionism. What are you afraid of (take the wrinkle as the example)? One of my favorite thought leaders on this topic is Brene Brown and she states: ‘If I look perfect, do it perfect, work perfect and live perfect, I can avoid or minimize shame, blame and judgment.” Many perfectionist (I’m a recovering one) are afraid people will see them for who they really are they won’t measure up. I highly recommend her book: Gifts of Imperfection.

    Practice self-compassion, self-love and a knowing “you are enough.” Tony Robbins stated that two driving forces that affect our behavior is not being loved and not being enough. You were born enough. Make a daily practice of self-compassion by writing down 5 things you love about yourself and what you are great for in you.

    Let go of what others think. Do not take things personally. Nothing other people say or do is because of you. It is projection of their own reality, dream or want for themselves.

    Lastly, keep asking for help, support, and be patient with the process. Changing our thoughts and behavior take time and you are worth it. Seeking a coach or counselor.for support and learning.

    Why do angels have wings? —– Because they take themselves lightly.

    Take yourself lightly, and love your wisdom wrinkles. Be well!
    Coach Tammy

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