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  • Writer's pictureCleo Matlou

Break Free from Perfectionism to Enhance Your Financial Relationship and Grow Your Wealth

Break Free from Perfectionism to Enhance Your Financial Relationship and Grow Your Wealth by Cleo Matlou for SOULACY Magazine

Overthinking. Overcomplicating. Analysis Paralysis. Shame. These words all point to the direction of one unachievable destination.


It’s a personality trait disguised as a strong need for excellence and high standards for oneself. It’s okay to strive to be those things but when it gets tangled with unrealistic expectations, that’s when we need to take a step back and see what’s really happening beneath the surface.

Time and time again, the biggest area I see perfectionism hindering well-established women is with their relationship with money and their capacity to grow more - and hold onto more - wealth in all areas of their lives.

Picture this:

- You're successful on paper, ticking off all the achievements but it doesn't feel as safe as you hoped;

- You're always worrying you never have enough money, not enjoying the fruits of your labour and when you do, feeling guilty for it;

- You're afraid to scale your business or climb higher on the corporate ladder because you believe more money and responsibility results to more stress, burnout, and being alone;

- You’re constantly chasing the money and experiencing a plateau of income whilst stuck in the same patterns of over-spending or fear of spending, in and out of debt cycles, and not feeling you’re making a dent towards your long-term financial goals.

After working with and alongside several women in finance for over 15 years, perfectionism is the red thread that runs through many limitations when it comes to money.

Let’s look at how you start to overcome perfectionism to make more money, hold onto money, and be in an overflow of money (MHO Framework™).

Making More Money

The three biggest challenges women face when it comes to making more money is surrendering to the idea of control, asking for help, and being okay with desiring more. 

The stress and burnout women face when desiring more is under the notion that in order to have it all, she must do it all or it won’t work. It won’t be perfect. 

The idea that, “No one can do it better than I can.”

Women feel that they must tick off every single box before they can go for the job they want. In business, women feel they must have every little detail thought out and validated before they can sell their services.

Brené Brown describes it beautifully with this quote: “When perfection is driving us, shame is riding shotgun, and fear is that annoying backseat driver.”

Breaking free from money shame is the permission slip to desire more. The mic drop moment for me around money shame was when I realised that the expectations and standards to live up to that we impose upon ourselves don’t belong to us. They are beliefs or money rules that you’re living with which aren’t in alignment to who you are and the type of person you desire to be. 

Breaking free from money shame is the permission slip to desire more.

So how is it even possible to live up to them perfectly if they aren’t your money rules to begin with? The interpretation of those rules will always be up for debate, scrutiny, and judgement. So the question is, who are you trying to satisfy if it isn’t you? An even better question, who’s shame is it?

Create the awareness of what money rules you regularly tell yourself and notice where they come from and whether they are true to you.

You can have it all without needing to do it ALL.

Holding onto Money

Perfectionists are more likely to engage in compulsive buying or overspending as a way of coping with financial anxiety or as a means of achieving a sense of control. You may feel spending more means getting closer to perfection, helping you feel more in control of life. In reality, it makes you question more and more about your worthiness.

Now, let's be clear here. I am all for women buying whatever they desire that is self-nourishing. How can you catch when your spend is out of alignment? Check in with yourself to see if you're self-soothing or trying to fill a void when spending. There is normally a scarcity feeling that's attached to the spend that will give the dopamine hit in the moment but will feed you with self imposed guilt and judgement once the hit has worn off. 

Name the emotion you're feeling, identify what you truly need in that moment, and be courageous to speak out about it.

Creating an Overflow of Money

Perfectionists may also be more likely to worry about financial security and may have a harder time taking risks when it comes to investing or making financial decisions. They may be more inclined to save every penny they earn and avoid investing in stocks or other financial instruments, even if those investments may have a high potential return.

This can lead to missed opportunities and a lower overall financial status. Perfectionists may also be more likely to experience financial stress and anxiety, which can further exacerbate their perfectionistic tendencies.

Take an objective look at the opportunities in front of you and assess how many of them will help you create a financial overflow.

How is perfectionism affecting your relationship with money and how can you overcome that to make more money, hold on to more money, and create an overflow of money?


TLDR: Perfectionism can significantly impact your financial relationship, leading to stress and missed opportunities. By recognizing and overcoming perfectionistic tendencies, women can improve their financial well-being, make more money, hold onto it, and create a sustainable overflow of wealth.


Cleo Matlou is a Wealth Embodiment & Mindset Coach and Founder of Women About Finance. Through her 1:1 and group coaching, she helps female-conscious leaders to have a healthy relationship with money to find financial peace whilst doing less and receiving abundantly more. She’s been featured in Women’s Health Magazine, Black Ballad, The Voice provided corporate and university workshops and hosts her own podcast, the Money Couch. She has 15+ years of experience in the finance industry, owning 3 properties, sound investments, and her own personal finance success story. Her mission is to coach and support women to future-proof their finances and build a legacy so they can achieve more equality, inclusivity, and freedom in their everyday lives. For more from Cleo, and to learn more about making money, retaining money, and being in an overflow of money stop by @womenaboutfinance on Instagram.



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