Shouldaholics Anonymous

Are you a shouldaholic?


Normal perfectionists can strive for excellence without harm to their self-esteem. Neurotic perfectionists, or shouldaholics, will set unreasonably high expectations and then beat themselves up when they don’t achieve them.

A shouldaholic overuses the word ‘should’ by:
  • setting high expectations (I “should” do this perfectly, easily, without help, etc.; At the same time, I “should also” be a great mother, wife and manager)
  • measuring self-worth by accomplishment (I “should only” be proud, satisfied, etc. if I have done this by such and such an age, I am rich, I can afford to vacation every year)
  • labelling self harshly for unmet expectations (I “should have” been able to do that, and because I wasn’t able to, I must be dumb, lazy, incompetent, a loser, etc.)
  • having an all or nothing mentality (I “should always” “should never“…)
A shouldaholic prioritizes:
  • results over price
  • “perception of” over “authentic” self
  • judgment over relationship
  • control over reality
A shouldaholic:
  • has a biased filter with which to interpret the world
  • creates stress through shame, blame, and guilt
  • finds it difficult to celebrate successes or accept praise
  • is susceptible to burnout

If this resonates with you, you may be a shouldaholic!


A recovering shouldaholic assigns only ‘SUCCESS’ or ‘LEARNING OPPORTUNITY’ to each outcome.

A recovering shouldaholic prioritizes:
  • improvement over perfection
  • healthy boundaries over accomplishments
  • relationships over expectations
  • collaboration over winning
A recovering shouldaholic:
  • adjusts expectations based on resources available
  • does not define self-esteem based on outcomes
  • practices non-violent communication when dealing with unmet needs
  • develops values-based boundaries

Do you want to start your recovery journey from shouldaholicism?

Free Resources


Designing Your Journey

Whether you choose to design this journey by yourself or work with someone, it can be helpful to start with a flexible 12-week template so that it can be tailormade to suit your lived experiences, personality, resources, relationships, and responsibilities.

See if this will help!

The 6 LAYERS Poster

Are you a recovering shouldaholic? Do you need to build a pathway for healing?

Do you want to know the 6 layers to recovering from neurotic perfectionism?

Print a poster for your desk for free!

The Day Planner

Do you want to track your progress and implement the techniques your therapist, counsellor, or coach discusses with you? Are you trying to develop habits to build your capacity to manage triggers?

Download it for free!


Personalized Support


Book a Private Coaching Chat

If shouldaholicism is a real struggle for you and it is negatively impacting your life, you may need a third party to provide you with a different perspective and/or suggestions.

Book a half an hour chat to design your own unique healing journey or to determine if you would like to work with a certified trauma recovery coach to work through the six layers of recovery from shouldaholicism.

Provide three time slots:

Interested in the Ultimate Parent Success Course?

Many parents are shouldaholics and are burning out. The Ultimate Parent Success Course is about you making profound shifts in your parenting and family relationships.

You will release old unconscious belief patterns and replace them with your own empowering beliefs. The 12-week program includes weekly sessions with a certified parent coach and an online component with videos and meditations.

Coming in August 2021!