The Blog


12 Steps of Recovering Perfectionists Anonymous

Step 1: We admitted that our lives had become significantly less peaceful due to perfectionism.

Step 2: Came to believe that cultivating consistent self-compassion and self-kindness could restore us to sanity.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of ourselves, just as we are.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory to grow where and when we choose, knowing that self-growth can sometimes feel like one baby step forward and two large steps back.

Step 5: Admitted to ourselves that we are ready to be genuine and multi-faceted. We no longer want to project the false narrative of ourselves into the world as only positive and strong.rainbow box of emotions

We also recognize our inherent worthiness and beauty when we feel bad, broken, negative or weak.

We choose to use the ENTIRE box of rainbow colors of emotion.

Step 6: Decided we’re entirely ready to stop or reduce our unattainable and exhausting striving to look perfect, admired by and acceptable to others.

Step 7: Humbly asked our Higher Power (God, Buddha, Mother Earth, your choice) to remind us often that we can have happier, well rounded, peaceful lives when we actively seek to reduce our perfectionistic tendencies.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and shamed (including ourselves) from atop our perfectionistic platform, and became willing to stop it now.

Step 9: Made a list of all persons who require perfection from us, and became willing to, gently yet firmly, let down their unrealistic expectations of us.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we found ourselves starting to strive for perfection again – due to comparisonitis or otherwise – we promptly admitted it and stopped the behavior with self compassion and kindness.

Step 11: Sought through meditation, prayer, community and creativity to color outside the lines in our lives, improving our self-compassion and self-kindness so that each day we accept, like and love ourselves a little bit more – just as we are now.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message by EXAMPLE and we committed to practicing these principles in our one colorful, messy, beautiful life. ~ Maritza Parra

Created with love especially for all founding members of Recovering Perfectionists Anonymous.

Want to be a member? Download the 12 Steps pledge here (no optin required), print it, sign it, date it and you’re in and loved exactly as you are.


Any spelling or grammatical errors in the above document are intentional and placed there in a further effort to become perfectionistically sober. 

Posted in


  1. Kim on August 16, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    This is lovely my friend.
    Thank you!

    • Maritza Parra on August 16, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you Kim! A lot about what we’ve chatted about recently! Cannot wait to see you soon – there will be much talking and laughing. <3

  2. Julia on August 17, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I am a proud member of Recovering Perfectionists Anonymous.
    The 12 steps are a wonderful way to facilitate the recovery process.

    Thank you so much Maritza.

    • Maritza Parra on August 27, 2018 at 10:41 am

      You’re so welcome Julia! Having these printed up where I can see them helps me to stay strong and keep remembering that I’m imperfect and enough.

  3. […] worked on becoming a recovering perfectionist for years. This has resulted in a lot of work created and potential […]

Leave a Comment