£5 – £8

How to Escape Toxic Perfectionism by Harriet Waley-Cohen

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The Bolton Pub

326 Earls Court Road




United Kingdom

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Have you ever imagined what it would be life to have the perfect life, the perfect career, the perfect social life, the perfect body and the perfect relationships? Perfection is supposed to be the place where fulfilment, happiness, success and validation await.

Except striving for perfection is not generally propelling people towards greatness: the latest studies by psychologist show a significant rise in perfectionism, and alongside it, a corresponding rise in anxiety, depression, eating disorders and elevated blood pressure. Perfectionism can be toxic for wellbeing and especially for self-esteem.

External pressure to appear ‘perfect’ has never been so high. The media tells women that they should be slim, successful, ambitious, fabulously and fashionably turned out, have a beautiful home that looks interior magazine perfect, throw dinner parties with intricate menus, bake organic cakes for the school charity sale, model glowing skin, meditate before dawn and be calm at all times…and don’t forget the coconut oil…!

For men, it is not any better. Fitness magazine covers are adorned with oiled models with 6 packs, and culture tells men to be heroes, courageous, risk takers, bread winners, competitive, successful, drive flashy cars, yet at the same time, be in touch with their emotions and not stray into the territory of toxic masculinity. With suicide rates climbing for young men, many who fail at their attempts on their own lives cite their inability to be perfect as a reason for wanting to give up completely.

The ideals that are put forward are unrealistic at best and perpetuate the toxicity of striving for perfectionism at worst. This has a detrimental effect on confidence, self-esteem, health, happiness, relationships and career trajectory.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to release yourself from the grip of toxic perfectionism, and see how that affected you and your relationships?

In this talk, you will learn:

  • What perfectionism’s empowering and disempowering sides are (all rather Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader).

  • What the root causes of perfectionism are and why this is so important for moving forwards.

  • How perfectionism might be affecting you and your relationships.

  • What to do to let go of the disempowering side of perfectionism.

  • Practical way for shifting to the more empowered attitude of focusing on your progress.

  • How to get your validation from yourself rather than the external, thus putting yourself permanently in the driving seat of your own worth.

Harriet Waley-Cohen is happiest when inspiring and empowering others to transform their lives, especially how they feel about themselves. Having been through multiple transformations herself – leaving a decade long city career for motherhood and entrepreneurship, being over 15 years in recovery from addictions, leaving an unhappy marriage and going on to flourish, curing her body of eczema and allergies, and more recently adjusting to life with major injuries from a car accident – Harriet is ideally placed to understand the support, commitment, guidance and tools it takes to make changes that stick.

She has a BSc in Psychology from UCL and over 14 years’ experience mentoring young women with addictions. As a coach, she is certified by IIN, New York in health & wellbeing, and women’s leadership movement One of Many.

Harriet is highly sought-after speaker and coach within the corporate, educational and personal development sectors. Her approach is to show people how to become in complete partnership with themselves in every area of life. Overwhelm, self-doubt, self-sabotage and destructive habits become a thing of the past, replaced by confidence, self-esteem, emotional and physical wellbeing, happiness, fulfilment, balance and success.

Past audiences include Microsoft, Invesco, Spencer Ogden, Awin, Nosh Detox, Osbourne Clark, Vodafone, Barclays, IBM, BBC, Imperial College London, Goodman Masson, Trinity Catholic School, Interesting Talks London, Vision Collective, The Confidence Lounge, UK Health Radio, Hayley Quinn’s events, Home House, Speaker Express, Women Economic Forum, LOVEx, Shape Your Destiny, Funzing, Women on Fire, Mum To Millionaire podcast.

‘Harriet’s talk on confidence was fantastic. Not only did she give us plenty of practical steps to take away with us, she also talked through the theories underlying particular techniques. I’ve already started using more positive body language and ‘anchoring’, associating a positive scenario to a physical action. Harriet is a really inspiring, fun and motivational speaker, I’ll definitely be going to another event – thank you!’

Omi Ducat

‘Harriet is really sharp, intuitive and insightful. I found her talk full of hands-on, practical advice and her honesty and vulnerability on stage simply beautiful. I look forward to coming again and will follow her career closely.’

Paulina Tenner, Founder of Granttree

‘Harriet has been my guest on a number of podcasts and has also spoken at my events. Harriet is an inspiration to me. Her message is profound, sensitive and clear. As someone who has lived through as much as she has, Harriet has come out glowing and extremely wise. I would recommend her coaching and talks to anyone who is lucky enough to work with her.’

Hayley Quinn, dating and love expert. September 2016

‘Fantastic talk, such great value and information, highly recommended. Thank you Harriet!’

Faisal Khokar, masculinity and femininity coach and speaker

“It was a joy to listen to Harriet and to share this experience with the lovely people in the room. “What would you do differently if you didn’t have this limiting belief?” Is the most useful piece of advice I’ve heard in years. Thank you Harriet!”


“Most excellent! Some great tips. Don’t hesitate to go to any of her talks; she really is that fantastic. Still skipping along…”


” Harriet is really amazing life coach and inspirational. Met lots of people and went home smiling.


“One of the best Interesting Talks I’ve been to. Excellent practical tips and Harriet spoke so honestly. I hope she does other talks in the future.”


“Thank you Harriet for a great talk and sharing the work, and your own story is very inspiring.”


“Harriet was completely authentic, a great model of what she was teaching, and warm and friendly as well! Very glad I went.”


“Fantastic. Harriet, you are amazing! So many fab tips and such a good talk. Thank you so much. :)”


“Got a lot out of this very entertaining, fun, informative and helpful talk. Big thanks to Matt for organising and especially Harriet.”


‘Your talk was absolutely amazing. I would love to have the confidence to get up and speak like that! I particularly loved what you said about eating healthily and dressing nicely and the effect it has on self-respect. I’ve also been using the wonderwoman power pose at work a lot – going to the bathroom and secretly doing it – and I’ve noticed that I’m immediately feeling different and more confident. It was an awesome event! Thanks for your brilliant tips, which are being put into action today!’

– Sarah Lister, adventure coach

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The Bolton Pub

326 Earls Court Road




United Kingdom

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