Students Tilburg University

Training Positive Perfectionism

A short and interactive training aimed at exchanging experiences, gaining new insights and applying these insights directly to your daily life.

Many people are perfectionists in one or more areas of their lives. They do their best to do things as well as possible and strive for quality. These people are accurate, reliable, and focused on improvement in their work, for example.
For others, perfectionism has become more than a way of working; they are constantly trying to be the best version of themselves. They expect themselves to perform well to very well in all areas of their lives. Think of education, work, social contacts, relationships, sports, nutrition, appearance, and emotions.

This form of perfectionism can cause you constantly do things flawlessly and to focus on what is not yet good enough. The expectations of yourself (and others) are not realistic. Because these high demands cannot be reached or take a heavy toll, your perfectionism affects your personal well-being. Students regularly mention complaints that are related to their perfectionism. For example, a constant feeling of being rushed, finding it hard to relax, feelings of guilt, anxiety, fear of failure, panic, gloom, irritation, or shame.

The training Positive Perfectionism was developed to let you experience that you really are not the only one, to gain insight and get advice in a group context, and to exchange experiences. You take a first step in letting go of your compulsory perfectionism and learn how you can give it a positive turn.

For whom

This training is intended for Tilburg University students for whom perfectionism goes hand in hand with:

  • a lot of “have to” and “must”
  • panic when it is not successful
  • always going on and on
  • difficulty relaxing
  • criticizing yourself (and others)
  • fear of failure

And those who:

  • want to work in a group on their personal development
  • want to change their perfectionist behavior
  • are prepared to make other choices
  • are willing to set themselves realistic goals
  • want to develop a supportive internal dialogue

The training

This training provides the opportunity to reflect within a small group on perfectionism in your life. During the training, you will start to change your perfectionist behavior and develop your own perspective on Positive Perfectionism.

Regarding Positive Perfectionism, you can think of:

  • having realistic expectations of yourself and others;
  • recognizing and respecting your limitations; setting realistic goals
  • making conscious choices and live by them
  • seeing yourself as a starting point for development (versus; comparing yourself to others)
  • relaxation follows effort (relaxation is meaningful)
  • having enough consideration for the things that are going well
  • being able to settle for less when needed
  • prioritizing your personal goals
  • formulating helpful thoughts that correspond to these priorities 

The training is aimed at taking a number of steps in the right direction. You build on what works and change what does not work.

In the 1st session, you formulate a concrete goal for change and directly start with the first step.
You can learn in the 2nd meeting to look at your own thoughts, feelings, and behavior from a different perspective. After the training you will have a better understanding of the interaction between these 3 factors and are able to adopt more helpful thoughts and behaviors.
During the 3rd meeting, stress management and (reducing) procrastination are discussed. In stress management, a distinction is made between preventing stress, signaling stress and adjusting when stress occurs. 
In the 4th training session, you reflect on the new insights and skills; what have you learned, what have you already changed, what questions do you still have and what do you want to focus on in the future.
The final meeting will specifically allow for your questions and interaction about Positive Perfectionism.

Working method

The training consists of 4 training sessions of 1.5 hour and 1 follow-up meeting of 1 hour, in a small group (6–12 participants). Participants are expected to attend each session. During the training we will be working in plenary and in pairs. The language of communication is English. 

Information about the training

Friday 1st of March 10:45 – 12:30

Friday 15th of March 10:45 – 12:30

Friday 5th of April 10:45 – 12:30

Friday 26th of April 10:45 – 12:30

Friday 17th of May 10:45 – 12:00 (follow-up)

Please be considerate of your participation in the training; 
- Make sure you can attend all meetings.
- If you have registered but are prevented from attending, please give notice as soon as possible.
- If you have any doubt about participating; please send an e-mail to the trainer.
TrainerAnne Swaans, Student Psychologist
LocationOn Campus
Costs and participationOne-off € 49
RegisterVia the link at the bottom of this page

Are you interested in the training, but unable to attend the scheduled dates? Then please let us know of your interest by e-mail. You can send an e-mail to


During the sessions, different topics are discussed. There is room for interaction, questions, and discussion. In order to make the best possible use of the available time, participants are expected to work out some questions or registration assignments themselves before the start of the training and between sessions. Below, you will find the preparations for the first session.

  1. Please answer the questions below. Your answers will be the starting point for the 1st session.
    • What makes you want to hold on to perfectionism (the benefits)?
    • When does perfectionism work for you?
    • In what way can you take benefit from your perfectionism?

2. Mention one or more learning objectives for the training.

  • What do you want to learn, practice, discuss?
  • Try to formulate the learning goals positively (what dó you want) and concretely