SSW Your Guide to Thrive: Progress Not Perfection

20 November 2023, 10:00 am–11:30 am

Animated image of students holding a 'thumbs up'

Many university students struggle with confidence and self-belief. Join us for what will be an insightful talk on perfectionism by DEI expert Harriet Waley-Cohen.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL students






Student Support and Wellbeing


102 Drama Studio
Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

‘Your Guide to Thrive’ organised by Student Support and Wellbeing is a fun-packed week in Term 1 (Monday 20th - Friday 24th November 2023) designed to help you develop good self-care practices at UCL. Our talks, walks and workshops will nurture your financial and academic skills, as well as your physical and mental health. Be sure to book your spot at these events and activities!

Progress Not Perfection

Striving for perfection and comparing yourself to others can damage your mental wellbeing. Join this talk with perfectionism and imposter syndrome expert Harriet Waley-Cohen to learn how to let go of self-criticisms and remember the skills and successes that brought you to university.

Being successful as a student, in our careers and our personal lives is something we all want to achieve, but at what cost? Setting high standards for ourselves can sometimes be detrimental, particularly when we don't meet our own unrealistic expectations. This can lead to burnout, inefficiency, stress and anxiety. 

Throughout this talk, Harriet will explain how we can break free from toxic perfectionism in all areas of life, changing our mindset to strive for progress rather than perfection. You will learn: 

  • What toxic perfectionism looks and feels like, and strategies for tackling it
  • What causes toxic perfectionism and how it can negatively impact you
  • The intersectional lens observing layers of privilege and disadvantage, and how this relates to perfectionism
  • The comparison between a wellbeing-first approach, and a productivity or achievement-based measure for confidence, self-respect and success

Places are limited, so make sure you book your spot!

If you are interested in this event, you may also want to register for Harriet's other talk, 'From Imposter to Invincible' where you will learn how to take control of your inner world and recognise all that you truly are.

Find out what else is happening during Student Support and Wellbeing's 'Your Guide to Thrive' week here. Our wide range of Events and Activities throughout the academic year help you maintain your physical, emotional and mental health. Student Support and Wellbeing strive to give all UCL students the chance to try something new, make friends and develop wellbeing skills for university and beyond. We hope to see you at one of our events soon!

Build your SSW

Student Support and Wellbeing curate termly campaigns to support the three core aspects of your own SSW: Social bonding, Skills for life and Wellbeing at university. Each activity aims to develop one, two, or all three of these aspects.

Venn diagram with each circle showing Social, Wellbeing and Skills

About the Speaker

Harriet Waley-Cohen

Harriet Waley-Cohen Corporate Photo

UCL alumna (BSc Psychology, 1998) Harriet Waley-Cohen is a speaker, facilitator, trainer and coach who specialises in DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) issues. Her work has empowered thousands of people to find their value and self-worth for over fifteen years.

From workshops and programmes to training and consultancy, Harriet aims to help companies and institutions start new conversations about DEI in both professional and personal contexts. Learn more about Harriet and her work.

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing and delighted to invite Harriet back to UCL for our Your Guide to Thrive campaign. Harriet will to share her self-worth expertise with you during two in-person talks designed to tackle two of the most common problems that university students face today: perfectionism and imposter syndrome.