Have you ever felt that if you did not do something perfectly you would be better off not doing it at all? Have you ever felt so afraid of failure that it stopped you from achieving the goals you have set for yourself? My guests and I know how hard it is to deal with the pressure of perfectionism because we are working through it ourselves.
Malerie Veillon is an integrative coach that contributes to marketing for More Than Mindset, as well as helping other coaches get their marketing out into the world. Malerie has worked through her own perfectionism in her health and wellness journey so she knows what it takes to coach yourself through this ongoing process. Emily Heyer is a life coach for mothers who is also on the More Than Mindset team. As a coach and mother herself, she has learned how to overcome feeling like she has to be everything for everybody.
Tune in this week for my conversation with Malerie and Emily about why perfection is impossible, and why letting go of this pursuit can bring you peace. Emily shares how she is learning to have her own back despite making mistakes so she won’t be as hard on herself in the future, while Malerie explains how she is focused on simply doing her best rather than needing things to go perfectly. Both share what you can do to start embracing this mindset too.
Join me in Self Healing Masters, a program to heal your health, wealth, and relationships. Enrollment gets you lifetime access to my integrated healing approach so you can finally live your life’s purpose and help others. I can’t wait to see you there!
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- A quick and easy 4 step method you can use to replace your sneaky thoughts with intentions for what you DO want in life.
- Why putting yourself out there even if things are not “perfect” can grow you, and bring great results.
- How perfection is protection from past trauma, shame, and our inner critic.
- How trying and failing at something can be a learning experience.
- The real reason people will become your clients.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Join me in the More Than Mindset Facebook group!
- Check out my new YouTube channel!
- Follow me on Instagram!
- Follow me on Clubhouse @kimguillory and click the bell to get notified of upcoming classes! You can ask for an invite in the More Than Mindset Facebook group.
- Ep #113: Reparenting With Emily Heyer
- Ep #93: The Dance of Entrepreneurship with Malerie Veillon
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- Malerie Veillon: Website | Facebook | Training Vault | Email
- Emily Heyer: Website | Facebook
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to More Than Mindset, the only podcast that bridges the gap between spirituality and success. Go beyond the mind with clarity and confidence Coach Kim Guillory and learn how to integrate your passion to serve with your skills and experience to create a business you love. Let’s get started.
Hello, hello, and welcome back to the show. I have two guests for you today. We’re being a little silly this morning. What we are talking about is perfectionalism, is that how we say it? Perfectionism, not -alism, it’s perfectionism.
See, you don’t even have to be perfect, you could be on your own podcast and you could say it wrong and you will not die. Right? So interesting. And how it holds you back when you’re trying to be perfect. And it actually prevents prosperity.
We’re going to talk about how it affects relationships. And how it affects your business. And it affects how you treat yourself. So my guests today are Malerie Veillon and Emily Heyer, and I’m going to let them introduce themselves. And then we’re going to jump right in. Emily.
Emily: Hi. Yes, thanks for having me. I’m a life coach for moms. I live here in upstate New York with my husband and my little boy. And yeah, I definitely know about perfectionism and how it holds me back and clients and lots of people I know. So I’m excited to talk about this.
Malerie: Hey y’all. I’m Malerie, Veillon. I am an integrative coach and I use that to help market all of the More Than Mindset and everything that you see online from Kim Guillory Coaching, I’m the one putting it out there. And I also help support our coaches in E-school and help them get their marketing out into the world so that they can get, you know, helping their clients and the people that need to hear what they have to say.
So I definitely see, like I’ve experienced so much drama in my mind with trying to put myself out there or do something and perfectionism creeping its way in. And I see so much of it in my clients whenever they are trying to market themselves. So I have a lot to say.
Kim: Yeah, so what I see is it’s just black and white thinking, this all or none. It has to be perfect or du, du, du, du, du. Fill in the blank, right? I have this thing on my eye, so I can’t be on video. Or my hair, you know, was doing this thing. Or people are going to think I sound stupid, or this doesn’t make sense, or it’s not good enough. And what that does is buys a lot of time. We waste a lot of time.
I spent approximately four years not going live because of my backdrop. Like, I couldn’t find a place in the house that I liked where the internet was good and the lighting was good. And when I finally did find a space, it was a brick wall.
And I had so much drama about it, I was coached on it several times. And she coached me on this four-by-four square. And I was like, “No, no, no, it’s not a four-by-four square. It’s a really big deal.” Like I went into the story about the bricks and, you know, all of the stuff.
And so that’s kind of like just one example of how I was trying to make it perfect rather than done. So Emily, how has perfectionism shown up in your life?
Emily: Oh my goodness, if you happen to listen to the Reparenting podcast, I talk about this as becoming a new mom. This idea of like if I became a mom, then I have to do everything the right way because I consciously chose this role and I’m going to do the best job I could.
And so for me personally, that has come up a lot. If I can’t do it this way perfectly then I can’t do it at all. And when you’re a mom, it’s impossible because you have to just get up and do stuff, your kids are waiting for you.
So it’s broken down a lot of that for me and I see that when I talk to other moms, they’re wanting things to be right. And it usually comes from this place of trying to correct something from their past or their childhood, we talked about that last time.
But I even see it as a coach trying to share my message, same thing. Like my light is blinking right now and it’s driving me crazy. Or I have to make sure my kids are quiet or, you know, all the things that we do as moms. To have a phone call, and it’s like I can’t have a quiet phone call so I’m just not even going to call people.
And then your relationships suffer. I haven’t talked to certain people that I love in months because I’m like, “I can’t talk on the phone.” And I just have this idea that if I get interrupted, then I might as well not do it at all. I can’t create a video for my clients because if I get interrupted then it’s a huge failure.
I’ve been dealing with that a lot and getting coached on it. So yeah, as a parent trying to be the best parent you can with your kids, and then also a working parent trying to go back to work and figure out all the details and try to be everything to everybody is exhausting. And it also just doesn’t work.
Kim: Well you could be if you weren’t trying to be perfect.
Emily: Right, you could just satisfy your role in life. If you just let it all go you would actually show up as the person you’re supposed to be. But we put on these costumes, all these hats I have to wear. You know, I have to be the mother, the PTA mom, the teacher, the worker, the wife, the sister, the friend. And it doesn’t work if you’re putting on all those hats at once. Just be your one self even if that means “failing” sometimes.
Kim: You might as well not do it if you can’t do it perfectly, or if you can’t get it right. So one of my daughters used to say you just might as, it’s like stuck in our family, we say it all the time. It’s like you just might as, you just might as well. She just kind of like short cut it at a very young age and it really stuck with us.
And that’s what that was bringing it up like right now. That’s what I’m thinking when you said is like, “Oh yeah, you just might as quit.” It’s like the might as touch.
Malerie, how has this shown up in, let’s talk about like fitness, wellness, dieting, that kind of thing. Because when you were getting coaching early on in the weight loss and wellness group it was about getting up and exercising and doing the thing you wanted to do. And it was kind of that all or none. And you’ve actually just hit this huge goal, you kind of exceeded anything you thought possible. We posted about it this morning.
So how did you make that shift from, I have to quit, I have to stop, I can’t get it, it’s not working to actually following through?
Malerie: Let me just say it is not complete. It is always a work in progress. And it got to a point last year where I felt like everything sucked. Like everything was suffering because how you do anything is how you do everything. So it felt like everything in my life was suffering because I was waiting until I could do it all perfectly to do it.
And so it just delayed everything that I was trying to work on and trying to improve in my life. Including the fitness and the wellness, and the, you know, the good eating habits and all of those things. And it got to where I was just fed up with myself.
Like I had hit that brick wall so many times and I was like, “Okay, I quit, I give up. Obviously that way does not work and I’m going to try something different.” Like the role of the 3/5 in Human Design, right, so just keep trying something different until you figure out what does work.
And it was once I started getting consistent with doing one thing, which for me was the fitness. Just doing one thing, it became something that motivated me so much because I could see the progress. I could see even the little things. Like most of the stuff, like I was going to my workouts and I was coaching myself the whole time. Like in my head, like as we were running, you know, miles and laps around the building. And I was like it’s just one more mile, just put one foot in front of the other.
Like trying not to be perfect, trying not to be the fastest person there, which is never going to happen, by the way, like not even close. But just trying to be better than I was yesterday, no matter what that looked like.
And yeah, now I’m lifting heavier than I ever thought was possible. Like I went in there just wanting to be stronger, to feel better, to feel like I could get out there and do anything. And it definitely gave me that. When I committed to that one thing and went all in even though there were, I don’t know, two or three times that my alarm didn’t go off or something and I overslept and I didn’t make it to class, like I still went and either made up that class or went the next day and just kind of kept going.
But doing that one thing opened up so many other doors in my life and like helped me to really see where I was trying to be perfect in whatever the other thing was. Like it either had to be all or nothing, you know, black or white kind of thinking and giving myself permission to not do it the way that in my mind I thought it should be done.
Because no one else was putting all this pressure on me but me. Like it was just all in my head. I’ve been noticing this recently too, especially like I got the fitness part kind of down because it felt so good, I didn’t want to stop. And then it was like, “Okay, now what’s the next thing that I can improve?” And it was the eating habits and the patterns. And the how can I do, you know, 1% better the next day?
And that is still something that I struggle with and that I’m trying to be more aware of. I am a lot more aware of it, let me put it that way. And that black or white thinking still pops up every day and it’s something that I have to work on every single day. Like if it’s not going to be perfect then I’m just not going to do it.
I definitely see in so many other places where I go from one end of the spectrum all the way to the other end. Like if I’m not going do it this way, then I’m not going to do it at all.
Kim: Just might as quit.
Malerie: Just might as quit, yeah.
Kim: We’re going to name this whole episode just might as. Yeah, so a couple of things came up. So what we’re doing in Self Healing Masters, that is what we’re mastering. We’re mastering changing one habit. And it is so hard, right? Because it’s like, “Oh, I missed.” You know, or “I didn’t do it at the exact time.” This is coming up every single day.
And so it’s like that simplicity that you just spoke about, that 1% better. That doing it every day, if you don’t get it that day, make it up, but you’re going to do what you said you were going to do is the magic to everything. But our brain wants to do exactly what Emily said, which is be perfect everywhere. So if I’m not perfect everywhere, then I can’t be perfect anywhere.
That’s the black or white thinking that’s what gets so many entrepreneurs and moms, just all of us, all of us humans, that’s what gets us in trouble is that right there. Or this, “I’m going to wait until I’m thinner and stronger for me to go to that class.”
That was my story. But I was intimidated and so I was like, “I’m just going to wait until I get stronger. I’m just going to push myself and then I’m going to go later, I’m going to go later.” Well every year I get weaker, and it’s like I had more excuses, because I was comparing that imperfection. And then I started living it.
And so four years later, I decided to go. I’m heavier, I am weaker. I’m like, but you know what, I’m going to coach myself every single class, and I’m going to be the most inspiring student. That’s my goal. That’s what I attain to be. And I’m going to deal with what it feels like to be the last person. Like I’m just going to be okay with that.
Because the all or none and the perfection was like, “I will not go if I’m going to be the last person.” And then saying that for four years, guess what I got? Exactly what I was thinking about, you know.
And so it’s been really interesting watching me turn that perfectionism around and just do the thing the 1% better, just show up. And it’s actually fun and exciting, I look forward to it. Like it’s been such a healing journey for me to have gotten to that point. And then to have to go back and do that one little thing. It’s so simple. Just do it.
It’s like we decide and we do it, rather than we think about it. And we beat ourselves up about not being good enough or not being ready or not yet. It’s like, “Wait a minute, how do I get ready? By signing up and doing what I say I’m going to do so that I can trust myself.”
That’s what the whole Self Healing Masters Challenge is about, the 28-day journal. Like we are going to jam out. How much funner can it get? We’re going to journal so we can find the sneaky thoughts. And then we’re going to turn the sneaky thought around, the limiting belief, and we’re going to create an affirmation of what we do want. And then we’re going to meditate.
It could be five or 10 minutes, it doesn’t have to be a big, we don’t have to go to the Himalayas and hide in the cave. And then we’re going to move our body however that looks, whatever that movement looks like. It could be music and dancing, or whatever.
But just think about that for a moment. How simple is that? That every single day you’re gonna wake up and do these four things. And you can have them done in under 30 minutes if you choose. What does the mind say? Not possible, can’t be. You got to do way more than that, right? You got to do it twice a day.
Emily: Yeah, or you can’t meditate with a toddler around. That’s my story. Like I can hardly think in noise, like I can’t meditate, this is nuts. But what I end up doing is just taking that five, like any five minutes I can get to calm myself down.
Meditating is just coming to presence, right? It’s like you don’t have to make it this huge deal. Just come to presence with your body. Let the thoughts roll on. And it’s not a big deal. Like even moms with toddlers can meditate.
Kim: Yeah, I meditate on an airplane, and at a doctor’s office, or the hospital, or wherever, it’s like it doesn’t matter. Meditation is just watching, like being the witness, being the experiencer. And so you could actually be in walking meditation with your toddler in your house, just not reacting to the thoughts and sensations.
Emily: Or I just, I throw my kid in the car and go for a walk in the park. And I’m getting my movement and my meditation and focusing my mind on what I want it to focus on, versus all the things that I can’t do or all the things I’m failing at. And just go like, just keep going.
The perfectionism and black and white thinking actually led me down the path of deep, dark depression. Because the people pleasing perfectionism got ahold of me so much that I felt like a complete failure in life in all areas. And then it was like, “If I can’t do this or be this for somebody, then why even exist?”
And so you can take it down, like it’s not just holding you back from making more money, or it’s not just holding you back from full relationships. But if you let it go that far, it can lead down to this way darker path than you ever thought. And I feel like that’s the root of it, for me, was that perfectionist, people pleasing identity that I’ve had to let go of. Like I’ve been holding on to it tooth and nail. But I’m finally letting go, finally willing to be able to be imperfect.
One thing that just came up for me in my work in Self Healing Masters is my fear of disappointing people. And just being a disappointment. I had this kind of breakdown this week about it with my husband. Like I’m so afraid of disappointing you and that’s why I react. And like it just all came tumbling out.
And I realized I’m disappointing myself ahead of time by being in fear of disappointing other people, not being the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect friend, the perfect coach. I’m just disappointing myself. No one else is actually feeling the disappointment, they’re all living their own lives, dealing with their own perfectionism. And here I am making it all about me and how I’m terrible. And it’s actually not serving anybody. So that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned.
Kim: Yeah, it’s like, I made the thought about what I was living in, the belief I was living in when it was like I need to be a certain size in order to fit into the CrossFit gym. And to be able to go I need to be a certain size, and I need to, you know, have this certain strength so that I don’t look imperfect. So I don’t look like I’m the last one in the class.
Because that’s what I was visualizing when she was going. And I was thinking about running around the building and not being able to run. Like I would not be able to keep up because they were younger than I was for one thing. And that was the first part of it.
But what ended up happening is I ended up living that thought, like I created a story around it and then I lived in it for four years. I actually created it. Because I have my own gym, I was leading classes, I was teaching yoga on a regular basis. Like it was ridiculous that I was thinking that and I wouldn’t have the awareness or the wisdom from it if I wouldn’t have let it go to that extreme.
Because it just so happened, the whole COVID thing happened in that meantime, and you know what happened with that. I was like, “So Daniel, you need a program just to teach us how to cover our COVID ass.” You know, because it’s like it was shown to us that we had not mastered emotional intelligence. And that’s why we’re all living the effects of this thing that happened to the world. It brought it up, it brought it to the surface and it showed us where our work was, you know.
And so I want to be in in the wisdom and the knowledge of that experience. I don’t want to just let it go by. I’m like, “Oh, that just showed me where I was thinking that way or where I was trying to be perfect.” And so I wasn’t doing anything at all. So we’re never improving, we’re never getting better.
Malerie, how’s it show up, how do you see it with the coaches and the entrepreneurs, you know, putting themselves out there and stuff?
Malerie: When they start creating their messaging, and they start narrowing in on the topics that they want to talk about they’re like, “Okay, I know what I want to say.” But then they won’t put themselves out there, like in their mind they think they have to have this beautiful website put up, and this logo, and brand. Like, you know, all this pretty branding and the colors and they need to have a link ready to go and they need to have all these things.
Like they look at what people who are doing it who are, you know, in a different stage of business than they are and they think that they need to have all those things before they even start. Not recognizing that the starting and the doing it without is the process to getting there.
And I can say all of that from experience because I was that person who didn’t put myself out there until I had built myself a website. I had done all these things and put all these things together to look like I was this professional photographer and all these things before I would even start sharing content.
Like I would only share like my best photos, and I would only share pictures that I took like with my DSLR, not like with my phone or anything like that. I would not get on live unless my hair and makeup were done and like there was no one else around me. And I could like really focus and concentrate, and I had everything scripted out that I wanted to say. Those are not the things that made progress for me.
So like I can honestly speak from experience that waiting until it’s perfect is not the thing that’s going to grow you. It’s not the thing that’s going to… You’re not going to have like this list of clients waiting to work with you, because they think you look perfect or you think you look perfect.
Kim: Yes, and that is not how you made $13,000 in that month.
Malerie: Definitely not.
Kim: When you were just like allowed and resigned, you were just like, “Boom, this is what I have.” And it was just like there, nobody looked at your website, nobody looked at any of that stuff.
And what you just said makes so much sense because it’s like they’re not recognizing that the thing that they’re doing is the content. It is the content. So don’t go try to create the content, you are the content.
Kim: So be it and then put it on public and quit judging yourself and quit trying to make it perfect. I look back at some of my videos and it’s hilarious. And I’ve had a couple of clients who told me the reason that they converted, the reason they became paying clients is because they saw the before and after. I was like, “Okay, I’ll never take those things down. Although there’s quite a bit of shame there.”
You know, I had that four-by-four space behind me, I ended up doing the videos and judging myself about it. But I mean, it turned around and that’s not what they cared about. People care about how they feel when you’re being yourself.
And those who struggle with imposter syndrome, it comes from perfectionism. Because you have the perfect website, the perfect photographer, the perfect thing, but it’s not you, it’s a mask. You’ll only have imposter syndrome if you’re being an imposter.
Malerie: Yep, people are most transformed by how they feel whenever you are speaking to them or helping them and that was– For a while I was going live in the Facebook group doing trainings and offering to help and things like that.
The ones where I showed up not prepared but I knew what I wanted to say and I knew the value that I was giving. I was like, “Okay, I’m just doing it. I’m not ready, but I’m doing it anyway.” And those were the ones that were the most impactful for the people that were watching. Those were the ones that they really took, you know, something from the message that I was giving them. And they had these breakthroughs from that.
So it’s totally not about you. Like when we’re focusing on what we look like. And we’re focusing on how we are presenting ourselves. Yeah, there’s a time whenever that’s going to be kind of important. It’s not everything though. But the time whenever we’re focusing on what we’re putting out there and what we’re giving to someone and how we’re serving them, and what do they need that I can give them. That is whenever we make such a huge impact. Not by focusing on what we look like or how we are presented.
Kim: I want to bring in the topic about because, you know, I love Human Design, and I’m thinking about you both 3/5s. And 3/5 is all about trial and error. All about it.
And so Malerie working with me, one of the things that I really had to like get in her head about, do you remember, Malerie, when you said that first email and then it was like, you thought I was going to like break out the belt and come find you. Like I was going to fire you or, you know, I don’t know, it was so weird.
I was like, “Actually, there’s no problem. Like you are all about trial and error and I want you to figure out what doesn’t work so we can do what does.” And you were like, “What?” I was like, “Yeah. Like I read your whole profile, you were out fishing with Owen and I read it.” And you were just like, “Oh my God, that feels exactly like, yeah, whatever that is. I don’t know, I think we recorded it. And I was like, “Just go back and listen to it again.”
And you were like, “Permission to like not do it perfect? Like, if that didn’t work I can just do it differently?” Like it’s like you had never given yourself permission to do that. And I’ll never forget that, I want to say it was on a weekend, probably a Saturday morning or something. And you were just like, “What?”
Malerie: Something that Emily brought up recently, I think it was Emily, that someone brought up recently was that like academics and going through grade school, that part kind of came easily. That was you, Emily? So that part came easily. Like it was easy for me to make all A’s and, you know, graduate in the top of my class and things like that.
So I had this idea in my head that if I didn’t naturally and automatically on the first try be successful at something, like have a successful outcome at anything new, that it just wasn’t for me. Like I wasn’t meant for that thing because I wasn’t good at it. Not realizing that it’s actually part of who I am, to try and fail. And that’s how I learned things about myself and about processes and what works and what doesn’t.
So coming across this work and learning about my human design, and things like that was really a total, it still is, like it blows my mind that, “Oh, I’ve been doing this in this other way that doesn’t serve me or the world at all for my whole life just because of my experiences.”
Like there was no one else involved in that, that was just how my brain interpreted my success in school and then bringing that idea into everything else in life. Which is another aspect of the whole black and white thinking. It’s either perfect or you don’t do it.
Kim: Yeah, how did it feel once you had permission? Because I remember when you came in and I was like, “You have to be who you are. That’s what the organization needs.” Like we’re figuring out something new to bring into the world. Like I have the 59/1in my pearl sequence, I am bringing something unique. And then I drop it and it’s going to expand, you know?
So it’s like I honor that. And I’m like, I believe that’s true. It’s a very simple practical way for you to create consciously, get into your soul essence, expose that, be that, and then live a life of freedom and ease, right, and health and die naturally. That’s my goal, I want to die naturally. I don’t want to die fighting.
I thought about it that way when I was asking you to come on board and, you know, help with the organization, be part of the team. I was like, “I really need you to embrace that aspect of you because we’re going to go out and we’re going to go out and figure this out. Or can you do it? Like are you willing to do the work around that?” Do you remember that?
Malerie: Yeah. And you’ve coached me on this so many times even since then, because whenever you first said it, and like you were first reading my profile, and telling me these things I was like, “Ah.” It felt like I dropped the weight off of my own shoulders.
And then going into it practically, like I send the email and it was the wrong thing or something like that, like it came back up. And either, like at first you were coaching me through it, and now I’m able to look at it for myself and kind of coach myself through it. Like, “Nothing has gone wrong. It’s okay to, you know, not get it perfect the first try. I’m figuring this out as I go.”
Even like all these landing pages and connecting all these things that we do online, it doesn’t always work on the first try. And that’s okay. And so like, you’ll text me and say, “Hey, this thing isn’t working.” And it’s hardly there anymore, but it still kind of wants to pop up and say, “Oh no, you did it wrong. You know, everything is terrible, broken, and she’s going to fire you, blah, blah, blah.” But now I’m just like, “Okay, let me go fix it.” Like just put that all aside and just go fix it.
Kim: Yeah. And Emily is also on the team. And Emily is also a 3/5, and loves to be perfect. And the great student, the A student, the gifted child, you know, all of those things. Which I love because 6/2s and 3/5s work very well together. We’re all generators, you know, we’ve got so much cohesion. And I want to explore that I want to see where we can go with this. And I think it’s so important that we’re open and honest and transparent and working with this.
And it’s like, yeah, I’m going to piss you off sometimes because I am a visionary. And you’re not going to understand what I’m talking about because your 3/5 is like here, and you’re all strategic, and you want to do the next little thing. And I’m like, “Can’t you just see 20 years from now?” And you’re like, “No.” And you’re telling me like, “Can’t you just see that they are not getting it, you’re like talking to aliens. And these people are here like what are you doing? You know, we’re picking the berries, and you’re like making the pies.”
You know, and so knowing that about ourselves, about our design, and knowing how you have the tendency to be perfect, I’m the– Actually, that’s kind of not my thing. I’m more like just floating over, right? It’s just overcast and I’m like, “Nothing is perfect and everything is, you know, great. And we’re doing this for like the generations to come.” And so there could be problems if we didn’t know this about ourselves, don’t you think?
Emily: Oh, yeah, I mean, first of all, yes, I think children interpret the school system so incorrectly about themselves unfortunately. And I won’t go into the whole public education system because there’s a lot of problems there. But children are raised up with this fixed mindset of if I can’t do it, if I don’t get an A, then I shouldn’t even be in the class.
You know, it’s this terrible mindset. And it goes into college and the corporate world. And I spent a lot of time in corporate where I worked with startup software companies where we had this idea that you have to fail fast so that you could learn and reiterate and just get to the next thing.
So it was like this positive way of looking at it like, “Okay, I made mistake, let’s move on.” But then it’s also like, all of those employees came up from the public school system still having that mindset.
So we were talking about failing fast but in the end, you know, we all have that like trauma still in our system. Afraid of getting kicked out of class, getting sent to the principal’s office, afraid of, you know, dropping out of college. And then it translates into afraid of getting fired. And if you have been laid off or fired, that’s in your cellular memory.
Being laid off for the first time for me was terrible. And I cried all day long. And so any job after that, anytime a boss would be like, “Hey, can you come talk to me in my office?” I’d be like, “Oh my god, it’s happening again.” And I would have anxiety walking all the way to my boss’s office. Or you know, anyone saying like, “Hey, do you have a minute?” I’d be like, “What now? What did I do? I messed up.”
And I feel it right now talking about it, my chest just tightening up. And I used to have so much anxiety at work, trying to be the perfect, you know, and my role didn’t help. I was an HR person so everyone was relying on me for accurate information. I used to do some recruiting and scheduling and executive assistant work. And it was like accurate information was key. And if I messed up one thing, I would hear about it.
So yeah, working for you it’s funny because you’ll ask me a question and I still have that rise up like, “Oh no, oh no, I’m going to disappoint her, it’s gonna be terrible.” And it’s in your body, we talked about this with all kinds of trauma from our relationships, our childhood.
And it can be as simple as you know, you’re six years old and you get put in the corner and you get the red flag because you’re talking too much. And, you know, you get a B minus instead of an A plus. And it’s like, “I’m bad at spelling.” It’s like you have that in your mind, “I’m bad at spelling because I missed a few words on the test.” And forevermore you have this mindset of, “I’m not good at spelling so I’m not going to do it.”
That was my story with math. I’m not good at math, I’m a girl, girls are bad at math. I’m never going to be good at math. And I still say that, I still catch myself saying that. And it’s like, “How about you just do some math if you need to? And if you get the wrong answer, you figure it out.” Like it doesn’t have to be this huge, heavy issue, but our memory and our body overreacts and we have these like little anxiety attacks on a daily basis because of perfectionism.
Kim: Yeah, that’s so good. We had high school graduation last night with my oldest grandson. And so, you know, for the awards it’s the same five people, right? Because how you do anything is how you do everything. So they were like the same ones standing. I was like, “Why don’t you just let them to stand up and give them all of it? You know, instead of us sitting here for three hours.”
But we were like talking about this and you know, Chris, my son said, “Okay, so Remy stood up four times, so Harley, you’re going to have to stand up at least four times.” Right, competition.
And there was a story about, I think they had done something different with the valedictorian, maybe taken it away, decided not to do it or something like that. And then something came up. So the priest is like, sharing the story, how he made this mistake, and he realized. And the child gets up and she says like, “Competition is great, because it makes us better.”
I’m like, “Oh, see, it’s all playing out here.” But I was like in the awareness and watching the story play out, watching the kids who stood up, watching the ones who didn’t get it.
And then there was two twins and they were like joking on each other about, “But it was only by a few points, but I got it, right?” And it was like so both of those came up and gave that talk. And I thought that was interesting, but it leads right into what we’re saying right now, which is that competition is taught to make us better. But the problem is when we do have the trauma, we use it against ourselves.
So the competition of CrossFit of running a 5K, a 10K, a marathon, all of that is meant to make us better. But when we have the samskaras, the scaring, the memories in our body about not being good enough, or not making the soccer team, or not being making All Stars, or whatever it is that that trauma is what we are reacting or responding to. So in that case, perfection is protection.
Perfection is the protection from feeling that again. That’s what I just wrote down that I’m getting from you two, listening to how you both just said that. Like what’s coming up for you? I know we’re going to have to close this out, because we’re at our minute mark.
Malerie: That brings up for me, like we talk about The Four Agreements all the time, and I don’t remember which one, but it’s always do your best. I find myself telling my kids that all the time. Because I tend to focus on doing something for a result and if I don’t get the result, then I’m wrong, I failed, I’ve done it wrong. I’m a failure, you know, labeling myself as that.
So, yes, I see the competition, like how it can push us and improve us. And I use that, especially in CrossFit. But also really paying attention to am I doing the best that I can do right now? And understanding that my best right now might be different, it might not look the same as my best on another day. But if I feel like I’m always doing my best, then I’m succeeding, and I’m winning, and it’s perfect as it is.
Kim: Nice, nice, nice. How about you, Emily?
Emily: I think an antidote to perfectionism is actually kind of healing your regrets. If you have the capacity to look back at your “mistakes” and have your own back after them, then you won’t be so fearful of making “mistakes” in the future.
So if we can kind of change our mindset about our past, heal from that, then we don’t have that regret feeling. And then we’re not so afraid of it in the future. We’re not afraid of this unknown something that hasn’t even happened yet in the future. We won’t be afraid of putting ourselves forward because if we believe that failure is a possibility and we won’t beat ourselves up for it, then it’s okay to fail.
Kim: Are you saying that, when I say perfection is protection, are you saying that we’re protecting ourselves from regret?
Emily: I think that’s part of my perfectionism protecting me, is I look back and regret so many failures and mistakes. Not so much of what other people have said to me or about me, but what I have done to myself. Made myself feel like shit because of the mistakes I’ve made, not finishing college and not doing… So if I had my own back and protected myself against my own bully thinking, then I’m free to go make mistakes.
It’s like as a mom, if my son feels free to tell me, “Hey, I drank beer at a party and I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I want to let you know.” And if I have his back in that mistake, then he’s free to try things in the world without this fear of like I’m going to disappoint my mother. And then I’m going to disappoint myself.
So there’s a lot of different angles to take to this, but I feel like for myself, my protection is against my own bully brain.
Kim: Yeah, I love that. I was thinking it was shame. Like I didn’t want to be the last one. I didn’t want to be called out. Like I had a really hard time with correction.
I found some old report cards this week and that was like written in red. And then I’m recalling like being called out because I’ve been to like lots of schools and certifications and stuff like that. And I had a really hard time being corrected because I took it as I was doing something wrong, rather than they were helping me to do something different and new.
Which I can see this with my coaches that I train also. Like Malerie and I are trying to tell them like about their copy. It’s like, “Don’t say it this way, do this way.” And they do the just might as, just might as not put it at all, I’m not good at this. And then they don’t do it because they can’t handle the correction.
And so it’s like the correction is behind the protection. Like they’re protecting themselves from even like that constructive criticism or correction. Like they’re even protecting themselves from that because that brings up the samskara, the scaring, the being wrong, the being bad, the whatever it is.
But when you said that about regret, I’m thinking about when I can’t do the thing like at CrossFit or, you know, wherever. I feel like we’re PRing Robin here, you know, with it. But it’s such a great analogy to use that the regret is why did I stop? Why did I wait?
So I think you’re onto something here. Like yeah, it’s a little bit of all of it. We want to protect ourselves from shame, from being corrected, from calling out, from being wrong, from being not good enough.
Emily: Yeah, and I it’s like all these layers, you know, that we have to go through and unveil. That’s something I’ve seen in myself is I recognize when perfectionism holding me back from the past, and I’ve regretted it and then beat myself up about it on top of it. And then that holds me back from doing it again. And then it’s like the regret cycle continues.
And you’re totally right about the shame. We have that deep, dark, shame that we don’t want, I do not want people to tell me what to do. I don’t want people to correct me, point out my failures. It is something I’ve been working on big time. And it’s come up a lot in parenting and marriage, for sure. I want to look perfect all the time. Don’t tell me, don’t tell me what I need to work on. I already know, I already know.
Kim: But then we don’t do it and then we have the regret and the shame.
Kim: It’s kind of like, “I need to lose a certain amount of weight before I can find the right partner because I’m ashamed of my body. And then he won’t want to, du, du, du.” You know, all of the stuff like that it kind of comes up there too.
Love this, love this conversation. Of course we could carry on for another hour because it’s, you know, it’s just a way to– I think these conversations are about expanding our own mind also, It’s like we know it, we talk about it, but when we can like really articulate it in different levels and ways and how it’s different for all of us. And like the 3/5 in Human Design, permission to trial and error. The 6/2, you are a three up until Chiron’s return.
So anybody with six in their profile, whether it’s 4/6 or 6/2, and then when we look at even the 5/1, the one is always going to want to investigate. It’s always going to want to know perfect information. So it shows up there too, right?
And so as we can see where it’s in all of our designs, it’s in all of our genes, it’s in all of our bodies, because we’ve all been not good enough, not the top of the class not getting picked for the team, not getting the second date. You know, wherever it is that comes up for us that has that scaring. And so I want to leave this episode with, what if you don’t need protection?
Emily: It’s the big question. This came up in Self Healing Masters. What if I don’t have to wear my costume anymore? It leaves a lot to think about. Then I get to just be my soul essence?
Malerie: And then giving myself the permission to not be perfect and just kind of experiment and explore who am I really? What do I actually enjoy? And like how am I doing what I’m here for? That is so much more fun. And the more I do that, and the more I have fun with that, the more I’m encouraged to keep going and to not try to do it a different way so that I can be perfect. And I’d much rather have a lot more fun than just be perfect.
Kim: The freedom to fun, freedom to play. Freedom to explore, and experience, and contribute in a creative way that forms more connection. More connection with yourself, more connection with divine, more connection with your purpose in this world, more connection in the relationships that you have.
My sacral is like, “Uh-huh, more of that.” And my emotional wave just went through all of the up and down, and the shame, and the imperfections, and the perfections, and the regrets. Nice. I love having you guys on the team and actually doing this work. And it’s super fun like working with the other generations. I just want to tell you that. And I appreciate your openness and your willingness to not close off and not protect yourself and to continue doing this work.
Emily: Thank you for leading us, being the role model.
Malerie: Yeah, I’m so glad this whole relationship, because honestly, I don’t know, if I was still going down the road I was going down, it would suck. I love it so much more now.
Kim: All right my friends, this is what we have for you this week. So you can come over to the More Than Mindset group. We have a discussion all week long on this. The coaches are contributing their own take and how this shows up in their clients lives. And then we do a live in the More Than Mindset group on Sundays. And we are on Clubhouse also. So just so you know, there’s other places to find us. Come on over, Self Healing Masters is where we jam out.
Emily: That’s awesome. I love it.
Kim: All right. Let’s say our goodbyes. Bye.
Thanks for listening to this episode of More Than Mindset.
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