The Ease of Hustle Podcast

13. How to Embrace Perfectionism in Business Part 2

You think that perfectionism is a bad thing, that it is something that you need to “overcome,” but that isn't true.

You don't have to let perfectionism hold you back from anything that you desire in your business.

Join me on the podcast this week to talk about how to embrace your perfectionism. When you learn that you have perfectionistic tendencies, you want to solve for it, but that means you are still believing you are flawed. The truth is there is nothing that needs to change. Listen for the three strategies for how to live with your perfectionism.

What You'll Learn From This Episode:

  • Why it's important to embrace your perfectionism
  • How to embrace your perfectionism
  • How to be curious about your perfectionism
  • Questions you can ask yourself to be curious about your perfectionism
  • How to expose yourself to your perfectionistic thinking
  • How to use Exposure Therapy in regards to perfectionism

Free Download

Overcoming Perfectionism Game

Struggling to do something in your business because of perfectionistic thinking? Use this PDF to help you work through and process your thinking and challenge yourself to do the “thing” every day for 30 days.

Listen to the Full Episode:

13. How to Embrace Perfectionism in Business Part 2

The Ease of Hustle with Lauren Cash

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Effective Entrepreneur Podcast with Lauren Cash, Episode 13: How to Embrace Perfectionism in Business Part 2.

Hey. Hi. Hello. Happy Monday. How's it going? Are you excited for the week? If not, why not? What's happening? Why aren't you excited for the week? Well, don't get mad at yourself if you're also not excited. You don't have to force it. It's totally fine. Hey, if you haven't listened to part one of this two-part series on the podcast, I want you to stop the podcast right now and go listen to Episode 12 first. It's okay. We'll wait for you and then you can come back and listen to Episode 13 because this is part two.

Alright, I am super excited about what I'm creating in my business for the next year, 2021. I have never been so excited for offers in my business. Yeah, I've been excited about them, and I did them, and I love my clients so much. I've loved working with everyone I've worked with the last year and a half or so since I restarted my business. But man, I am more lit up than ever before about what I'm offering in my business next year. I am bursting at the seams. I almost cannot hold it back. I try to sort of hint things on Instagram because I just can't help myself. So if you don't follow me yet on Instagram, go follow me and watch my stories. We'll put the link in the show notes, but it's @vivereco. You definitely want to be there. I sometimes say too much over there, but I'm excited.

Are you excited about what you're offering in your business in 2021? If not, why not? Let's get excited about it. If you could offer anything in your business if you could sell anything in your business if you could build your dream business model, what would it be? I want you to start to dream and think about that. You don't have to do it the way everyone else is doing it. You really don't. You can totally create the business you want to create and it can be amazingly successful.

Alright, so let's talk about the next podcast review that I want to share with you. So we started a new thing on last week's podcast, Episode 12, where I shout out a review, and I want all of you when you submit your review of the podcast, thank you so much for doing that, it helps other people find The Effective Entrepreneur Podcast. Once you submit it, it takes a couple of days for Apple to publish it. But as soon as it's published, I want you to take a screenshot of it and drop it into this form that we have so that you can tell us who you are, what you do, and your Instagram handle, so we can all connect with you on Instagram and we can create this little Effective Entrepreneur community on Instagram. So in order to do that, you can go to vivere.co/review, and you'll get all the details on the form there. It's super easy. We're trying to make it easy for you, even though it can be challenging to really get yourself to go review a podcast. I appreciate all of it.

So let's read this one from Soveryk from October 29th, 2020. Five-star review. Thank you. The title is Relatable, Actionable Advice for Entrepreneurs. I like Lauren's friendly, conversational style in sharing her ideas and strategies about being effective. She includes personal and client anecdotes that make the content more relatable and help me envision how I might apply it to my own life and business. I also love how she includes a summary at the end of each episode that helps emphasize key points and action steps. Oh, I'm so glad. I will keep doing all of that. And I love hearing from you what aspects of the podcast you all like and let's connect on Instagram.

Alright, so in today's episode, we're going to continue our conversation about perfectionism. So let's come back. This week, we're going to talk about strategies for living with your perfectionism. Not for overcoming it or getting rid of it or anything like that. I used to call it overcoming before. I had a whole bonus module to my group program called How to Overcome Perfectionism. However, I've been changing my approach, and this textbook that I mentioned in the last episode, that is called Radically Open Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, is supporting my theory. So trying to “change,” “overcome,” or improve perfectionistic tendencies is still the same strategy of perfectionism. It is agreeing with you that you are flawed. So if you need to change something, if you need to overcome something, it's saying, “Yes, there's something wrong with you and you need to improve.” That's the same message that perfectionism has, right? So instead of the strategies for living with perfectionism, what should we call them? I have three points for you. I couldn't figure out what to call them. I guess we could just call them points. I had settled on posture or approaches, but let's dive into the first one of whatever we want to call those.

Number one is embrace. Often when we learn about the tendencies we label as perfectionistic, we get perfectionistic about them, as well. We end up judging it with the same mentality in order to solve for it. We think it's something to solve. In myself and in my clients, I often see us learning these tendencies or tools. We just have these mental labels for these tendencies, and then we learn tools for them, and then we use them against ourselves. I did this for so long, and I still notice myself doing this sometimes. So instead, it is helpful to find the way to become aware without beating yourself up. The awareness in and of itself is a self-compassionate act. Awareness is self-compassionate. We are just watching what we're doing or not doing, or what we're thinking or not thinking. We often don't want to become aware, though, because we know that we're going to be met with a reprimand. Right? You don't want to look at what you're doing or not doing. You don't want to evaluate yourself or your business, or you don't want to give yourself feedback on things, because you don't want to experience how judgmental your mind is to you. And then as you start to learn that judgment isn't helpful, then you end up judging the judgment if you're anything like me.

So for example, in your business, you might be spending more time on something, not getting it out, because not only are you afraid of what other people are going to think of it and how they're going to perceive it, but you're also afraid, even not consciously, but you're also afraid of how you are going to talk to yourself about that “mistake” that they have deemed from your work, or you are afraid, maybe not even other people. You think once you get it out and published, then you're afraid of your own criticism of your own sales page. And you just don't want to have to deal with you beating yourself up, so you just avoid putting the sales page out to just not have to deal with it altogether. So you could be taking more time doing things in your business because of this layered judgment, and you might also be afraid of your own perfectionistic thoughts, now that you know that that's a label. You might be trying to avoid those and get mad when they're there, which will slow you way down and block you from just getting the thing done and moving on.

So you might think that you need to just keep working on your perfectionism so that you don't have the thoughts of like, “I need to get this right. People will think this is stupid. This isn't good enough.” You might think you need to go off and do a lot of work on that first before you can do the thing. I see a lot of people sometimes indulging and doing more work on the work, rather than just doing the thing. And so that slows you way down then, and you're not very effective, and you're not getting it out there and learning a lot from what your client's experience is, to then tweak it and evolve it. You're always going to be changing and evolving things in your business. It's not like we dial in a funnel and it's the funnel that we have for life, exactly how we have it with the exact buttons, with the exact Facebook ad, the way that it is. Like, that's not a thing. That's a fantasy.

We get something out there. That's the first step. Step one is get something out there. It's not done then. We're then always tweaking and evolving whatever work we get out there into the world. So posture one is to embrace that. So embrace when you notice that your mind is offering you what we label as perfectionistic thoughts. When you notice it's thinking, “We have to get this right.” Simply noticing that and loving on yourself of like, “Oh, there's the mind again, saying we need to get it right. It's so funny that it thinks that there's a right. Alright, let's press publish anyway.” Just embrace it. You don't have to fight against anything. There's nothing to fight.

Posture two, or whatever, step 2.2, whatever we're calling these, is curiosity. Curiosity is the antidote to perfectionism. It really is. In our practice of softening to our tendencies so that we can have enough awareness to open up to them and see them and choose to go with them or not. When we're curious, we can notice when we're thinking something that is what we label perfectionistic thinking. We can just notice it. We don't have to be annoyed that it's there, because we don't have to choose to “go with it” and play out that whole string of events, like we talked about in the last episode, when you're thinking, “This email has to be perfect,” and then you feel pressure and then you rework it and rework it and do nothing in your business, and then don't create any money. We don't have to go with that thought. That's what I've been saying recently, is like, “You don't have to go with that. It's just a story your mind is offering you. Do you want to play that out?”

You can, but it's not automatic. It's not like an Apple script that just runs instantaneously. We get to notice it. And in the noticing of it, we can choose to go with it or not. But we don't want to add to the judgment on top of that, because then we'll be blocked from really understanding what's going on for us. So be curious, ask yourself incredible questions. Don't be afraid of what you're going to find, because nothing you will find is bad or wrong or needs to be shameful in any way. There's nothing wrong with you.

How does this make total sense? That's one of my favorite questions to ask myself, “How does it make total sense that I…?” So for example, let's say you haven't written your About Page copy yet. How does it make total sense that I haven't written my About Page copy? Why not? What's going on for me? What am I thinking about writing it? What's coming up there? “Oh, it's because I'm thinking it has to be perfect. I have to say it right. I have to make sure people know my credentials and that it's the right amount of talking about the client, but also having them get to know me, but it, not all be about me, and it needs to be succinct enough, but I also want them to get to know me, and I don't even know how to do this. I need to research more. I need to read more articles. Of course, I haven't written that About Page yet. What if I just believed I knew everything I needed to know, and I am going to take my best stab at it and get it out there because getting it out there is way better than it not being out there. And then I can improve it, and I'm going to tweak it and change it as we go.” Okay, so posture two is curiosity. And my favorite question for that is how does it make total sense?

Posture three is to expose. So we often want to avoid anything that brings up the anxiety related to perfectionism. So remember, perfectionism is just fear looking fancy. So if we want to work on embracing and being curious, we want to put ourselves in positions out in the world that we actually need to expose ourselves to that thinking and to the judgment of that thinking and everything. So often when we have perfectionistic tendencies, we start to learn about them. We'll just use avoidance techniques. So we won't speak up. We won't put the things out there. We won't ask ourselves to do “big things,” according to our minds. We'll just not put a podcast out there. We just won't do webinars. We won't get the T-shirt designed. We won't get the painting painted. Whatever you do in your business, you'll just avoid it. Or you won't ask someone for feedback, or you just won't get things out there, or you'll avoid doing them, because you don't want to experience what you're going to think and feel when you get it out there or respond to what others think about what you put out there into the world, right?

So in behavioral psychology, there's this technique called Exposure Therapy. We use this a lot in eating disorder treatment. I used to be an Eating Disorder Dietician back in the day, and we would do Exposure Therapy. And Exposure Therapy is an amazing way to bring up your anxiety so that you can learn how to work through it with more effective, more adaptive coping techniques. And I did this for myself a while ago now, actually. Maybe like eight years ago when I was working with a therapist, we worked on my social anxiety and did Exposure Therapy.

So what you want to do for Exposure Therapy is create what we call a hierarchy. So you have a goal for what you want to be able to do, something you want to be able to process your anxiety around and be able to cope with your new coping skills, an effective way, and be adapted to that. So you set the highest goal for that on that hierarchy. So for me, it was, I want to be able to go to a party or a social gathering. I want to be able to go to one by myself. So drive myself or walk myself, whatever. Get there myself. I want to be able to walk into the house or whatever the place is that's having the social gathering of a group of people, I want to be able to walk in by myself. I want to be able to go in and actually join a group of people and start talking with them. This might sound really easy for a lot of you. It was not easy for me, and I still don't enjoy it a lot, but that's what I worked on.

And then we built a hierarchy. So the first thing on the hierarchy I think was like, I was in grad school at the time. So it was with a friend during our break for class, to have the friend come with me and start talking to another group of friends. Or no, I didn't even have to talk, just with them, do that. And then that would bring, I would feel anxiety because of what I was thinking, and I would really process that anxiety and be there and notice that I didn't die. And then we built it up from there to continue to exposing until I was habituated at that level of anxiety and it was manageable. And then I built it onto that.

So then I had to say hi to someone in a grocery store, or things like this. And I had to do it until it was easier to do, and then we would move on to the next level of the hierarchy. So I have created a PDF download explaining Exposure Therapy more and how to use it in your business. So you might want to use it for like, let's say you want to be able to do a webinar and you really are freaked out about doing video and you don't even like doing Instagram stories or Facebook Lives or something like that, and you really want to work through that. I've created a download for you, and you can get it by going to today's show notes at vivere.co/13 to grab that download. It'll walk you through how to do the perfectionism game, is what I call it. And that'll help you work through it and process it and challenge yourself to something every day for 30 days, which will really help. And it's the same thing until you feel really solid with that thing, and then you move up your hierarchy.

So posture three is to expose. You want to keep putting yourself in the situations to bring up the anxiety or whatever feeling it is for you that's associated with your perfectionistic thinking. You want to keep doing that so that you can learn how to process and cope and see that you really are okay and those thoughts aren't going to kill you, and actually, they're not even true.

So to summarize, we don't want to change, or we don't need to overcome perfectionism. We can just learn to embrace it, be curious about it, and expose ourselves to it more. And I can't wait to talk to you next week. I hope you have an amazing week as you feel and process whatever emotion comes up for you as you put yourself out there. You can handle any feeling. Feelings are just the vibrations in our body. It's just some sort of sensation happening inside of ourselves. If you want to learn more about that, go back to the Feelings Episode. But you can handle it.

You've got this, and you don't have to let perfectionism hold you back from anything that you desire in your business. I promise. Okay, bye.

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