Liv shares her own real-life experiences about perfectionism and how you, too, can break the chains of performing.
You know you’re a performative perfectionist when:
- you beat yourself up for things that couldn’t possibly be your fault
- you go out of your way to make people who have hurt you more comfortable
- you take every piece of feedback personally as an attack on your character
- saying “no” feels like the worst thing that could possibly happen
- you get defensive for making totally normal mistakes
Perfectionism is so damaging, not only because it creates an impossible standard to live up to but because it traps you in behaviors and thought patterns that convince you that you’ll never be good enough.
The most damaging elements of living to perform and please and perfect are the need to get validation from others and the negative self-talk that comes with inevitable failures. By choosing to live in a perfectionist construct instead of an authentic one, you’re setting yourself up to feel like shit and never win. No matter how hard you try.
As a recovering perfection performer, I can tell you things are so much better on this side of things. Life feels and smells wonderful when mistakes are okay. When the weight of the world isn’t crushing your shoulders. When you let others be responsible for their own behavior and consequences.
Join me in breaking up with perfectionism.
By building self-awareness of when and how your perfectionism manifests, you can begin to put things in perspective and step away from the self-hate. Instead, you can explore and experiment and learn new and exciting ways to show up even stronger!
Best of all, you’ll create space to get your joy on!
Listen to this episode for examples of how performative perfectionism shows up in my life and how my Should-But Cleanse method can help you create positive changes.
[00:23] Hello and welcome to Self-Aware Millennial, the podcast for people seeking a joyously authentic life. I'm your host live hadn't and thank you. Thank you. Thank you for tuning in and listening. I really appreciate it. Today I want to talk about perfectionism and some of the performative behaviors and thought patterns that you can get into when that's a part of your paradigm and the way that you see the world and I know that that's the case for many, many, many of us. Before I get into that, I wanted to share a real world, a real-life experience that I had maybe five minutes before recording the show this week and it was a really good reminder to me that lies in any variation color context, under any justification. Never work out well for me and that they always just leave some kind of mess for me to clean up later.
[01:20] So in this example, it's actually really benevolent, kind of lie, if you will, but it's still at the end of the day, ally and therefore comes with baggage. So I'm a part of a group here in Austin, Texas of young people from a variety of different backgrounds who come together to affect change in our community, and I really wanted my brother to be a part of the group. He just moved down here in April. He's such a driven, motivated, purposeful person, and he's been looking for ways to create impact, to add value, to meet people. All kinds of things in this group just seemed like a perfect fit. So when I nominated him to the group member committee, I felt it was important in all my good intentions to omit the fact. So lying by omission as my mother would call it, to omit the fact that we were related.
[02:20] Because in my mind I was skirting the sensitivities of nepotism. I didn't want him to get in or not get in because of me. I wanted him to rise or fail on his own merit. Well, that misguided logic that of mine, thinking I was, you know, doing this thing which was technically lying, which of course I didn't frame it that way or consider it that way at the time. It ended up creating, creating a problem this morning because we have a meeting, a member meeting today, and I was going to bring my brother with me because he thought he was in the group. I thought he was in the group and turns out they don't like family to be in the same group. One of the most important staples of this organization is diversity and so one of the ways that this particular community does that is to prevent members of the same family, so that's siblings, cousins, spouses from being in the same group and I would imagine that's diversity of ethnicity, of thought, patterns of belief systems.
[03:36] I can see all the different ways that having siblings or spouses or whomever and the same group could cause some group think or a single-mindedness. That said, in this particular case, I'm not so sure that's true. My brother and I are insanely different and we don't agree on so many different things and we have completely different thought processes and approaches, but that's not the point. The point is he comes from my family. It's one of the basic rules of the membership and I wasn't aware of that when I nominated him, otherwise I just wouldn't have done it, but this entire mess that I'm having to like clean up and talk to people about and apologize for it could have been entirely prevented if I had just said, hey, I really want my brother to be in this group, and all they would have done was emailed me back and said, oh, we don't allow siblings.
[04:24] I'm so sorry. And I would've said, oh bummer. Okay. What's the next thing? What's the next space that I can introduce him to? So just sharing that with you because I think sometimes we like to convince ourselves that you can lie without consequence. Now could we come up with a bunch of use cases where lying is beneficial? Sure. I bet we could. However, the idea that you can lie and there isn't a consequence that there isn't some kind of mess at the other end of it or something for you to untangle or something for you to do business with. I think that's the unspoken truth of, well, it's just a white lie or I did it with good intentions. There's always going to be something on the other side for you to clean up how quickly that comes back, how messy that is. All of those things might be worth it to you to do and at the same time, just consider that the next time you do something innocuous like that.
[05:19] Uh, I just, I guess I have to think life for this gentle reminder. I just want to share just for comedy sake that I am a horrific liar. I'm actually quite bad at it. The only way I can get away with it is by omission, right? Talking around it, I, I'm not good at the direct lying. Just making something up. If my mom listens to this episode, she's going to laugh because I went through an entire phase and I want to say it lasted almost a year where I just lied about everything. And I would say just the craziest things that made absolutely no sense. Like if my room was dirty and my mom asked me to clean it up and I didn't do that, and she said, hey Liv, why didn't you clean room? I might say I did clean my room, but that all these space cows came down from their spaceship and they were running around in my room and I was trying to stop them from tearing my stuff up, but they were too strong.
[06:09] Like these are the kinds of lies I'm coming up with. So there was an entire year my mother had to deal with that and she would catch me in the line. I would just keep lying anyway. I figured out at a very young age, I'm no bueno at it. It's not worth the consequences for me and here was life just nudging me one more time to say, hey boo, probably not worth it. It's going to create some problems for you and it doesn't look good, doesn't feel good. It doesn't taste good. Anyway, I just wanted to share that because it was something that was super relevant to me right in this moment and I'm sure there are many of us who are maybe in the middle of some messes and trying to untangle how this happened. Maybe sniff out a little lie by omission or a white lie or or a slight untruth or something that's truth adjacent, sniff that out because there might be a little bit of deception in there and that's actually something I want to talk about in relationship to my partnership in another episode because we've done a lot of talking.
[07:05] I think about you as an individual and your own self-awareness, but I also want to start focusing on that community element, which I know I've mentioned before. I want to talk about your self-awareness in the context of community and in my mind community starts with who are the people that you're interacting with on a daily basis? Who are the people you say, I love you, too. It kind of starts there and then branches out into the rest of the world. On that note, let's move on to perfectionism. I know that this is something society has been shining more light on and subtly dismantling. I particularly noticed this in reference to women's rights. One of the biggest things you might remember is just the whole women needing to smile thing. I actually, I was telling a friend about this at brunch this weekend. I, I have a really upsetting, maddening example of this.
[08:02] I used to work at a YMCA and I would open in the mornings, which meant I was up at 4:15, so I'm a college student up at 4:15 having to make sure I'm at work. Doors are open every that computers are on ready to go by 5:00 AM. So I did that for probably a semester and in most of that time I got really good reviews. The members really liked me. I liked the members. I got along with all my coworkers really well. I did my job well, you know, a couple of snafus here and there because I'm a human and I was also a college student, but for the most part it was a really simple job and I had a really good time and I got a great paycheck and I looked forward to going in as much as you can. Look forward to going into something like that and I got one negative comment the entire time I worked there and it was from this old man, older man, old man, I think maybe as a mean thing to say even though technically he was senior in age.
[09:04] He came in in the mornings just like everybody else did and I made sure as people were scanning in, it was my job to make sure it was actually them, that their card work, their membership was active and I would say good morning so people are walking in. Good morning, good morning, good morning. If I recognize them, it was a member I interacted with a lot. I'd say, Hey Janet, how are you? Those kinds of things. Well, this man comes in and really never interacts with me. I say good morning all the time to everybody who walks in. I don't even really remember interacting with him before I got this note. When my supervisor brings me in and this man had written a comment card and put it in the comment card box that I didn't smile and that that upset him, that I wasn't smiling at 5:00 AM in the morning despite the fact I'm still greeting.
[09:53] He and I have never had an interaction, but he felt that me not smiling was unwelcoming and he didn't feel welcome in the gym and Blah, blah, blah, blah. At this point in time in my life, I am still knee deep in this perfectionism, performative thing, so I didn't actually know that I should be mad. I was disappointed in myself. I was genuinely upset that I had made this man so uncomfortable because I wasn't smiling at him every morning and I felt insanely frustrated because I didn't know that that was something I should be performing too. I didn't recognize that my performance wasn't up to par for this man, and you know, if, if one person in the audience isn't giving me an ovation, the whole performance is a failure. That's how perfectionism works. If you can identify with that even just a teensy bit, and it doesn't have to necessarily be at work, though I think a lot of us find ourselves in that space at work.
[10:57] It could just be at home feeling like you need to be on all the time. You need to be of service all the time. You constantly need to be giving of yourself feeling uncomfortable when you're not stripped bare and exhausted emotionally. Feeling like, oh my God, I actually feel good right now. I must not be doing enough. If those kinds of things are resonating with you, it might be worth taking this moment and while you're listening to this podcast to do some reflection on how perfectionism shows up in your life because it's so much more than just wanting to do a job really well or wanting to do something really well or wanting something to look as good as it possibly can. It's also a conversation that you have with yourself about your worth, and that's what we want to talk about right now when I talk about perfectionism, for me that is inextricable from the concept of being performative because none of us are perfect to step into perfectionism.
[11:58] You have to act, pretend that you are perfect and to do that you have to perform so when you're in this performance space, you are in the opposite place of authenticity and I want to point out that being authentic does not mean your work quality goes down. Being authentic does not mean that you don't smile in the morning at the guy at the gym. It just means you're doing it from this place of deep knowing, deep understanding and balance and I don't even mean 50-50 balance. I think sometimes when we think of balance, we think everything needs to be even balances really for me, more of a give and take and ebb and a flow. So for example, if we, if we go back to me at the gym, maybe what I should have taken from that other than Oh, I'm a shitty employee and I'm making this man uncomfortable and I literally went out of my way to interact with this man after this.
[12:55] And when I think about it, I just, I want to cringe and kind of throw up a little bit and then go smack myself and say bitch, stop. But here we are now and now what I think I might do differently is just check in with myself with that feedback. So what of that feedback resonates with me? So if this man is commenting that he's feeling unwelcome and he thinks he's feeling unwelcomed because I'm not smiling, what I really need to do is check in and say, okay, why aren't I smiling? I don't feel like I'm tired. I'm whatever my reasons are. Right? And if all of those are Gucci with me, then fine. I just dismiss the feedback. I say he's going to do him, I'm going to do me and I continue about my business. It didn't cost me anything to not change that behavior.
[13:43] He's going to keep coming to the gym anyway. He was. He's not going to confront me about it. Clearly he was too chicken to even give that feedback to my face, so I move on. Now. Maybe I do that internal check and I go, Ooh, you are probably being a little gruff in the morning. You're a little resentful that you have to wake up even though you chose this shift. Yes. It's not the ideal thing for you. It's the only thing that fits in your schedule. However, it's not the guests' fault. It's not the members' fault. You don't need to take that out on them, and so how can you be more welcoming and maybe that's a smile and maybe that's something else. Who knows, but that's what coming from a space of authenticity looks like. If you're coming from a space of perfection, all you're thinking is, how do I dance better?
[14:30] How can the puppet be on the string better? Do I need to attach more strings? Do I need to get a different outfit? Do I need to put more makeup on? Do I need to do more shows per week? I'm constantly just thinking about how to please this person instead of saying, okay, what's here for me? How can I shift my paradigm? All of these things — it comes from this place of what's true for me and what feedback can I implement to build my own self awareness and have that impact my community appropriately instead of how can I run myself ragged to prove I'm enough to this random man who won't even remember who I am two weeks after I quit this job? That's what I'm talking about here. It's that self-conversation that you really want to get clued into. Another example I have is very, very recent for me.
[15:24] I have been working on dismantling this perfectionism. Mine stems very specifically to my not enough story and seeking that external validation because I wasn't feeding myself watering myself. I was having to get that from outside and the quickest and easiest way I learned to do that was to perform well and admirably academically in sports and social settings. That very stereotypical overachiever kind of archetype I was really playing into because I got a lot of praise from a lot of different people for it and so that totally bled into how I did everything and I've been working on not attaching those things to my self-worth and having more of a conversation like I just described. I might have had if I was working at that YMCA today. However, perfectionism is not something you just "click!" decide you're not going to do. It's a series of thought patterns and behaviors and habits that you're really just stuck in and it takes some time to rewire your brain to do things a little differently.
[16:33] And so I'm still having these moments where I catch myself in these places where I just don't feel good about what I'm doing at all. And most recently I was in Vermont with my mom and her wife and we were staying in. My best friend was also there, so there's four of us in this 240-foot airstream. So not a lot of space and separation. And because I'm so sensitive, and I don't mean sensitive like you're gonna make me cry in two seconds. I mean sensitive as in my digestion system sensitive, my eyes are sensitive. I'm sensitive to energy and mood. I just, I'm highly sensitive to stimulus. And so because of that being packed into 240 square feet, I automatically revert to being performative in a lot of ways because in that enclosure it's really more about surviving and keeping the peace between three very large personalities.
[17:38] I wish I, I wish that you guys knew these people so you could put it into context. But my best friend, my mom and her wife, big personalities and I'm, I'm one of them, too. So really there's four of us in this thing with big personalities and strong opinions and specific particular ways. We like to do things and get things done. And so naturally some things are gonna come up there. Well, we had a surplus of food coming from my mom's retreat. She did her first women's leadership retreat the week before, which is why I was there in the first place. And they just ended up buying too much food and so there was so much food on the property and as you can imagine, in an airstream, there's not exactly a whole lot of storage for all that food. So there was some concern about it going to waste and all of these things.
[18:28] Well, to make a long story short, there were Avocados that I had said I would probably eat a couple of days earlier prior to this incident. And I felt like that was possible. Like I don't like food waste, not a fan of it at all for many, many reasons. And I love Avocados. I was happy to jump on that train now fast forward like 48 hours and none of the Avocados have been eating or like one avocado has been eaten. So that has just failed miserably at this point. And my mom's wife is feeling really anxious about the food. So she's, you know, walking, cleaning up breakfast. She walks in with this bag of Avocados and she's like, what are we going to do about these Avocados? And I just instantly picked up on all of the nervous energy. I start feeling it.
[19:13] And so I'm like, oh, she's really stressed about these Avocados. And my instant instant reaction was to feel guilty about that. It was to be like, fuck, I should have been eating the damn Avocados this whole time. I completely forgot, I'm letting Carrie down, blah, blah, blah. I go into my whole perfectionism thing. Well my mom has been kind of over the food conversation for 48 hours and it's just kind of like, it is what it is. Like we can't. She knew that we couldn't consume all the food and there was a lot of other things going on. And so she was just like in her own space with that. And I don't even remember what she said to Carrie, but then she looks at me and she's like, are you going to eat these Avocados? And so then I just felt her frustration too. And I took on the, Oh my God. And I just felt all this pressure and I'm just like looking at the food and I'm looking at my mom and I'm looking at her partner and I'm just like,
[20:11] Oh my God, this is too much.
[20:13] Like I'm freaking out inside. Which I realized while it was happening was insane. Like this is just about Avocados. Just say no. Well I kinda sorta just said no, but in that whole defensive way, that perfectionists know all too well. So because I had this perception that I was solely responsible for the outcome of this entire exchange. And I don't just mean about the Avocados, I mean the exchange between my mom and her partner, that I was going to be responsible for the quality of that exchange and what the two of them got out of it. And I felt like if I didn't do what I said I was going to do, make sure all the Avocados were consumed, it was going to get worse. So then I had this option. Am I going to commit to eating these Avocados now to be a people pleaser and then not eat them and then be a giant failure or am I going to say no and let them down and be a giant failure?
[21:14] Well, I opted for failure in the moment and this is my perception of failure, mind you. Nobody has told me I'm a failure at this point. I've just decided I am. And so I said, nope, there's a lot of pressure around food and I don't want that. And I had all these icky, nasty feelings and I just, I like, uh, I can't even explain it. I, I kind of wish that I had video record of how this happened because in that moment I didn't recognize myself. It was old me. It was 15 year old me. It wasn't 27 year old Liv who's really empowered and does a self awareness podcast. And I was just some, you know, insecure teenage girl who felt really torn and unworthy in a moment. And I tried to justify it by telling myself I was focusing on my relationship to food and that's why I was feeling really overwhelmed.
[22:07] And partially that is true. I am really working on recreating a healthier relationship to food than I've had in the past. But I also recognize that ultimately I was worried about getting in trouble and I actually said those words out loud to my mom because there was some other. Oh, there were kale chips. She had made a bunch of Kale chips. There were Kale chips on the counter. She looks at me and in a — sorry mom, but this was my experience — in a stereotypically snarky response that my mom has. Whenever I have an emotional outburst, which I don't like that word, I don't know what to call it. Whenever I am in a... Whenever I'm in an emotional space, a lot of times I get snark back from my mom and her response was, dare I even ask if you are going to eat these kale chips. Whatever. Eye roll.
[22:56] I told her, I said, I don't want to get in trouble. I don't want to be responsible for the outcome of this stuff and I use the word getting in trouble and of course she had a reaction to that. She was like, you're not getting in trouble. And I said, look, I used that word purposefully because that's how I feel and just leave it there. I'm not putting that on you. It's just where I'm at right now. And then I realized that that was so true. I was so worried about getting in trouble and I could hear myself telling myself like, it's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. And then I'm like, why am I telling myself it's not my fault? Obviously it's not my fault. I'm not the one who went to the grocery store and told them to buy too many Avocados.
[23:34] How am I here right now? And slowly but surely, I peel back some layers and I realized that I felt my mom was disappointed and Carrie was annoyed and that it was my job to make sure that those things were not because of me. I realized that I reacted from an old space of peacekeeping and the need to not be the source of disagreement between mom and dad, if you will. No gender specific meant there I, it's just uh, an archetype kind of thing. I'm meaning to say a construct that was in my mind. It was really important to me as a kid, to not be the source of disagreement between my mom and whatever partner she had at the time because I couldn't deal with that. I couldn't handle that responsibility. And I think in a lot of ways I felt like a lot of these things were my fault.
[24:29] I think that happens to a lot of kids who are the product of divorced parents. So a lot of you out there listening are going to go praise Jesus this is exactly what I go through when my parents are bickering or fighting or my stepmom and my dad or this and that, or my Stepdad and my dad are la, la, la. Whatever's happening in your family life. If you go back and revert to this old place, this old way of being, there's probably a performative nature to it and what I recognized is that me taking on that mantle of peacekeeper, me taking on that mantle of making sure I wasn't responsible for any disagreements or problems was all part of this whole perfectionism bubble that I had created as a kid and and part of that stems from a little bit of a control freak aspect.
[25:16] The fact that I felt as a kid and even at 27 and my mother's adult relationships, the fact that I had felt I was even remotely responsible for any of the things that happen there is me tempting to control situations that are way far outside of my control. And so when I think about that in the context of, you know, being six, seven, eight, all the way up through 18, that makes a lot of sense. When you're 27, that makes no fucking sense. Like, I don't live with these women. I'm not a regular part of their life. Me eating Avocados or not even Avocados isn't gonna make or break their relationship. And if it does, it was broken way before I got there, but I totally have this like mental emotional reversion and freak out because of this paradigm of perfectionism because of these performative aspects of my behavior and my thought patterns, and I'm sharing this example because it's such a simple thing, and if you had seen it from the outside, you would have thought it impossible.
[26:23] All of that was happening inside of me because of some me saying no to some food, which should be such a simple thing, but I overcomplicated the crap out of it. I think there's probably somewhere in your life or at least someone you know where they're doing this all the time and here's a couple of cues that pop up for me. If I get defensive and I don't even have to say anything. If I just feel I'm getting defensive, there's tension in my body, I start to feel really anxious. I could literally run away from the situation and be totally okay with that. If I start to feel defensive and like I need to be, I need to say more than just no or yes. If I need to give an explanation and rationalize why I'm making this choice and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[27:11] When I'm in that space, that's such a trigger for me to start observing why I'm there, which is the only reason I even got to, Oh my God, I feel like I'm going to get in trouble. Oh my God, I'm being performative. Oh my God, Liv. It's not your fault. Stop freaking out. The only reason I got there is because I felt that trigger and I recognize that that is not me. Now that's old me popping up. Okay, why is she here? What does she need and how do I get rid of her and send her back where she belongs? If you can start figuring that out for yourself. If you're, if you're a perfectionist, it's probably not a surprise to you. If you're a control freak, which is just another word for perfectionist, you probably already know that. You recognize that in yourself. You've gotten feedback from other people about that.
[27:56] This isn't a concept that's a secret in our society. If you're a busy-ness addict and you always have to have something going on, you can't be still look into this and check into this and start to figure out what your triggers are. I think getting defensive is such a pervasive one and think about this in the context of feedback from a boss, feedback or criticism from a partner, feedback or criticism from your family. For me, this shows up most strongly in a family construct because that's where I felt I needed to be the most performative. As a kid. If you can start to tap into those little things that pop up for you where you're like, God, this feels like shit and I don't like when I'm like this. Just observe what's happening. You don't necessarily have to stop the behavior pattern because I can take a lot of willpower and a lot of knowhow and a lot of tools and systems and if you haven't set those up for yourself, it can be way too overwhelming and then your perfectionist behavior is going to start judging that and throwing anchors in that, so don't necessarily try to change anything.
[28:59] Just observe it and see if you can figure out why you're feeling that way. Especially in a situation where it doesn't call for that much drama. Avocado saying no to food really shouldn't be that dramatic. So the fact that it was for me was my first clue like this shouldn't be as dramatic as it is, what's happening here, and I just observed while it was happening. I mean I was letting myself act like the 16 year old live, but I sat behind myself, watching myself do it, feeling myself, feel whatever I needed to feel and got to the root of that and I, I do want to. I don't want to totally shit on myself for having reverted. It's totally normal. I totally accept it. I actually find it a blessing because it helps me clean out from under the rug. There's a lot of things I've shoved under there over the years and the only way that I can clean that out is if some of it gets exposed and so I feel really blessed when some of this stuff happens, especially in a safe environment where I was with my family.
[29:56] I was with my best friend. I was with my mom. I was with my stepmom, like I was in total safety to have this kind of weird thing and actually we ended up getting in the car and driving somewhere after and we're driving through Vermont. Besides the fact that my mom and Carrie live on just this gorgeous healing, meditative, wonderful property that I just feel so blessed to get to share with them sometimes. We're driving through Vermont in the middle of peak foliage and it's just absolutely gorgeous and I'm, you know, at this time I'm still unraveling. I kind of made it sound instantaneous that I figured all this out. It took me an hour of focused concentration to unravel this and it started the moment after I responded no to the Avocados all the way until we got to our next destination and I want to say at some point I was just staring at the mountains and it just clicked and I just.
[30:51] I cried a little bit and I let a little bit out and it was beautiful because a Sam Smith Song came on and I asked my mom to turn it up and Oh, it was just the perfect way to just release some of that and get rid of some of that baggage and call attention to it so I'm not chastising myself and I don't want you to do that either. It's a tendency of perfectionism to blame yourself when things aren't perfect and shiny and glittery and spark sparkly and everything you want it to be. It's okay. It's good. It's healthy. If you are catching this stuff, you are on track. If you recognize that you're in a perfectionist behavior pattern, that you're performing, that you're talking shit to yourself because you weren't perfect enough. Good. You caught it. Don't hate on yourself for having done it. Don't hate on yourself at all.
[31:39] Actually, there's really not much I can think of. You should hate on yourself for and if there are some really solid things, that's not what this show is about, you can find a different podcast for that. Don't hate on yourself for it. Just start to pay attention. One of the things that I highly recommend to start doing, if you're looking to kind of break down your perfectionism construct and it feels overwhelming to do that and you're not sure where to start. I highly recommend doing a should but cleanse, so it's just the words should hyphen the word, but. But cleanse. So this is a method that I've used. I don't know that there's any formal method. It's just something through all of the tools that I've read, I kind of started to do. So. Marshall Rosenberg, he's the author of nonviolent communication and he believes should is the most violent word we use.
[32:33] Why? Because it implies we don't have a choice and should is a word of choice for perfectionists. I should. We should. He should. They should. You use should all the time. If you're a perfectionist, control freak should is probably one of your most used words. If there was a word cloud, it'd be one of the biggest words, and in my opinion, that's one of the most pervasive lies you and I have ever bought into that we don't have a choice. We have to do this or be that or field this, and when you buy into this lie, you give up your power of choice willingly. So Stephen Biko, he's a South African anti-apartheid activist, and he just said the most brilliant fucking thing I, I think I've ever heard in relationship to this. He said, the most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
[33:26] And in this case, there are some societal oppressions. You know, by convincing us we don't have choice or autonomy oppressors across history, they've created the perfect prison, one of our own design. We do the trapping for them, but I want you to consider who the oppressor is in a construct of perfectionism and performance. You're the oppressor, and here's the beautiful thing about that. You're also the mind. You're the oppressor and the mind and that means you have the ability and the choice to change that without anybody else, without the consequences of external oppression. So where this oppression stems from is debatable and it's beside the point. Is it a societal construct? Is it something my family got me? Is it something I'm doing to myself? Yes and no, and yes, it's all of the things. It's none of the things. It doesn't really matter. What's important is that we all feel it.
[34:22] Whether you're conscious of it or not, and think about it. How many times a day do you tell yourself what you should do, how often you tell others what they should do? Now let's get to the but part. But is should best friend and has a similar mental effect both in our internal and external dialogue. How many times have you said I should exercise, but I'm so tired at the end of the day, or have you ever heard anyone say something like, I know I shouldn't have done that, but you made me really mad, or the classic I love you, but, but effectively negates whatever came before it. The I love you will be forgotten and whatever comes next won't be heard. Should and but work separately and in tandem to isolate us from choice and choice is key to unlocking joy, which is our huge focus this season. We're always trying to get to joy, so when you're in an avocado dilemma, you're not close to joy, right?
[35:18] Without the belief that you can choose joy. How will you shift your state? How can you get your joy on without actively choosing to align yourself with it? You probably can't, at least not with anything I know of or have experienced. So here's my suggestion for the next seven days. Just take mental note of how often you think or speak these words should or but especially for using them together. If you're using A. I should, but they should, but construct, just pay attention and if you can, if you've got some papers or you want to use voice memos on your phone or you have an app on your phone like Evernote or quick memo or anything like that, right? The experience down, just kind of take note of when you catch it, if especially if you catch the same sentence or the same version of the same sentence over and over and over again, that's probably something you are subconsciously telling yourself on a regular, regular basis and the more you pay attention, the more light you shine on it, the easier it's going to be to start detaching yourself from that.
[36:30] If you feel compelled, I also recommend sharing this with a friend or a trusted confidant or shit. Call into an anonymous tip line. Sometimes sharing this stuff out loud is way more helpful than anything else you could do. And this goes back to a previous episode where I actually shared a clip from Brené Brown talking about how shame cannot exist when it's spoken and that's really important here because there's a lot of shame and a lot of unnecessary guilt attached to the perfectionism and the performance. And so if you can start to say these things out loud to someone, and I'm just going to offer right now, if you don't feel like you have anybody, you have me. I am so here for you entirely. And I'm not just saying that this isn't just a brand to me. This isn't just a podcast to me. This is my life's passion.
[37:30] I am living my life's purpose. And that that includes you. It has to include you. I'm here to be of service to you. Yes, you specifically the person who's listening right fucking. Now I am talking to you. If you need somebody to share this stuff with, if you need someone to just say, witness me. I have to say this out loud. I am here for you and I will share in the show notes are going to have to go to the website. I don't want to share my public information on a free public podcast, but if you take enough clicks and investment to go to my website, I will share how you can get in touch with me. Um, it'll probably just be an email address, which is all over my website anyway. But if you need someone, I'm here. You don't even have to tell me your name.
[38:16] I don't need to know anything about you. You can literally just send me a voice memo or, or a text. We can trade phone numbers. It doesn't matter. We can meet up on Whatsapp. We can figure out a way to make it work. But don't use not having someone you trust as an excuse to not do the best thing for yourself. And I'm telling you when you say this stuff out loud, as someone who has been searching for her voice and really working on speaking her truth, it is so empowering to say the shit out loud. I can't tell you how many times something has come to the surface and I just pushed it down. I've swallowed it. I wrapped it in a nice little shame blanket and shoved it somewhere deep, deep inside my body and paid the price for that later, and the price is way too fucking steep.
[39:04] I'd literally rather go outside and scream it from a mountain top so everybody can hear than I would shove it in anymore. I can't keep this stuff in. Hence probably why I have a podcast and I'm sharing all of these things with you. I don't feel the shame if I don't keep it locked up, so I really strongly encourage you. Don't keep it locked up. Don't hold onto the shame. Don't be so attached to the idea of safety that you think perfectionism provides you. It doesn't. It's a prison. Prisons are not saying, I don't know if you know anything about prisons, but they're not safe, nice places to be. I'm not saying they're the worst, but they're certainly not free and they're certainly not allowing authentic expression, so don't keep yourself trapped there. Get the fuck out man. Get the fuck out, so there you have it.
[39:54] Those are my thoughts on perfectionism. Clearly not a fan of it. To be fair, we are in the middle of a breakup and so certainly my emotions are heightened when I talk about perfectionism and performing, but I'm working really hard to not do and be those things anymore for myself and for everyone. I'm here to serve. For all of you listening, for all of you who randomly hear a piece of random advice that someone heard from me that they shared with you, I'm doing it for the entire world and I really want you to do the same thing. I'm feeling pretty positive that this is holding you back in some really huge ways and it's definitely holding you back from living your life's purpose and it sure as shit is preventing you from feeling joy and fuck that noise. We're we're here to do the joy. We're here to be the joy. We're here to get our joy on. So — Amen. Hallelujah. End of episode. Thank you so much for tuning in next week. Remember, I love you and I like you.
If you want to take me up on my offer to speak your shame to someone without judgment and as anonymously as you wish, email my personal email (me @ livhadden [dot] com) < just remove the spaces and type a . where you see [dot].
I’m serious about that. Don’t push it down and keep it in. That shit is poison, and it will destroy you over time.