The Triple C Project

The Two Faces of Perfectionism

April 08, 2022 Ryan Spence Season 2 Episode 7
The Triple C Project
The Two Faces of Perfectionism
Show Notes Transcript

If you don't embrace failure, you're always going to go back to that state of analysis paralysis of waiting for that perfect moment when you have that perfect plan to take that perfect first step. And that doesn't exist. Perfect doesn't exist.

In this week's episode, I talk about the two faces of perfectionism and how they're holding you back from getting what you want.

I also share my tips for overcoming perfectionism and just doing the damn thing!

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Ryan Spence:

If you don't embrace failure, you're always going to go back to that state of analysis paralysis of waiting for that perfect moment when you have that perfect plan to take that perfect first step. And that doesn't exist. Perfect doesn't exist.

Rafa:

You're listening to, The Triple C Project.

Ryan Spence:

Welcome to The Triple C Project, the podcast that helps you gain clarity, boost confidence, and build courage, so you can live lit! I'm your host, Ryan Spence. The BigLaw dropout. Life coach, author, speaker, lover of hoodies, hip hop, and big hairy, audacious goals. If you're tired of living the life you think you should want, and ready to live the life you do want, this podcast will help you get from where you are to where you really wanna be. So now we're friends. I invite you to grab drink. Take a seat, and allow me to guide you towards living a life that's lit! What's up what's up? Hello, welcome to episode seven of The Triple C Project. And I'm going to be straight with you, I'm feeling quite tired right now. There's often this picture of people who do podcasts and create content and all of that, everything is on point and perfect. And, you know, I mean, the the traditional definition of professional. But I pride myself on keeping things real as part of doing what I do is encouraging people to show up as their true authentic self. And it's only right that I do the same. So I tell you that I'm tired. Not just because I'm tired. But there's a reason for that is it relates to the topic of today's episode, which is perfectionism. Before we get into today's topic, I want to give you a quick heads up that my book, The Triple C Method is now available for pre order, yay! Really excited to have this done. And coming out. If you listened to last week's episode, you'll have heard the extract from the book of the introduction. And hopefully, that's got you sitting there waiting in anticipation to get your hands on the final full release. But you can go and preorder, preorder the ebook now from Amazon. And if you do that, you get access to a free bonus course called Triple C 101, which is a course that, as you can imagine, focuses on levelling you up in those three key pillars of The Triple C Method, clarity, confidence, and courage. To preorder the book and to get the course head to iamryanspence.com/triplec, and all the details are there. And look, the course is great. The course leaves you at the end of each of the three key modules with one exercise, one takeaway that you can implement right here right now to level up in each of those three areas. And these are exercises that you can keep coming back to as you keep growing within yourself as you keep developing. So, that's gonna last the test of time. And I'm really excited for you to get your hands on that. And then to dive deeper into those three concepts in the book. So The Triple C Method, gain clarity, boost confidence, and build courage, so you can live life lit!, and you can go ahead and preorder that at iamryanspence.com/triplec. Great. Okay, perfectionism. Today's episode the two faces of perfectionism. Because luck. Lots of people say that perfectionist, one of the things that when clients come to me, there are probably three key sort of themes that in everyone that comes to me that they say that they struggle with. And it's either confidence, it's either a lack of belief, which I sort of put put in with confidence as well. Or it's perfectionism, or as it's more commonly referred to analysis paralysis. So I thought it was good to dive into perfectionism on this week's episode. But I'm going to take a slightly different tack to something that maybe you've heard before, because I actually feel that there are two phases to perfectionism, hence the name of this episode. And whilst analysis paralysis is perhaps the most common, the one that most people talk about, there's a second as well, which, at the time of recording, I haven't managed to give a catchy fancy name to but hopefully that will come to me and if not, maybe you can send me in some suggestions. But we're going to start with analysis paralysis, and what I want to say as well as the ones we've explored, each of these are going to leave you at the end with some some solutions or my thoughts of how you can combat perfectionism, that sort of tools and tips that I've used and that I've shared with others and with clients that you can start to use to start to fight back against this perfectionism, that's maybe holding you back from getting after what you want. Okay, cool, let's,let's get to it. So the first face of perfectionism, analysis, paralysis is the most common form, you've probably experienced it at some time in your own life. I know I have, I know it's something that lawyers definitely suffer from. Because the idea as a lawyer is that everything has to be perfect, every little detail has to be in the right place, every comma every full stop. So analysis paralysis is as it says, You can be analysing things to the point where you you're stuck, you don't move forward, you're paralysed. And that will normally be explained away as by saying that you're a perfectionist, you just want to get everything perfect. You want to present something to somebody or present something to the world, in the most perfect form, that clearly illustrates your knowledge that clearly illustrates your message. And you don't want to leave any room for misinterpretation, for anything to be misconstrued. And you, you want people to see that work that you produced, and just be amazed that you can produce such a beautiful document, piece of art, whatever that may be. So you spent all of this time trying to make the thing, perfect. That's a story. You tell yourself. It's a story. I told myself. But here's the thing. I don't think that's true at all. Because what I think, is that, that word perfectionism, that identity that you're bestowing upon yourself, is actually a mask. And what it's masking is, fear. It's masking your fear of getting something wrong, your fear of somebody misconstruing what you've said, or what you meant, your fear of failing of somebody seeing the thing that you presented and being like, so what, or that shit, or I could do better than that. It's all of those things that embarrassments the fear of embarrassment. And that fear is actually what stops you from taking action. That's the paralysis. So whilst perfectionism is presented as this thing that is going to allow you to come across as your best self as the genius that you are, nobody sees that, because the perfectionism actually hold you back. And it stops you from taking the action you need to do to get the work out there to get your message out there. To share an example from my own life, leaving BigLaw. So when, I knew that I wanted to leave when I first had that, that inkling. I kicked around a few ideas. But in my mind, I was saying to myself, I just need to have the perfect plan. One day, I'll wake up and I'll have that inspiration, that perfect idea of what I should do. And then I'll do it. So I was trying to get a perfect plan for leaving a perfect plan for executing my desire to leave BigLaw and to go and do something else that I was more passionate about more excited about, that I felt was more in alignment with my values and alignment with who I am. But again, looking back, that wasn't it so actually, that perfectionism that I was bestowing upon myself that identity I was carrying, if this perfectionist who wanted to have everything every i dotted and every T crossed before I made a move was actually fear. It was fear of failure, fear of if I leave this and things don't work out. What will people say about me? If I leave this and I'm not a success, however, people want to define success. What does that say about me? Is everybody going to be laughing at me? Is everybody going to be saying, See, I told you you couldn't do it on your own. I told you you couldn't do anything else. Once a lawyer always a lawyer. That was One part of fear. And the second fear that I had was fear of the unknown. Because when you're in a situation, no matter how bad that situation is, you know the situation, you know the pitfalls, you know how to manoeuvre within the confines of that situation. But once you step into the unknown, you have no idea. It's like going into the wild west, anything could happen. And because of that, that adds an additional layer of fear that uncertainty is daunting. But here's the thing. What if you reframe that? What if you reframe the unknown, instead of being somewhere that's scary and daunting as being somewhere that's full of opportunity? Somewhere that's exciting. It's like going on a rollercoaster, and I hate rollercoasters. I don't know why I just can't get on with them. I think I've been on two rollercoasters in my life. And I've had experiences which I will never forget. And probably not for the right reasons. But when you get on the roller coaster, it's, it's like going into the night. I remember going to Disney World when I was 18. And I went on Space Mountain, my cousin was badgering me to you got to go on, you can't come all this way not go on it. So I went on it. terrifying experience absolutely terrifying. And it was a roller coaster that basically it starts in the light, and it just goes into like this black hole, and you can't see anything. And it was it was absolutely fucking awful. And I was scared before we even went, because I couldn't see where it was going. And that's kind of how we lots of approach the unknown in our, in our lives. Leaving a job. For example, a career that we know, even if it's not serving us, is so scary that it paralyses us into staying in the comfort zone as to where we are. But if you look at it as what could happen, the fact that anything could happen is actually quite appealing, that reframe can get you excited for what the unknown might hold for you. Anyway, that's analysis paralysis, I kind of went off in a bit of a tangent there with the roller coasters. But I hope that helps to illustrate the point that I'm trying to make. And I hope that you can see some parallels in terms of some of the decisions that you make, or some of the ways that you feel about switching up your own life. But analysis paralysis, that's the one which we all know, we're all familiar with. The second phase of perfectionism, the face that doesn't yet have this catchy term, which I will come up with, at some point, I hope one day is where you do take action. And let me explain what I mean here. So when I saw my first podcast, let's start with example, I started my first podcast, and I had left perfectionism behind in terms of the perfectionism in BigLaw that I just talked about. But what I hadn't anticipated was coming up against this other type of perfectionism. And what that was, is that I was taking action, but I wanted to get everything perfectly. Right. So I wanted to have the perfect mic for the podcast, I wanted to have the perfect overall equipment, the perfect sound, I wanted to do what everyone else is doing in terms of getting out the perfect social media captions with the perfect graphics and the perfect show notes. And you know, me, I wanted to have the just the perfect branding, the whole separate Instagram account, everything had to be perfect. I wanted to have all the show notes and the and the trust transcriptions and all of that. And the thing about that is that in that quest to make everything perfect. It wasn't stopping me from taking action. But what I was doing is, is getting me focusing on things that in the grand scheme of things didn't really matter. And actually worse than that, it actually just led to this ball of this border of exhaustion because I was kind of going around on this hamster wheel each week trying to create all of this stuff that people out there who were doing this have teams of people to help them with it. And I was trying to do it all on my own, alongside everything else I had going on in my life. And that perfectionism in that state, led to me so carrying this weight of expectation of what things should look like, what things should be, because I was taking on board what everyone else was doing everyone else Who I sort of saw as, quote unquote, successful in that particular field, trying to almost imitate, in a sense what they were doing, because I wanted to have the success that they were having. And actually, what I failed to recognise was that other people are at a different point, they're starting a different point. And they are at a different point. They've been doing this for a lot longer. As I say they had teams, maybe they had, they have money, they had all of these other things, which I didn't have. And that doesn't matter. But trying to compete with them on the same level wasn't going to work, that quest to be perfect in inverted commas, in the way that I perceive they were, was really just a losing battle. So the second phase of perfectionism is at the factions, and that doesn't stop taking action. But it almost for one of the better phrase leads to you taking too much action, but too much action, that doesn't actually matter. That doesn't move the needle. You know, for me, the podcast, and relaunching it this time is as well as the way that approach it. It's about the message that you're sharing, and it's reaching the people who you want to reach who need to hear your message. Everything else is secondary. Yes, people need to know that you exist. They need to know where they can find your podcast, they need to know when it comes out. But all of the other stuff being on 100 Different platforms and having all the different social media and having all of this extra promotion multiple times a day. It's all nice to have and in great. But does it actually matter? And I would argue that. So that's the two sides of perfectionism, analysis, paralysis, and perfectionism, which leads to you taking too much action, that doesn't really matter. And it's Well, we'll find a catchy name for that, though, at some point. Okay, so how do you deal with those? What are the solutions? What are my thoughts for working through them? Okay, so I have a few, I think five, which I will share with you right now. And the first one I have is, do you what feels good to you. And this is, again, ties back to clarity that we talked about in I think episode two, and that I talk about as often as I can. Because what feels good to me may not feel good to you, the way that I want to do something may not be the way that you want to do something. So if you start with that simple two word phrase, do you or obviously do me for saying it to yourself, then you're going to do things that work for you. Because even if you followed what everybody else was doing in the second perfectionism phase, and you were really successful, whatever that means for you, your success is not going to be fun, because you're not doing it in a way that is fun for you, you're doing it in a way to chase something that you think that you should want. So, if you always start from that point of doing you, you're always going to be right on point and right where you need to be. Same with analysis paralysis, rather than fairing. Everything else more than fame, what other people might think if you just do what feels right to you and what feels good to you, you're going to find your groove, you're going to find your rhythm. And you'll move at a pace which works for you rather than feeling paralysed feeling blocked where you are. Which leads me on to the second point, the second solution, ignore the opinions of others. And especially ignore the opinions of others if they're not doing what you want to do. And if they're not where you want to be. I don't know who said the phrase, but it's a phrase I always love and come back to and I think I first heard it in hip hop track. remember which one. And it's the phrase opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one. Everyone will have an opinion on anything that you ever do. And if you spend all that time listening to what everybody else thinks, will never do what we want. And because everyone has different opinions, we'll be trying to do different things at different times. And we'll never kind of get into a groove going back to my first point and get into that rhythm of doing things in a way that feels good to us. So, look, I'd like to say that we can all completely shut out what other people say what other people think. It's not always the case. I mean, we are human after all. But it doesn't mean that we have to act upon them. And it doesn't mean that it has to stop us from doing the things that we want to do. Which leads nicely on to my third point connect to your why. Again, another point of clarity. When you know why you're doing something, it becomes far easier to ignore the opinions of others. And to also do you when you know you have a message to share, for example, like I do. I know that there are people who will not like the message I'm sharing who will question Who am I to be sharing this message? Who will question the methods? Who will crush the question, the process, all of that kind of stuff? But once I got clear with what my why was, it's easy to shut all of those out. Because all I care about is, am I saying something that is going to be a value to you, the listener? Am I saying something that I would have liked to have heard when I was stuck in my life of lethargy, that may have helped me claw my way out. And if I am, that's all that matters. However, I'm saying that however I'm delivering that don't really care. And it's great when people saying nice things, it's great when people really love the show. But for me, it's more important that people get the message. So connect to your why focus on service over ego. And it doesn't matter whether you're on a podcast, you were in your book, you're an entrepreneur, or if you're in a in a corporate job. If you connect to the reason why you're doing it, it's the thing that helps you get up and do it every day. And it's the thing that helps you ignore when people say, Well, you should be doing this, or you should be doing that, or telling you how you should be doing something, because you know why you're doing it. And therefore you would do it in a way that will help you fulfil that. Why? Next point, except failure is data. Fear of failure is so common. Here's the thing, to get anything right, you're probably going to have to get it wrong a few times. And that's what I mean, when I say that failure is data, or failure is is telling you this way probably wasn't the right way. Maybe let's try it a different way. But if you never fail, you never get that data. And I would argue that if you never fail, not only do you never get that data, but it means that you're not thinking big enough, you're not trying to do something big enough, you're not trying to push yourself out of your zone of comfort to achieve the thing that you really want to achieve. So it took me a while to get my head around this one. But it's so important. Because if you don't embrace failure, you're always going to go back to that state of analysis, paralysis of waiting for that perfect moment when you have that perfect plan to take that perfect first step. And that doesn't exist. Perfect, doesn't exist. And looking at the second face of perfectionism, as well. If you don't accept failure, you're constantly going to be chasing what everybody else is doing and trying to match what you do to what they do. And you'll never have run the risk of just doing things your way and seeing what works. So if you can get your head around accepting failure, it's going to take you a long way to busting perfectionism. And the final sort of solution, thought perfectionism that I have for you today is taking the view that sometimes the wrong way in inverted comments, commerce is actually the right way for you. And your unique approach is what can lead to your success. And this is a really key point, because, and unfortunately, I don't have the examples with me today. Because I've, again, gone off on a little bit of a tangent, but it's still relevant. So many things throughout history were created by people who did things wrong, did things the way that they shouldn't do. I mean, that's the whole point of the experiment, right? You experiment to kind of see what works and what doesn't work. So let's go back to the previous point, you accept that the chances are that you will fail, but in fairly that will move you closer towards your goal. Same thing with this final point, doing something the wrong way, the way that people say that you shouldn't do to do it may actually be the right way for you. Because again, the first point, do you it's tying back to what works for you. It ties back to what's in alignment with the way that you want to live in alignment with your values. And as I said that unique approach can be the approach that leads to success because you're then not like everybody else. You're not trying, trying to squeeze yourself into a box that wasn't made for you that wasn't built for you. You're creating your own playing field, not even box, you're creating your own landscape in which to try things out your own sandbox, if you will. And that is going to make you so much happier. Because you're doing things the way that you want to do them. And when you're doing things, the way that you want to do them, people see that they see that energy, they feel that energy, and they buy into that. And that is what can ultimately lead to your success. So to recap the solutions that I have to perfectionism. Number one, do you number two, ignore the opinions of others. Number three, connect to your why. Number four, accept failure as data. And number five, recognise that sometimes the wrong way is the right way for you. And that unique approach can ultimately lead to your success. Okay, that's it for this week. I really hope that this episode has really given you something to think about and starts to help you work through your own blocks with perfectionism. Look, we all have it. And we can all fall back into that habit. The thing about habits is that we built them over such a long period of time, that they don't just disappear and break down overnight. But what I do what I do with this podcast, what I'm doing with the book, and what I do with my coaching clients is just to work with you to start to recognise the habits that aren't serving you, and replace them with new habits that are going to serve you that are going to help you get to where you want to be. There are going to help you get towards living a life that's lit. So let me know, as always what resonated with you. I really love to hear from you hear how you're going to use some of the solutions in your own life to combat your own perfectionism. And I love if you could leave a review just to let people know what you took away from this episode because look, you never know who's reading and the right person at the right time could read that comment and that could really change things for them. So you'll be doing them a favour as well as me. Okay, that's it for this week. I will see you again in the next episode of The Triple C Project. Thanks for tuning in to The Triple C Project. If you like the show, don't keep it to yourself. Go ahead, tell a friend and tell me too by leaving a review. To get more tips, tools, strategies to help you get from where you are, to where you really wanna be, head to. iamryanspence.com and download my free Confidence Journal. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, I'm @iam_ryanspence and you'll be the first to know about the release of my upcoming book The Triple C Method. But for now, the only thing that I have left to say is, stop living a life of lethargy, and start living life lit!