A Recovering Perfectionist Response to Epic Fails.

perfectionist, epic fails, failure, recovering

Wonder what I am laughing at in this picture? Well, I am laughing at what is about to happen. Yes, I am cracking myself up – because this is what I do now, when I realize that I have just made an epic fail and my inner perfectionist is going to get her ass kicked.

Seriously. As a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist, this is how I have learned to approach my ‘failings’.

I laugh, hard – thinking “Oh, this is going to be sooooooo good”.

Then I get to work – to make it right, to move forward and try to recover as gracefully as possible.

Here is the backstory on the epic fail that inspired this photo.

For the last several months, I have been working on a video series about how to overcome denying what you really want. I had the idea for this series about 6 months ago and had been gathering notes and ideas in a big folder for quite a while. I wrote “create video series” on my to-do list each month and slowly, I tackled the project.

But in truth, I was hiding out in my perfectionist tendencies – slightly scared to put myself out there for the world to see. Afraid that it wouldn’t be good enough. Scared of the potential judgment and scrutiny.

About six weeks ago, I got completely sick of myself.

Seriously? Was was I so stalled out? What was the worse thing that could happen?

I was sick and tired of this slow and ineffectual way of ‘trying’ to get this project done. I was sick of my scared and cautious brain holding me back and making up lame excuses. I was sick of caving into my perfectionist side.

So, I made a decision to complete the video project. And I put a completion date on the calendar. I wrote out all the steps that I needed to do. I captured each step in careful detail and then I scheduled each step on my calendar. It took exactly 3 weeks from start to finish to do the writing, recording, editing, re-recording, uploading and publishing.

There. It was done. It was live and I was thrilled.

And in that process of taking all that action, I had to literally say ‘no’ to my inner perfectionist over and over again.

Here is what I mean by that – there were so many times that I just didn’t feel like working on the videos, so many times that I was bored with myself because I thought it wasn’t good enough, so many times that I was nervous and scared. And I kept having to tell myself NO – Stay in this. Keep going and finish.

So, I did. I worked through my negative emotions (unmotivated, scared, worried, nervous, bored) and got it done. Yes, I did cave some into distraction now and again, but big picture, I was pretty impressed with myself.

Katie = 1. Perfectionist = 0.

Now the video series was out there and my real emotional work was just about to begin.

My thoughts were going into over-drive…

“Would women want this?” “Had I remembered everything?” “Was it any good?” “Was it full of mistakes that I just didn’t see?” “Maybe, I should have waited.”

My emotions were all over the place.

Pride. Fear. Worry. Anxiousness. Excitement. More Fear. Self-judgment. Nervousness.

Then I got a kind note from a woman who let me know that she had signed up for the video series, was excited to get it and was still waiting for it. The video series never arrived in her inbox. She let me know that it was NOT a great first impression so far, with frowning emojis and everything!

OUCH. Epic Fail.

More thoughts….

“See, I told you that you shouldn’t have made this.” “What were you thinking?” “This is a disaster.” “Everyone is going to know that you can’t do things right.” “This woman is going to tell everyone you are a fraud!” “I need to go back to my corporate job.”

More negative emotions…

Panic. Anxiety. Embarrassment. Fear. Worry. More panic. Dread.

Those feelings made me want to run – out of my house and down the road and never come back.

In that moment, I had a choice.

I could let those negative emotions consume me and take me down or I could decide to get back to work.

I sat back down at my computer. All those negative thoughts and emotions were still with me.

I was vibrating negativity in such a big way that I was almost visibly shaking.

Deep breath. Another deep breath. Find the mistake. You can do this. It’s just technology. Breathe. Keep going. The world is not going to end.

I found the glitch and I fixed it. It took less than 5 minutes.

I started laughing. Seriously deep laughter. Perfectionist ass kicking just happened.

I was literally ready to run away and thought the world was ending, because I had made a mistake that took only 5 minutes to fix.

That is what panic and fear and embarrassment can feel like. It can feel like the walls are closing in – the end is near and that you are going to die. It’s completely brutal. And here is the funny part – all that emotional energy is created by what we think and we allow ourselves to think some pretty crazy thoughts.

As I kept laughing at myself and the 5 minute fix, I wrote back to this super awesome woman and thanked her from the bottom of my heart for sharing her disappointment with me. I knew that there was a good chance that she could have given up on me and that was ok – she was entitled to be disappointed by her experience with me and move on.

Regardless of what response I got back (or not), I wanted her to know how grateful I was that she had written me. Not only did it give me a chance to fix a technological issue for her and others, it gave me a chance to practice overcoming my perfectionism tendencies. And I got to kick some serious booty that day. What a gift!

Because, the more I fail and put myself out there and manage the inevitable discomfort that comes along with it, the better I get at overcoming perfectionism, once and for all.

And the better I become at overcome my limiting perfectionism, the more that I will do and learn and create and make. And a life of action is really the one I want to live.

So, a big thank you to L. for letting me know that I did not make a great first impression on you. As you can see, I got a lot from your feedback.

And in case you are wondering about the video series that inspired all of this in the first place, you can access it here. Click the link below to sign up – glitches are fixed!

How to Become an Expert at Creating What you Want – FREE 3 Part Video Series

The Importance of Reflection.

reflection

It is a perfect week to look back – to scan over the months and days of 2016 – a time for reflection.

To think about all the things that took place during the year.

To give our time and attention to the details of our life.

We worked hard to create every moment. To schedule every appointment. To accomplish every task.

Why not take some time to assess what it all meant and to reflect on the cumulative effect of all our hard work?

Take 30 minutes and sit down with your 2016 calendar and look back on the year.

Review each month carefully – noticing the doctor’s appointments, scheduled meetings, morning drop-offs, vacations, performances, family reunions, errands, date nights, work trips and house projects.

Think about the flow of money in and out of your life.
Think about your health throughout the year, the sick days and the well days.
Think about the love you gave and the love you received.
Think about the emotions you experienced throughout the year.

How did you feel most of the time?
Happy? Motivated? Excited? Confident? Focused? Content?
Or
Afraid? Worried? Detached? Sad? Guilty? Confused?

Make notes and observations about 2016 and then answer these questions:

  • What moments are you most proud of and why?
  • Where did you struggle and why?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • How did you grow and evolve?
  • Where did you hold yourself back?

Take responsibility and ownership of all of it. Every single moment was created by you.

It’s not just the events that fill the blocks of time on our calendars that matter – it is the effect of all of those events, combined with our physical and emotional well-being that determine the success of our lives.

It doesn’t matter how much we accomplished (on the calendar) in 2016, if we spent a lot of the year feeling exhausted, lonely, stressed out and broke.

This reflection exercise is so important because it encourages us to look at the whole picture of 2016 and to be honest with ourselves about our results. And here is what is really important to understand – our results are always created by our own thinking. Seriously! All of our 2016 results began with our thoughts. So all of our positive results started with positive thoughts and all of our negative results started with negative thoughts.

It is so important to really grasp this concept before moving into any goal setting for 2017 because you have the opportunity to generate different results for yourself by changing your thoughts. But before you do any 2017 planning, I really encourage you to look back in detail at 2016 and reflect on the overall outcome. Be honest with yourself about your year. Be truthful. Own it. All of it. From this place, you will be able to be much more authentic in looking ahead to what you want to accomplish next year.

Next week, I will give you some specific exercises on how to create your 2017 goals, using your most valuable and sophisticated planning tool – your mind! Here’s the link to the exercises: https://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2017/01/06/success/

Until then – Happy New Year!

My New Thoughts.

katie pulsifer coaching

You know those moments when you can’t get out of your own head? When you are consumed by your negative thoughts? That endless parade of negative thinking that distorts your perception of EVERYTHING!

Everything is doom and gloom, worst case scenario, glass half empty.

It feels painful and beyond your control.

It’s happening and it feels there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it.

You just have to get through it….until something else comes along to direct your attention elsewhere.

You are helpless.

Except, you are not.

Thoughts are optional. Especially the negative ones.

Here is what I mean.

We are always going to think thoughts. And all of our thoughts are just the judgments and opinions and impressions of the world around us. We have so much freedom in our thinking. We just don’t know it. We believe that our thinking is by default…that is just happens to us. We do not know that we are the creators of everything that is going on in our minds.
As human beings, we are so blessed because we get to think about what we think about.
We are privileged to be able to influence all of our thinking.

That means that we have the ability to change our thoughts, to evolve our thoughts, especially all that negative thinking.

And you are probably wondering exactly how change your thoughts, especially the ones that we have carried around with us for such a long time. Changing negative thoughts requires creating consciousness and awareness around what you think about. Simply put – it means paying attention to what is happening in your mind. It means getting curious about what is going on in your head.

What are you thinking?

It is so important to then view the thoughts from a place of compassion and non-judgement. And once you are there, you can begin to replace the negative thoughts with new thoughts to think. And then practice the new thoughts over and over again until they become automatic – your new normal.

Now this work doesn’t just happen overnight and it can be difficult if you try and do it on your own. And if you choose to pursue the experience of learning how to shift your negative thinking, it will be the most rewarding, life-changing, freedom producing work that you can do in this life-time.

I choose to do this work, every day. And it has changed my life.
My coach taught me how and then supported me through my learning process until I masted the skill.
Mastering the skill of thinking about what I think about means that I have learned how to break old negative thought cycles, permanently.
I know how to get myself out of my head, how to stop feeling sorry for myself and how to stop focusing on negative potential outcomes.

I know how to make myself feel better, anytime I want to, regardless of my circumstances. I know how to do this because I know how to change my thoughts. And that is total freedom.

Here is my gift for you this week. It is a short list of my favorite New Thoughts to Think. It’s my go-to list that I can refer to whenever I get stuck in a negative thought loop. I have several copies taped up around my house to remind me that I always have a choice in what I think and therefore how I feel. I just look at my list and find the thought that feels most relevant and necessary in the moment. I focus on the new thought and practice thinking it as long as I need to, to feel better and break the negative thought cycle.

I am guided.
Everything is exactly as it should be.
Everything happens for my benefit.
It was meant to happen the way that it did.
I choose to unconditionally love whenever possible.
I am exactly as I should be.
Everything happens right on time.
The Universe doesn’t make mistakes.
Love is always my most favorite option.
I am responsible for everything I think and feel.
No one can cause a feeling inside of me.
People are allowed to behave the way they want and I am allowed to react the way that I want.
It’s not what I do, but who I am.
There is nothing you can do that wouldn’t be worthy of forgiveness.
There is nothing wrong with me.
I am enough.
Nothing has gone wrong here.
We are here to get to the work of ourselves.
My purpose is the life that I am living right now.
I am deeply loved.
The world longs for what I have to offer.
There is nothing that I truly want that I can’t have.
I can do hard things.
Worry serves no purpose.
Money is easy.
There is plenty of time.
Everything I do is a choice.
My past is perfect.
There is nothing they can do to make me happy – that’s my job.
What others think of me is about them, not me.
Suffering is sometimes familiar, but not necessary.