As a recovering people pleaser (and someone who has coped with anxiety by overachieving and working way too hard to make sure nothing falls through the cracks) I know that perfectionism can drag you down and hold you back in life.
It can also make you want to drink to turn off your mind and make the constant lists and worries in your head go away.
So let’s talk about what it is, why it happens and how you can get out of your own way.
Here’s how perfectionism can show up for women who seem like they have it all together…
👉 You struggle with trying to do everything in your life perfectly
👉 Fear messing up on projects or dropping balls
👉 Feel like you need to be in charge of everything so nothing slips through the cracks
👉 You struggle with imposter syndrome
If any of this sounds familiar today’s podcast episode is for you.
My guest today is Sara Dean. She’s a mindset, business and leadership coach who helps women own their space, stop shrinking and start shining.
I absolutely love Sara – her perspective, her energy and the way she inspires women (including me) to do more and be more.
Today we’re going to dive deep into the connection between perfectionism and procrastination and how staying in your comfort zone can keep you stuck.
This episode is jam packed with encouragement and inspiration, and it all starts with believing in yourself.
In this episode Sara and I talk about:
- How a lifetime of social conditioning can keep you playing small
- Why you try so hard to be the person other people want you to be
- The link between performing, exhaustion, frustration and resentment
- 7 ways you’re getting in your own way
- How to stop asking permission to play a bigger game in life
- 5 ways to get unstuck
- How to thrive in the face of anxiety
- Strategies to turn your struggles into strengths
- How to move from a fixed mindset and a growth mindset
- Secrets of cultivating courage, confidence and abundance #everydamnday
7 Ways You’re Getting in Your Own Way
- Staying quiet and not speaking up when you have an opinion.
- Being the person other people want you to be instead of being who you truly are
- Playing small
- Analysis paralysis
- You’re stuck in a fixed mindset vs growth mindset
- You are stuck in the dreaming and planning phase without taking any action
- Being the gatekeeper of all tasks and roles.
5 Ways To Get Unstuck
- Take small steps
- Take imperfect action
- Get curious
- Drop the ball or the bomb. Either make it a priority or let it go.
- Dream in strategy
More about Sara Dean
Sara’s is a Mindset, Business and Leadership Coach. She is also the creator and host of the Shameless Mom Academy Podcast, a top rated podcast with over 3 million downloads. Sara’s biggest passion is helping women own their space. After enduring her own identity crisis following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in psychology/health/ wellness and rebuilt her identity, one step at a time. Sara motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start shining. She is on a mission to inspire women and moms, in particular, to live bigger, bolder, braver #everydamnday.
Sara serves women through her podcast, her thriving Momentum Mamas membership community, her Tenacious Mamas business & leadership mastermind and her annual event, Shameless Mom Con (coming this spring!) When she’s not supporting Shameless Moms, you’ll find Sara with her husband and 8 year old son – building Legos and pretending to understand Minecraft.
Connect with Sara
Join Sara’s free Facebook Group: www.shamelessmom.com/facebook
Support, resources and tools to help you stop drinking and live alcohol-free
Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit. The private, on-demand coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.
Find My Favorite Sober Facebook Groups, The BFB “Booze Free Brigade” and She Recovers Together
Connect with Casey
Find out more about Casey and her coaching programs, head over to her website, www.hellosomedaycoaching.com
Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!
READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW
Overcoming Perfectionism: How to Get Out Of Your Own Way With Sara Dean
people, drinking, life, women, podcast, totally, perfectionism, years, high achiever, thinking, feel, step, anxiety, dream, husband, mom, coaching, staying, happen, biggest, The Shameless Mom Academy, own their space, identity crisis, Psychology health and wellness, rebuilt her identity, one step at a time, motivates, inspires, stop shrinking, start shining, mission, live bigger, bolder, bigger, braver, over drinking women in the workplace, how to overcome perfectionism, get out of your own way, entrepreneur conference, recovery, energy, kick ass, over achievers, people pleasers, don’t take enough time for themselves, how to move forward in life, motherhood, socially conditioned, learning, conversations, free therapy, savvy, fit into certain roles, authentic selves, parent shaming, gut, imposter syndrome, anxious tendencies, analysis, paralysis, cycles of procrastination, anxiety, positive reinforcement, gold star girl, feedback, validation, valued, external validation, self-judgment, criticism, give you permission to show up, take that chance, alignment with my core values, cultural conditioning, comfort zone, fixed mindset, growth mindset, there’s always potential, challenge those limiting beliefs, assumptions, inner critic voices, forgiveness, imperfect action, B minus work, valuable, dream, vision board, time, freedom, clarity around the dream, creates opportunity, strategic
SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Sara Dean
Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.
In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.
Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a bus, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.
I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.
Hi there. Today my guest is Sara Dean. Sara is a Mindset, a Business and a Leadership Coach. She is the creator and the host of The Shameless Mom Academy podcast, which is amazing. And it has over 3 million downloads. Her biggest passion is helping women own their space. And after enduring her own identity crisis, following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in Psychology, health and wellness and rebuilt her identity one step at a time. Sara motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start shining and she’s on a mission to inspire women and moms in particular, to live bigger, bolder, braver lives every damn day.
She is the mom of a seven-year-old son and is one of my favorite people. Because Sara and I actually met about a year and a half ago at an entrepreneur conference down in San Diego and she sat down next to me at lunch, and I had already heard her podcast. So, I felt I was meeting a celebrity. I was totally fan girly. And she has been amazing. We both live in Seattle. And she actually had me on The Shameless Mom podcast to talk about drinking and over drinking and women in the workplace. So, Sara and I are talking about how to overcome perfectionism and get out of your own way. And I know you’re gonna get so much out of this podcast episode. So, Sarah, welcome.
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited. Wasn’t it nice when we got to travel to San Diego and like that was the thing?
Casey McGuire Davidson 03:00
It was my first entrepreneur conference. I’ve been to a couple of recovery conferences, which were amazing. But God, the sun and the speakers and the energy and like sitting around the pool meeting with other people who were there like kick ass women doing kick ass things? Like, I love this.
I love it. That was like a lifetime ago, and I can’t wait to get back to doing those.
I know. I’m so glad I went before COVID. And I can’t go to the next one.
Casey McGuire Davidson 03:31
Yes. So, I’m really excited for this episode, because I feel like I have so much to learn and you have so much to teach. And I know the women you know, lots of women who listen to this podcast, are working moms, they’re often over achievers or people pleasers or don’t take enough time for themselves. And I think perfectionism and getting in your own way is something that is so common.
Yes, yes. I always like to lead with the fact that I am a type a perfectionist control freak kind of personality type myself. So, I very much relate to the things that I speak.
Yeah, like we always teach what we need to learn.
Yes. 100%. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, so tell us all about it.
Yeah. So, I, to your point around what we teach, what we need to learn ourselves. I became an athlete later in life and adulthood. And then I decided that that was like the thing I wanted to tell everyone about. And so, I became a trainer and I opened my own gym. And after having my son, I had this like, as you mentioned, in my bio, this identity crisis, where I was like, I don’t know who I am. I don’t know how to move forward in life, because I’m not the person I was before I had him but like, what does that mean? Who am I instead? And how do I figure that out? And so, I had to do a lot of work on myself and it took a long time. And what I learned during that time was how on disgust a lot of the stuff around motherhood was, and also that so much of the stuff I was working through was unique to motherhood.
But it was also unique to women in terms of the ways that we show up in the world based on how we’re conditioned, and especially socially conditioned in so many ways. And so, I got really interested in in what I needed to do to kind of figure out who I was after becoming a mom and then sharing that with other people. And so, when I started the podcast, it really was like, Well, what do I want to learn about? I’ll learn about that and share it with other people. I’m always just, you know, I mean, like many Coaches, I’m like one or two steps ahead of my clients. I have not figured it all out. But I’ve definitely figured some things out. And I’ve been working with women in this kind of health, wellness and Life Coaching, business coaching setting in various contexts in ways for 18 years now, which is like forever. So, I feel like I know a few things, but I’m still figuring out a lot of things.
Casey McGuire Davidson 05:59
Yeah, I mean, that what you were saying about learning and learning about different topics that you want to know about. I mean, that is my favorite thing about having a podcast and I know you have it too, because it’s, it’s a little bit like free therapy, free coaching. Like if you’re interested in a topic, you find a guest, like this topic, and just be like, I need to learn about this. This is getting in my way. Tell me everything, you know?
Yes, yes, yes. So yeah, I and I totally agree. And I think that it’s funny. There are even conversations that I have. So, I’m in therapy, not for the first time, but I’m newly in therapy right now and have been for a few months and literally after, like every session. I’m like, I should just go record a podcast episode. But Is that weird? That episode about my therapy session? But I’ve learned something new. Let me tell everyone.
Yeah, you should invite your therapist on.
I’ve thought about it. I’m not sure that she’s like super savvy to podcast. I adore her. But I kind of like that she is.
Yeah, well, and I specifically was like, I want someone who’s like, a little bit like maternal if not grandmotherly. Yeah.
Casey McGuire Davidson 07:11
Yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough.
Yes, yes. Yeah. It’s been good. It’s been good. So, do you want me to talk a little bit about perfectionism? And how that shows up for us?
Casey McGuire Davidson 07:21
Yeah. Okay, because this is, I think, so I mentioned that. I mentioned social conditioning. And it’s interesting, I know, you have a lot of people in your audience who are high achiever kind of people, I’m a high achiever kind of person, myself. And when we are in those spaces of being high achievers, we have done a lot of things to fit into certain roles in order to get the things that we want, and often at the expense of our most authentic selves, maybe. And so, we’ve really tried to do things the way other people expect us to do them in order to get the things that we want, or the things that other people want for us. And that often starts at a really, really young age. So, at this really young age, we’re often starting to, and this is so relevant to women moreso than men, we start to chip away at who we are and who we want to become. And instead, we trade that for these really slight messages that we get over and over and over time around who we should be. And so, this can be anything from like, you know, maybe a parent shaming you for wanting to play with trucks instead of dolls. And it could be like not even shaming, it could just be like suggesting that maybe you should play with one thing or the other. It could be one of my favorite examples. Not because it’s a fun one, but because I think it’s so common is being a shy little girl and having a parent or relative forced you to hug certain people. And like, well, you have to hug uncle TED or even how grandma like whatever, you have to hug that person. Like that’s just what nice people do. And that’s what like respectful kids do, when like you might have this gut instinct is like, I just don’t want to hug strangers, but like, you get these messages that you need to override those things. So, what happens over time is that we learn to stop listening to ourselves, and we learn to override our gut in order to do the things that we think we’re supposed to do. And those supposed stews really add up over the course of decades.
Casey McGuire Davidson 09:24
If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule. You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.
I just want to jump in because that is so true. And when you’re talking about overriding what your gut is telling you, you know, or what your nervous system is kind of telling you like getting flooded. I feel like that’s a reason why a lot of the women in my audience and myself drank, right? Because you’re just like, I should be doing this. I’m not comfortable, I need to shut my mind down, I’m overwhelmed. I don’t you know, I’m socially anxious. I’m in a job that is stressing me the fuck out and feel like I have to perform all the time. But I’ve got an imposter syndrome, and therefore I’m going to drink at the end of the day to tolerate it.
Right, right. And so, like who we’re trying to be versus who we want to be can be like complete odds. And sometimes we don’t even know who we want to be. But we’re like, I don’t want to be the person I am right now. I don’t want to be the person that I’m pretending to be. I don’t even know who it is I want to be, and I’ve definitely felt like that at times. And drinking does a really great job of like calming that down at the end of the day and be like you’re gonna be okay, it’s fine. For the moment. So yeah, absolutely. So, I think over time, we end up with these very perfectionistic tendencies that really shut down who we are. And what can also happen around that is that we start putting off things that we don’t want to do and are things that might we think might seem hard, or especially if we have anxious tendencies, we put things off. And because we’re like, I have analysis paralysis, I don’t even know where to get started. I don’t know what the first right step is, I don’t even know if this is the right direction for me. So, we end up in these cycles of procrastination. What does society tell us about procrastination, it tells us that we’re lazy, that we’re not being good managers of our time that other people are doing it way better, that we’re not very on top of things. And so, then, on top of all of this messaging about like, who we should be now, we also have messaging about like, I should be doing it better and faster, and sooner and without so much decision, fatigue, and it all just adds so much pain and mental anguish to us. So mental and I mean, which can also be physical pain, but a lot of mental pain, and then back to your point around like and then we’re like, well, maybe I should just take a drink and like, let that oh my god.
Casey McGuire Davidson 13:33
And when you said mental anguish, I haven’t thought of that word, which is crazy. But like, yes, that’s what it feels like, like just mental anguish.
Yeah. So, when we look at there’s a really great book called, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff. And he’s hilarious. He writes the best stories, but they have these amazing lessons. And his whole premise is that it’s basically why perfectionist don’t finish things. And it’s like, it’s like, you get to the start line, and you’re so ready to go. And then like, day one is great. And day two, you’re like, this is not that great. And day three, you’re like, I’m done. And so, like, why we just basically never finished anything. But he talks so much about perfectionism, he talks about the connection to procrastination, and the connection between the two is that procrastination is not you being lazy. It’s your perfectionism showing up. So you are like, looking to do the thing exactly the right way at exactly the right time under the exactly right circumstances, and therefore you keep putting it off because those things just start happening, or in my case, I have, actually, and I’m laughing because I’m very excited about this, but I was just formally diagnosed with general anxiety disorder.
I love that you’re excited about that.
I know that’s why I’m laughing like to you, but most people are like, you’re excited. What? But, I am because I’m like, I feel so seen. For me, procrastination is really tied up in anxiety and so I have a lot of anxiety which I know he was connected to perfectionism that like I was, I would put things off because I wanted to make sure I had like the right time set aside to do it the right way under the right conditions. And I wanted to like double check and triple check that I was making the right choice at every turn, which was really crippling for an entrepreneur and really hold you back in so many ways. And so, when reading that procrastination is actually connected to perfectionism, and in my case, also to anxiety. I was like, Oh, my gosh, I get it now. And this isn’t about me being lazy. This is about a hyper vigilance in me. It’s about hyper conscientiousness in me. So, it’s actually part of me being a high achiever. My procrastination is connected to that. And it’s not a laziness thing. And it’s not that I’m like not doing things the right way, or the way that everyone else is, it’s actually tied up in all of this other stuff. And so some of its social conditioning. Some of it for me, is DNA stuff. So there’s all these different layers to it. So if we can let ourselves off the hook with over analyzing procrastination, and perfectionism for that matter, we can start to peel back the ways that we are getting in our own way, and then look at like, how can we stop getting in our own way?
Casey McGuire Davidson 16:11
So, yeah, that is the beginning. That’s amazing. I mean, everything you were saying was totally resonating with me. And I completely, like, call myself a gold star girl. Like, I like the Pat’s on the head. I like the positive reinforcement. I like, you know, and that was kind of an issue where I wanted to please so desperately any boss I had, that I would run myself ragged, and not even check in with myself if this is what I wanted to do. Because I was so focused on getting the A, like timeline, I had expectations from someone else. And I was like, Well, I have to do that to get the five star review, regardless of the fact that like, it actually wasn’t something I cared about or enjoyed.
Right. Oh, my gosh, I have to tell you a quick story about this that I actually just talked about in therapy. Yesterday, I had a boss when I was in college, my summer job in college was doing data entry at a power company. So, like, the meter reader, the guys would go out in the field and do the meter reads, they’d bring back these little index cards, and I would have to enter the information into the computer. Because this was like 25 years ago, or everything would have been automated. And so they’d bring these cards back in. And then I would do the data entry. And there’s like, there’s no way to like really get a gold star for that job. It’s like, either you’re entering correctly, or you’re not. And like, nobody really cares. And so my boss never gave me any feedback. He was like this guy in his 30s, maybe 40. I’m 21 or something. And he’s never gives me any feedback. And I’m like, telling my mom, I’m like Ross never says anything about my work. She’s like, honey, I think you should just go in and ask him, like, you’ve always had female bosses who have given you so much positive reinforcement, and you should just go let him know, like you want to. So I go into his office. I’m like, hey, Ross. I’m just curious, like, if you have any feedback for me, or like, you want to let me know anything about like how I’m doing in this position, and he stared at me like, I was from another plant. He was like, I don’t understand the question. I was there. All I wanted was validation. Like, I wanted that a plus gold star. You’re doing great. Sarah, you’re such a valued member of the team. He was like, Yeah, I guess it’s fine. And I remember just being like, so embarrassed and walking out. And then I was mad at my mom, cuz I’m like, how dare you give me bad advice?
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:26
Yeah, that’s like, so, to your point, like that validation feels really, really good. And that is a form of perfectionism. Right? There is like, I’m only gonna do it if I can get that validation.
Casey McGuire Davidson 18:37
And yeah, it’s not intrinsic, it’s x ray, you are so conditioned to look for external validation of yourself that, you know, you’re willing to jump through hoops to do it. And if you fall short of the A plus, then you’re like, I suck.
Totally. Yeah, yeah. Well, so, tell us how we’re getting in our own way.
Yes, yes. Okay, so I’m going to walk through seven, seven different ways you might be getting in your own way. And if you identify with all seven, it’s completely fine. That’s common and normal. It’s not a big deal. And I also always like to tell people to, like, listen to anything like this with a sense of objectivity, not a sense of like self-judgment, and, you know, criticism. So the first thing, the first way you might be getting in your own way is that you might be holding yourself back or holding back in ways in terms of like speaking up, biting your tongue in different situations, just staying quiet.
And we see this all the time in the workplace with women, especially and especially if you are in a workplace where you know, it’s like eight men around the table and one woman and so we see this, we see this across gender, we also see it across race, we also see it across ability, like you don’t want to be someone who’s in the margins, and then also be the squeaky wheel. And I’ve been in that situation. Cuz I’m fairly outspoken, and it doesn’t typically go well for us, like if I’m the only woman there, and I’m always the squeaky wheel, people aren’t going to be really excited, continuing to invite me to the conversation, right. So over time, we learned to like, hold back, bite our tongue stay quiet. And when we do that, over time, we start to feel frustrated and tired and inauthentic.
And we feel have the sense of like, I’m not realizing my own potential, but I don’t know what to do about it. You might also be really jealous of other people who are doing what you want to do, you’re like, iron people in in this comparison trap of well, they’re over there doing the thing, but like, I’m over here, and I don’t know how to break out, or I don’t know how to step into a place where I’m using my voice more effectively or more loudly, you also might have a lack of pride around your work around the space that you take up in different areas of your life.
And this can happen, I use the example of work. But this can happen in marriages, this can happen in relationships with your parents, this can happen in relationships with your children. I mean, this happens in a lot of different ways. So the truth about this, when we’re doing this is that you have to get to a place of recognizing that everything that you need is inside of you and other people are actually waiting for you to break out and share yourself with the world. And when you do that, a couple things can happen. So either people are going to be really excited, and they’re going to be like holy cow, we’ve been waiting to hear this from you for years. And they’re going to mirror to you the energy that you just shared. And that will be validating, first of all, and it will also give you permission to show up that way again. And so all of that is really great, it becomes a cycle of like, now I can speak my mind, or I know where it’s safe to speak up or stand out or what have you.
The other thing that can happen is that there might be people that are threatened when you do that. And so they’re they might either dismiss you, or they might treat you in a way that feels a little abrupt because they’re may be taken aback, or they just don’t know how to like handle a woman with an opinion or whatever the case may be. Or they don’t know how to handle a new dynamic in your relationship. So like, in a marriage, for example, if something like this were to happen, all of a sudden, the partner is going to be like, hold on, like, wait a minute, I don’t know how to react to you. Because now you’re being like this new version of yourself and what is even happening. What’s important about that is that no matter what the outcome, it’s really important that you take that chance. And it can be in a gentle way. It doesn’t need to be like all the sudden shouting from the rooftops, but in a gentle way, using your voice in different ways and not holding yourself back. Because even if hard, embarrassing, uncomfortable, weird things happen. You find out who other people are and how they’re willing to show up for you. And so often what happens is people are like really positive and supportive.
When I for a short time worked corporate, I worked in a psychiatric hospital and the CEO, anytime I tried to shrink, the CEO was like very not into me having an opinion about anything. Yeah. And what became clear over time is anytime I would take the chance and take the risk to say something, and he would try to shut me down, or he would bring in HR to like, try to put me in my place. As much as that was awful. It was also really important for that to happen so that I could see this is not the right place for me. Yeah, I this is not where I’m supposed to be. And this company’s core values are not in alignment with my core values. So, while that’s hard and painful, better to find it out later, rather than sitting in this place where I can’t be who I am meant to be and be the best service to others, meaning like patients in a psychiatric hospital, because the management at this company, and even at the CEO level is actually not aligned with how I think humans are supposed to be treated. And yeah, that was important for me to find out.
Casey McGuire Davidson 23:48
When that sort of I love the question of not why is this happening to me, but how is this happening for me? You had to even when really tough stuff happens? Like, maybe that guy had to be enough of a deck for you to be pushed out to say that, okay, I don’t this is so obvious that Yeah, I’m not going to tolerate this anymore. And I’ve had that happen in my life too. And totally, it’s really unfortunate, but I feel like even when bad stuff happens, it’s happening for a reason, whether it’s uncomfortable or not, because the status quo is no longer acceptable. Right?
Right, right. And that’s valuable to know and we often tiptoe around next, we’re like, oh, but then like, I’ll have to make it better or fix it or figure out another solution or find another job or whatever. Well, but the alternative is like, you’re gonna stay in this really crappy position and feel like crap about yourself and like, you got you got to decide like which heart is better. Choose your heart or to talk about social conditioning, though, you know, as children, as women, I mean, I know I was certainly encouraged or got positive reinforced went from being a people pleaser from not causing conflict from not requiring too much of other people. Right?
Yes. And so that’s something that’s really hard to overcome, because you’re, you’re so conditioned to take stuff and like, go along and get along and make the best of it and bend over backwards to excuse other people’s behavior and make it emotionally. Okay. That it’s really difficult. Like, it takes courage and it’s very uncomfortable.
Yeah, yeah. I’m not to derail where we’re going with our list here. But this example actually will come up, I just thought of it. And I think it’s relevant to a couple different things I’m gonna follow up with. So, I’ll share, I actually was just recently asked to be co-chair on the school commission at my son’s school. And my son goes to a Catholic school. And I am a very bad Catholic and very much at odds with many things that the Catholic Church teaches and stands for which so people might wonder why send them to a Catholic school. And that’s a whole nother conversation. But when I got this invitation, would you want to be on be the co-chair for the school commission? I said, I was like, I appreciate the invitation. And you do know that I have a podcast and like, I might want to talk about abortion on the podcast, and I might even have Catholics come talk about abortion. And you have to be okay with that. And also, you have to know that I have a lot of opinions, and I say them out loud. And people don’t always like them. And like, I literally went through like, here’s all the ways I’m going to take up space if you offer, if I step into this role, and are you all cool with that. And so, the guy who asked me the dad who asked me, he’s like, I love this, and I said great, I want you to go talk to the principal and the vice principal, and make sure that they’re also okay with it.
Before we move further with this conversation, because like everybody needs to know that Sara is gonna come in and take up some space if she does, by the way, the things that you said if they said yes, that is clearly a Seattle Catholic school. Totally, like so progressive, which I love. Right? Right.
Right. I’m not sure that would have been quote, not kosher. Flowing anyway.
Totally well, and he even said, He’s like, we could like position ourselves as like, the Catholic school in Seattle. That’s like most invested in social justice. And I was like, Oh, my God, you’re speaking my love language. Yeah. So, it was a really fun conversation. But a really great example of like me knowing that now at age 45, like, I’m not gonna tiptoe around anything. Like, here’s how I show up. If you’re ready for me. Great. And if you’re not fine, I gotta find somewhere else. My favorite quote, a different one is which I have to embrace like, I’m a, I would always say I’m a recovering people pleaser. Is your going to be too much? For some people, those aren’t your people.
And I’ve spent the first couple of years on my son’s school thinking like these, I’m not the right person in this environment. Like, I’m gonna just sit back and be quiet because I don’t want to ruffle feathers. And then a couple of little things happen where I was like, I’m ready to ruffle some feathers now. And then next year, I’m like, I’m ready to go all in.
Casey McGuire Davidson 27:55
Yeah, it’s a great… I love the school. I love the school, but we’re just in a time and fate in life and culture. Where, like, some feathers need to be ruffled.
Yeah, so yeah. Okay, so number two, the second way people might be getting in their own way is being the person other people want you to be or being the person that you think other people want you to be. And so, this goes back to that cultural conditioning. And when we are in this place, we feel exhausted from performing. So burnout is high. And burnout is it’s like two layers. It’s like we’re exhausted from doing the work. But we’re also exhausted from like performing in a way that is not us. We also are probably going to feel resentful, probably full of regret, maybe annoyed, maybe even angry. And we’re trying to temper that all the time. And that, over time, creates back to mental anguish, like mental anguish over time. And so we often see this, or this shows up in ways where we’re staying in a bubble or a shell that doesn’t allow us to shine. And so this can happen. When we’re settling in a job, or sometimes in a job where we have we’ve outgrown it, but we don’t know what’s next. And so we just get stuck there. This can happen in a marriage where we’ve outgrown, and we don’t know what next, what’s next. Or in a friendship, where we’ve outgrown it, I know that I went through a phase in young adulthood where like, some of my friends from earlier in my life, like around High School ish, just were like, not the right fit anymore, and not in a bad way, but they just weren’t the right fit. And I remember like continually trying to make things work and like try to find common ground. And like, every time it just felt like this mismatch. And over time, I had to, from an objective standpoint, be like, I’m just exhausted from performing like, this is not working for me. And it’s also taking away from where I can be putting energy in other places as well. And so, I was in this bubble that didn’t allow me to shine and I had to kind of just over time, let those kind of like, let those relationships kind of drift to the wayside so that I could make space for ones that were better.
Another way that you might be showing up in this way or being the person that you think other people want you to be is that you’re keeping things really predictable and comfortable at your own expense. So we often think like staying in our comfort zone is, we think that that’s the easy choice. So we’re like, I’m just gonna stay here for a little while longer, and like, I’ll do the scary thing in a year or whatever, but we don’t realize is that staying in our comfort zone, it’s actually completely exhausting, because staying in your comfort zone, it’s not stimulating you, it’s not exciting, you, it’s not giving you. For most of us, it’s not giving you now don’t get me wrong, like if you are home with a new baby, and you need to like be focusing on growing a human and making sure they’re alive, stay in your comfort zone. But beyond that, if you’re staying in your comfort zone, in a job you don’t like for 10 years, that’s harming you, if you’re staying in relationships and other you know, situations, whether you’re just staying in your comfort zone, like over time, that’s harming you. And it actually leads to a lot of loneliness and isolation and potentially depression and anxiety.
And so getting out of your comfort zone is actually really important for your health and your mental health. And for your long term growth trajectory, whatever that looks like, that doesn’t mean that you need to be like shooting for the biggest stars in the sky to like, reach for huge goals, it just means like doing some things in a new direction, here and there. The third piece of getting out of your own way. or third way that you might be getting in your own way, is playing small. And so the examples I’ve given are examples of playing small, where you’re holding yourself back in different ways. But what we often know about or what we often see in someone who’s playing small is that you’re avoiding making decisions. So it’s probably staying in that comfort zone, but you’re avoiding making those decisions that might take you to the next level, or bring you way more happiness. And you’re feeling you’re very risk averse. And so you’re thinking like, wow, like I couldn’t do that, or I shouldn’t do that, but like maybe next month or next year, because it feels hard and scary. And what if it doesn’t work out. And so we just continue to play small. And we talk about dreams, but we don’t actually take action.
And my god you’ve just described like, the first, you know, the last decade of my life before I stopped drinking, that’s just gonna say I was gonna ask you, like, if this resonates with stopping drinking, because it’s talking about like the when x happens, then I’ll do y or whatever. And so, I’m thinking with drinking, like, well, when I stopped drinking, then I’ll do this, or this happens with weight loss, when I lose 30 pounds, then I’ll do this.
Casey McGuire Davidson 32:34
Well, it’s not even that it’s like I will stop drinking when my life gets less stressful. Job is not so hard when my kids are older. Like it’s change. It’s scary. It’s the unknown. It’s feeling like you’re gonna lose all your friends. I mean, it’s Who am I, you know, sometimes we drink and we keep our lifestyle, and we it’s a really hard place to live. But it keeps your social circle small because you usually surround yourself with other drinkers. And there is negative feedback when you try to stop when you when you depart from the social norms. Because Oh, for sure think, well, if she stops drinking, what about me, and you’ll take away my fun. And so, but I was finding that because of his drinking, like I was tolerating a lot more and demanding a lot less and settling for what was comfortable because I had so much negative self-talk, that I definitely stayed in situations that were both difficult and comfortable. And I’m thinking specifically about careers.
Yeah, yeah. I love that you what you just said about thinking that things. So, are you familiar with fixed mindset versus growth mindset?
Casey McGuire Davidson 33:54
Yes, I love it.
So the work of Carol Dweck, so when we think about not being able to stop something, or not being able to do something until a certain time or certain conditions, that’s all fixed mindset and fixed mindset and like a nutshell is like thinking that is putting these limitations on yourself and thinking like, I’m not good at that thing, but other people are but like, I just wasn’t born into that or whatever. And growth mindset is, like, there’s always potential and there’s always possibility and so when we’re in that situation, and I would imagine with alcohol this happens very frequently, where it’s easy to get stuck in fixed mindset. And it’s easy to think that you can’t do certain things or that you can’t do things the way other people can or people just don’t understand and all these little like reels that happen in our head that happen in for all of us in different ways. But with addiction, I would imagine it’s like a specific way that can probably get you in a cycle than a downward spiral that could last for a really long time. So, when we in this is actually number five is getting stuck in fixed mindset. And so when we look at being in our own ways, we’re stuck in fixed mindset and we can’t imagine what it would be like outside that and I’m thinking specifically with alcohol is like, you can’t imagine what your routines would look like without the alcohol. You also if you come from a family of alcoholics, you also might be thinking like, well, this is just in my DNA. And so, like, why bother trying to change my DNA or overcome my DNA or override my DNA. So I would imagine it would be not easy to get stuck, but common to get stuck, there would not be easy to be stuck there.
But it would be really common to lean into fixed mindset in a way that could be really detrimental. Instead of leaning into growth mindset, which I know is everything that you do when you’re Coaching people, Casey is like, growth mindset. And I’ve heard you say this on your podcast before, like, you can’t even imagine how incredible your life could be on the other side of quitting drinking. And when you’re in fixed mindset, you’re right, you can’t. You have to have someone help you challenge those limiting beliefs, those assumptions, those inner critic voices that tell you who you are. And like exactly what you were saying about, you know, this identity that, you know, with fixed mindset about who I am, it’s sort of the difference. I think, when you were talking about anxiety, from saying, I’m an anxious person to like, I’m experiencing anxiety, which is very real, but not unchangeable.
Yeah, I say. So ,my new way of framing this for myself, which is really helped. So I had someone kind of walk a professional walk me back through, like when I started experiencing anxiety, and I can clearly track it a whole entire thread of my life, very consistently to a time when I was eight years old. And then when I was eight years old, I stopped sleeping through the night, literally, like every single night I was up and had all sorts of issues with going back to sleep. And it was like a whole thing. And so I can trace it back. And when I look at the years now, that’s 37 years ago that I was eight years old. And I can say I get to choose, like I can say I’ve been struggling with anxiety since I was eight, which is how I framed it for a long time. And then when I got this diagnosis, the therapist I’m working with, she said, which was so affirming, she’s like, you must be so tired to be doing Yes, you were eight years old. And then the psychiatrist was like, it’s extremely uncommon for me to have started being to have symptoms of anxiety at such a young age. And so both of them were like, how have you been like self-managing this for 37 years, you must be really, really exhausted. And I was like, thank you.
Casey McGuire Davidson 37:27
That validation is so important. Right?
Right. And so, to have that validation meant so much, and what it helped me see is that I get to choose the wording and what if I were to say I’ve been managing anxiety for 37 years? Yeah. And all of a sudden, if I’ve been managing anxiety, instead of struggling with anxiety, I’ve basically just given myself a huge trophy, because I have successfully managed anxiety for 37 years you deserve. I salute right.
So, that’s like the difference, right? There is between fixed mindset and growth mindset. It’s that one word like I’ve been struggling with this my whole life versus I’ve been managing this my whole life. And all it takes is that one word, sometimes we’re like, I don’t see how to get from point A to point B or make this mental shift. What if someone gave you one word that shifted it. So yesterday in therapy, this isn’t like a podcast all about my therapy. We were talking about forgiveness. And literally, my therapist said something about forgiveness. And it was a shift of like three words. And I was like, Oh, that makes so much more sense. Like, I feel so much better about it. And I see it in this new way that actually gives me way more power. Yeah, so it’s just that one little shift.
Casey McGuire Davidson 38:34
I did another example, it just popped into my mind. Like, one of the things I hate is when women tell themselves if you know, I used to drink a bottle bought on half a wine a night. And I would be like, What is wrong with me? I need to get my shit together. Like what the fuck you have no discipline, you know, why Can everybody else deal with this? And, you know, no, you can’t? Why can’t everyone else cope with life? And now when I work with women, I was like, that is bullshit that you’re not disciplined or hard work or whatever. Like, do you know how fucking hard it is to go to work and have kids? And do you know, be a gold star girl and drink up? It’s like a bottle of wine a night like you’re a fucking you’ve been a making it so much harder on yourself than you need to. But, you basically have been running a marathon with a ball and chain tied your ankle. So, you know, living and achieving and drinking is hard. Yeah, getting sober is hard, but like choose your heart because in one way it gets easier as time goes on. But it’s just about that mindset as opposed to being like get your shit together. What the fuck is wrong with you? Why do you have no discipline? It’s like, dude, you have been climbing a mountain and rolling a boulder up a hill and holding on to that forever, totally. Like,
why don’t you apply that discipline that you have to something that is not going to weigh you down?
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I love I think that that makes so much sense. And yeah, it’s crazy how everything is just a reframe away. But when you’re in a really hard spot, you’re like, no, it’s more than that. You’re like, No, that can’t be right.
Casey McGuire Davidson 40:17
Well, part of this is like, our minds are our own worst enemy if you don’t get an external perspective and do some work, right?
Right, right. Yeah. So, number six, which I love, because we’re our own worst enemies. So women in particular, are very guilty of this one. So number six, the sixth way that we get in our own way, is being the gatekeeper of tasks and roles so that no one else can help you. And so oh my God.
Yeah. Every woman I know, right?
Yes. And I am so guilty of this, like, no, I got it. I got it. I got it. And this actually, when my husband and I were dating, I said something about, I was like, how come you never surprise me? Make me dinner? And he’s like, Oh, my God. He said, I would be happy to do that. But, you would want to know how much butter I put in it. And like, did the chicken get cooked all the way through? And like, all these things, and I was like, actually, you’re right. I was like, don’t ever make me dinner. Don’t ever surprise me with dinner, that would stress me out.
Casey McGuire Davidson 41:09
Because it’s a control issue, right? Which is actually fear-based, and you’re worried that things are gonna slip through the cracks, or that no one will do it as well, or no one says responsible because, you know, I’m so like, overcompensating to, like I have to keep all the balls in the air. So, if I’m not touching them all, who’s to say that they won’t follow exactly. And so, what’s happening when you’re doing that the way that you’re standing your own way is, first of all, you’re holding on to all this information so that you’re responsible for managing and micromanaging it, which goes back to like just being exhausted. And so that there’s that piece, but also, you’re disempowering other people in your lives. And so, like, when my son was really little, with my husband, at one point, after I was having one of my many breakdowns, he was like, he’s like, I really want to help. But you have to tell me like, I would just bulldoze past him at every point to be like, no, I got it. It’s fine. I got it, it’s fine. But also, like, always really annoyed that I was the one like having to be I got it, it’s fine. He’s like, you don’t have to be that way. Like, you are the one choosing to be that way. I’m right here. And I would actually like to participate in my kid’s life, if you like, step away for a moment. And that was really eye opening when he was like, I really want to help, but you have to tell me what you need, because I was trying to be like three steps ahead of them. So, I don’t even know why.
But I know some women too, who are super annoyed that they have to tell someone like right, why do I have to tell you, but it’s like, you have to seed an entire category, like a project, you know, not like drip, drip, drip, do this now. He’s got school, can you do it? He’s got a doctor’s appointment like, and that’s hard. But you’re right when you do it. It’s free. And for me, actually, it’s been amazing. During COVID, which is hard to say but my husband, amazingly, he’s the head of a head of the Middle School, a private Middle School. And after 20 years, they’re pre COVID this is the year he is going back to grad school to get a leadership degree. And so, that was already arranged. So, he had a year sabbatical and his classes are like nights and weekends. He was sort of picturing a year to enjoy life and have you know, have some time to himself, but he ended up being like for 12 months. My six year old daughter’s like basically first grade virtual teacher, which was amazing because the guy was a sixth grade teacher for 12 years like he’s a I’m an awful teacher. But his relationship with her has completely and totally changed because I was the mom and I did everything she wanted me and you know he has I get ready in the morning and basically drop her at the school door and I come out for lunch and I’m you know, do bed time and like, we all do dinner together, but he and her are like doing dance lessons and like, love it you know all the things and he had to figure out how to motivate her and relate to her because she’s headstrong, so you know, that was good for me.
Because it’s hard to see anything and what a huge gift for them that you weren’t trying to get keep all through that to be like no you just have your sabbatical and I’m gonna manage all this like that would have been awful for your own mental health and you would have denied them this like really precious time to take data together and like just have like, what memories they’ve created. Even though I’m sure like there’s so much closer than they used to be and he understands hers because our life used to be, we had an hour in the morning. I dropped her at you know preschool, you know daycare, pick her up at after school daycare, like the girl was gone for 10 hours a day and come home for dinner in bed like we had like three hours a night and we you know weekend sports and activities and you don’t realize how little time You actually spend with your kids. But it’s exhausting. Don’t get me wrong this year has been incredibly hard. But like the idea of like trying to be the gatekeeper of everything like, it’s, it’s hard, nobody wins.
Like you think they are winning because you’re controlling it. But you’re not only winning, like everybody’s losing out, because you are.
Casey McGuire Davidson 45:21
Oh, my husband at one point said to me when I was still working, he was like, they nobody likes a martyr. So, if you think you’re doing it for us, right?
Right. And I’m like, so good at being the mark of being the martyr. Oh, my goodness, I joke about like, when I have to do more dishes than my husband, and I like, I’m really good at doing the dishes really loud. So, he’s like, Oh, God, you hear me clanking? He’s super loud, because I am a really good wife who cleans the kitchen right now, even though it’s not my turn. Yeah.
Yeah. Okay. And then the seventh way that we get in our own way, is that we get stuck in dreaming and planning, and not actually doing. And this actually goes back a little bit to what you were saying around giving up drinking. And we, you know, we skipped one, I’ll go back to one we skipped in just a minute. It’s one of my favorites. But anyway, so this is actually number six. So we get stuck in dreaming and planning and not actually doing and when we get stuck and dreaming and planning. We everything is very ambiguous and very, like long term future oriented. So we’re like, oh, well, like in the next five years all, go back to school, get the new job, write the book, quit drinking, like all of whatever the things are. And we are constantly like, every year, we just push it out, like, Well, you know, so we say in 2020, I’ll do that by 2025, well, then 2021 rolls around, we’re like 2026 is good. And it’s just too much ambiguity. And we don’t ever come up with a really concrete plan. And so the other piece of this is like, we do a lot of research around us, like, I’m gonna spend like three years researching what master’s degree program I want to do. Well, you could have just gotten the whole degree in three years. And so we do a lot of planning and researching, and women especially are so great at this, like, don’t get me started on Amazon reviews. I could like any decision I have to make on Amazon takes 18 times longer than it should because those damn reviews like they just should not have reviews on there. Because so many things sit in my cart, and I never buy them because I can’t decide between like the thing that has 4700 views and 5700. Yeah, then the other one that I skipped over and which actually goes right back to what I’m just saying, analysis paralysis, we don’t ever leave the start line because we’re stuck in analysis paralysis. So we waste a ton of precious time. And energy consists considering all the options and we never land on a decision. And so this goes back to what I was talking about before is like this dreaming is like we’re always putting things off to the future, because we’re putting off decision making. And thinking that we have to wait for finding the exact right solution or the exact right time or controlling all the variables. And we never get to it. We’re in this constant analysis paralysis.
When I had my gym, I had so many women who would come in and they said, I’ve been getting your emails for three years, one woman said, seven years, I’ve been getting your emails for seven years, waiting for the right time to start a program with you. And I’m so mad at myself. Because what if I had decided seven years ago to do a four week program at your gym? And then for seven years, I would have been taking better care of myself. And what would my life look like right now in comparison, like she’s like, I am admittedly like overwhelmed and unhealthy and depressed and all of these things. And this is the mother I’m giving to my kids for the last seven years. And it’s because I was waiting for the right time. And so I
Casey McGuire Davidson 48:33
wouldn’t do you know, that was actually the impetus for my business name and the podcast name. Hello Someday. Yes, yes. Everybody is like, I will do this song, I will lead my job that sucking the life out of me. Someday, I will travel. Someday, I will do all these things. And it’s like, small steps inevitably lead to bigger ones.
But you got to take the first step. And you don’t have to wait, totally, I’m dying, because my first way to get out of your own way is to take small steps. So, do you want me to do you want me to die? Right?
Okay, so now we know like, I’ve given you the seven ways that we get in our own way. And like I said, some people might relate to all of these. And that’s completely fine. And it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It just hopefully, it’s eye opening for you to see like, Oh, I didn’t realize this about myself. Now that I have more knowledge, I have more power moving forward. And I think that’s always how this work should be done. Not like, oh, shoot, I’m bad because I failed on seven different levels. So no, it’s not failing on seven different levels. It’s about seeing yourself in a new way and maybe finding relief like oh, now that I know I have anxiety in my case. Thank goodness. Now, I can do something with that.
So if you’ve been getting in your own way, and now you can see that now you can do something about it. So the first way to get out of your own way is to take small steps. And so if you are a perfectionist, and if you are a high achiever, we often think that we have to just go all in all the way in on the big thing. So like I’m not going to do a 5k I’m just going to go straight to a marathon. I’m not going to do, I’m not going to go for like a promotion, that’s just like a little bit of a step, I’m going to go like all the way to the top. And so we think that we have to wait until situations and circumstances are in us in a place where we can take this big leap. And in the meantime, we miss out on all these opportunities to take small steps, or like, I’m not gonna do anything if I’m not guaranteed to get an A, or note, like I was like, I can’t leave my corporate job to do something else. Because there’s no way I would make my corporate salary. And there’s, like, all these limiting beliefs that it is impossible.
Yeah, so I hear you you’re like, but I know I don’t like this. But I don’t know what the solution is in time to do nothing until I figure out the like, gold star plan. Yes, that is fail proof, right.
So many of my business coaching clients have that is like their biggest holdup, where they’re like, a lot of them still have a full time or part time, part time kind of traditional corporate job. And they’re very much like, well, until I’ve replaced this entire income, or until I’ve replaced, you know, figured out how to replace my health care costs, which don’t get me wrong, like, I think those are important, it’s important to be able to cover your healthcare costs. But also, when you’re doing that, you get stuck in this place where you aren’t making space for your future. And so, you need to be making space for your future and taking small steps is exactly how you do that. And in taking small steps, a lot of things find their way off of your plate, because you’ve taken that small step to create a new, bring something new onto the plate or create a new opportunity for yourself. So, taking small steps is so underrated because high achievers don’t think it’s worth their time, they would rather go for something big and bypass the little stuff. And that’s how you just end up stuck for a long time.
Casey McGuire Davidson 51:43
Well, and I don’t know if you’re probably kind of get to this but like asking permission. Because I remember when I you know wanted leave corporate one of my biggest issues and I thought about going to Koji score. I was like, oh my god, is that even a thing like, Life Coaching is a joke. Like, it’s not a real but I had this fear. That was like my husband’s best friend, God bless him. Like, when my husband told him that I was going to Coaching school, he was like, I thought life coaching was for people who couldn’t make it in the corporate world. And it was like, my worst fear of what people would think like stabbing me through the heart. But what I had to do when you think about small steps, and it was after I quit drinking, so I had so much more time and energy. I said to my husband, I was like, I want to do this program. It costs a decent amount of money, but I’m gonna use my bonus, like just like permission to like not spend them family money. And I was like, I figured it out. It’s three, three day, weekends, nights, and evening, you know, evenings and weekends. So, you know, if, you know, best case scenario, I will decide this as a career I love worst case scenario, we spend this money, you support my time with the kids and the family. And like, I get to your personal developments. And he said to me, he was like, babe, you’re 42? Like, at what point? Do you get to do something just because you want to? Yes, like, and I was just like, well, and the bad side is that I really did feel like I had to ask his permission, not just his acceptance, and him to have my back. Like, I needed him to tell me it was okay. Now I don’t feel that way at all. I’m like, Dave, I’m spending this money. I’m doing this thing. You know? Can we will you help me with this? Like, is that great? But it’s not like, will you tell me I’m allowed to, right? You know, right.
Yeah. And that’s a huge Oh, my gosh, that’s so common. And that resonates in so many ways. Because I see this happen all the time with people, with women, and especially after motherhood, because we are so conditioned to having to ignore our own needs. After we have kids. Some of that is to keep a kid alive, like you got to keep your babies alive and ignore like, you don’t get to be hungry in that first year because of sleep. Because something you have to make sure that the baby is staying fed and sleeping. And so, some of that is conditioned from just the by virtue of being a mom. And then we also have cultural conditioning around that. So then by the time we have, you know, two kids in grade school, we think we have to ask for permission for everything. And if you’re in a relationship, or that’s the status quo, then back to where we started. I said at the very beginning of this, like you need to know sooner than later that that’s the baseline for your relationship. And like, what are you going to do about that?
Casey McGuire Davidson 54:25
Do you want to be in a really you’re allowed to change, right? You’re allowed to change the status quo? “agreed” to it just by way you’ve been acting like, you’re allowed to change the rules. You are? Absolutely, yeah. And I would say ask for support, not permission. And that is what I should have done. Yeah.
And that’s there’s a gray area sometimes in there because if you are like a people pleaser, to the nth degree, your way that you frame things around supporting for permission can sound very similar. But I like, the first time I signed up for business, I didn’t tell my husband. I just put it on a credit on my business credit card. And then I told him, I was like, I signed up for something that was really expensive. And it’s interesting to me, I have clients who like, the way that they go about things that cost money for themselves is one of my programs, and the level of permission that they think, that they need for something that’s like $147. It blows my mind and not in a way that for me to like, be judging them. But from an objective standpoint, that this is where we are as a culture as moms and women that we can’t spend $147 on ourselves without feeling like our partner has to be, has to understand what it is we’re going to spend it on, and give us permission and also be invested. Because when people go to tell their partners that they’re going to join my membership, or do one of my events or whatever. The partners are always like you’re doing what like mindset work for moms, husbands are like, I don’t know what that means.
Casey McGuire Davidson 55:58
So, when you feel like you should be able to do it yourself, right? Like you should.
Yeah, so there’s all these layers around where things get can get weird, and instead to just be like, so I’m doing this thing. It’s gonna be every Monday. For weeks, I’m gonna, you know, some Mondays, I’m gonna be on call for an hour. And it’s funny how many women come back to me and they say, like, I talked to my partner about it. And they were like, so excited. Or they were like, yeah, of course, you should do that. And the, the mom went into it thinking like, this might not go well. And sometimes it doesn’t go well. But in so many cases, partners are like, yeah, sure, whatever do the thing.
Casey McGuire Davidson 56:33
When once you do one thing, it is so much easier to do the next thing like I know, it sounds so stupid. But you mentioned therapy. And after I quit drinking, you know, four months in I had a pretty major anxiety panic episode. And I was like, Fuck, I need a therapist ASAP. And so, I found a great one. But it was every like, Thursday night at six to 7pm which meant that my husband needed to pick up the kids, get him home, give them dinner, you know, different schools, all the things. And I had to ask him like a bit for that, right? You have little kids, even though he’s a varsity baseball coach, like I cover the kids and that same thing for five months straight every single fucking year despite having a full time job. But like, I was super hesitant to ask him, and he was a little bit like, Oh, that’s a lot. You know? You know, he’s fabulous. But he’s like, not used to it. Right? Like, he’s like super tired. When you get home. He’s like, Oh, it’s been so hard. You’re like, welcome to my world.
Casey McGuire Davidson 57:33
Oh my god. Well, what’s amazing is that, you know, midway through I came home and like, they were all sitting around the fire pit doing hot dogs for dinner and s’mores thrilled having the best time, you know, in the similar way of like, COVID, homeschooling my daughter, and I was like, Oh my god, everyone is happier than me. Coming home, being stressed out being kind of bitchy that I’m like, doing the dishes and doing this and picked up both kids and like giving them grilled chicken. And they’ll be like, Fuck, I want to pick us up tonight.
But then he got used to it right? He got more used to like, oh, Casey has a thing, which means I need to cover this, which before I was like, taking the scraps, right? He had baseball, he had basketball. He had work. I basically had my job and the kids and no other commitments. Yeah.
Yeah. It’s, it’s, but what’s great is like one step in that direction, creates the opportunity for a lot more steps in that direction. And yeah, so like, once you do it once, it opens the door to a whole new level of seeking support versus permission, and like having more independence and autonomy around decision making, which can be really great. So, the second way to get out of your own way, you actually mentioned this already, and I don’t remember what kind of exactly how you framed it, or what it was in reference to. But so taking imperfect action or in planning, imperfect action, so it’s not just taking imperfect action, like as you stumble through things, it’s planning to be imperfect.
Brooke Castillo, she has a podcast called the Life Coach School, and she talks about doing b minus work. So planning to do b minus work. So if you’re a high achiever or perfectionist, we only plan to do a plus work like we are only going to do the thing that we can get an A plus on and we would also like to do extra credit. So to plan for doing b minus work, like if you’re listening and you are an A plus person, you’re already having a panic attack about doing the minus work. But what happens is when we are always working to do a plus work, we do a fraction of the things we would otherwise do. And our if you look at like, you know, a growth chart, we would have this like very slow growth and also a very like low level of growth. And if you are doing b minus work, you have this trajectory, that’s an upward trend and a forward trend at the same time. That’s not to say there’s not going to be some bumps along the way and you might dip down into a little valley At times, but overall there will be this forward momentum and an upward trend in your growth and in whatever direction you’re going, whatever growth, you know, whatever area you’re looking for growth in. And so, what if you could plan for imperfect action instead of just accepting imperfect action when you have like, you can’t let circumstances get out of your control. And that’s just the best you can do in that moment.
So if you’re planning for imperfect action, I’ll give the example of when I started my podcast, before I had my son I had been doing, I had a blog. And I loved blogging, it was like, great, I like, I actually like writing when I have time for it. But after my son was born, I was running my gym full time, I wanted to start this podcast for moms. And I was, why or I didn’t. I didn’t, I wanted to start something for moms. But I didn’t know if I should do a blog or a podcast. And so when I started thinking about Should I do the blog or the podcast, I thought, I know my tendency. And in blogging, I’m going to get real perfectionistic. Again, so I’m going to write a blog post, and then I spent three days editing it, and then three days later, I’m gonna, like, send it to my mom, and I’m gonna ask her to edit it. And then it’s going to be like three weeks have passed. And I still haven’t put up the blog post. With an a podcast, I know that I can pick a topic, I can pick three things to talk about is like kind of sub, like bullet points under that topic. And I can push record, and I can be done in 30 minutes, and I can send it to someone to edit it, and do production for me. And that’s 30 minutes of my time, maybe an extra 10 minutes, 20 minutes of planning, like around the topic, unless I need to do some extensive research. So maybe an hour of my time versus hours and hours and weeks for one blog post. So it became clear to me.
Okay, I’m going to do B minus work like, this is not me saying I can do a perfect podcast episode in 30 to 60 minutes, this is me saying, I know that I can get this done and get it submitted and just have it off my plate in a fraction of the time, it will not be perfect. And therefore this is the right thing for me to do. Because now, as we are approaching our fifth year anniversary, and I’m at 527 episodes of the podcast, thank God for B minus work, because I could also lazy.
Thank you. And I could also have a blog that’s five years old with like, 37 blog posts. So yeah, like it would have been a fraction of the amount in the same amount of time.
So, where can you plan for imperfect action, so that you are planning to not get in your own way? You are planning to do something, not to the A plus degree and not to get extra credit on it. But to keep moving and keep growing and keep getting better, and not getting better for the sake of making things perfect, but getting better to serve people that are or to enjoy your life more or to just grow in different ways and try new things and all of whatever getting better, “means to you”.
The third way to get out of your own way is to get curious. And so, when you find yourself stuck, asking yourself, why do I think I can’t do that? or Why do I think someone else is more worthy, or what’s the worst that could happen if I did this. And so I’ll use the example of myself and scheme, you’ve probably seen some of my posts. So I’ve learned as an adult, and I’m very scared of heights, I’m very scared of momentum. I’m very scared of mountains in general. Like, there is nothing about me that is cut out for Mountain Sports. And my husband, this is my third season skiing. And my husband recently has been like, I just want you to know that I just think it’s really great that you have decided to stick with this, because it’s really not. And he worded it really kindly but he’s like, this is like not what you were made for.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:03:27
And you do it that’s very good. Is that what he’s trying to say?
I’m not very good. It’s that I’m just so scared of it that I yeah. It’s like not always enjoyable. I only enjoy it when it’s done. So, like, every Saturday morning, instead of being like, Oh, it’s
I’m like, I cannot wait to be home and safe and alive. It’s my only goal is to live through it. And so he’s like, it’s really impressive that you get up week after week after week for the third year in a row now doing this when your main goal is just to live, not to enjoy it, not even to care really, if you get better, but like you just want to live. And so luckily, as I’m working through my anxiety, it’s getting a little bit better. And I’ve gotten a lot more confidence as I’ve gotten a little bit better with my skills. But I’ve had to get really curious, like, why is this important to me? And why does this matter? Yeah. Why do I think that I shouldn’t be doing this? Or why does it doesn’t matter that my son is like, I can’t wait for you to do Black Diamond runs? I’m like, I’m never doing Black Diamond runs? Why do I think I could never do Black Diamond runs? Like, there’s just so much curiosity around it for me. And so, the more I do it, the more curious I get, because it’s like unpeeling, all of these layers in me around all of these things I’ve kind of never addressed or seen from this perspective before. And it’s been really, really valuable.
So looking at when you’re going to try something new or you’re going to push yourself to do something uncomfortable, give up drinking or take a break from drinking or wherever, whatever it might be to get really curious around like why do I think I can’t do that? or Why do I think that other people would be better other people are more qualified and what’s the worst thing that could happen if I did x y, z and two Then take a chance on yourself based on where you know what you what comes out of that curiosity. The fourth way to get out of your own way is to and I’m going to take this from two different books, drop the ball and or choose what to bomb. So, I use the book finished by Jon Acuff earlier. And he talks about choose what to bomb. And so when he talks about taking imperfect action, he’s like, if you’re going to decide to go so he uses the example of when he’s going to write a book. He’s like, when I’m writing a book, there’s this three month window where like, all I do is write book, his work on the book, I don’t reply to texts. I’m not on social media, I don’t answer emails, like he’s like, I bomb everything else in my life. I don’t see my friends. He’s like, I bombed friendships, my friends, no, like, I’m not going to be your friend for three months. Like, I’ll see you a quarter from now, you know? And so he talks about it from that context, being really aware of what are you going to bomb right now so that you can do something else? Well, or so that you can do something else that brings you joy. And so another way to look at this, Tiffany Dooku has a book called drop the ball, which is specific to motherhood, how can you choose what balls you’re going to drop so that you can focus on whatever goal is most meaningful right now. So you might decide that you’re the goal that makes this most meaningful to you is to spend quality time with your baby. And so you’re going to buy all of your baby food, I went through a very neurotic phase with my child where I made all of his food. And that was like the highest priority for me. So my God, I didn’t vacuum my house because I was making baby food all the time. So I dropped the bomb, or I dropped the ball around like cleaning my house, and my husband and I had arguments about like my paper piles and messes. I left everywhere, but I was like, but he’s having all organic baby food.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:06:39
Homemade, right, you can buy organic baby food. I love that example. Because it’s something that I always talk to women about in early sobriety where you really like your top priority for the first 100 days, needs to be only not to drink, because a lot of women have thought about or wanted to stop drinking for years and struggled with it. So it’s like, no new projects, no new responsibilities, if you want to do you know, for your first 100 days, if all you do is not drink, you get a gold star. And in the first two weeks, like kids can eat cereal, kids can watch the TV every single night, like lower the bar on everything totally so that you can get to the point where you’re stronger, you have more energy, you’re more capable, but like this shit is hard. And if you’re actually going to do it, other stuff has to go by the wayside. And by the way, it’s going to be okay.
Yes. So, and I, that’s such a relevant example. And such an important example. And I’m thinking of like, from a high achiever perspective, I’m thinking, the opposite of that would be, which is something I would totally do, by the way, like, well, I’m going to quit drinking for 100 days, but like, I’m going to start a blog about it and like blogged about it every single day so that other people can track it. And then I could like, make it into an E book. Instead, you’re going to be like, no, like, you’re just going to not drink, you’re not going to make it also into a business.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:08:01
And then you’re gonna like, eat all the peanut M&Ms, and you’re gonna go to bed at 7pm. And no, my clients like women, this is like a huge mistake women make in the beginning is they’re like, Okay, I’m going to not drink but I’m also going to do whole 30 I go running every day, and I’m going to, or like some of my clients, you know, day one, day three, day five are like, Okay, I’m gonna not, I’m gonna not drink and I’m like, great, take naps, slow walks, eat the M&Ms. And they’re like, well, I really need to clean out my attic and my office, like, this is what I need to do. And I’m like, Okay, how long has your attic been an issue? And they’re like, five fucking years. And I’m like, Okay, if it’s been an issue for five years, why are you trying to tackle it on day seven? You’re not drinking? Like, yes, don’t do it. And that goes back to social conditioning. And that, like women feel like we have to be productive and be like, contributing and like, we can’t just take a nap. We can’t just sit and watch. In order to take up space we get in order, we are allowed to take up space by the number of things. We cross off the list.
Totally, totally. Oh my gosh. I mean, that’s and we saw that at the beginning of quarantine, like, Oh, it’s quarantine. I’m going to rearrange my whole house and make sourdough bread and do my Marie Kondo everything and it’s like or you could just like survive a global pandemic and eat peanut butter, the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s and do puzzles, which is what I’ve been doing any? Yes, yeah. And then number five, the fifth way to get out of your own way is to dream and strategy, not just theory. So I talked earlier about dreaming and I don’t want to I don’t want people to feel like they can’t dream I think dreaming is really important and especially for people like you and me who are entrepreneurial, but dreaming and strategy not just in this like MB ambiguous like way off in the future in five to 10 years. I’m going to do a few of these things and instead dreaming and strategy so that you’re thinking like hmm, I would love it. And I think those are like the ways I dream. I dream about having a lake house and in my dream of having a lake house. I think about like Oh, like, if it was big enough, I could have retreats there. Or if I the way we like we could have the lake house and I could work there during the summer while my son could come out there.
So I’m strategizing around, like, what my life would look like at this lake house, my husband would get up in the morning, I could get up and get a few hours of work done, my son could play on the dock and go fishing. And I’m dreaming and like these really concrete ways. So I’m not thinking like, in 10 to 15 years, I want to get a lake house, I’m thinking, what is my life look like with that lake house? And what are some things I can be doing now? So if I want that lake house in the next couple years, I probably should look at like, what are we doing with Asset Management now? Or what does this mean for my business right now in terms of like revenue goals, or so like thinking now about what needs to be happening and what the dream looks like in reality, versus having this really kind of more far-fetched? Like a vision board? I don’t want to poopoo vision boards.
I’m totally a fan of vision boards as well. Yeah, the biggest thing, like rather than just having the vision board, like, what are some of the other pieces of that dream. So for me, like time, freedom is my biggest value as an entrepreneur. So for me, the dream is like sitting at my house by myself doing my work. It’s not just the dream of having a podcast or the dream of having a seven figure business. It’s like sitting at home by myself in my office, which hasn’t happened in a very long time right now. But that’s the dream is like being able to in the middle of the day, if I want to go to Trader Joe’s, I can. Or if I want to do my podcast I can and like, that’s what the dream looks like. So it’s not. So there’s a lot of clarity around the dream. And then that creates the opportunity to be strategic around the dream.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:11:40
Yeah. I love that. And I’m dying to know, do you have a specific leak in mind?
Oh my gosh, this is like, let me know if you have any advice because there’s like no lighthouses available on anywhere in Washington right now. Um, I would say so we recently discovered Lake sammamish not summit sammamish which is near Bellingham. And that’s kind of my new obsession because we could be on the lake and be like an hour to the mountains to ski.
Nice. Well, I have to say that like Mike and I have a dream and I think it is so wonderful to have something that you’re excited about kind of as a couple in the future like once the kids are grown and so our dream is to travel for like four or five months a year like four months in the in the winter from Seattle when it’s so dark and like Airbnb it or get a house in like different places that we might love. So you know, like South Carolina one year Hawaii, when you’re all Kumar it outside the Netherlands like or in the Netherlands is my favorite or Santa Fe. And so we have a full plan of like, once the kids are grown, we have a basement apartment, that’s, that’s pretty nice that we rent out. So like, we’re gonna rent the big house, we’re gonna move into the basement, we’re gonna go from like, November or October to like, March or April, and my husband’s a baseball coach. So I’m like, I will stay there for wherever we are for the month of April, and you will come back and start Coaching and my girlfriends will come and like it will be home for the garden for the summer. Like, it totally fleshed out.
Do you mean in strategy? Yeah, to flesh out the idea. And now, like your motivation to make it happen, because you’re like, oh, like, I know where I’m going to be in like, April of 2032. You know,
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:13:24
yeah, when I was in college, so I’ve got many moons, right?
Like, this is exactly and now you can look at like, okay, so if we’re going to do that, like, what does that mean for our house? Or what does that mean for our money or asset allocation or savings or retirees like one of the reasons I left corporate, I was like, I want to be able to do this. And if I’m a Coach podcaster, I can work from anywhere. And that’s exciting to me. So when I sometimes get down, you know, which as an entrepreneur, especially in your first year, full time you do and your regular lady and I could make a lot more money going back to corporate. I’m like, Yeah, but remember the drain like you’re building total, something you love to do that’s meaningful, that will also enable you to have this amazing life and not be stuck traveling for business with you know, 3 weeks’ vacation a year.
And when you talk to a friend, girlfriends about dreams, they probably, there are a lot of instances a very, like high level fleeting stuff, or I don’t know, maybe it’s Lola, but it’s like, there’s no specifics around it. It’s just like, in 30 years, we’re gonna do something like this. Like, it’s not like there’s nothing super laid out or they don’t know.
Yeah, right. A lot of women I work with like in Life Coaching, they just don’t know. Right? Right. They know they want something more, but they’re like, I’ve never taken the time to tap into what that might be. And you can dream and plan and change it and you’re not locked in totally. And you can also look at when you have those dreams and they are really specific and you can see yourself sitting in them. Then all of a sudden your motivation to make change and show up for your life in a powerful way today shifts dramatically.
So when we look at this, you know, in relationship to drinking, then you’re like, oh, like if that’s what I want to have happen in 10 years or five years or 20 years or whatever. Then how do I want to consider taking a break from alcohol right now? Or sobriety right now? Or what that might look like? Like, is alcohol consumption at the level? I’m currently doing it? Is that part of the dream and X amount of years? Or is that actually totally at odds with the dream?
Yeah, absolutely. So many good things.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:15:31
Oh, my gosh, this has been amazing. Did we go through? Oh, God. Oh, five. Yeah. Oh, my God. Yeah, I could talk to you all day. I know. I’m sure your listeners are like, when are we wrapping this up?
And we’re talking really, really fast. But this has been amazing. I’ve learned so much. So, I want to say anyone listening to this, you have to check out Sara’s podcast. It’s the Shameless Mom Academy podcast. It is a top rated podcast in parenting, right? You’re like in the top 3 million downloads. It’s amazing. I love it. And how else can people get in touch with you? What work do you do that you want to share?
So people can reach out to me on social I’m we actually have a Facebook group for moms. So for my shameless moms, so if you go to shamelessmom.com/Facebook, you can join our Facebook group. You can find me at shamelessmom.com is the website and you can reach out to me and connect with me through the website there. And then if you probably have a lot of tools, I’ll leave I’ll leave it at that. I have a little morning routine thing, but I’m feeling like you probably give your people a lots of different tools
So, yeah, I’ve got I’ve got a bunch of different syntaxes a Facebook group, if you want to be in my shameless mob with there’s like 3000 shameless moms in there. It’s a really great place.
I’m in there.
Join the group, and then listen to the show. And as you know, you’re listening to the show. There’ll be other opportunities to connect.
Casey McGuire Davidson 1:16:51
Yeah, and I will add all your links, of course to the show notes and thank you.
I know. You’re very busy. And this has been amazing. This has been super fun. Thank you so much, Casey.
So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more.
ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST
The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Free 30 Day Guide to Quitting Drinking – 30 Tips For Your First Month Alcohol-Free, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement.
Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.
In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.
Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life.
Be sure to grab the Free 30 Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.
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