Monica Packer, Host of About Progress, On Battling Through Perfectionism and Procrastination

Posted by tonyoverbay

From her website, http://aboutprogress.com, Monica Packer is a recovering perfectionist, a podcaster, and a Progress Coach. She also has a very successful online program that helps people create their first podcast called Podcast U along with fellow Podcaster and former Virtual Couch guest Rachel Nielson of 3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms. Monica "saves women from themselves, by helping them ditch perfectionism, step into their gifts, and move towards real progress." And while sometimes phrases like these can sound a tad bit ambiguous, just give Monica a few minutes, and you'll be hooked. Monica is one of the most real, authentic people that I've met, and in this interview, she lays all of her baggage out on the table for everybody to see. I guarantee you'll find some challenges that you've most likely struggled with yourself on that table and Monica will help you understand what to do to start to deal with that baggage and move forward in a healthy, empowering way.


Monica discusses her struggles with perfectionism, anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, and her constant battle with impostor syndrome as she strives to help people take a look in the mirror and not only own their own lives but understand that it's OK to find yourself far from perfect. You can find Tony's encore episode on Monica's About Progress podcast here https://aboutprogress.com/how-to-stop-hating-yourself/


Tony's FREE parenting course, “Tips For Parenting Positively Even In the Not So Positive Times” is available NOW. Just go to http://tonyoverbay.com/courses/ and sign up today. This course will help you understand why it can be so difficult to communicate with and understand your children. You’ll learn how to keep your buttons hidden, how to genuinely give praise that will truly build inner wealth in your child, teen, or even in your adult children, and you’ll learn how to move from being “the punisher” to being someone your children will want to go to when they need help. And Tony is so confident that this program will work, that he's offering a money-back guarantee!


This episode of The Virtual Couch is sponsored by Betterhelp.com/virtualcouch With the continuing “sheltering” rules that are spreading across the country PLEASE do not think that you can’t continue or begin therapy now. Betterhelp.com/virtualcouch can put you quickly in touch with licensed mental health professionals who can meet through text, email, or videoconference often as soon as 24-48 hours. And if you use the link http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch you will receive 10% off your first month of services. Please make your own mental health a priority, http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.


Tony's new best selling book "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" is now available on Kindle. https://amzn.to/38mauBo


Tony Overbay, is the co-author of "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" now available on Amazon https://amzn.to/33fk0U4. The book debuted in the number 1 spot in the Sexual Health Recovery category and remains there as the time of this record. The book has received numerous positive reviews from professionals in the mental health and recovery fields.


You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program The Path Back by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs, and podcasts.

Episode Transcript:

Perfectionism and Procrastination with Monica Packer-2020-06-02
[00:00:00] Coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch, I talk with friend and fellow podcast or Monica Packer, host of the About Progress podcast, on her battle with perfectionism, something that I believe so many of us struggle with, whether consciously or subconsciously, perfectionism can often be the underlying cause to anxiety, depression and an overall lack of satisfaction in your relationships, whether it's with your spouse, your kids and so much more. So join monokini today as she not only shares her story, but also share some tools that will help you even before you finish this episode. That and so much more coming up on this episode of The Virtual Couch.

[00:00:45] Hey, everybody, this is a very quick advertisement, and I know I'm a podcast listener, you can get a little fast forward button probably on your podcast player, 15 seconds, 30 seconds. But bear with me. I'll try to make this quick. As a therapist myself, I obviously recommend that everybody give therapy a try, because when people ask me, do I need therapy, I don't even have to talk to you. The answer is yes, I need therapy. Everyone could use a sounding board. Everybody can use an objective third party. Everybody could kind of dig deep a little bit and find out what are the things that they've been holding back on. One of the things that they feel like they should be able to get over or shouldn't be worrying about shouldn't shouldn't. Nobody wants to be shot on, but we're all hanging on to things that would be helpful to process. And there's even things that we thought we'd achieve by now or things that we really want to achieve so that we won't have these regrets in life. And so if there are people listening right now that might be noticing that their anxiety and depression may be getting a tiny bit worse, especially with what's going on in the world right now, let's get to it.

[00:01:46] Let's not leave that untreated. You owe it to yourself, to those around you, your spouse, your kids, you. I mean, you're the you owe it to you at the very least to give therapy a try. So if you're nervous about finding the right fit, if you're worried about bumping into somebody in the therapy waiting room, if you have any worries about therapy, might I recommend that you go immediately to better health outcomes? Virtual couch again, that's betterhelp.com/virtualcouch, all one word. And just take a look at the world of online therapy. Go check out what over half a million approaching a million people have already done before you can sign up now they're going to better help dotcoms, less virtual couch and get the help that you need, the help that you maybe didn't even know that you need. There's a broad range of expertise and better helps counselor network, which might not be available in many areas, and especially right now with shelter in place, with social distancing, betterhelpcom is designed to do video therapy, telephone therapy. They even have appointments that you can text. So the service is available for clients worldwide. You can log into your account at any time, a message, a therapist, and you'll get timely and thoughtful responses.

[00:02:48] Plus, you can schedule these weekly video phone sessions, whatever it is, so you won't have to sit in an uncomfortable waiting room, as with traditional therapy. Although every time I do this ad, I do want to say that my waiting room is quite lovely, better, helpful, assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. Oftentimes you can start communicating in under 24 hours and the better health outcome assessment. The intake alone is brilliant and they also work with with all kinds of things, acceptance and commitment therapy. One of my favorite techniques, emotionally focused therapy. They work with anxiety, with OCD, with depression. So do yourself a favor, go to better help outcomes, less virtual couch. You'll receive ten percent off your first month services. And I can't lie. Obviously, if you're going to better help comes Virtual Couch. And this is the Virtual Couch podcast. It's going to help me out a little bit too. So go check it out. You'll receive ten percent off your first month services. What are you waiting for? Just go check it out. Betterhelp.com slash virtual couch. Try it today. Thank you for tuning in Episode 206 of The Virtual Couch, I am your host, Tony Overbay.

[00:04:06] I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified mindful habit coach, writer, speaker, husband, father of four, ultramarathon runner and co-author of the best selling book, He's a Pawn. And now what? An expert and a former addict. To answer your questions in which I play the role of the expert and creator of the Path Back and Online Pornography Recovery Program that is helping people reclaim their lives from the harmful effects of pornography. If you or anybody that you know is struggling to put pornography behind you once and for all, and trust me, it can be done in a strength based hold the shame, become the person you always knew you could be way, then please head over to path back recovery dotcom. And there you can download a short ebook that describes five common mistakes that people make when trying to get rid of pornography once and for all. Again, that's pathbackrecovery.com. And I would love if you took my free parenting course parenting positively, even in the not so positive of times. You can find it at Tonyoverbay.com courses. And I've also talked on a couple of podcasts recently about creating a little bit of awareness to folks who might be experiencing any type of a faith journey, a faith crisis to drop me a line at contacted Tonyoverbay.com. I have some information coming soon that I would love to share and use that email address as well.

[00:05:13] Contact the TonyOverbay.com and feel free to send any questions. I'm looking forward to putting together a question and answer episode in the not too distant future, but the stages of faith, the stages of change stages of life, that is what I talked about in my last episode. Two hundred and five. And that is a topic that I am excited and passionate about. So I went big on that episode. So if you missed it, then I would highly recommend going back and given that one to listen. That's episode two hundred and five. And speaking of going big, my guest today is big in the world of podcasting. Her name is Monica Packer and she is the host of the incredibly helpful, hopeful and real podcast called About Progress. And I was actually on Monica's podcast. I had to look this up back in January of 2019, and I loved being on her podcast. She's a wonderful interviewer. And as a matter fact, she ran the episode as an encored later that year in December of twenty nineteen, which I was absolutely flattered by. And I have actually recommended that episode that that we recorded it actually. I think it's actually my therapist paperwork that I send out the new clients because we covered some some of my just things that I love to talk about and things that I think really can help people in therapy. We talked about my emotional baseline theory, as well as my love of acceptance and commitment therapy, which I believe will absolutely change one's life for the better if you embrace the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy. But today we talk about Monica's continual work with in a round about her perfectionism.

[00:06:50] And I love this concept because I think a lot of times the things that drive us, drive anxiety within us is this this desire or this need or this even subconscious just movement toward feeling like we need to be perfect. So perfectionism. And so I think a lot of times when people feel like, why do I have so much anxiety or why do I feel depressed that a lot of times there's an underlying piece of this perfectionism that is that is causing some of the anxiety, some of this depression. So Monica does an incredible job talking about this today. That's what I just I love about her. She's so real. She's honest. She's not afraid to be incredibly vulnerable. And while I know for a fact that it can be extremely difficult to put yourself out there, because I'm sure Monica is run into folks who maybe haven't been as kind as she would like or possibly openly criticized your choices. But, you know, and I really believe this when you get real with yourself, you begin to change your life. And when you really start to get real with others, then you can truly help drive and inspire this change and others. So I don't want to spoil anything or share much more other than to say that I highly recommend you give Monica's podcast about progress. Listen and feel free to start with her episode two hundred twenty five, which was her encore presentation with yours truly, which she titled How to Stop Hating Yourself. All right. Now onto my interview with about Progress's Monica Packer.

[00:08:32] Come on. Take a seat.

[00:08:37] Karl Rove is busy, no, everyone's busy, but you're not touting it, but you know what I mean. Like, you don't have a sign, like I'm busy, but you're doing so much good work.

[00:08:49] So I thought, OK, let's start off by what is how are you quarantining? What is that like for you?

[00:08:55] Yeah, we're doing pretty well. We live in a pretty small home, comparatively to probably most America. I mean, we live in a twelve hundred square foot house and have four little kids. So, you know, what's been interesting, Tony, is my kids are doing far better than I expected and it's almost made like we're exhausted by the end of the day, you know, in different ways. My kids are happier in some unexpected ways so that it's almost been like a really big in a weird way.

[00:09:22] So and I love that you're still there because I feel like that's why I'm seeing people bringing to my office a lot of moms in particular that feel like they are allowed to maybe slow things down a bit. There aren't as many dictations, but then it feels odd to say I'm flourishing under quarantine. But, you know. Yeah, yeah.

[00:09:37] We're definitely we had a breaking moment for sure this week. I feel like all of us did. Yeah, because we're six weeks into quarantining. I think we're starting our seventh week. So I think it did you know, everything did hit the this week one day for sure. But then we got back in the swing of things. So overall, yeah. We're handling OK now.

[00:09:55] That's good. That is. And then do you care to talk about the breaking point? What does that look like in your home? What does that look like?

[00:10:02] Well, that looks like me not doing anything I was supposed to do that day, you know, like not getting out on a walk with all the kids, not doing any home schooling, just feeling very overwhelmed and just caught up in the emotions rather like overwhelm them. But, you know, I think because I. Just felt it all that we were able to get back into the swing of things the next day, you know, OK, let's start over.

[00:10:29] Well, I love what you're saying. I feel like a lot of the moms I'm talking to in particular right now, I always want to say, man, it's OK to have those days and those feelings and leave. But when then you have people that are going nowhere around you that do have those expectations. I don't we don't have a precedent for what we've done in previous pandemics. Right.

[00:10:46] So not much as you can. That's about it.

[00:10:51] Absolutely. And the funny thing is this. I've heard from homeschooling moms, moms who have homeschooled for years, and this isn't even homeschooling like this is hard for all of us to make. That is so nice to know. Yeah, we're all in this together, you know.

[00:11:03] Yeah. I cannot speak for homeschooling moms, of course, but I have a couple of wonderful moms that have shared with me that the first week when everybody's on social media saying this is amazing, we're doing all these things every day and I love homeschool. And they're saying, OK, it's not that it's hard. Exactly right. And by week two or three within the person saying, OK, give them back to school, take them, then almost there is validation from the the homeschool mom. And I feel like what you're saying as well. I'm hearing the hey, this is just not it's odd for everybody. It really is.

[00:11:33] Yes. Yeah, it really is. We're taking it day by day over here, that's for sure.

[00:11:36] So you I had to in this podcast, I was telling you, I think before we recorded with them, I think that my nephew, a couple of daughters, my son in law, my wife that I'm hearing tomorrow. So by the time we hear this one, it will already be out there. But I thought that was the most fascinating part, was No. One. No one. That's an all or nothing statement. We're going to talk about those today. But I do feel like very few people are really thinking, hey, this online school forever, it looks awesome because, you know, that same computer that used to watch dog videos and play for at night is also now telling them what they need to be paying attention and they don't shower and drive somewhere. The routines are kind of gone, which I think plays more of a role than we thought.

[00:12:14] Oh, definitely. And actually, to honest, I think that's why we've done fairly well up to this point. And again, I'm not saying we're thriving every day, have those days, but routines have been so central to my kids. Yeah. So we've been really doing that. And also, to be honest with you, I'm a former teacher, so I am looking at this from the both lens. Like, I know teachers are working so hard, but I'm doing what's best for my kids right now. Yeah. And that means I pick and choose what they send home. And I let the teachers know and they know well what we're doing, but we're not doing a lot of the busy stuff. They're getting home. We're working on what they need to do and choosing how we're going to spend our time to stick to our own routines that are helping them be OK.

[00:12:59] Now, I love it because our routine, the brain likes routine. I mean, probably what they do. Right, they need. I felt like this is a perfect segue way to jump into perfectionism, but I want to kind of give a little bit of praise and ask a question. First, though, I'm sure, though, that your your podcast program, the podcast course that you're doing with Rachel. Yeah, I've been throwing people your way because I'm guessing you get the same thing. I now feel like weekly. I get people saying, hey, just super quick, you just tell me everything you know about podcasting, how to create discourse. You get that often.

[00:13:28] Yeah. And that's actually why we started our course, because it became a part time job for me to answer questions. And it was just to know it's not something you can do like in fifteen minutes because I mean, it's like years and planning and there's failures and successes.

[00:13:43] And I was doing the same thing. I was creating a Google doc and I still I'm doing a little bit of I was actually going to put this on my website. I like your course far better, but I've done a little bit of one on one podcast. Consulting is what I say. And then you find out that within an hour long session or appointment, you just can't cover everything.

[00:13:59] So absolutely. And that's how I did it, too. For about two years, I did one on one. And then even then it was like exactly. You said, like, you can't cover it all.

[00:14:07] Yeah. So where do people find people that want to do podcasts that want to email you and me both and we want your emails to death and. But what's easier, when to go. Where do they find you if they want to. You really find that course.

[00:14:19] Yeah. So you're speaking to Rachel Nelson, a three and thirty takeaways from Mom's podcast. We're business partners for podcast. You start our podcast university so they can go to podcast. Yuuko Our doors are closed right now for courses enrollment, but they can just email us and we'll we'll let you in. Just we'll just communicate with you or they can sign up for our free weekly emails that are very good. Like we give amazing tips every week on podcasting that I think, as I mean, people should be paying for it. It's really great.

[00:14:49] Yeah. No, I'm glad you're doing that, though, because the podcast is amazing and we love we love doing you and I both love you. And yeah, everybody is awesome, I guess, but they are very frustrating and we people don't really know how to navigate. So I'm great. It's hard.

[00:15:00] Yeah. OK, our topic today, Monica, this is going to be fun refection I always like.

[00:15:07] I love talking about this.

[00:15:09] Ok, so tell me why. Because a lot of people hear this topic and they they there's a lot of fear around this. And I talk about this often, I would say at least daily with somebody in my profession. Yeah. Yeah. So tell me about where you kind of start with this or why do you enjoy. Talking about it, what's your experience been with perfectionism?

[00:15:25] Well, I enjoy talking about it first just because I think so many people don't even see themselves as perfectionists. And it's really a revelatory thing for them to discover about themselves that so much of what is holding them back is, in fact perfectionism and not laziness like they thought it was, or lack of being a go getter or not having enough self-discipline like they themselves or they've given themselves too much credit and the most negative ways. Right. Because they're not realizing what really is at play here is perfectionism. So that's why I was really helping people interrupt some bad cycles in their life and bad routines and bad ways of thinking about themselves that are not helping their growth. And I've seen women really take charge of their personal development in ways that have changed their entire lives because they are now believing in a process which is getting messy, making mistakes, being persistent and flexible. But it involves pushing against that perfectionism in ways that are are challenging, but so worth it, so worth it.

[00:16:31] And I feel like tell me if you agree, but I do feel like a lot of times if I'm looking or working with somebody that is struggling with anything from depression or anxiety, eating disorders, a lot of these coping mechanisms that sometimes these come as a way to try to deal with the feelings around perfectionism or those feelings around that. I'm not enough story is the case totally.

[00:16:50] I think the route to say perfectionism is suspect. So some people are the stereotypical kind, the overachieving perfectionist. But I think most people are on a spectrum and that usually actually leads to the other side where they're underachieving, where they where they are in a holding pattern, things to perfectionism either wherever you are on the spectrum, the root is the same. You are measuring your worth of outcomes. Yeah. So you're propping up like what's on the exterior, both in appearance and in successes and achievements as standing in for your worth. And when you do that, you are doomed to fail and you are doomed to not have a whole sense as a therapist talk about because it's on the exterior and you're just setting yourself up to never feel like you've arrived. And I've been all of that spectrum I talked about. Yeah, I've been both sides of that spectrum and everywhere between and my life really did change five years ago when I when I finally decided to lean into the mediocre and to take my work off of the outcome and move it more to the internal. And not only do I feel better about myself and I'm more myself, but I've actually grown exponentially. Yeah. And taking perfectionism off the table, I still deal with it all the time.

[00:18:15] It's still a part of me, but that's what I know I want to be. One of my goals today is I want to be able to. I like what you just said there of when when there's the acceptance and you and I had a on one of your courses. I love how you teach this acceptance and commitment therapy part of the acceptance. I feel like once we have that acceptance that that is when we actually truly start to move forward. And that is a scary that is talk about faith, a faith principal there of not knowing it. Because if we let go of that. But I just need to make the million dollars I see to be the perfect mom. I just do whatever when we can let go of that. I'm not saying that then all of a sudden we have the million dollars and we are the perfect mom. No, but but we don't realize how it's holding us back, right?

[00:18:53] Absolutely. Yeah.

[00:18:55] So I want to hear you. I want to hear more of your story, like your experience. Tell us some stories. This is what I love about your podcast as well as so. So I don't know what comes to mind when you think about that five years ago, whether it was was it a breaking point or was it a what was your process like in that embracing or accepting?

[00:19:10] I don't know, talk to us differently. OK, well, I feel like I have to step back a little bit further than that, because when I was twenty is when that like my whole life up to that, I was that stereotypical perfectionist, like the overachiever, all the extracurricular, all the best grades, all the leadership positions like. I think you can think of and it all came tumbling down for me in college with the eating disorders, like all those mental struggles you describe, like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, it was all there. And I had to come face to face with that. That was not the way I could live my life anymore. And so that was 13, almost 14 years ago.

[00:19:55] And so can I ask you, Monica, so I look up to that point. Do you feel like you were achieving what would be viewed as success, as is getting leadership positions or good grades or popularity, or did you have a lot of those things?

[00:20:07] I, I did, but I honestly think it was a facade. It was something I was so pressured to uphold. And like I said, it's an impossible measurement of your worth that you're constantly on this stairwell of trying to maintain it. And in the process is when I really completely lost myself, really. And I mean, I almost I almost lost my life over this. I'm not even being you know, I'm not. What's the word? Exaggerating just what a significant low and series of lows this was for me and how I had to fight for tooth and nail to recover from my eating disorders. And in the process, though, Tony, like I went to the other side of the perfectionism spectrum, I didn't even know that I was still doing the same thing when I was too terrified to try then because I thought if I tried hard in my life, I guess I set goals. If I plan my day, I did. Before that, I'd go right to living like I was before and be miserable and go right to the borders again. And I was trying so hard to stay away from it that I wasn't growing. And then so five years ago I was and I had, you know, I had my third child and I had everything I really wanted in my life.

[00:21:21] And I felt like I had what I needed, but I wasn't living it. I felt like the exact way I had felt 14 years ago. Almost depressed, anxious, suicidal ideation. Lots of shame. Yeah. And it's because I lost my self again, also to perfectionism because of fear of not measuring up. I wasn't trying anymore.

[00:21:47] Ok, so feeling like that pendulum has swung completely the opposite direction.

[00:21:51] Uh huh, absolutely. And so I actually went back to therapy not realizing I need that and again came face to face. I was still caught up in perfectionism and that I had to start messing up and being a real person. A big part of perfectionism is detachment. Yeah. You detach yourself from yourself like your own intuition. You detach yourself from others because you're putting yourself in a place of being unknowable. So how. And that's how I was. And both ways. Uh huh.

[00:22:23] Well, how did you start to detach then? I mean, when one recognizes that you're on the other end of that pendulum. Yeah. How do you then are you and you like you said, I love how you say you were afraid of going all the way back to the perfectionist side. So you talked earlier about this concept of mediocre. I mean, is that where that started to come in?

[00:22:42] Absolutely. I mean, so I started I had this list of things that I wanted to start doing again, like things I had thought about forever, writing and baking, and started writing a blog ten years too late. And and that was all for so long. I had all those excuses, like, it's not going to be good enough. Nobody will like it. I don't know what I'm doing is I going to lead up to anything. And I decided to just try them and to just do them without worrying about where they were going to take me or what I could achieve or do from them. And that's how it evolved to one thing to the next or the next. But yeah, it really was just leaning into the mediocre side and being OK with it. And part of that honestly meant I started to write like I told you, and that's when I started to share more of my struggles and ways that nobody knew what I was struggling with, my eating disorder orders, not even my roommates, not even my best friends, not my family, even my husband. After we got married and we actually didn't, he we try it.

[00:23:43] He wanted to date four years and I put him at arm's length because I was in the middle of trying to recover from my eating disorder. And and even then we got married and like a year end, I had something about like on our family box. And not even this isn't later. But I mentioned something about dancing, how much I missed. And one of the sisters somehow picked up on, like maybe I lost my love of dancing because of an eating disorder. And so she asked him and like, does Monica have an eating disorder? And he said, oh, no. And when he told me that, I said, What? What do you think? What do you think that was then? And I realized I had told him point blank, like, I have really bad eating disorders. I had told him other ways, like that shame was still so inside me, that detachment, that fear of being human. Even in my recovery for years, I still didn't want people to know that I was human and then I was struggling with things and I am so great, there's so many thoughts here.

[00:24:41] One is I want to touch on the word that even as a therapist, I feel like can be overused. But I believe that the vulnerability of how hard that can be. And I'm also curious before we even get to that, especially with that when you were in the midst of your eating disorder and you can just tell me, no, this is this wasn't your experience. Sometimes, like, OK, sometimes I find that people worse that I work with that struggle with things like eating disorders. They didn't want to open up to anyone, but they also were almost surprised that people weren't noticing more or that they weren't trying to intervene. Do you know where I'm going with that?

[00:25:11] Are you asking if people intervened or would have known?

[00:25:14] And those did you did you want people to even though you weren't willing to put yourself out there, was there a part of you that just thought, man, somebody just somebody recognized this or somebody help somebody save me? In a sense, yeah.

[00:25:24] I definitely felt those for sure. Like, I won and I needed help and I wanted help. I didn't know how to say it to people. But honestly, Tony, at that point of my life, I had never received more praise than then. Wow. OK, so people didn't want to see it. Yeah. Even the people closest to me, OK, they didn't want to see that as a problem. And a lot of it, too, Tony, honestly came because a mind part of why didn't it point blank tell people about it is because in my head I had the wrong eating disorder. I didn't have the good kind, OK? I had you know, I had bingeing and exercise. And to me, that was not that was a more shameful eating disorder than, like anorexia. You know, like I try to be anorexic for like ten years and it didn't work.

[00:26:17] So then I failed and became like, you failed. Yeah. And then when you said that and then when you said that people even gave you more praise, I feel like that's one of those situations where you bless everyone's heart. When people don't know what to do, they often feel like I'm going to tell that person, no, no, no. You're doing your amazing thinking that that will be enough to raise them up, to raise their baseline up, to be able to overcome something, even if they see it.

[00:26:39] Yeah, totally. And, you know, it's been one of those things like I've pondered how to deal with this, too. When I recognize people that I'm like, I wonder if they're caught up in the same things I have struggled with. And I hear friends or family members worrying about it or talking about it and nobody saying anything. Yeah, and it's scary to do. And I've had to do that. I've had to say are can we talk about this and are you struggling with this? But the sad thing is and you know, that's well, that people who are really entrenched with eating disorders.

[00:27:13] I will deny it. They need to come to a place where they are ready for help, and at that point I was because I knew it was new, my life was was in jeopardy, both literally and figuratively.

[00:27:26] I knew that it was it had taken over everything. I could handle it that way.

[00:27:31] And I can see us now going we could go ours because now I feel like a man I know one of these days with another one where I want to explore that. I know as a therapist that people aren't going to necessarily get the help until they really feel like they need the help. And even then, what I think a lot of times I see in my office are people that want to just come and then hope that just by coming to a therapist or talking about it, that then everything will just magically go away because there's that experiential avoidance. They're not really wanting to have to do the things that they think that they have to do and that. Right. And so I don't know if that was a part of your process as well of was it was it a lengthy process to start to really make change?

[00:28:08] It was a lengthy process, but not because of lack of trying. I honestly actually I think I'm one of those people that I do. I am willing to do whatever it takes to work on things in general. That's just my personality. Yeah, but what was interfering with my recovery was that I wanted it to be because I was working hard on it. I wanted it to be fixed overnight. You OK? Yes. And so, honestly, the best one of the best moments that happened and my therapy then was a therapist telling me that I was going to struggle with this the rest of my life. And that took a big burden off my shoulders because it made me think it's not up to me to fix this overnight. And I will have to put in work for years. And I honestly can say, like, I actually don't think I struggle with that. Yeah. Anywhere near to the extent that I did before. It's something I'm aware of. Yes. And I make sure that I'm being careful with. But every single year that passes, it's less and less and less and my head and unless something that takes hold of me, but even just having that permission to know that I couldn't do my perfectionist thing with this and fix it with pure grit, that was really a relief to me.

[00:29:28] I'm glad you shared it that way. And I try to whether I'm working with addiction or whether working with any any of these sort of things, I like to say that what you just said, but where it's going to feel less and less, I mean that I think when people say, I know I'm going to struggle with the rest of my life, part of me does want to say yes, but it still looks so much different. But I know something does that here in that moment that. You bet. OK, let's just embrace that. But it really does because. Right. Those skills become so good. If I always say you can. Yeah, you'll note that thought. And that's one that you write. I love noting things I know all the time. I still have these thoughts of imposter syndrome or the big what ifs or what if. No, all of a sudden people stop or listen to a podcast or come into therapy. And instead of it being this like fear, there's a little bit of like, oh, OK, there's that thought kind of noted that you think your brain has lost.

[00:30:19] Hold on. You and I will say it did take me. It did take me for several years. I didn't think I was improving, like a lot of it. A lot of how I was behaving was. But the internal struggles were just like an alcoholic who was trying to avoid the drink, you know. Yeah, but now it's now it's far different. I guess it's things I note, but it's not as it doesn't take as much effort and work and worry on a minute to minute basis like it did years ago. Now it's it just comes up every every now and then.

[00:30:54] Yeah. OK, let me jump back to the word vulnerability. I'm sure raw, authentic and vulnerable. I have a wonderful client who we combine them once and it's vulnerable, authentic, all three of them. But I feel like that's such a you know, those are authentic and they're kind of cliched therapists and words. But I love them because. So it sounds like that being vulnerable part played a pretty big role for you. Oh, yeah, huge. What was that like and what was the process.

[00:31:19] Yeah. So when we started, when I started to lean into that mediocre armonica side of me five years ago, that didn't tell me actually opening up a lot about the struggles I was facing. So but I did choose the best medium. I think that's when I started a website and I was like, Hey world. I struggled with eating disorders. Hey world, I have big faith crisis. Hey world, I like I just was like, like letting it all out and you know, I don't I say that wasn't the best medium to maybe jump out, jump into it with just because it almost was a strange way of me being vulnerable without being really vulnerable because I didn't have conversations with my parents or my siblings like are my spouse. Even so, it was almost my way of telling people that I love them also without really giving them that space. And so I learned more in time. I mean, God bless them all. They were really patient with me. But I think it was more alarming, even though for them it was more alarming. For me, it was such a release and it empowered me and showed me. I mean, they talk about the power of vulnerability all the time. And I know that's another thing people roll their eyes about, but it truly did empower me and it connected me. So like we talked about, perfectionism is a big disconnect. Yeah. When I started talking and showing that I am human and I am struggling, I do not have it all together, but not unlike us. So follow me on Instagram, but like a real genuine like, you know, asway even with my. And it connected me and with people and it connected me with my spouse and my family and myself and ways that have held me so much. They really have held me well.

[00:32:58] And so here's all of my acceptance and commitment therapy principle. And as I appreciate you saying me, and maybe it was this unique or maybe not the best way, but, boy, I have people in here that I just I will try to identify literally like, say, start a blog and don't even share anything does help or or to podcasts and maybe you'll never share it or. They are their friends you can open up with, and some people want to do it with people that are far away, so you want to do it through text. Some people want to you know, some people are like, no, I need to meet face to face with somebody. And that's that's stuff I love about everybody's own unique private experiences that they bring to the table. At that moment, I can just figure out what does work. But that's where. Because all of those. Yeah, but I'm afraid of those stories the brain generates or what keeps us away from even trying. And so I love that you eventually said, OK, this is how I need to do it.

[00:33:45] So, yeah, I guess you're right. In the end, it was how I needed to jump into the deep end a little bit. Yeah. And it actually gave people a chance to connect with me because I still have people in my family who do not want to talk about any of this stuff and but they at least they've had the opportunity. And I at least know that, you know, I can say some things at a dinner table that maybe I want to have in the past. Yeah, and that's OK. And like like a bowl, like I, you know, be be that person now, but more just like.

[00:34:19] No, it doesn't need to always be that way because because I love and thanks for validating that to because I will have people often say I know I should want to just ah I know I should just say something about it or someone will say I know I shouldn't want to just text about it or I know I and again I want to go with the hey there's no conditions on this thing. There is no you should or shouldn't or the way you do it. Let's just talk about what's what's a workable or productive thought for for kind of our goal of getting that vulnerability out there. And then let's look at kind of what's really.

[00:34:51] Yeah, yeah, definitely. I agree with you.

[00:34:54] So do you want to talk about a couple of directions that I love to. I want to I want to address maybe the all or nothing thinking, but also I love how you we traded some emails beforehand to and I really like the concept of sustainable growth of a small wins. I think that we just want we all want that home run. I mean, I will say when people come into my office, especially for anything in addiction, these sort of things, sometimes I say, hey, so are you expecting me to have like a magic wand or maybe this amazing pill that will all of a sudden change all of these things and make it easy? And usually it's a little bit of, yeah, maybe I am. So it is about slow growth. Right. So I don't to talk about that first.

[00:35:32] Absolutely. Because this is something I've really grown passionate about, because when you talk about perfectionism, it's easy for people to discount themselves from that because like, oh, I'm not this, I'm not that. But I think everybody falls for all or nothing thinking and basically at the root of that as falling for this lie, that overnight success is possible. Yeah. Yeah. And that it's lasting. Yeah. Because that's the thing we often forget too. Is that one of my favorite quotes and that's one of the few I have memorized because that's not how my brain usually works there with you. But it's yeah. It's Winston Churchill and he says success is not final, failure is not fatal. It's the courage to continue that counts. So with that, success isn't even as final. So we have this sinking in our head, I think, with our our cultures and our family structures where we are trained to believe that in order to succeed and needs to be done through extreme action and we need to see the results right away. And that is not true. It's just it's it's scientifically not true. And and it doesn't last even if if you put in those huge, monumental efforts. Yeah.

[00:36:40] I mean, not even nine times out of ten, I would say way higher. Nine point eight times out of ten. Are you going to go right to burn out or overwhelm or even worse, back to bouncing back to the bad habits or cycles. It has to be done small and you have to believe in the process. The process is not overnight and it's not huge actions. It's small, meaningful steps gradually built upon each other and over time. And this is nobody wants to sign up for this, right? Like nobody wants to sign up.

[00:37:11] But I know they're like, hey, in ten years you'll be changed. Like, no, people want it in two days, you know. But but really, if you want lasting change, then you need to believe that this is the process. It's James talks about this in atomic habits, how like you have that valley of disappointment when you're on that growth scale and you just don't believe you're changing. Yeah. You're disappointed because you don't see the fruits all your yet. But if you just keep going and push that, you're going to break through that plateau and you are going to grow and exponential ways. And that's the process. It's it's getting into the muck of those small steps and wondering if it's working, feeling overwhelmed, sometimes stress, making mistakes, trying again, trying again, trying again. And then all of a sudden you look back and you realize, oh, I actually have grown and I have evolved and I have changed. Like, I guess it is working. Yeah, that's the process.

[00:38:12] And I for people that aren't runners, I feel bad any time I go into talking about running, but I think I. We talk about this all the time, too, but the best, yeah, it seems like that every day waking up and doing the getting the miles in and some people like to call them junk miles, or some people say, you know, they don't I wasn't I wasn't feeling it today or all those things. But then over the course of just months and years and you just get those base miles in and you start noticing that, OK, you go run the half or the full marathon and it's a little easier than you thought it was. And you want to sustain growth, you know, and when I started bumping into these longer distances, even to myself, I would think, hey, who can run 50, 50 miles, hundred miles, whatever it was like? Well, you kind of do it a little bit. A little bit here. A little bit there. Yeah.

[00:38:57] And we talked about this when you were on my podcast in twenty eighteen about how I taught myself to swim.

[00:39:05] Yeah. Yeah. And like literally terrified, not even figuratively, literally terrified of swimming and could not swim because I had air problems my whole life, I wasn't allowed to put my head in the water so I only learned to like doggy paddle. And now I don't have like I don't have to wear the earplugs when I'm in the shower like I used to. So now I can swim. But I'm so terrified of water. But this is this is I'm not going to draw this out. But basically, the only way I learned to swim three years ago, I started swimming 20 minutes a week, OK, just 20 minutes a week.

[00:39:43] And you would think that would do nothing, because in the beginning, I mean, it was probably like six months of me standing up a quarter through a lap, not even making it halfway, standing up and choking my guts out. Why all the old people swim past me like circles around me. And now three years later and I can swim a half hour straight, no stopping. Yeah.

[00:40:03] The only way that happened is because I believed in the sense that if I consistently tried imperfectly that I was going to get somewhere. And that to me and I still don't enjoy swimming, but doing that has been like such an affirmation to me that this is this process does work.

[00:40:22] I like that you called out imperfectly to I can't lie to. I remember having this aha moment where I thought that if I really had put as much, I think I was OK. I've never done this before, but I think I always thought that man, if I had only been one six two or six three and then I work in all the effort and I would be this pro basketball player, I think I always saw that. But then I realized, oh, wait, but am I putting that effort into anything in my life? That's one of those where I would have been, you know, then I would have then I would have been this other thing. And I remember thinking, OK, that was a big epiphany or an aha moment. And then I realized though, OK, well, now I can put this effort into ultra running, so I start putting effort into running and I realize, oh, I'm still kind of a mid packer. And then I thought that was, that's OK. And then I realized, OK, my goal is just to be me and to be present and why do I enjoy these things and what are my values? And definitely like the podcast. Right, a podcast. When you put something out every week and and there are people that have probably put in less effort that are far more popular or people that have put in more effort that aren't. Or all I can do is do the things that I think are important to me. So and definitely right. When you say mediocre, do people give you any push back to that that word?

[00:41:28] Oh, yeah, I think people and that's actually why I almost branded everything mediocre, Monica and I did. I mean, aspirational. Some people really want really what they want is a radical growth. But but but that is what I'm promising, but not in the ways that they're, you know, being primed to believe in. I think that overnight stuff. But, yeah, people don't want to people don't really want to lean into that. But when really when you do, I mean, where you get is way better than where you currently are. Like, it will surpass where you think. And I will say, Tony, like I fall for this guy all the time, still like I still get really disappointed that I started a podcast around the same time as so and so and wow. How are they so much bigger in so many ways. And I get caught up in that too. It's it's going to be around us all the time. And it's just I think it takes one of the clients I my coaching program and I just coach people on like personal development. So not like these, like, you know, like I'm not a therapist. What you do is incredible. But even then, like, we are talking about this process and one of my clients said it takes the greatest of courage to do the smallest of things. And I'm like, yes, that is it.

[00:42:41] Yeah, that's the process. When I was setting up for our podcast, I did just I mean, with forty five minutes ago, I was doing the whole thing about man, I've been doing this a while. I'm approaching two hundred episodes. There are people that are more I was doing the same thing like forty five minutes ago. Right. And then I noted it and then. All right. Thank you Brian. And let's go do this podcast so keep going. So can I ask you do. And it's funny to your partner Rachel who does such an amazing job of yours, these takeaways. And I always tell her that's my I am horrific at that. You know, it's like at the end it's like, hey, that was a great fun. And then but what are we supposed to do? So. You do you kind of have ideas of what you tell people that are especially going to be hearing this or what do you do? Where do you even start? If it's the OK, I'll buy into the I don't have to have this overnight success. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to have this all or nothing thinking, where do we start?

[00:43:32] I know this is like a chicken and the egg thing. Right? Because I think I didn't realize I was creating a process and leaning into this. I didn't realize that I was basically doing a giant years long experiment and that's what I've been doing. But if I were to distill it down to like where to start, I would say and this one seems. This one seems kind of meta like a little bit like is that really going to help? But honestly, I think the number one thing people need to get real about is who they want to become. Yeah, OK, Rudy, you want to become what type of person? I'm not talking about achievements. I'm talking about values like you. I mean, that one interview I had with you, Tony. Yeah, that that is something. And like I told you, my my brain, like things go in and out, in and out and with you. And I remember everything you've taught me. So I thought about getting what I want.

[00:44:20] I want my people to find my people. And I want I want to find you where we got to tell that to like, how do we still get access to that? I love that interview as well.

[00:44:30] Well, how about I'll send you the link and you can put it in there. But it's how to stop hating himself by Tony Overbay. And I'm going to send them the same version that I was in.

[00:44:39] They where I still use yours. That one I thought you were talking about in the program, you being very vulnerable because I felt that, OK, because that how to stop hating yourself. I can't lie. I still that one. I think I might share this with you a while ago. That ones I'm one of the ones I send to people as well because it's made me laugh because it's such a weird editing job.

[00:44:57] Will you please send them the new one? This is I showing. No, like it's a process like Tony was experimented on when I tried a new way of editing and adding and music. And the second version is way better that. But but again, at the heart of this is you need to know what matters to you and who you want to become, because for me, a large part of how I've been able to lean into this is because I realised who I wanted to be with someone who was a lot bolder than I was currently being, someone who is more ambitious and creative and wholehearted and real. And those are all came back to some big values that I was missing. So I had to get real about who I wanted to be. And then with that, all tons of research shows, and I love self development. I love reading all the books. But over and over they show that feelings along with acceptance of but therapy feelings follow actions. Yeah. So you have to start acting the part of the person who would be acting bold. So it's not so much. And this is where people get confused. And I get it because I can't give people an to Z step process. Right. But it's it's it's getting to the heart of acting, the part that you want to play. And it's not so much about what you it's who you're becoming. Yeah. And and that's where you have to get messy. Yeah. Because the value and you start acting the part. Yeah.

[00:46:19] You realise all of those. I would say that's the shouldst the growing up feeling like well I should think this or I should care about this or I should feel this and any time we're going it, we're trying to do something based on a should or how I'm supposed to feel. They talk about how that becomes socially compliant goals. I mean, so it's the you know, the motivation is weak and ineffective because it's going against your sense of who you want to be or your sense of self. And I feel like that's that's the messy work because it's like I know I'm supposed to care more about whatever. And so then somebody then feels bad if they don't care as much about whatever, but they're the only version of them. So the reason that they might not care about whatever that is is because they're human. And so I love that. That is messy.

[00:46:59] And there's a lot and that's what's worrying about it, too. Like we're talking about purpose this month on my podcast. So right now we're recording in April. So if people are, I don't know when this will air. But the reason we're talking about that is because a lot of us fall for this lie that we're like Bilbo Baggins or Frodo Baggins or even Harry Potter, like we have one definable purpose that is just going to land on us. And it's the same with this, too. It's not so much about what you do. It's who you are. It's who you're becoming. So that is really fun. You're not waiting for something to be handed to you or like this is the path. This is the one ring. This is the one wand like it. No, you just start living and become on many. It's like I might not be a podcast for the rest of my life, but. But my but who I am, am I am I frozen.

[00:47:47] I knew it said no second but you came back. You might not be ok. That's real life. Yeah. OK, ok.

[00:47:52] But who, who I'm becoming it can still grow and be nourished no matter what I'm actually doing. I have freedom to take different paths and pivot, but I'm still living like the person I want to be.

[00:48:07] Yeah, I always do that when that's the we want A to Z and I say, well let's just figure out what B is and then B can go to C and see to the and I mean before I went back to school to become a therapist after my software career kind of halted, I had a whole different direction. I was trying to go and it didn't really go, as I said, even think about that now because I just feel so much passion for what I do. But but I, I got to I got to a and then I really thought I knew what Z looked like and it was not and I tried and it wasn't there and thank goodness be led to see in the and all those sort of things. So just that, that progress, it does take courage.

[00:48:42] And you know what? And one thing I've been you know, I have been trying to distill down more like what is the process like? What does it look like? And I think it's equal parts patience. And persistence, and with that, you have this lens of curiosity, what if I try this, will that take me? What if I put up and this and that to me is the process.

[00:49:04] Ok, so I got this recording again and we just figured out basically the secret of life, but realized that it was not recording. So that was the frustrating part. Yeah, we did. So I guess I never know. I don't think we can go back to that or whatever it was in that moment that felt very in that moment. So, you know, everybody missed out. But that's all right. OK, and maybe that's a sign because I get accused of going too long and my podcast at time. So maybe that is the saying keep it nice and tight. So. All right, Monica, maybe we wrap up with with you talk about practical ways of moving toward the sustainable growth. And we've identified that it's we've got kind of digging into of these values or really the person they want to be. And you've got the concept of I really like that. Letting go of the perfectionist is a little bit more about being accepting or managing a mediocre.

[00:49:54] And and I think we talked about I think we maybe hit early on, but the perfection, the idea of perfection is it's impossible, right? Yeah. And it's what it is.

[00:50:07] It's such a flawed and then and I think if we listen to your podcast you did on Perfectionism on yours with Dr. Jennifer Finless and five, which was amazing and nobody was amazing to was and if you if somebody is hearing this and they want to learn more about just perfection in general, I'd say go back to that episode. I'll put that on my show. And she she just nailed it from a one up and one down position. And I loved how she talked a lot about perfectionism really does come from somebody feeling like that's how they they will be valued or that's how they'll be seen, or that's what is importance. And that fear of just if somebody sees that they aren't don't have everything together, that then for some reason they will be less than, is that the case? Yeah, absolutely.

[00:50:50] Yeah. That woman's changed my life in many ways.

[00:50:52] So I loved hearing that because I had her on my show a couple of times talking about where she's very much known for or as a sex therapist. And Mancia, she knows she does everything right.

[00:51:02] Yeah. Yeah. Well, she's like you. You guys are like, you know, Jack of all trades.

[00:51:07] So that's very kind. That is so. So I don't know where would you what are some things maybe we didn't cover that that you would love to speak to as we kind of wrap things up before the Zoome gods hit us again.

[00:51:18] Yeah. Um, you know, I think if we were to just send people off, what I would say is this is going to come across really terrible at first. I hope people stick with me like you are not special, meaning you are not unusually broken. You I think a lot of people just are convinced that they are special because they are so unusually broken that they can't do what they want to.

[00:51:48] They can't change in the ways that they tried and they haven't been able to do it. You're not special and that way everyone is broken. But also with that, I think you need to have that greatest courage we talked about.

[00:52:02] Yeah, you need to take on the greatest of courage to do the smallest of things. I was just listening to something this morning by James Wedmore. He's like a marketing online guy, so I don't know how to do with about self development, but it really hit me what he said about taking on radical responsibility. OK, that's what we need to do as individuals like take on radical responsibility that this is what it looks like. It looks hard and messy and not easy and not an easy process. Not overnight, but take on that radical responsibility because because you believe that you are worth the effort and because you believe that there is more for you out there. That is where I am at all. It is possible like you are special in that way, like you do have so much potential. And when you believe that and you take on that responsibility to work towards a meaningful but mediocre and imperfect, a messy ways, you will surprise yourself by how much we will have grown.

[00:53:02] And I and people I know they stuck through that. I love what you said. I did a presentation. So I did a presentation long ago where I said one of the slides was, you're not all that. And a bag of chips. That was this phrase back in the nineties or whatever. And I was ready. I really I thought it was going to be hilarious and funny. And I just watched the faces in the room just go flat. And I was, you know, was I was there was this I was like, no, no, no, no. You know, when you're when you somebody doesn't look at you when you're driving out of your court, it's not because they hate you. They might be busy or they just you embrace you and go after your values. And so I hear you. I love that. And I think one of the things that I hope that people have heard that we're talking about today is there's going to be a lot of feelings around even some of the if it's trying to do things that are just easy or trying to do things. And then if that turns out to not be something that you enjoy or is right for you, then you actually get to do something the. And that becomes this process and you pivot exactly so I love that there's a there's a nice I don't remember many quotes either.

[00:53:59] I think that's I love that you said that earlier. There's a author named Terence McKenna and he talked about jumping into the abyss and finding out on the other end that it's a featherbed. And I and I love that because I was at that time, I was trying to tell couples that we're having a hard time being emotionally vulnerable with each other, that, you know, it may feel at times like you're going through this fire, but then when you get through this ring of fire, there's your partner just wanting to give you this huge hug. You know, when they're when they're putting out this, you know, anger and feelings of betrayal or all these things, that and the guy gets defensive and then starts the gas line or whatever it looks like, it's like, man, just have empathy and compassion, you know, get through that fire, jump into that abyss. And on the other side, there's this featherbed. And I think that's the case with what you've been talking about today, is that we trust that you are this is going to feel better overall. Your baseline is going to raise it will, but it's going to have some ups and downs along the way. And that's part of being human, right.

[00:54:56] Amen. Amen, brother. All of that.

[00:54:59] Monica, thanks so much. I was so looking for this. We got plenty more we got to talk about, though, in future episodes, if that's OK. Oh, I love it any time. All right. I'm going to put links galore in the show notes.

[00:55:09] I'm going to hit the pause here. Please hang on, because I want to just tell you how much I appreciate you and thanks for coming on that. Thank you, Tony. Thank you.

[00:55:17] Emotions flying past the pressures of the daily grind.

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