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Elizabeth Onyeabor on Perfectionism

Mar 16, 2022


Season 3, Episode 7


Nearly 1 in 3 people are perfectionists. While many carry it as a badge of honor, or use it as an explanation as to why they have not completed or started something, it really is a dream killer. Perfectionism creates unnecessary pressure, and amps up worry, fear, and doubt. It is one form of procrastination, something nearly all of us encounter at least occasionally, 20% of us chronically. It is possible, and I'd say necessary, to break free from perfectionism and create an identity that is more self-supportive. Elizabeth Onyeabor is a leading international expert on perfectionist leaders and high achievers. As the Founder of InnerGenuity and Habitual Happiness Hub, she coaches leaders ready to move forward with ease, be their best, and achieve unstoppable results. She shares the four main reasons why people procrastinate, 7 Practical Practices for Perfectionists that will help you start letting go of your perfectionist tendencies, and Elizabeth reveals the one thing you can start practicing today that will help you lead a more joyful life.



Elizabeth Onyeabor

Free download on the 7 Practical Practices for Perfectionists



Michael Kithcart: 0:03
Welcome to Champions of Risk a podcast that explores all aspects of high performance and ways to navigate uncertainty so that you have the tools and resources to win your way in business and life. I wanted to unpack perfectionism because it shows up a lot in my coaching practice, and it's usually comes in the form of an explanation as to why someone is not moving forward on something that they said they wanted to get accomplished. That sounds a lot like procrastination. So when I looked a little bit deeper into procrastination, I discovered that while there are several different types of procrastinators, perfectionists were at the top of the list. So there is a lot of information and instead of me trying to figure it out, I did the brilliant thing. I enlisted an expert Elizabeth Onyeabor is a leading international expert on perfectionist leaders and high achievers as the founder of inner ingenuity and habitual happiness. She coaches leaders to read, be ready to move forward with ease, be their best and achieve unstoppable results. Elizabeth has guided both individual and organizational transformations around the world for more than 25 years, and has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, the Boston Herald The list goes on. She is also an award-winning Best selling author and poet. So Elizabeth, welcome to the Champions of Risk Podcast. I'm so excited to have you here.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 1:39
Thank you so much, Michael. It's exciting to be here.

Michael Kithcart: 1:43
Well, I'm just gonna dig in How is your relationship with perfectionism?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 1:52
For me today, the relationship with perfectionism is that I would say that I'm no longer a practicing perfectionist. Okay, so, and I gotta say, I struggled a little bit with what I call myself now, really, because I don't meet the definition of a perfectionist. But all of us who have worked in the self-development area, we know that it's not something that you say, oh, okay, I've checked that off my list. I've checked that off my list. I've checked that off my list, that's never going to happen again, crappy, we know that. When we expand our comfort zone, these traits and behaviors pop up again. And so while I'm not practicing perfectionism, it's something that continues to be a part of my identity. And I have a lot greater awareness and tools to deal with that striving to be perfect. Okay,

Michael Kithcart: 2:59
What was that moment in your life? Or that moment in time? When do you realize that you were a perfectionist? Did you go through a period where you denied it? Or was it a full embrace? And you were like a badge of honor?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 3:18
Well, I gotta tell you, I've worn perfectionism like a badge of honor for as long as I can remember, I also hit it as a brand of shame. But I didn't see you know, I didn't let people see that part of me because I was trying to appear perfect. But that's, that's the thing with perfectionism is this duality of it's, you know, we'd like our high standards, we don't want to let go of our high standards. It's what makes us right. But it's also what breaks us. It's like our kryptonite. So it has this duality, and I'll talk about that in a little while, but there was always this understanding that I was a perfectionist, and like some of the people you coach, it was my excuse sometimes. Oh, well, I'm a little bit of a perfectionist. Yeah, well, nobody's a little bit of a perfectionist, you're you're perfectionist, you meet the definition, you don't meet the definition. So it's just that it shows it doesn't necessarily show up the same way in everything, which is why we say I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, but I would say the catalyzing moment was when perfectionism almost killed me. And strangely, it saved my life too.

Michael Kithcart: 4:45
Okay, we have to, we have to unpack that.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 4:51
So here I was wearing my perfectionism as a badge of honor. All these years I called myself a high achiever. Ever I was driven. I was, you know, in management. And I got to this point I call it my midlife meltdown, trying to be the perfect everything. The perfect boss, the perfect wife, the perfect friend, but most of all, the perfect mom. And I knew I was none of those things. I never felt good enough. And I was chasing achievement after achievement after achievement and still never feeling good enough until my midlife meltdown, and I found myself wailing crumpled on my kitchen floor. And at that moment, I was sure that I never would be good enough. And I, I don't remember exactly how I got up off the kitchen floor. But I do know that I walked over to my computer, and I was looking for the perfect way to end the pain. And the problem was, there is no perfect way to end the pain, at least from what I researched. That was like, Okay, well, I'm just in such pain, emotional turmoil. And I looked at all the statistics. And it's like, first of all, if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it. What I'm going to do it right. Okay,

Michael Kithcart: 6:25
so now we are talking about you deciding that you didn't want to be on the earth anymore.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 6:30
Oh, yes, we're talking about suicidal research.

Michael Kithcart: 6:34
So you even wanted to end your life perfectly.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 6:38
I wanted to end my life perfectly. Yeah, my imperfect life. I wanted to imperfectly you can do see the irony there, right? I mean, I don't want to make light of this. But there is so much irony to it. And it's so indicative of what happens with us as perfectionists, because there is such back and forth and duality. And so I was looking for, well, like, Could I go to sleep forever, you know, like, I was looking at all these things. And I looked at the statistics, and the statistics were appalling. So what happened is that most of these statistics showed that people who try to end their lives are not successful, and actually can cause a lot more problems. And I thought, Oh, great, like, so I'm gonna fail it that too. I mean, like, that was just too much. So that was, that was the moment of, I would say rock bottom, where care I thought, you know, perfectionism was crushing me so much that I just, I wanted out of life. And at the same time, there was no perfect way to do it. So it's cut the text in between.

Michael Kithcart: 8:01
And that was enough for you to realize that maybe there was another option.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 8:05
Yeah. So luckily for me, I went to sleep just for the night, not forever, because I had intended to and had a lot of conversations with, my family. So they really, because I left the website up, by the way, so they saw what was going on in my mind that I hadn't conveyed. And there's nowhere but up when you hit rock bottom. And so, I progressed. And it took some years for me to realize that it was trying to be the perfect XYZ you fill in the blank and make everything perfect. That just was at the root of it.

Michael Kithcart: 8:54
Were you already in the type of work that you were doing? Were you already in professional development at that time?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 9:07
I've been coaching leaders for a long time because my background is human resources. And so I've been the internal resource that everybody goes to. So it's it's almost like being the internal social worker in a way. And so I thought I had done a lot of self-development. I had checked all these things off my list, you see, because I had this idea that that was something you know, I fixed that I fixed that. But at the time that I reached rock bottom, I had stopped all of the practices that had made me feel good. One by one, I had just kind of sunk back into old patterns and practices. And the issue was that I was so achievement-oriented. I was keeping myself busy. I didn't even know that I had been suffering from chronic depression for decades, until I was no longer going 150 miles an hour, constantly,

Michael Kithcart: 10:15
yes, that often happens, right? Like you have to, you have to get quiet, you have to slow down, to have a lot of things be revealed to yourself. And was it at this moment, like, what helped you identify as a perfectionist and to start recovering from it?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 10:37
So I knew perfectionism was there. But I, it was more of this vicious inner critic that was telling me I wasn't good enough, that said, my family would be better off without me. And that was the first thing that I dealt with was befriending this inner voice that I had. And all sorts of practices. And, and this led me down to, I would say, an awareness of this is not just me, it's all perfectionists have this supercritical inner voice that tells us we're not good enough.

Michael Kithcart: 11:26
It makes sense because, you know, I talk with clients a lot about just getting the power of your thoughts, and getting your thoughts to work for you, instead of letting them work against you. So if you are, like, identifying some of the signs, the "you might be a perfectionist if"...

Unknown: 11:49
You might be a perfectionist, if you want to get everything, right. You want everybody else to get everything, right? You want things to be perfect, whatever perfect means to you. And, okay, because it isn't exceptionally high standards alone. That is the definition of a perfectionist. It's also the meaning that we give to mistakes, that when we strive for perfection, we don't hit it. It doesn't mean oh, that's information. We've got lessons learned. We see failures, as I'm a failure, right? We see mistakes as an assault on our self-worth. Instead let's take a learning mindset. Wow. And for the longest time, I thought my husband was so wrong. He would read instructions or he'd get enough research and he does something and he'd say, Okay, let's start it. And then he would make a mistake and go, Oh, that was interesting. Okay, well, I won't do that again. And then he'll move on. And I was like, Listen, if you would just, you know, read more research then you get it right first, and we wouldn't have to like, do this over again. Just listen to me, right?

Michael Kithcart: 13:17
That worked for you.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 13:19
Perfectionist talking, okay. And, and it was funny, because when I said, Okay, so here's the thing as a perfectionist, we, we have these high standards, and then when we don't meet them, we beat ourselves up over it. And so my husband said to me, like, how come you don't consider me a perfectionist? I have high standards. And I said, Yeah, you have high standards, but you don't beat yourself up over them when you don't hit them. And he goes, Yeah, why would I do that? Why would I do that? I would anyone do that? Well, that's what comes along with perfectionism.

Michael Kithcart: 14:02
The piece that you brought up to that, that when something doesn't go right, that it gets internalized to being that therefore then I'm not right is very much of like that distinguishing part that Brene Brown does between shame and guilt of you know, something this was a bad behavior or I am bad and that shame part. So there's a lot of shame attached to perfectionism is what I heard out of that.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 14:31
Oh, yeah. And by the way, why do you think Brene Brown got to be such an expert on Shane

Michael Kithcart: 14:40
Years of self-reflection

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 14:47
She's a perfectionist. That's my understanding. So you might be a perfectionist, like some of the other things that come along with trying to make everything perfect is trying to please everybody by saying yes when you're already overwhelmed with stuff. You know, we are people pleasers, and it's almost like we have a magnet when somebody says, I need a volunteer me. Wait, why am I raising my hand? Okay. And, and, you know, lots of boundary issues with people pleasing and trying to get things done and, and very, very achievement-oriented.

Michael Kithcart: 15:33
Well, and, I talk a lot about the difference between achievement and high performance. And that the part about achievement, I think people get, they get attached to it, right, because it serves them in some, in some way, shape and form, because it helps them get to success. Like we're all everybody listening is an achiever. You know, I'm a recovering achiever, you're a recovering achiever, right, and because it got us to a certain level of success, but it's in singular pursuit, and it can, and it can be exhausting and wear you out. And so, I'm interested in hearing, like, how you start to release yourself from perfectionism because that I also feel is aligned with high performance, where you actually can have ongoing levels of sustainable growth. But the key is that you do that while you're maintaining well-being and positive relationships. So that well, being peace, I think is so connected to perfectionism. And I'd love your thoughts on that, and kind of how you see the shift happening.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 16:48
Yeah, so I have a step-by-step method that I walk people through. That starts with the perfectionist mindset and awareness of what it is how we approach things we do have a unique perspective in the way that we look at things are trying to make everything perfect. And this is what affects us with this what I call the all-or-nothing mentality like it either has to be 150% or not going to do it at all. And then we get stuck in not doing it and the 150% gets us overwhelmed. So it's about hitting that sweet spot, which I call focused flow. And that focus flow is really where our true superpower is. The second one is excellent results. And this is really about dealing with the mindset of excellence, versus perfect, because excellence is still a very high standard. I'm not telling anybody to let go of high standards, I'm telling them to let go of something unachievable, and I'll talk about the achievable in a minute. The third one is results. And this is this has to do with procrastination, which I know you want to get into. And the fourth one is about forgiveness. And that's X, you know, this deals with that inner critic, or that inner voice that could be our inner friend. And that follows up with empathy and self-compassion. And then connect with the full self, which deals with boundaries. And then the seventh one is taking time to celebrate. And if you take all of those and make an acronym out of them, they spell perfectly. And the reason for that was

Michael Kithcart: 18:43

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 18:45
Yeah, well, I like acronyms that helped me when I was cramming for tests, you know, when I was procrastinating in school, and the thing is, I want people to know that they're already perfect. They don't need to strive to be perfect. You were born worthy. You were born good enough. You're already perfect.

Michael Kithcart: 19:05
That's such an important message for everybody to hear. Like, people can't hear that enough. Yeah, I love that.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 19:13
yeah, there's nothing wrong. We're not trying to fix it. Okay, nothing wrong. We're just not trying to fix it.

Michael Kithcart: 19:20
I want to talk about it because I thought it was really interesting. When you and I were talking earlier about there are different types of perfectionists there. I think there are three different kinds or three types that you focus on. I know you touched on probably already touched on it a little bit, but just identify because maybe this will help some people that are listening. If they're not, they're wondering, they're still wondering, I might be a perfectionist if Yeah, how does it show up in those ways?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 19:51
Okay, so there's the three types are self-oriented, which is what I'm primarily talking about here. That's where you look In Word and say, I expected this of myself, when I don't need it, I'd beat myself up, I don't feel good enough. And the second type is other-oriented perfectionist, I expect other people to get everything right. And you don't, you can be one or all or any combination of these. I had the trifecta, okay. So expect myself to be perfect, I expected other people to be perfect. And the third one is socially oriented. So I thought other people expected me to be perfect, too. And this, of socially oriented or perfectionism, has reached almost epidemic proportions in the younger generation now with Instagram, Snapchat, and all that kind of thing. Because there's so much pressure to look, you know, outwardly a certain way. So we expect there's a social pressure of how we, we think society thinks we should be, yeah. When you can,

Michael Kithcart: 21:14
I think just any kind of self-reflection at all can you can conjure up. I know, I can have lots of moments where there's all three at play. But at the moment, I wouldn't say that I was always aware of that,

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 21:28
right? And so what happens is, you know, we may put the standards in ourselves and say, and say, Oh, but I don't make I don't put the standards on other people sure about that. Because I know that as a leader, I would say, Oh, well, this is what I do. But I don't expect you but you know what, I did kind of expect a whole lot out of my team. And do you know, the best team I ever had? Well, they were all perfectionists. And guess what, one by one, we all got completely overwhelmed. And we left the company because we were constantly working 150 miles an hour?

Michael Kithcart: 22:13
Yes. Well, I wonder too, with the pandemic, how that has added exacerbated the perfectionist, because now like, it's almost like everybody added three extra jobs to the list.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 22:30
Oh, I can't, I mean, I haven't read the research on it. But I can just tell you that from my understanding of what happens, it has just pushed those perfectionist pressures up sky-high. Because, you know, now we have to look perfect done Zoom. And we have to keep the kids quiet and the dog can't be barking. And we have, we have to have a constant reminder of all the housework that we're not doing while we're trying to do our other stuff, or the yard work or you know, whatever it is that, you know, you're responsible for in your household, and the kid's school. So all of a sudden parents are also the teachers. So I haven't had really to deal with that aspect of it, because my kids are grown. And I was doing a lot of remote work anyway before the pandemic. And I can imagine the intense pressure. And that's going to trigger the perfectionist because when we have a lot of stress, or we're expanding outside our comfort zone, those traits and behaviors are going to pop back up.

Michael Kithcart: 23:50
I mentioned in my intro about it can also show up as procrastination. So people's excuse for not getting something started as well. I want to get it perfect first. So how in your work? Are those two intertwined?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 24:09
Yeah, so here's some really interesting information because researchers have different takes on it. But I base my procrastination work and what I work with my clients on from this 10-year meta-analysis study that was done by the University of Calgary and there were some fascinating outcomes from this undated 10s of 1000s of people on procrastination. And what they discovered is that about 20% of everybody is a chronic procrastinator, about 95% of everybody procrastinates occasionally, and that perfectionists don't procrastinate any more than the general population. However, Yeah, stunning, huh? Yeah. Here's the kicker though. perfectionists worry about procrastination more.

Michael Kithcart: 25:11
Oh, so they spend a lot more energy in that churn and burn of like, cuz they're aware of it. And it's bothering them.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 25:22
We're beating ourselves up over it because we're so achievement-oriented. Yeah. As we're getting our value and our self-esteem, it's all about what we can accomplish, because we're trying to get a sense of accomplishment that is eluding us. Yes.

Michael Kithcart: 25:42
I hate that.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 25:45
Oh, oh, good. See, that is the number one myth of perfectionism. That then that gap of not feeling good enough. Okay, the number one myth. And, and I need to connect the mindset with this too, because it's mind-blowing. Okay. So we think perfectionists that, okay, I set a high standard. Oh, dear, I didn't meet that high standard. And then there's a gap of not good enough. And we beat ourselves up over it. If by some miracle, we hit that super high standard that we set, what do we say to ourselves? Oh, that was too easy. Or oh, that was luck. Or I could have done more, I could have set a higher bar.

Michael Kithcart: 26:42
I expect I expected to do that. I, of course, I

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 26:46
expected to do that. That was no big deal now. And we create a not good enough gap. Now we don't do this on purpose. It's subconscious. Because it's some familiar, even though it's uncomfortable. But we're used to that not good enough gap. And this is why the number one myth is we set ourselves up for this no-one situation with our high standards and never feel like we're meeting them or if we do meet them, then we shift the goalposts we already made the going like oh, we can go further. And, we're never going to fill that with achievements, that that not good enough gap is never going to be filled with what we accomplish, or what we achieve, or what we do. It's all about human beings, not human doing.

Michael Kithcart: 27:55
Yes. Yes, it is. Well, I love that, you know, and your seven practices, the stopping down and celebrating, it's a really big core message that I have in my work to it, it's so important that the acknowledgment occurs, right? And that, that there's celebration even in the progress the journey that is so that your brain can acknowledge or can get the signal that like, Hey, I'm now here, you know, this, this is motivating. I'm gonna keep going. And so for you, when you and your practices, the value, and the need to celebrate is important, maybe even more so for perfectionists because why? Like, how does that? How does that fit in with your work?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 28:47
Yeah, absolutely. So taking time to celebrate is my seventh practice the seven powerful practices for perfectionists, which we'll share with everybody who's listening. And the thing is that we don't take time to celebrate because we either don't feel like it was good enough. Or how well you know, anybody can do it. It was expected. I mean, I remember when I was in high school, and I was invited to this big award dinner. I did not even invite my parents. I just told my mom to drop me off at school that night. And when she said oh, so what's going on tonight? Anyway, I said, oh, there's an award dinner, you know? And she's like, why didn't you invite me? I was like, Why didn't I invite her? Oh, cuz Hello, perfectionist. I mean, looking back now I know exactly why I just thought it was no big deal I was not celebrating what was expected of me. I expected it of me. So taking time to celebrate progress, is not perfect. perfection. So practice makes progress. And let's celebrate the progress toward it. Like I had a client who came home one day and said, You know what I put on my exercise clothes today. I didn't exercise, but woohoo, I am celebrating that progress. Because if we look back a few weeks ago, I didn't even get, you know, this is the farthest I've got sense, right? So I'm gonna celebrate getting the workout clothes on, because the next step may be working out,

Michael Kithcart: 30:32
right? Yes, it's those micro steps, like breaking things down to the, to the simplest effort. Like, if there's resistance from the beginning of taking an action, people are less likely to take it right. So if you just make it so simple, like just like your client, put your exercise clothes on, eventually, you're going to want to put the shoes on, eventually, you're going to want to walk around the block, eventually, you know, some, some other desires gonna take hold, and you'll get that next little step.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 31:06
Oh, yeah. And by the way, she entered a half marathon. So okay, you know, she celebrated these steps on them, who. So, the thing is that as perfectionists, we have this all-or-nothing mentality. So it will be, and that's that zero, or 150 I was talking about. So it's like, gotta be perfect, or 150%. Or we got to go 150 miles an hour. Like, we have to earn everything, we have to work so hard, or we don't want to do it at all. We don't even want to start and we're stuck. Because we're afraid it's not going to be perfect. And we don't want to fail, we can take time to celebrate simple steps as you say, it relieves a lot of the pressure. And it keeps us in that focus flow.

Michael Kithcart: 31:51
Love that. So it is part of the focused flow, when How do you help people break from procrastination because you have the seven practices. So you're helping people kind of break out of that perfectionist? Mold, right? Yeah, then you also want to encourage them to take imperfect action, right to, to kind of break free from that stalling that they might be doing. Because I can't imagine how it's going to be done perfectly. So what's the pairing so to speak that comes with that?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 32:27
That study that I mentioned the earlier University of Calgary, well, I had digested a whole bunch of research and I was like, Okay, so there are four main reasons why everybody who procrastinate, the first one is belief. The next one is important. The third one is the reward. And the fourth one is the deadline. And it can be any one or combination of these four things why we procrastinate. So I spell them bird belief, importance reward deadline, well, this cage our productivity.

Michael Kithcart: 33:07
But as you just tie that all

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 33:09
together, I'm in a birdcage. But if you want to fly, then you focus on positive outcomes. I'll make it likable carbon into chunks like I hate doing housework. So I either crank music or I see or whatever to make it likable. And why is saying yes to the progress? So taking time to celebrate and say yes to the progress and noticing that about ourselves and appreciating it is part of overcoming procrastination. Because we can see that we're taking steps toward our goal because as perfectionists, we don't give ourselves enough credit for the progress because we're looking at that main goal. And then the issue is that even when we hit that goal, we're like, ah, that didn't work out wasn't good enough. Right.

Michael Kithcart: 34:02
Right. I love that. So how does, how would you say, for leaders in particular, because that's who you work with? How does letting go of perfectionism helped them win?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 34:20
So that was a loaded question. Because the reality is, at this point, nobody wants to let go of perfectionism or being a perfectionist because it's part of identity. What we want to let go of is the pressure that we feel to be perfect. We want to let go of the not feeling good enough. We want to let go of the overwhelm. We want to let go of the boundaries that we feel like we can't assert. That's what we want to let go of. And so what I tend to help my leaders with is, first awareness. As to how this is impacting their lives, not just at work, but also at home, because I remember that I was talking with one of my C suite clients, and they were like, I can't believe just the first conversation, I started looking around at how I was not only leading but parenting, and the pressure I must be putting on my team, and my kids and my spouse. Yeah. So letting go of the things that basically, SAP our superpower is what I focus on. You can continue to call your perfectionist, you can continue to have super high expectations totally fine. But let's work on feeling good enough that, your best is already good enough. And you are already good enough. And let's focus on feeling that way. And the way that and it sounds kind of like, Oh, I just want world peace. But the reality is to close that gap of not being good enough, is not through achievement, it's through expanding our self-love.

Michael Kithcart: 36:28
When it all comes down to it, isn't it? That's what we're all everything boils down to self-love. If you can't get yourself to that place of liking yourself or loving yourself. The challenges will always be great. But I will just say that it was super annoying for me to figure that out.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 36:50
Because I mean it just kind of sounds like Oh, yes. And I you know, like I'm, I'm a beauty pageant contestant and I just want world peace. I just want to get everybody self-love. Well, but the reality is that you know, and I can hear people saying, well, I love myself. Yes, you do. The thing is as a perfectionist, do you love your whole imperfect self? Do you love every mistake you've made? Have you forgiven yourself, for what you deem mistakes or failures? That process takes a while my friend. But that's what I help people do. Forgiveness is a huge part of it. Because as I told you in the beginning, me laying on the kitchen floor feeling like I had failed. Forgiveness was my way out. And now, you know, my third book is all about how I healed my mom's guilt. And by the way, moms don't have a corner on the parent guilt trap. Dads have guilt, too. I wrote a book about it called the light within freedom through Forgiveness.

Michael Kithcart: 38:10
Yes, I see that I see that at my home. There's a lot of it. It's silent. Sometimes, but it's their own.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 38:22
Most parent guilt is silent. It's a secret If you wanted to leave the listener, and audience with one shame. But what I've noticed is, when I started talking about my own, I would have other parents tell me some of theirs. And what's phenomenal is I've had even interviewers who have said, Wow, I've never shared this with anyone before. But this is my you know, this is what I feel guilty about as a parent, and it's plagued me for a long time. But here's the beautiful thing in my forgiveness journey was that when I became vulnerable and expressed, what I was going through with my family, and apologized for things and discuss things, I discovered that I was not the only one who felt responsible for a specific incident. And by talking about it, it is the other people's burdens, too. nugget, or one piece of advice, or just here's one, one thing you could just start to focus on or notice or do Befriend that inner voice because that is critical and as vicious as it can get. It doesn't intend to harm us. It took me a long time to realize this. It's he or she thinks they're protecting us and So it's kind of like a petulant little child who doesn't feel listened to. Well, if you're not going to listen to me, then I'm just going to say nasty things to you. So we can begin to do that safely, bit by bit, and I relate it to like stepping into a kiddie pool. Don't try to surf the ocean of emotion with your inner voice, especially if it's viciously critical right now. Just start taking steps to say, Okay, what do you what are you trying to protect me from and realize that you can ask this inner voice to speak to you like he or she would good best friend. So, so if we make a mistake, instead of saying, What a loser Oh my God, I'm such an idiot. Ah, is that what my dear good friend would say to me?

Michael Kithcart: 41:09
I called the positive self Speak, speak it into existence, the positive version, in the present tense as if you already are even if you're not fully feeling it at the moment, it will start to make that shift. Elizabeth, what are you a champion of?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 41:29
Well, I would say I'm a champion for self-love. Honestly, that is my core. That's my mission. You know, I want a million or more perfectionists before my lifetime, and to have really, truly expanded their self-love in a way that they know it's lasting, and will continue forever. That's great.

Michael Kithcart: 42:00
And you give so many great tips and research and just there's so much more because I've benefited from having a couple of conversations with you. So how can people follow you and stay up on all your latest research and offerings and books?

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 42:19
So I'm on Instagram and Facebook and or the other ones? Oh, LinkedIn, LinkedIn is Twitter, and I post at least every week. And if you download some of my gifts like the seven powerful practices for perfectionists every week, I give tips. And my current theme now is around productivity. So

Michael Kithcart: 42:52
great. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. How you're helping perfectionists around the world. I appreciate your time. I learned a lot today.

Elizabeth Onyeabor: 43:02
Thank you. It's been my pleasure.

Michael Kithcart: 43:05
Wouldn't it be great to accomplish your goals with more energy, joy, and a sense of calm given the tools and community you've been seeking for more satisfying success through championing your group coaching, joining other business and sales professionals each month for interactive sessions on high-performance topics that will move forward faster with more focus and confidence? reach a new level of growth this year by investing in yourself and your future through Champion you will see details in the show notes or go to



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