Episode 432: The Hidden Connection Between Self-Image + Self-Sabotage

Episode 432: The Hidden Connection Between Self-Image + Self-Sabotage

If you want to consistently follow through with your plans without having to use willpower or motivation – or end up burning out – you need to learn how to upgrade your self-image. Your self-image is the story you tell yourself about yourself and it’s one of the most powerful forces in human psychology.

Upgrading your self-image is what will prevent you from sabotaging your productivity and stopping yourself from achieving your goals. This is why it’s one of the tools that me and my clients use as part of my proven process to be a productive perfectionist.

In this episode I’m uncovering the hidden connection between self-image and self-sabotage. I’m also sharing lots of practical, real life examples so you can understand where your self-image is causing you to get in your own way and how to start changing it.

I’m also sharing more about why self-image is something that my clients work on in quarter 3 of my 12 month program, Perfectionists Getting Shit Done. And what 2024 will be like if you sign up for the January 2024 cohort when enrollment happens from 8-12 December.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode432.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The hidden connection between self-image and self-sabotage
  • Why you haven’t been able to create lasting change when it comes to productivity
  • Practical examples of how to change your self-image
  • Why upgrading self-image is some of the most important work I do with my clients
  • How to identify where your self-image is holding you back
  • Why self-image is so important for perfectionists in particular to work on

Featured In The Episode:

Work With Me:

My program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) teaches you my proven process for becoming a productive perfectionist. It’s a 12-month program so you have all of the tools, coaching and support you need to show up consistently and achieve your 12 month business goal. Enrollment for our January 2024 cohort is happening from 8-12 December. To find out more about the program and be the first to know when the doors open, join the waitlist today: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Listen To The Episode

Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts – just find Episode 432 of The Perfectionism Project Podcast!

Subscribe To The Perfectionism Project Podcast



Hi and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project. A podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the Perfectionist Getting Shit Done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business. You can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.

Sam Laura Brown

This episode is all about the power of self image. I’m going to be sharing with you what self image is, why it matters and how to use it to become a productive perfectionist and actually have that be something that you can do without having to be motivated. Without having to use willpower, you’ll just be able to show up consistently, in a really sustainable way, achieve your goals have a great time doing it. Self image is such an important piece of that. So we’re gonna dive into it in this episode. But before we get into that, I want to mention that I recorded this episode while going for a bushwalk with cotton.

Recently, I have been reflecting on what success feels like to me. And I’ve really realized that unless I’m able to do some really simple things that I love doing, no matter what I achieve, financially, business wise or anything else, I won’t feel successful. So for me, some of those things are going for a walk in nature, reading a book, those things are really important to me. And so when I was going for a walk this morning, and I also knew that I needed to record a podcast episode I thought, let’s combine the two. So I just had my lav mic, I clipped that on, I went for a walk. So I am huffing and puffing a little bit in this episode, we will edit it a little bit so that it is easy for you to listen to and remove some of the background noise.

But I just wanted to mention this also in case it inspires you if you do have a podcast, or you are on a creative pursuit. And there’s a really easy, fun way to do it that you have dismissed as not being professional enough, or serious enough, but you would love to do it that way. Like for me, going for a bushwalk. And recording a podcast episode is a dream come true. It’s part of my ideal day. And so giving myself permission for that to happen is a really important piece. So I hope that by me sharing episodes like this as well, it’s giving you that permission to do things in your way. So with that said, let’s get into the episode.

I wanted to record an episode about self image because this is so important for everyone to know about. And we talk about it a lot inside my program perfectionist getting shit done. Also, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what is inside, perfectionist getting shit done. And why is it 12 months? Like why is it a 12 month program? Because I’ve shared on the podcast before about power planning and what that is, and how you make a three month commitment to power planning. So why is it 12 months and so this is what I want to talk about in this episode the concept of self image because this is something that typically one of my clients will work on in a third or fourth quarter inside perfectionist getting shit done.

So with PGSD, what you are really mastering inside is the process for getting into a growth mindset and becoming a productive perfectionist. This is what’s going to help you stop procrastinating, overthinking, burning out getting in your own way. And the process is to set a 12 month goal that challenges you for your business. And then each week you are planning your week properly as a perfectionist in a way that gets your perfectionist mindset on your side, then you’re following through 80% of the time, there’s flexibility, but you are showing up you are being consistent by following through more often than not doing what’s essential. And then the final step is to rest without guilt. This is taking time away from your business. And also, there’s so many benefits to that as it relates to self image as well. But guilt free rest is that final step and you’re repeating that each week to achieve your goal.

So when it comes to self image, and why I say this is something that we work on towards the end is because self image is what allows you to normalize and sustain your results. So in my program, you are becoming a productive perfectionist, you’re able to do the things you need to do to build your business. And you need to actually adjust your self image the way you see yourself, your identity, your self concept, whatever you’d like to call it, you need to intentionally adjust and upgrade it so that you don’t sabotage the results that you have created in order to go back to what’s normal for you.

So let’s talk about what self image really is. It’s a story that you tell yourself and that you tell others about yourself. So when you say things like I’m the kind of person who’s always late, or I would never, or I would always say those kinds of statements. I would never smoke. I’m not a smoker, I always procrastinate for example, those are all statements of identity. They are your self image and there are a lot of ones that perfectionist have relating obviously to the five signs of overthinking, procrastination, burnout, that all or nothing mindset and fear of judgment or people pleasing. And what we want to do is change that self image, but your self image your story you tell others and you too Tell yourself feels factual.

And this is part of honestly why it’s so powerful because you feel like you’re just making an observation. But because of the way that our brains are wired to operate, you will always be gravitating towards acting in accordance with who you believe you are. As humans, we want to have that certainty that we know ourselves. And we want to be consistent, even if we are being consistent with something that we don’t like doing or being. And you might have noticed this I, even recently, this is a weird example. But often after dinner, I have an ice cream. And lately, I’ve just been like, I don’t even feel like having one. But I can feel myself wanting to have one just because that feels like that’s who I am currently that I like to have an ice cream after dinner.

And so there’s those things where you might have noticed that you feel yourself pulled towards doing something that you don’t even want to do, you don’t even like doing well, maybe you still like doing it, and you used to want to do it and you don’t anymore. But because of this story, that you’re telling yourself, that that’s normal for you, that’s who you are, then you will keep acting in accordance with it. Unless you are using willpower, for example, or motivation to act differently. Or maybe you’re familiar with the world of manifestation, which I personally love. And you’ve heard about acting as if and so you are trying to act as if you were the person who already has what you want to manifest.

But really, when we are trying to use willpower or motivation to show up differently to how we believe is normal for us what we are doing, if we don’t do the self image work as well is that we will only be able I’m walking uphill, sorry, I didn’t mention, you can probably heard the background, I went to walk with cotton. But you will only be able to sustain the success you create for a little while. And then you might be wondering, like, I wonder how long this will last. I wonder when I’ll fall off again, I wonder when and when I will go back to normal or how I can keep this up. And so there are so many ways that self image problems present.

So for example, you might be imposter syndrome, that you feel like you aren’t actually qualified to do what you do. Even though you literally are qualified, you have either the qualification, the experience, the expertise, the track record of helping people and yet your brain is telling you, you aren’t qualified to do it, you don’t know what you’re doing. Part of that is that you haven’t created the self image that you do know what you’re doing, that you are an expert. And so this can be incredibly frustrating when you’ve gotten all the qualifications possible. A lot of times, if there are more certifications to get, or qualifications, or whatever that looks like degrees, you will go get them in the hope that if you just have enough of them, essentially, your self image will finally catch up. And you will believe you’re an expert, you will believe in yourself and your abilities.

But the quickest, most effective route to believing in yourself and being the expert and having confidence in that and delivering results accordingly, is to actually do the work on creating a new self image. And you might have heard people, for example, who are very successful or very well known, talking about the fact that they experience imposter syndrome. And that even though they have so much success, and the longest track record of basically any kind of result that they could ever want, they don’t actually feel like they deserve it. And that’s just simply because your self image won’t automatically upgrade to reflect your results and what you were achieving and what you were doing.

You really have to do the work intentionally on your self image. It’s simple, it’s easy to do, I coach my clients on it all the time. I coach myself on all the time, we have lessons on it inside my program, you’re able to do it simply and easily. But you do need to do it, you do need to make sure that you aren’t just expecting that when you do start being productive, that will feel normal for you. This is all about normalizing and being able to create a new reality for yourself that doesn’t freak you out. If you think that being productive isn’t normal for you, even though you really want to be productive, it will freak you the fuck out when that happens. And you will self sabotage unconsciously in order to go back to the reality that you’ve determined is normal and therefore safe and familiar, which is to not be productive to procrastinate sometimes and overthinking burnout, and be overwhelmed and all of that that feels safe to you and comfortable to you and familiar to you.

So even though you don’t like it, because it is your self image that is normal for you. And that is safe for you, you will subconsciously create it. So we want to be looking at what your self image currently is and the self image you need to create in order to sustain the results that you have. So in my program, you are learning as I said, how to be a productive perfectionist how to follow through with your plans, how to actually have an idea and execute it and do that in a way that’s really powerful but without everything, without procrastinating to be able to sit with a million ideas. Because you’re an entrepreneur you’re always gonna have So many ideas, but you’re developing the ability to be able to have a flood of ideas and just choose one and see it through and repeat that again and again and again so that you can become successful.

But then at a certain point, you will be that person, but your brain won’t think you are. And so you need to look at okay, what do I need to change about the story that I tell myself and I tell others about myself so that I can lock these results in, and I no longer have to use willpower, or motivation, or someone else keeping me accountable in order to sustain it, that it can be self sustaining, without willpower, without motivation, because that’s just who I am. A really good example of this is if you think about someone who believes that they are a smoker, they would say I’m a smoker, versus someone who would say, I’m not a smoker, those are both statements of self image or identity. So if you had a pack of cigarettes, and you put it on the table in front of me, for example, who identifies as a nonsmoker, I have zero mental drama about it, I don’t have to use any kind of willpower, any kind of motivation to not smoke, I am not a smoker, I don’t have the desire to smoke.

So instead of having to manage a desire to smoke, and then using tactics and strategies, not to, I just don’t have the desire, because of my identity. So I don’t have that mental trauma. And I’m able to just calmly walk or whatever it would be I’d be doing when I’m sitting at that table, and the cigarettes are there and contrast that with someone who identifies as a smoker, they are going to have so much mental drama, should I smoke now? Should I smoke later? Should I go outside? What time should they do all of that kind of mental drama, they might successfully if they don’t want to be smoking, say they’re a smoker who wants to not be smoking, they might successfully for a day or a week, they might successfully have those cigarettes there, and not actually smoke them. But because of their self image and identity, their desire to smoke is there.

So they need to use all of these methods to try and manage their desire, rather than if they were to change their self image to I’m not a smoker, even if they were someone who does smoke, their desire would decrease and they wouldn’t need to use willpower or motivation. Obviously, with the example of smoking as well. There are chemicals and things like that going on. But it’s so powerful like this is even more powerful than anything else, including the things that are in those cigarettes that would make your body have that craving to keep smoking, that the way you tell yourself you are is how you will be especially when you don’t have any more willpower. When you don’t have any more motivation, you get your self image that is what you will be showing up has that is what you’ll be acting in accordance with.

So we really need to be so mindful of it. At the same time, this isn’t an all or nothing thing that if you are listening to this, and you’re thinking, oh my goodness, I have so many things I say that actually have me sabotaging my productivity, my success, the money that’s coming in all of those different things, it’s not like, Okay, we have to work on all of your different identities all at once, you can just change one, and really experienced the power of that, and dramatic shifts just from that. And it really becomes this snowball that by focusing on just one specific self image, you were able to change that. And that begins to create momentum for you. And also that will trickle over into other areas of your life as well.

So we also need to talk about how your self image is created and delusion, because hearing about this thing that often comes up, especially for people who like to be realistic and smart and intelligent is that it’s going to be delusional, to tell yourself something that’s not true. So how is your self image or identity created, your brain is creating it, you create it, it’s not a statement of reality. How it works is your brain, your reticular activating system, particularly in your brain, your RAS is the part of your brain that for example, if you want to buy a new car, and you’re thinking about buying aNavy KIA carnival, you are then suddenly seeing them everywhere on the road when you had never seen them before. And this is because your brain is going to pay attention to and seek out what you tell it is important. And it’s so powerful and the way it does is it’s actually going to distort reality in order to give you what you are telling it you expect to see.

And so when you are telling yourself something like I’m always late, that’s a self image statement. That is your identity. I’m someone who’s always late, you are not always like 100% of the time, most likely for most people who say I’m always late or you have friends where if you show up early to something like oh my goodness, are you feeling alright? Like that kind of person. They’re not always late. There are times where they are early or on time but when that happens, it’s dismissed just like how the friends who say Oh my goodness, are you feeling alright? This so isn’t like you we say that to ourselves of Oh yeah, I’m early but this isn’t normal for me. We obviously don’t say it literally like that in our brains. But we are dismissing that experience so that we can hold on to the way that we’ve categorized ourselves because the brain loves certainty so much aren’t that we just want to be right about something, anything.

And the easiest thing to be right about is who we are. This is why it feels so painful when someone says something that directly contradicts the self image that we have of ourselves. For example, a lot of my clients are like to this one. And if you listen to this podcast a lot, you probably will too, if you believe you’re a smart person, or that you’re intelligent, or that you’re hard working, and someone tells you that they don’t think that’s true. Or, for example, if you have a self image that you are attractive, or at least not ugly, and someone says, indifferent to that it is painful, it is painful when someone says, we say something that contradicts our self image, we are so wired to act in accordance with that, to defend that self image, that even though a lot of times, we have a self image around something that we don’t actually want. And we are actively working on changing, we still act in accordance with it.

And so identity or self image is this force that is informing the way that we are thinking the way that we’re feeling, the way that we’re acting, the results that we’re creating, and the results that we’re able to sustain as well. And when it comes to you think about the thoughts that you sync, and the feeling that creates for you, that someone could be in a situation where they have a thought of this is going to be really hard. And that’s exciting. That is a feeling that created for them, another person might have that same thought and the feeling is defeated, what determines the feeling that we experience. It’s our identity, our self concept, our self image, the story that we tell ourselves around who we are.

And one of the ones that comes up a lot that I coach, and we work on and part of the process as well really helps you with this is to self image that I can’t handle things I can’t cope and this self image that we’re not actually able to handle things whether that rejection, whether that is embarrassment or shame, whether that is people seeing us do substandard work, whether that is someone laughing at us whether that is if there’s any kind of hiccup that we won’t be able to adjust to it like we are telling ourselves or as perfectionist, we have this self image that we can only handle things when everything is perfect. Hence, all the over preparing that we often do, or a lot of times for perfectionist the procrastination, because then we get to tell ourselves well, it would have been perfect if I actually made the effort if I’d actually put in the time.

So we have this self image of I can’t handle it, I can’t cope or this fear of like future me, won’t be able to handle it, whether it is success or failure, or making a mistake or getting a refund request that we are constantly because of this self image. We are doing so many things today. And getting in our own way today because of the self image we have about our present day self and our future self and what they are able to handle. So something that I have coached PGSDers on is actually it’s very fun to do. It’s kind of it’s one of my favorite things to come up on a coaching call. As I said, this is the round. Typically when someone’s in the third or fourth quarter inside the program, that they are showing up consistently, they are being out of their own way they are executing their ideas, they aren’t burning out, they aren’t doing much overthinking they’re being who they want to be.

And it feels so weird to just be in this state. And they will have situations that come up of like, I don’t know what to do, or I don’t know if I can handle it. And so often, it’s just like, hey, let’s actually have a look at how you’re thinking about yourself because you are handling it like you are literally all the things you just told me you are handling it but your brain is still in this self image that you can’t handle things. So you are manufacturing all of this overwhelm about it, all this mental drama about it, you are overcomplicating things, you are resisting the easy way forward because of this self image that you can’t handle shit. And so when we just look at okay, let’s adjust that of image it resolves versus fighting against this self image that we can’t handle things and then needing to continue to over prepare needing to continue to basically orchestrate perfect circumstances for ourselves.

This is one of the reasons we wait for perfect circumstances before we start things because we have the self image that we aren’t actually able to handle imperfect situations, we aren’t able to handle obstacles or setbacks. And so looking at that self image that you have around what you were able to handle and what you were able to cope with, is really powerful as a perfectionist. And it just is something that comes up a lot when you are doing the work to get into a growth mindset and become a productive perfectionist. And as I’ve mentioned, if you don’t do the work on your self image, it’s not going to automatically happen just because you are now productive, just because your business is making six figures or more than that it is going to be intentional work that has your self image, adjust and actually reflect the results you have so that you don’t unconsciously sabotage them.

A book that talks about this as well is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. And particularly what he talks about in that book is this idea of an upper limit problem. And this is the idea that you have in your mind for yourself decided, and it can be based on a whole lot of different things. But you have decided how much joy, happiness, success, abundance, wealth is allowable for you. How much you give yourself permission to have. And this is so that you are able to still be loved, because you want to be successful, but not too successful, because then you’ll be rejected or then the other shoe will drop.

Something bad will happen if you have too much. So we have all determined for ourselves, the amount that we will allow ourselves to have. And even though it’s insanely ridiculous, because as a society, the question that so many are constantly asking is how do you find happiness? I just want to be happy. We have it available to us, but we deny it of ourselves because it doesn’t feel safe to have it. And so when it’s this upper limit problem, what Gay Hendricks talks about is that for each of us, if you think about a thermostat, which is a device that controls the temperature in a room, if you have that thermostat set to in degrees Celsius because I’m Australian, set to 24 degrees, if the temperature is above that, so say if the room starts heating up, it’s 27 degrees, it’s 30 degrees, that thermostat will kick in and bring the temperature back down to 24 degrees.

The same if the temperature drops below 24 degrees, say it becomes 17 degrees or 20 degrees, that thermostat will kick in and bring the temperature back up to 24 degrees. So if you think about the reality that you have right now is your 24 degrees. And what we want to do is be able to create the thermostat where you are at 26 degrees, 28 degrees, 30 degrees, so that when your life gets better, you don’t sabotage it in order to bring it back down to what is normal for you. And the way I like to really think about this, is that when you reach your past, the upper limit of your self image, that is when you’re going to self sabotage, and get in your own way.

And I think a lot of times, this really comes up with perfectionist and goal setting, because we don’t want to have big goals because it causes self image into question. And this is the weirdest way that it works. But it is true that when we want to be right about ourselves, it’s scary to find out that we were wrong even about something that we want to say for example, if you want to have a six figure business, and you know intellectually, that’s very possible to you, but you haven’t created it yet. You’ve been trying for a few years. Now, it’s not your reality. And so what we do is we deny ourselves of creating that result, because we don’t want to find out that we can do it. And therefore, as a perfectionist, our brain goes into thinking, well, if I can do it today, I should have been able to do it yesterday or last year. And we make ourselves so wrong for that and shame ourselves so severely for that, that it automatically like undoes the benefit to the pain of that is greater than the joy of accomplishing the thing that we want to accomplish.

So we just need to be so mindful of self image and the importance that it has. And just to demonstrate one way that I have done this work, and inside PGSD, you get tools to help you with this. And this is something you can get coached on. And we talk about in the PGSD forum, you can hear others getting coached on it. On the private podcast, when you listen to call replays. We label all of the calls as like a podcast episode title, so that you know what each coaching call is about. And you can find whichever one is most relevant to you to say, for example, when you sign up to PGSD, you can go to the private podcast, you get access to all the past coaching calls. And you can scroll through and hear others getting coached on self image if you’d like.

So an example of when I did the work on self image to create a different result. And this is an example that isn’t business related, just so that you can really see how it works. This is also pretty much the first time that I really intentionally worked on self image and identity. I think it was about 2018 that I did this experiment because it just felt really hard to do it with the business and felt much easier to do it with something that seemed a bit more trivial. So I used to be someone that couldn’t keep a plant alive to save my life. That was a story I told myself, that was my self image, that I am someone who loves indoor plants, like I want to have this indoor jungle, but all of my plants just die. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t keep them alive. I don’t have a green thumb. It was just really this identity that I’m not someone who can care for plants.

And when I started learning about and studying self image and identity, I thought, Okay, this would actually be a really interesting area to test it on. So what I started doing was I started telling myself a new story, a story that felt very untrue, but one that I knew I needed to create if I wanted to be able to look after plants without having to use willpower, or force or it been something that I did for a few weeks and then got tied up. Like I really wanted to have a beautiful indoor environment full of plants. And I knew that I would need to change the self image around it if I wanted to do that without it being a really painful experience for myself.

So I started telling myself, I take really good care of plants. And because of the way our brains work, and because of the way my reticular activating system had dismissed all the plants I’d kept alive. It felt so untrue, because I don’t, they’re all dead. And I wanted them only once they really start looking dead, probably like two weeks after I notice like, oh, that plants not looking good. Then I go and water it. I know it’s a lost cause I go and like put it in the garden. And then I go back and buy some more plants and start the whole thing over again. But I hadn’t seen because of how self image works. I hadn’t seen actually, there are probably 20% my plants that are thriving, that are doing really well and I’ve just dismissed it. Oh yeah, those thrive on neglect. That must be how it stayed alive. No, I’m actually someone who can take care of a plant.

And so I just started telling myself this new story. I take really good care of plants. And then I started acting in accordance with it. So coming back to what I said about manifestation and acting as if I think acting as if is so powerful, but you want to make sure you’re acting as if from your new identity, not from your old one. So in this situation, I was telling myself, I’m the kind of person who takes care of plants, not, I don’t take good care of plants, but I want to try and be the person who is. So if I was going to be that person, what would I have to do? If no, I am that person. So I noticed as I just kept that thought running through my mind, maybe like a handful of times a day, or whenever I saw a plant, I trained myself to think that thought, I’m really good at taking care of plants. And what I noticed so many little habits that I hadn’t even noticed were contributing to this started to change.

So for example, one of the reasons that plants would die when in my care was because I bought plant based on what I thought was pretty beautiful. And I would put the plant wherever I thought looks best. So I would put plants that needed indirect light in a really sunny spot. And they would die because it wasn’t where they were meant to be. But because I had the self image, that I’m not good with plants, I didn’t actually think, to take a look at where it needs to go and figure out what kind of light and all of that kind of thing.

Another example is that when I was in this new self image of I take really good care of plants, my desire to buy new plants decrease, I didn’t keep going on sprees to Bunnings, which is in Australia, where I buy a lot of clothes from, I didn’t keep going to Bunnings to buy new plants, or going to buy cute pots or whatever. Because if I’m someone who takes really good care of my plants, then I’m going to take care of the plants that are in my care. And when I get a new plant, I’m going to make sure I’m actually able to take care of it. And therefore I’m going to buy less plants overall, until I have the capacity to have more versus Oh, that one looks cute, I’m at the shops, I’m going to buy it. And I’m going to put it in a sunny spot when it’s going to die that.

So just little things like that change not because I was telling myself, I had to do it, I’m really trying to be this different kind of person. I just started telling myself, I take really good care of plants. And I know this sounds really simple. It’s one of the most powerful things and knowing that you can really harness any self image you want by being willing to feel a little delusional for a few weeks is everything. And as a smart, intelligent person, you might have to sell yourself on this path, about feeling delusional, but for me, just knowing that I’m actually not being delusional that my self image in this example, that I kill every plant I own, did that actually wasn’t the whole truth. My brain just wanted to be extreme about it, in order to create certainty and not be using mental energy to reconcile or sometimes they take care of plants. And sometimes they don’t. And it really depends, our brains just want to be extreme about it, know nothing about it.

Particularly if you’re a perfectionist, you will have more extreme self images, that I really was being delusional, that I couldn’t keep a plant alive. The same is true. If you are thinking, I’m the kind of person who always procrastinate, or always leave things to the last minute. You don’t There are so many examples of when you haven’t, but you’ve dismissed them. Because I will someone else actually asked me for this thing. Or there’s some reason that that procrastination was okay not to happen. And it wasn’t you. So this is all something that we work on inside perfectionist getting to done and it really locks in your productivity so that you’re able to sustain the results that you create with us, you’re able to rely on yourself and keep yourself accountable. And you don’t then need to have accountability buddies and all of those different things.

I’m such a big believer in creating clients who are self reliant, and who can keep themselves accountable. And then we work alongside each other and achieve things together just because we want to, not because we have it. And pretty much all the clients that come into PGSD in the beginning, don’t have this self image yet or skill set of being able to keep themselves accountable. So we do so many things in PGSD, to support you with that, while you are developing the self image and the skills that you need to in order to keep yourself accountable so that by the end of the 12 months in PGSD, not only have you achieved the goal that you set for your business, that was challenging, and that really required you to grow. But you were able to then take those skills and take that self image and use it to continue building your business.

So inside PGSD just to share a bit about what happened in that 12 months since I’ve been getting so many questions about it is when you sign up and actually I’m going to use the January 2020 for our quarter 4 cohort as an example, since that’s the next one we are enrolling, we do enrollments every quarter the month before the quarter starts. So for example, between December 8 and December 12, we are enrolling the January 2024 cohort of PGSD. So if you are to join us in that cohort, you will sign up, you will make your payment and then you will be inside you will be welcomed in and you will be supported to set your growth goal for your business for the following 12 months you will do this. Ideally, it’s okay if it doesn’t happen. But ideally before the new year begins so that when it comes, you know, your goal is and you’re really ready to hit the ground running.

And then you can think of your experience inside PGSD broken down into quarters. And this works so nicely with your growth goal. Because your growth goal is a 12 month goal that is broken down into quarterly milestones. So say for example, if your goal is 50,000, your quarter, one milestone will be 5000. quarter two is 10,000. Quarter Three is 15,000. And quarter four is 20,000. So in quarter one, you will be focusing on learning how to plan properly. So remember the process for being a productive perfectionist, you need to set a 12 month goal that’s going to grow, that’s going to challenge you, you need to plan your week in a way that gets your perfectionist mindset on your side, follow through 80% of the time, rest without guilt, and repeat. That’s how you get yourself to your goal in a consistent and sustainable way.

So when it comes to that first quarter, you are learning how to plan your week in a way that actually works your perfectionist mindset. So you will make the three month commitment to power planning. And a lot of PGSDers choose to use the GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY challenge that we have available inside PGSD in the first month to really support them with that, and really create that initial boost of momentum. So you will be learning how to plan properly. Because all the productivity advice is out there that’s really popular. It doesn’t actually work for perfectionist, when perfectionist follow the same planning and productivity advice as everyone else, we get in our own way to get our perfectionist mindset working against us instead of working for us.

So what we want to have you doing is taking a minute to learn how to actually plan your week and give yourself a productivity system that allows your perfectionist mindset to be on your side. So that’s your first quarter, that’s really the main thing you’re going to be focusing on and it’s not going to take you extra time, what you’ll be doing is replacing whatever process or productivity tool, like to do lists, for example, or using all these different whiteboards or post it notes, or time blocking, you’re just going to be replacing the productivity system you have that doesn’t work that has you working in spurts and motivation burning out and being able to trust yourself to do what you said it would do, you’re just going to be replacing that with the productivity process that we teach you inside PGSD. That includes power planning, so that you were actually able to do the things that you need to do.

So that’s your focus for quarter one. And you are going to be using power planning and the process and say PGSD to get to your quarter one milestone. And as I mentioned, that first milestone is going to be smaller than the others because they’re designed to grow every quarter with you. So then quarter two is usually the quarter. And I say usually because you can really adapt it to make it fit what works for you. But typically, what we suggest and what happens is that in quarter two, you will be working on your five signs of protectionism, just one of them, the one that is coming up for you the most. So if you don’t know what that is, you can take the free quiz that I created called the perfectionism quiz. I’ll link it up in the show notes. But I’m pretty sure if you go to Samlaurabrown.com/quiz That’s where you’ll find it. It’s like a 9o second quiz. And it will tell you whether procrastination, overthinking burnout, or I think mindset or fear of judgment is your biggest sign of perfectionism.

And so in that second quarter, you will be using the tools and everything that we teach inside PGSD to work on that sign of perfectionism, because you don’t need to overcome all of the five signs of perfectionism, just by focusing specifically on one and you don’t even have to completely eliminate it just by making some progress with it. You will experience dramatic changes in your business like I still procrastinate at times, I still overthink at times, but much less than before. And I’ve been able to make nearly $2 million in my business. So it’s not about getting to the place where you never ever procrastinate. It’s about okay, I procrastinate quite a bit at the moment. And I want to do that much less. So then when it comes to quarter three. Often this is self image time. This is when you are looking at the story you tell yourself about yourself which is what we have been talking about in this episode.

And so you might choose for example, to look at your self image as it relates to your biggest sign of perfectionism. So maybe it’s procrastination and you want to create the self image that you’re the kind of person who does things early and easily. And so that’s what you will work on. But you will have the training modules to watch inside PGSD, that’s going to help you decide which area of your self image is going to be the most powerful and exactly how to do that. And then quarter four, is when you are going to be focused on just getting all the way to your growth goal, and really achieving that. Or if it’s not looking on track, for whatever reason, maybe something has come completely out of left field, you are continuing to show up and work towards that goal and get as close as possible and not do the perfectionist thing of the all or nothing mindset, which is okay, well, I’m not going to get there. So I’m just gonna give up completely until the new year, we don’t want to do that we want to become successful entrepreneurs, that does not involve quitting when things aren’t going perfectly.

So you are going to be able to develop so much resilience and persistence, and you are going to be able most likely to achieve that goal. And if not that year, then the following year. But regardless, we’re in a much better place in your business with your customers and clients, with your finances from having learn, and actually being a productive perfectionist. And getting out of that all or nothing mindset and the overthinking and the procrastination and the burnout. So all this time inside the program, you are working towards your growth goal. So already, you’re gonna have a business goal, most likely in 2024. But in PGSD, you’re going to have a goal that actually support you get out of your own way.

And also, we wanted to be unrealistic and stretch you a little bit so that you aren’t just reinforcing your perfectionist ideas and your self image that you can’t handle things or you aren’t capable of more, we want to challenge that because your brain is lying to you. And you need a goal that supports that. So you gotta work towards that goal, by planning your week in a way that gets a perfectionist mindset on your side following through 80% of the time, resting without guilt, and repeating that. And obviously, as you were doing that, there will be life events going on. So maybe you have kids like me, I have 3 under 3. So there’s things that can come up with that maybe you have a health issue come up or one that’s ongoing at the moment, maybe you have a full time job, maybe you’re caring for a parent, there are going to be things that come up that make it challenging to be productive, especially in your current self image.

And so you’re going to have coaching and support and a cohort community as well there to support you. So this isn’t just something that you intellectually understand. But then you aren’t able to implement, I’m just such a big believer in actually getting my clients results. And having you create change in your life, I don’t just want you to understand how to get into a growth mindset, or why perfectionism makes us get in our own way, I want you to actually get out of your own way. And that requires using a process that actually works for your perfectionist mindset. And you having the support and the tools to get you all the way there. And I know as perfectionist, part of our self image is that if we are smart, then that means we need to do it all alone, that we are someone who is able to figure it out by ourselves.

And if it’s possible to do it by ourselves, it’s better to do by yourself, even if it takes longer. And it’s slower, and it’s more painful. And so a big powerful part of PGSD is actually getting out of that mindset, so that you build a successful business. by really understanding that part of being resourceful and growth minded is having coaches, having mentors, having peers that you can talk to and relate to and all of that kind of thing, that support isn’t cheating. And you’re cheating yourself by not getting support. So with all that said, PGSD is opening soon, I would really love to work with you in 2024, help you work on your self image, but also all the things I’ve talked about in this episode and on this podcast. So you can go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd to sign up for the waitlist, and be the first to know when the doors open. You’ll also find out more about the program to decide whether or not it’s the right fit for you.

And then also, if you want to find out more about working with me and what that would look like. And also about really like the changes that overcoming perfectionism in your business. So you can be productive is going to have I am teaching a live event. It’s called the perfectionism reset event. I haven’t actually taught a live event for a couple of years now. So I’m so excited to be doing this. So you can go to samlaurabrown.com/reset. There are going to be two times I’m teaching it live. So you can go and sign up for that a replay recording will be available if you can’t make it there live so you should still select a time you can get the replay but it’ll only be available for a limited time.

So I highly recommend if you are even half considering doing the work on your perfectionism becoming a productive perfectionist, if you know that your business should be further along and that you are what’s stopping it that I really implore you to work with me to use a process I teach to become a productive perfectionist, so that perfectionism doesn’t keep holding your business back. So definitely go sign up for that event, or sign up for the PGSD waitlist or ideally both. And yeah, I just hope this episode has been so helpful to help you understand where self image really fits in when it comes to doing this work on overcoming perfectionism, and being a productive perfectionist. Hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Author: Sam Brown