Episode 440: A Simple Trick To Help You Believe In Yourself When You’re Doing New Things

In today’s episode I’m sharing a simple trick that will help you believe in yourself when you are doing new things. This episode is inspired by a coaching call inside my program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD). I’m sharing something from that call with you so can get your perfectionist mindset on your side and achieve goals that you’ve never achieved before. 

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode440.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How to think about new goals and projects in a way that makes them easier to do
  • The mistake that perfectionists make when attempting new things
  • Practical examples of how me and my clients have used this trick
  • The important differences between skill, potential and understanding
  • Why Power Planning is so important for perfectionist entrepreneurs

Featured In The Episode:

Free Training: How To Plan Properly As A Perfectionist With Power Planning

If you want to get shit done without burning out, I invite you to watch the free training I’ve created on how to plan properly as a perfectionist with Power Planning. By the end of the series, you’ll be ready to start using Power Planning today to get your perfectionist mindset on your side so you can get out of your own way. Go to samlaurabrown.com/plan to watch the training today.

Take The Perfectionism Quiz To Get Your Personalised Perfectionism Score

If you’re not sure whether perfectionism is what’s making you get in your own way, I invite you to take The Perfectionism Quiz. 

After working with over 1,000 perfectionist entrepreneurs, I created this free quiz so you can get your personalised perfectionism score and discover which of the 5 areas of perfectionism you would most benefit from working on overcoming the most: whether it’s overthinking, procrastination, burnout, all-or-nothing thinking or fear of judgement.

It takes less than 3 minutes to get your unique result and be one step closer to getting shit done without burning out. If you love learning about yourself and you’re ready to get out of your own way, go to samlaurabrown.com/quiz to take the quiz today. 

Work With Me:

My coaching program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) teaches you how to plan properly as a perfectionist so you can get out of your own way in your business. 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

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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
In today’s episode, I want to share with you a simple trick that will help you believe in yourself when you were doing new things. This episode is inspired by a coaching call that I just wrapped up inside my program perfectionist getting shit done. And I wanted to share something from that call with you. So that when you are pursuing the goals that you have, that you have never achieved before, you are able to access the skills you have that you might not be realizing you have the resourcefulness you have the willingness you have, that you aren’t dismissing that you actually do know what you’re doing.

And this is something that is so common for us perfectionist entrepreneurs, that we go into the all or nothing mindset when we are approaching new things, new goals, new tasks, new projects, that unless we have done exactly the same thing before in the past, we kind of put it in this category of this is something completely new. And then we create almost this learned helplessness around it, it’s this new thing. And that either gives us this great excuse or opportunity to go into procrasti-learning and procrasti-researching and just basically like getting all our ducks in a row.

And that’s very comfortable to be there. Because when we are getting our ducks in a row, we’re not actually going out there and doing things and potentially failing at them or getting rejected or becoming successful and getting rejected because of that. So we do that. Or alternatively, when we are in this mindset of this is new and something that I have never done before we end up if we’re not procrasti-learning if we’re not busy, procrasti-researching, what we often end up doing is just keeping ourselves in the same situation that we’re currently in returning to what’s familiar prioritizing the business tasks that aren’t really moving the needle, maybe they are important and do need to be done.

But we are over emphasizing them, we’re putting too much time into them, we are overthinking them, or we’re doing time consuming under thinking about them. And we’re not actually just doing those new things that we need to do. A lot of times when you do have a goal that you haven’t achieved before, there will be a mix of things you have already done before in that exact same way that you need to continue doing. And it’s very important that you do that. But there will be these new things you need to do.

So I just want to share with you a way that you can think about it. So you’re not in that perfectionist all or nothing mindset about it, and denying yourself of accessing the skills, resourcefulness, willingness capability that you do currently have in order to achieve new things. And part of this too, is really understanding that what you have done in the past isn’t an indicator of what you can do in the future.

So I just want you to know that as we go into it. Because a lot of us were like, Well, I’m just a realistic person, I love looking at the past to tell me what’s possible in the future. And we’re kind of going to be doing that in some way when I talk about it in this episode what to do. But we want to make sure that we aren’t believing the lie that our brain is telling us that because we haven’t achieved a certain result before, we’re not actually able to do it.

But this simple trick that’s going to help you believe in yourself when you were doing new things. And it’s gonna sound so simple. But I really want to make sure that you actually take the time in your brain, or with pen and paper to do this, because it’s going to make the biggest difference is to be able to recognize how the new thing that you are doing isn’t actually knew. How to recognize it, you do actually already know how to do it.

And when I was reflecting on the call today and also thinking about like, how is it that people can come into PGSD, and they haven’t learned in PGSD, any new marketing skills, any new sales skills, but they are able to dramatically increase the revenue that they’re making in their business, just by making the three month commitment to power planning, setting their growth goal and then using power planning to achieve that growth goal. Like how is it that without actually learning new skills that they are able to do that?

And it’s really about accessing the underutilized skills that you have because of thought areas that you have. You aren’t actually using the skills you have. And also the other thing that we do in PGSD is we turn knowledge ie comprehension and understanding into skill into experience so that if you are feeling like I know what to do do but I’m just not doing it. It’s understanding, there’s knowing what to do. And as having the skill of doing it.

We want to make sure that we are developing that skill set and not just relying on comprehension or understanding alone. And then having this feeling of entitlement that comes from having comprehension or understanding that if I have that, I should be successful if I have that knowledge and understanding that I shouldn’t make any mistakes. So when you come into PGSD, you are actually able to develop a skill set and to access an underutilized skill set.

And what I’m sharing with you today is going to help you access an underutilized skill set that you have. So I want to share this specific example that I coached on today on the PGSD coaching call, we have coaching calls weekly. And one of the things that came up towards the end of the call was this. So I asked this PGSDer what their growth goal is. And we were doing some coaching around that generally on the call. And then I asked her, what does she see would stop her from achieving the milestone the goal that she has for the first quarter of her 12 months.

So when we set a growth goal, we break it down into quarterly milestones that increase every quarter. So for example, this PGSDer growth goal is $85,000. And her first quarterly milestone is going to be 1/10 of that, which is $8,500. So when I asked her that question, she told me that it’s because she was assigned five new clients for her business. And that’s not going to happen, because they don’t have the money. The timing isn’t right, like she has interest and she has people completing applications to work with her. But there’s some kind of objection that is getting in the way, and that she isn’t able to overcome that objection.

So that is what will stop her from achieving the goal. So when we did some more coaching on what really came out, and this is what I want to share with you, is how to be thinking about this in this situation, the $8500 that this PGSDer is wanting to make in this quarter, how to think about it in a way that allows you to actually do it. So you don’t have that frustration of I know what to do, but I’m just not doing it. How can you actually have you do the thing that you need to do and do it in a sustainable way that’s in integrity, with your values, and that you are feeling good about it, it’s going to be challenging and uncomfortable for sure at times.

But ultimately, you’re doing it in a way that is in alignment with you. So how do you need to think about it so that you can achieve a goal that you haven’t achieved before. I think when I asked her about what she made last year was about 40,000. So she is achieving a goal that she hasn’t achieved before. But she has achieved it before. And this is what we want to talk about. So when I asked her about what she needs to do is five clients in this quarter.

And she said, I don’t know how to sign five clients in a quarter last year, I signed 10 clients, but that took me a whole year. And so I said, Okay, let’s drop the timeline. When we say that, what you were saying to me is, I signed 10 clients last year, I don’t know how to sign five clients. It doesn’t make sense when we actually look at it without the timeline of any year or in a quarter. And we just say, you’re saying to me right now, I signed 10 clients, but I don’t know how to sign five clients, it actually doesn’t make sense.

And I want you to be looking for where you were doing this in your own business, where you were saying you don’t know how to do something that you’ve actually already done. So in this situation, and what I was giving her coaching on was how can we look at this, so that you can actually access the selling skills that you have, rather than thinking the thought, I’ve never sign five clients before in a quarter. Having that have you feel most likely inadequate, confused.

And the action that we take when we’re feeling that way is going to be a lot of procrastinating when we are selling we’re not doing it in a powerful way we’re holding ourselves back, if someone has an objection, we’re like, okay, that’s totally fine. Like, we’re not actually selling them on the potential of what could happen if they work with us, and all of those different things. And so it just flows through to then creating the result that we don’t sign five clients in the quarter, which only further solidifies that thought error that we have, which is I don’t know how to sign five clients in a quarter.

So we want to identify a new belief that is going to be a much better self fulfilling prophecy than the belief we currently have that is having us be confused and feel inadequate, and not actually able to use the selling skills that we already have. So in this instance, it’s looking at how can we actually change and one of the ways to do it is changing the timeframe. So could you change the timeframe if you were saying and I gave this example on the call today. If I’m saying for example, I want to make a million dollars in a year, and I haven’t done that before but I have made a million dollars in my business.

I’ve made almost $2 million in my business in total. So instead of me going into that with the mindset of I don’t know how to make a million dollars, I’ve never made a million dollars in a year before. I just don’t know what to do. And then being in all this confusion and inadequacy around it, what I can instead say is, I know how to make a million dollars. And now I’m changing the timeframe, it feels much less heavy, much less confusing to be doing something you’ve already done before with a different timeframe than to be in the mindset of this is something completely new, I’m completely incapable of doing it. I’ve never done this before. We love the drama of that.

We love the hiding that allows us to do that. We want to use things like changing the timeframe. Or another example that I have when I was reflecting on different ways that I do this in my own business, is that, for example, I think it was 2019 when I gave my first like in person presentation, I was invited to speak at a school on perfectionism. And I was doing a one hour presentation to I think it was a class of year nine students. So they’re about 12 years old. No, actually, maybe they’re a bit more than that. No, they’re a lot more than that. Maybe they’re 15.

Anyway, a class of students quite a big sizable audience. And I was so nervous about that. And just had so many thoughts that meant that I didn’t actually like I knew I was going to be doing it, I committed to doing it. I was being paid to do it. But I really just like any enjoyment I could have from actually doing that was completely being overcome by the thoughts that I was having that I have never done that before.

And so what I did, when I did that presentation, the mindset shift that really helped me was thinking that I’ve actually done this so many times before, this is just like a live podcast, episode recording. And when I could approach it that way, I’m just doing a live podcast episode, it meant that I dropped all of this story I had around having to learn how to speak in public how to like put together slides how to do all I could just trust myself ultimately, that I know how to give a presentation for an hour on perfectionism. I do that week in week out, someone has, like, sought me out to do this. I’m being paid to do it. Like I know that I can do that. And yes, I’ve never done it before in this exact context.

And I actually had a look at okay, what have I done before that might be similar? Like how can I be generous with myself, to allow myself to see that I actually do know how to do it, I was able to think about something I could confidently do that I developed a skill set around because when I started doing podcast episodes, I didn’t feel that way. But I developed that skill set that self image that I can confidently record a podcast episode. And I can do that with very little notes, I can just talk my mind, so to speak, I can speak to perfectionism without it having to be this perfectly put together presentation and it’s going to be valuable.

So that’s another way that you can be doing it. And I’m not gonna, I’m not saying you have that exact example where you’re like, I need to do this live speaking event. And I can use this example of constantly recording podcast episodes. But whether or not you are maybe posting on Instagram or doing a live for the first time, or maybe you are assigning clients like at a volume of clients or a volume of customers that you have never sold to before. And you are thinking this is completely new. I’ve never done this before, I don’t know how to do it. And that has you trying to figure out the how instead of just doing the thing that you know to do, it’s bringing it back to I do know how to do this. And here’s the evidence that I have.

And something that can come up when we are thinking about it in this way, is like but I actually don’t know how to do it. What if I think this way, and then I’m actually missing out on the skill I need to develop to be able to do that thing. What we’re not saying here, what I’m not saying here is that you are going to be in a mindset of I’m already doing everything perfectly. There’s no skills that I could ever learn. And so I just need to keep doing things the way that I’ve always done them before because we want to learn new skills, we want to be upskilling.

But when we deny ourselves of seeing and using the skills that we currently have, we’re not actually able to upskill so for example, with this PGSDer that I was coaching, when I was coaching her what ended up coming out, is it actually she’s signed three clients in a day before her brain didn’t tell me that when we first started talking about it, because she was only presenting with and thinking about what she didn’t know what she’s confused about what’s going to stop her and I intentionally asked the question the way that I did to bring that to the surface because a lot of us we have intellectual understanding and comprehension around what to do.

But we have beliefs that create feelings, actions and results that are stopping us from doing the things so by asking that question of what is going to stop you, what do you foresee is stopping you? It helps go past that intellectual understanding and get to what are the thoughts that are going to make you get in your own way. And the thought in this case, it was, I don’t know how to sell to new client, and I don’t know how to sell to five new clients in a quarter.

And when really, we looked at it and went into, okay, how is that not true, that you don’t know how to sign five clients in a quarter. And then she was okay, as I said, I’ve signed three clients in a day before, and that she actually does know how to overcome objections if she doesn’t feel comfortable doing that. But she also knows that she’s an adult, sometimes you have to do things you don’t feel like doing and objections and overcoming them is one of those things.

So she’s able to do that. But by not believing that she knows how to sign five clients in a quarter, she wasn’t actually able to fully use the skill set around sales that she currently has. So she wasn’t able to access the knowledge that she has around how to overcome objections around how to create compelling social media content. She said most of her businesses on Instagram, so she wasn’t accessing fully how to sell how to gather more interest, how to have more people apply how to have a higher quality person apply in terms of what she’s offering a better fit, how to sell that person.

And she was having people signing up who were renewing, and completely dismissing that, and seeing that as like, Well, yeah, that’s a nice thing. But I really want to have new clients, and I want to have this challenge of signing new clients. And that’s amazing. That’s a very great skill to learn how to sign new client. But when we put that on a pedestal, and it’s coming from this belief of I don’t know how to do it, we dismiss what we do know how to do and you are dismissing, if you can relate to what I talk about on this podcast, I know for sure, seeing a lot of things that you do know how to do.

And so what I want to have you do is really be reflecting on and thinking about and identifying the thing that you are attempting to do, maybe you are actually doing it, maybe you’ve been pushing it off, maybe you have been doing a lot of learning and developing around it but not actually doing it. How is that not something that’s new to you, and to be looking at every area of your life to access the skills and resourcefulness you have not just in your business. But when it comes to maybe you are a parent, you’re a friend, when you have like you’re managing your household and like you’re living your life, you have life admin, all of that kind of thing.

You have maybe like me, like I was an accountant full time. Before I was full time in my business. Maybe you’ve had a corporate career, maybe you’ve been a student like just thinking about all the skills that you have. And seeing how is it true that this isn’t new, our brains love dismissing positive evidence, especially if your self image the way you’re seeing yourself isn’t where you want it to be. And we are trying to change from a place of I’m not where I want to be.

And then our brain is just processing everything and interpreting everything around us through this lens of like, How can I find more evidence that I’m not where I want to be. And I’m not capable of being where I want to be that we actually end up with this situation where our brain is not in touch with reality, we are denying ourselves have seen what we’re actually capable of. And I was coaching another PGSDer on the call about this as well, that she’s in a situation that she has achieved so much and she was telling me that she actually hasn’t been able to make a plan for a quarter when it comes to the business and follow it through.

And from the outside and having worked with her for a while and knowing what she shows up like and how she is I know that’s not true. But for her brain, she’s someone who’s constantly changing plans and doing all that. And I said, Well, how is it not true? That having a plan that you stick to for a full quarter in terms of your business and marketing strategy? How is it true that that’s not something that’s new to you that you have actually done it before? And when we went into it and had a look at okay, well, actually, there’s so many things about my business that I could have changed that I didn’t and there’s most things that I’m sticking to and most things that I’m showing up for.

And there’s a few things that I’ve changed over time. But ultimately, if we looked at what I’m doing more of I’m doing more sticking with my plans than not sticking with my plans, but because of the self image that she has in the way that she is viewing herself currently. I recommend to her to do the self image work that we do in perfectionist getting shit down.

Once you have done your three month commitment to power planning and you need to really up level your beliefs about yourself to match your new reality that you are being productive that you are showing up that you are getting shit done without burning out that you do that work around your self image so that you’re actually able to access the skills you have around planning and following through around selling around marketing around running your business like the back end of your business right and doing new things, you have the skill in general of doing new things of doing things you haven’t done before.

For example, maybe this is your first business, maybe it’s not, but at some point, you didn’t have a business, and then you did, you did a new thing. And so you can really begin to list out and identify that new thing that you’re doing that you are feeling, self doubt about, that you are procrastinating on that you procrasti-researching about, how is it true, because something you can already do. And it’s from that point, when we identify, we do actually have a skill set, and we stop denying ourselves of seeing that, that we are able to develop that skill set further.

If we don’t see for example, with the planning and follow through, if we don’t acknowledge that we actually have the skill set of being able to make a plan and sticking with it for the most part, then we’re just going to be left trying to achieve something that we already know how to do, and not moving on to the next stage of that, which might be to finish that plan 100%. Or it might be to plan for a longer period of time, whatever that looks like, we’re not able to actually access that next level.

Because we are so busy trying to find the courage to do something that we already know how to do or to find the capability to do something that we already know how to do. And with that example of the live presentation, the live speaking event that I did the one that was in person, and using the podcast example in my brain to help me actually do that, that allowed me to show up as best I could for that, and further develop my skill of talking in person presenting in person and any differences that might be there, I was able to actually be more engaged with that, because I identified a skill set that I already have that I could rely upon that helped me to do that.

And therefore I’m able to show up and do the practice and do the repetition and through that and through being growth minded about it, actually develop the skill set around that if that’s something that I want to develop. So I hope it’s been helpful to hear about this. And I really want to just have you thinking about what is that thing that you’ve been telling yourself, this is completely new. I’ve never done this before, I don’t know how to do this. And maybe that feels good. Like, I’m guessing if you love this podcast, you are someone who loves learning, you are someone who loves developing yourself.

And so it can be exciting to be like I’ve never done this before. But a lot of times, when our perfectionist mindset isn’t on our side, when we have thoughts about this completely new I’ve never done it before, that tends to create feelings of overwhelm, that tends to create feelings of being avoidant of just basically, ultimately, the result of that is asked getting in our own way, and not being able to further develop in our business. And this is something that I’m not going to talk about too much in this episode.

But just thinking about the difference between skill and potential, and comprehension or understanding, and just how we really want to be developing the skill set that we have, that’s the growth minded thing we want to be focused on, versus thinking about our potential and whether we’re good or bad, or like this mindset that we can be in of like a better business person would have done this differently. But you’re not a better business person, what we’re saying is, when we say that, like a more skilled person than me, would have been able to handle it, I couldn’t handle it. So I’m bad. Like, that doesn’t make sense.

We need to just develop those skills so we can handle it too. So we want to really be identifying and looking at your growth goal is going to show you where those skill sets are that you need to develop, you need to be able to be in the mindset of really improving upon your skills, versus being in the mindset that just because you have the potential to do something, you have the potential to do certain skills, that you should be able to be having those skills today.

And I know that might sound contradictory to what I’ve been saying this episode, but it isn’t, you have skills, and we want to be accessing those. So that we can identify the skill sets that we need to develop, rather than us thinking that we don’t know how to do anything but also believing in our potential and therefore feeling bad that we’re not fully living into it and not actually acknowledging or identifying what skills we genuinely do need to learn.

So a lot of what we do inside perfectionist getting shit done, through your growth goals through power planning, is helping you bridge that gap between comprehension and skill between potential and skill. We want to have you actually doing the things that you know you need to do. Knowledge isn’t enough. If we think about knowledge and the way we often use it is about comprehension and understanding we want to have the kind of knowledge that comes from skill and experience.

And the only way to do that is to get your perfectionist mindset on your side. So you can actually be showing up and doing the things and putting yourself out there and feeling safe to do that. If your perfectionist mindset right now is currently working against you. And that can just be because you aren’t using tools for productivity that are helping you with a perfectionist mindset. If you’re using a to do list if you are doing time blocking, your perfectionist mindset is going to be working against you instead of for you.

So you want to be doing your growth goal you want to be having your power planning, so that you can actually develop the skills through showing up. If you aren’t able to get yourself to show up and to do things, you need to develop that ability to get shit done without burning out. So I hope this episode has been really helpful. Also, I want to mention I’ll link it up in the show notes. But I have a free training on how to plan properly as a perfectionist with power planning.

If you’re wanting to learn how to get your perfectionist mindset on your side, if you want to have a productivity tool that actually get to perfectionist mindset working for you instead of against you. So it’s easy to get out of your own way. It’s easy to do the things that I was talking about in this episode, you can go to SamLaurabrown.com/plan. You’ll be able to watch that right away. So yeah, I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.

If you want to get shit done without burning out then I invite you to watch the free training that I’ve created on how to plan properly as a perfectionist with power planning. By the end of the training. You’ll be ready to start using power planning today to get your perfectionist mindset on your side so you can get out of your own way in your business. To sign up and watch the training go to samlaurabrown.com/plan.

Author: Sam Brown