Episode 457: Self-Trust Versus Self-Policing

Do you trust yourself with your business or are you constantly policing yourself so you get it right? Tune in to learn how to identify whether you’re in self-trust mode and the practical things you can do to get into self-trust and move yourself forward.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode457.

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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 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.

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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
Today I want to talk to you about something that is going to be incredibly important for you on your journey of building your business as a perfectionist. And of course, this is going to be relevant to other areas of your life as well. But I want to keep this to just being about your business, because it’s a great way to work on self trust and to see it very clearly. And if you are feeling stuck or frozen in your business, if you are having a hard time moving yourself forward, or if you are moving yourself forward, but there’s a lot of busy work over actioning burnout exhaustion, nitpicking, stress, pressure, then this is work for you to do this is really what we focus on in perfectionist getting shit done. Everything we do is ultimately centered around developing that relationship with yourself, of being able to trust yourself.

So in this episode, I want to talk about what self trust is, what self policing is, and how to tell where you are on that spectrum and what to do about it. If you are more towards the self policing end of that spectrum, then the self trust end. So I’m going to start by talking about what self policing is. So when I say self policing, if we think about like policing someone else, or literally the police force, and what they do you, it’s about controlling and enforcing. And I was actually listening to a podcast episode this morning from my coach Stacey Boehman, about making a contribution. That’s what the episode is called something like that. And she mentioned something about policing others and that kind of thing.

And I just thought like, that’s why I’m so exhausted, I am just policing myself so harshly. So closely. I am really under this constant surveillance and questioning and trying to restrict myself in terms of the business like I’ve just been really trying to get it right. And that has been exhausting. And thankfully, it hasn’t worked. So I’m forced back into self trust. I love how it goes that way. But it hasn’t been working. But I have just been trying so hard to get it right, I’ve been trying to do all the self-coaching and all the different things. And it’s really been with this premise of, I need to get it right. And I can’t trust myself to do it right. So I have to pay very close attention, I need to be very cautious and very careful. Which means I’ve been doing a lot of time consuming under thinking about things as well. Just fretting about things flinching like not actually moving myself forward.

Because of my relationship with myself, because of the thoughts that I have been having about myself, this self policing has been such a weight to bear. And I keep trying to escape it. And at the same time, I just try harder and harder and harder to get it right. And I can talk in this episode, and I will to some of the ways this has really manifested for me. But for example, in the last week, I noticed that I haven’t actually taken time off the business since 2022, that I had a couple of weeks where I wasn’t working, because I went away for a business conference. So that isn’t a restful time I went to the States for the event that Stacey Boehman had for the $2 million group that I’m in. And last year, I had some time off because I gave birth to the twins earlier in the year. But that also wasn’t like time off.

And in 2022, I had quite a few weeks, where I had time away from the business where I practice what I preach around clean rest. And I kept my work hours constrained. And I was able to do that. Because I trusted myself. I was thinking high quality thoughts about myself. And those thoughts are still available to me right now. But it’s like I’ve been forgetting to think that way about myself. And so it means that it has been so much harder to make decisions, to move myself forward to move the business forward. And really to be in a situation business wise, where I feel like I actually have freedom. Because when I’m not trusting myself, I don’t feel like I have any freedom because I have to get things right and there’s not much freedom in that at all.

So I just haven’t been as I said, trusting myself to be able to rest and in this kind of mindset of like I need to earn my rest. And I’ve spoken extensively on this podcast about clean rest, which is taking time away from your business. And the idea being that we are working towards having that big guilt free instead of thinking like I should be productive. No, I’m choosing not to work on the business. And I trust myself that when I returned to working, that I’m going to be productive, I’m focusing on the needle movers, I’m getting them done, I don’t have to be perfect at it, but I can do it sufficiently. So I had without even really realizing it, being in this mindset of like, oh, no, I need to get the business to a situation to a circumstance where I feel like it’s on track again. And then I can rest.

And it’s just been so hard to do it because it’s backwards, that in 2022, I had the most successful year in the business to date. And I really didn’t work much at all, because I trusted myself, to be able to identify what was important to make plans to execute them to see what wasn’t working to adjust for that to get support when I needed it and all of that kind of thing. So when it comes to self trust, I love thinking about it in terms of trust. And just like what that is, as it relates to other people because it’s a little bit clearer to see versus when we just think about self trust in our relationship with ourselves.

So I googled the definition of trust. And it was a firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone and I underlined in my notebook, the word belief, this is really important to understand about trust, and it’s a little bit of a mindfuck, if you haven’t thought about it this way. But trust isn’t something that is actually proven or disproven trust is about your belief in the trustworthiness of something. So for example, it’s possible to trust an untrustworthy person. And it’s possible to not trust a trustworthy person. Basically, it’s about the thoughts we’re having about the other person that creates a feeling of trust, versus what that other person is actually, like, I know that our experiences that we just encounter people, and we either trust them, or we don’t, and there are certain people like myself, my default is to trust someone until I have a reason not to. There are other people whose default is to not trust people until that is proven.

But ultimately, we all have the experience of we encounter people in the world, and we either trust them, or we don’t trust them, maybe we are relying on our gut for that, maybe we are thinking about it. And we’ve all had experiences where you do trust someone, and then you have something happen, you change your thoughts about it, and you don’t trust them anymore. Or you’ve had the experience where you didn’t trust someone initially. And then maybe something happens. So you change your thoughts about that person. And now you do trust them. And so if we think about self trust in our relationship with ourselves, it’s about our belief that we are reliable, and that we have the ability and that we can figure it out.

It’s a belief in our own resourcefulness, our ability to ask for and receive support, our ability to identify what’s important and what’s not important, but ultimately, just a belief in ourselves as being someone who can actually figure it out, do the things. And ultimately, I think when it comes to self trust, it’s really important as well to note our intentions that we have, because when we think about other people, we often well, it depends what kind of person you are of the two I mentioned before, I will give people the benefit of the doubt. But I tend not to be that way with myself. And if someone like if I’m encountering someone, I will really like I don’t think people are rude, I will, in my mind go to like what might be going on for them. Like I just don’t actually experience some people in certain ways because of the frame of mind I have in the benefit of the doubt that I give them versus when it comes to myself that I know I have the best intentions.

And yet I act as if in my own brain. I don’t and like I’m trying to fuck myself over or something like I just it’s so backwards. And it also makes complete sense that there’s self policing that we as perfectionist do we’re really trying to keep ourselves safe to protect ourselves. If we think about like what policing is for, it is for protection we are trying to protect, I guess society as a whole. And so we will have laws and regulations and enforcement around them in order to achieve that, like protection and safety and for the greater good. And when it comes to self policing, and the surveillance that we have on ourselves, the questioning the nitpicking the walking on eggshells with ourselves, I think it’s really important to recognize that that self policing feels really, really, really important to our primitive brain that is wired for survival and to keep us alive, by keeping us safe and keeping us as part of the tribe connected to others, so that we aren’t shunned and abandoned and neglected.

And therefore, if we think back to how it used to be, like, ages ago, that if you were kicked out from your tribe, you literally couldn’t survive, you would literally be out on your own and die. And so when it comes to this whole conversation around it, like, if you’re listening to this, you’re like, I know about self trust. And I should just be able to trust myself now. And I should know better than to be self policing, like this is self policing, about self policing. And just knowing that your brain nitpicking like that, and your brain, judging yourself like that, is just again, that protection mechanism that feels so important and feels so essential to our brains. And if we approach this whole discussion and conversation and self inquiry, through a lens of like, just because I understand this intellectually, I should immediately stop self policing and be in self trust, you aren’t going to get very far because that is the self policing approach.

Like you need to have a self trust approach to create self trust the same way that I love talking about with the growth mindset, which is part of this as well, but I won’t go too much into it here. I’ve done other episodes on the growth mindset, it’s a very important topic for perfectionist, but you need to take a growth minded approach to creating a growth mindset, ie not expecting it to instantly happen overnight. And that just because you know something, or have intelligence around a certain area, it means that you should automatically be able to embody that in your day to day life and the way that you’re showing up. So intellectual awareness around this, like, I want you to have awareness, but just knowing that the intellectual awareness around the concept of self trust and the concept of self policing isn’t going to create the result of you trusting yourself, you need to actually practice trusting yourself.

So I’m going to talk as well about what that will look like. But I want you to just really identify where you are on the spectrum, if we want to think about it that way. And I think it is helpful, not all or nothing. And I’m either in self trust fully, or I’m self policing. And we perfectionist tend to approach things like that as being like, Well, unless I’m perfectly in self trust, and I’m in self policing. No, it’s a spectrum. And if we think about it that way, are you more towards the self crust end right now? When it comes to your business. Where you are able to make decisions and move yourself forward and course correct and get into receive support. Or are you in self policing, where you are nitpicking, you’re having a really hard time making decisions, or you are taking a lot of action, you were doing a lot of work, you are very busy, you’re burned out whether you call it burnout or not, you’re just completely exhausted from the way that you were talking to yourself and treating yourself and you’re trying to just work harder and harder and force your way through so you can get out from under the pressure that you’re putting on yourself.

But of those two, which end of the spectrum are you currently more leaning towards? I would say that for me personally, right now, in this moment, I’m more on that self policing end of the spectrum. And I can identify at different times in my business, where I have been at different places on that spectrum. And so I shared for example, in 2022, it’s not like I was in self trust for the entirety of that year, in every moment. I was constantly going back and forth in different places on that spectrum. But if you think about it as being kind of like your home, on that spectrum, like where feels normal for you, does it feel normal for you to be self policing? Or does it feel normal for you to be self trusting, giving yourself the benefit of the doubt, making decisions? And instead of being this question of like, am I self sabotaging? Or maybe I need to, like, get help from somewhere else, not from a place of support, but from a place of they have the right answer. I can’t trust myself to know the right answer, and I need permission from someone else. I need to get this thinking verified by someone else.

So it’s not about whether you’re all the time in one of them or not. And that’s not the goal that we’re working towards. It really is about creating ultimately a home in self trust versus in self policing. And where we’re spending more time in self trust than not in self trust. And I’ll talk practically about this in a second because your power planning is really going to help with this. But we want to just understand that there is going to be thoughts that we have that have us doing self policing. And that is not a big problem that we should know better than to be doing. We just want to be noticing that and bringing ourselves back creating an identity that we are someone who trust ourselves and is worth trusting even with our mistakes that we make, even when we do things that we don’t like seeing ourselves doing, especially if you have a lot of self awareness, you might have found that as your self awareness increased, your self policing increased, because you started seeing things about yourself.

And then you didn’t like seeing those things. And so you’ve been cracking down on yourself. And really just walking on eggshells with yourself, where you are really easy to upset, it’s very easy for you to judge yourself for you to make yourself wrong. Because unless you’re getting a 100% right, then you’re completely wrong. That is the way we love to approach business when our perfectionism handbrake is on. And so I know that it is so hard when you have that awareness around what you’re doing that our brains just want to go into that self policing, and I know better, so I should do better. But really learning how to trust yourself is less about trying to earn your own trust. And I know that in the world, people talk about like earning trust. And it’s really not effective. Because if we go back to what trust actually is, it’s just about your belief. It’s not actually needing to have evidence, and there’s so much evidence that we can trust ourselves.

But if we are believing that we are not trustworthy, and that everything needs to be questioned and double checked, and we either need to speed up or slow down or whatever, if we aren’t actually believing that we are a trustworthy person and worth trusting, then because of the way our brains work, and the reticular activating system, that we’re actually going to dismiss all of the evidence that we are trustworthy. So you can’t actually own your own trust, if you’re approaching it from the identity that you and the concept and the idea that you can’t trust yourself, unless you earn it unless your business makes 10k a month or 100k or a million dollars, or whatever your goal is that unless you’re actually able to do certain things, then you can trust yourself, then you can have time off, then you can actually create the work day in the work week and the work life balance that you want.

You have to actually shift the way that you were thinking, to be able to see the evidence that you are trustworthy, that you are someone who can trust themselves, you need to shift into that, to see the evidence is already there. And to create more evidence, you will be pulled towards creating evidence that you are someone who can be trusted. If you already come from that idea, that belief, that self concept, that identity, that self image, that you are someone who trusts themselves, you will act in accordance with that. And we know that if we feel trusted by someone else, like for example, I feel incredibly trusted by my husband, Steve, that that makes me do things that only create more trust. And it doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, it doesn’t mean that I never make mistakes. But if I do make a mistake, I communicate about it, I tell him about it. I’m really in an open dialogue about things because I feel so trusted.

And that has me wanting to act in accordance with being a trustworthy person. But if, for example, I had the feeling or Steve told me or whatever, that he didn’t trust me, I could either go into that place of like trying so hard to earn his trust, and I would be doing things that are trustworthy, and he wouldn’t actually see me as being trustworthy, because he has a thought that I’m not so he’s dismissing that evidence. But also the other thing we can do when we don’t feel like we’re trusted is we’re like, we’ll fuck you. I’m just going to do whatever I want. And we do that with ourselves. If we don’t feel trusted, we just rebel against ourselves and act out against ourselves. And if you have trouble following through with your plans and doing the things you said you would do, and maybe you’re someone who takes a lot of action, but you have a really hard time stopping. You have a really hard time finishing on time or letting something be done.

It all comes back to self trust and you not feeling like you are trusted by yourself. And you acting out against that, or trying desperately to prove to yourself that you are trustworthy, but your brain isn’t actually seeing that. And so you just have to keep trying harder and harder and harder and harder. So I want you to be thinking about, again, where you are on this spectrum between self trust and self policing. And I want you to if you’re already power planning to look at your power planning to help give you some insight into this, if you’re not yet power planning, again, link in the show notes for a training that I created. Actually, I don’t know if I mentioned that earlier in this episode or not. There will be a link in the show notes for a training I created on how to plan properly as a perfectionist with power planning.

But your actions really are the physical manifestation of the quality of your thoughts that are going to show you what is going on for you, in your brain, in your relationship with yourself. So that you can have that self awareness, and then you can course correct and adjust if you can see through your actions, that you aren’t in a place of self trust right now. So for me, for example, how I have been able to identify that I am more towards that self policing end of the spectrum and in self policing mode than I am in self trust mode, is because I can see in my power planning, and this is how it shows up for me is that there’s so much time spent super thinking, spent self coaching, spent planning, and that that isn’t coming from a place of self trust.

And there’s certain things in my calendar that allow me to see the distinction because there’s definitely times I’m in self trust when I’m doing those same actions. It’s not just about there are certain actions you do in self trust and certain actions that you would never do if you’re in self trust, or whatever. It’s really about having a way to see what action am I taking, or looking at how long it takes you, for example, if it takes you a lot longer, or a lot shorter than normal. So for example, in this case, I can see that I have been super thinking and planning about the same thing for about two weeks. And that I just haven’t been able to actually implement the plans. Like I have ideas and I have plans and then I stopped myself and then I question them. And then I have new ideas and new plans. And then I stopped myself and then I questioned them, I can see that. Because I’m power planning.

So I want you to look at either where you are over actioning your workdays or getting extended, you’re adding extra work days you’re starting work earlier, where you are also over planning, you’re spending a lot of time trying to create the perfect plans and getting all of your ducks in a row or where you are under actioning. So maybe you haven’t been doing your planning. It could be in both cases that that’s the case that you are like no, I just have too much to do, I just have to get straight into work. Or you’re like, well, I don’t even really know what I need to do. So I’m not going to be doing my planning, but you are under actioning you are under planning, you are just kind of like well, maybe I just need to follow my intuition and go with the flow.

And I know as well that when I’m in a place of self policing, that’s typically when my interest in the feminine way of doing business and human design and all of that kind of thing really comes up because I’m just like, oh, like this approach isn’t working. And really I think when for me personally when I’m in self trust, it really is a lot of that feminine energy and being in a place of receiving and sharing and contributing and there’s not a lot of force and I still love and this is what one of my favorite things about power planning is it just balance of the masculine and feminine energy of like having structure but also having flexibility.

And I love having that approach to business and it being that blend. But when I’m in that self policing, I’m really like in this masculine and not male versus female, but masculine energy. And it being very, like forceful and assertive. And there’s a time and a place for that. But it’s just gone too far. And then there’s really when we’re in that feminine energy, and there’s a way as well, that that can go too far. And I love having there be that balance that really works well for me and works well for so many of our PGSDers that we can really be in this place of having the structure and the approach to business, where we are actually making promises to ourselves that we’re not just like, Well, I’ll see if I feel like it. Because if you think again, about, we want to build self trust, and power planning, new growth on all of that is a tool to help you do that, and clean rest.

But if you think about your relationship with someone else, and if they constantly told you like, if you’re trying to make plans with them, maybe it’s someone you don’t live with, maybe it’s someone that you want to go have lunch with, or you want to go out to dinner with, or you want to just do something with them. And every time you try and make plans, they’re like, Well, I’ll see if I feel like it, or they’re like, Okay, well, I will agree to do that, then, but I might cancel on you at the last minute. Because I might not actually feel like it or I might not be feeling inspired. Or I might actually cancel it. But I’m not even going to tell you that I’m just going to pretend to be committed because I have really good intentions. And I really want to please you. But I might not actually do it, or I might do it. But I’m actually just doing it from a place of this kind of people pleasing, you can feel like the energy of it, you’re like do you even want to be here.

So when we think about like developing trust, what we want to do is actually be able to make promises to someone else. And to follow through with that in a really clean way, where it’s from a place of actually wanting to do it. And that doesn’t mean we’re always going to feel like it and feel motivated in the moment. But ultimately, if we zoom out bigger picture, think about like our 90 year old self like in hindsight, yes, I didn’t feel like going to lunch that day. But that relationship is really important to me. And I’m really glad that I got myself dressed and got myself there. And we ended up having a great conversation or whatever. Like if you zoom out bigger picture, when we’re doing our power planning, we were always putting it in our calendar things that ultimately long term we want to be doing, even if some of them are tedious or boring, or require a lot of courage and a lot of vulnerability.

So we don’t want to have to always rely on feeling like it. But all of this to say when you are developing self trust, you need to actually make commitments to yourself, and follow through on them. And that doesn’t mean you can’t course correct that you can’t make mistakes that you can’t make amends. And this was something that I was really thinking about this morning. And what inspired me to record this episode is that I realized that the way I’ve been approaching the business decisions that I’m making is that I have been thinking that I need to get this decision, right like now and forever. And I need to make sure I don’t create any messes for myself. And that I’m like really thinking things through and just being so like, careful about it from a place of, I’m not going to be able to adjust this decision or course correct or like I’m wrong if I need to actually update this decision.

And that has not helped me take any steps forward or make any decision that could even be potentially adjusted in the future. But again, with power planning, this is really all designed to help you build self trust that we have the little tweaks, that’s the second step in power planning. So there’s your Power Hour, little tweaks, and weekly review. Your little tweaks, and sometimes they are big tweaks. But they are there because when you are trusting yourself, you will also be course correcting. And I can see in hindsight and why my brain has been like we shouldn’t trust ourselves isn’t because of certain decisions I made. But because I feel like right now I can’t trust myself. This is the thought I can’t trust myself to course correct. I can’t trust myself to identify when I need to course correct.

And so I’m just trying to like force things to work because I’m the problem because I should have a better mindset because I should be better than just this like forceful kind of self policing, self shaming that I’ve been doing. And when I’ve been having in my mind that like I need to trust myself to make the right decision. And if I trust myself, that means I am going to make the right decision. It’s so backwards. And it’s just so interesting to see that I know ultimately, that self trust and if you look at like trusting someone else again, I think it’s so helpful to just think about like a relationship you have with someone that you do trust as an analogy for all of this. That if I trust someone I’m not expecting them to do it right all of the time and to never make a mistake. But I am trusting them that if they do make a mistake that they will do their best to make amends that they will communicate about it.

And so I noticed that when I’m in this self policing, I don’t even like properly communicate with myself about mistakes or decisions that haven’t worked out that I will try and double down on them and justify them, because I’m so scared of making my past self wrong, because my self trust, feel so low that I don’t want to make it any lower. And obviously, ultimately, all of that doesn’t help me build any more self trust. But when I can put into the bucket of self trust course, correcting, making mistakes, but communicating about them openly and honestly, with myself in a judgment, free, compassionate way, then it really just frees up the ability and creates the ability for me to be able to make decisions, and move myself forward. Because I’m not expecting myself to do it perfectly.

And I think with perfectionism, I know that like surface level, and sometimes I do literally have thoughts of like, I need to do this perfectly. But so often, like, especially now my brain has come up with a lot nicer sounding fancier thoughts, and that, that really make it seem like No, I’m just really being intentional here or responsible here or whatever. But ultimately underneath it, my brain is still trying to protect me. And it’s still trying to do its job. And it’s still just having some thought errors that if I can just do everything perfectly and get it right, then I will be loved, I will love myself and all of that kind of thing. So when it comes to like, how do you actually solve for this, if you are on that self policing end, I want to speak to what I know works for myself, what I have seen work for my clients, and what is really going to be practical and effective.

First of all, stop trying to earn your own trust. This is so hard, because when it comes to truly trusting ourselves, if we are and I’ve spoken to this, but I just really want to underline it. If we are trying to earn our trust, we will never get there. If you think about like you’re trying to trust your partner, and you have all these parameters set up for like, well, I’ll trust you if you’re home by a certain time. And I’ll trust you, if you don’t have any female friends. And I’ll trust you if there’s like, you’re never actually going to create trust, even if they abide by all of those things. Because then you’re like, well, they’re only trustworthy, because I’ve set up all these rules. And as soon as I let go of the rules, and I can’t actually trust them.

So you have to actually stop trying to earn your own trust, clean rest is a really practical way to do this. And with your power planning as well, and your growth goal, but clean rest, I love having as a self trust tool, because when you actually get clean rest, you say I’m not actually allowing myself during these times to work on my business. That alone is an act of self trust. So rather than trying to earn your trust with yourself, through making money in your business, or having a certain number of clients, or customers or certain engagement on your social media, you are actually going first in the sense that you were saying I already trust you as you are. And so here are the parameters that you have for working, here’s your work time, it could be a lot of work time, it could be a little. I don’t prescribe, like how many work hours you need to have. But also I’m going to give myself rest, I’m actually going to give myself time to not be thinking about the business to not be constantly fretting about it questioning about it, because that is so exhausting.

I found that when I haven’t given myself the clean rest, and even in my time where I’m not working, then I’m constantly questioning certain decisions. That is so exhausting. And it makes it so much harder to make any of those decisions because I’m trying to make them with a tired mind that doesn’t trust itself. And it’s so much harder to trust ourselves when our brain is really tired. But when it comes to clean rest, it’s just knowing that like it is an act of self trust, versus trying to have a result create self trust. Another practical thing you can do is to use your future self to ask questions and get wisdom. So I love doing this in my journal like with pen and paper, you can do it of course with your computer, laptop, whatever and type it out. You can talk it out. I love using otter.ai to talk to myself like when I’m recording it and it’s been transcribed. It feels more acceptable to myself to be talking out loud, but I have so many insights about things just from talking it out.

So using your future self so if you have a growth goal, your future self who was achieved that growth goal or ideally I’d love to zoom out even further like 10 years from now like my 90 year old self and that version of you who has got all the wisdom him who is has really like everything’s worked out, and they’ve gotten to where they want to get in a way that is actually in alignment with their values. And they can really see with that high level perspective, like, every obstacle, every setback, every every failure, was there for a reason. And I’m so grateful for it. What would that version of you advise you, and developing this relationship with your future self is really powerful and really important. And it might feel a bit weird if you haven’t talked to your future self, because yes, you are just talking to yourself when you’re talking to your future self, but it’s really accessing the self trusting of your brain, that’s already there. The self trusting thoughts that you already have is a paradigm or reframe to help you shift into that.

So when I’m doing this, I love writing down like, I write Q for question. And then I write down the question and not my, like, self aware thoughts that I want to be having, like, what are my actual thoughts? What are my actual questions? If I had my future self in the room? And I’m like, Oh, my God, could you please just help me with this? I’m getting so stuck here, like, what would I actually say? Because I know for me, that I tried to present like, my highest quality thoughts that I’m having with myself as well. And also when I’m getting coached by others, rather than just bringing my messiest thoughts and like, the real ones that are going on that are causing me problems. So maybe that’s the thing for you, maybe that isn’t, but you want it again, with trusting, be really open and honest and sharing.

And so when it comes to that future self, like I write question, and then like, for example, like, I don’t know what to do about… like, literally just like, I’m having a conversation with someone, and then I write down answer, like, A for answer. And then I literally just write down, whatever comes up without me thinking about it, I don’t allow myself to think and to contemplate, I just kind of entered this dialogue with myself. So I let myself be at that, like, have the thoughts of like, I don’t know what to do. And I’m struggling with this. And I let myself also have the wisdom, instead of trying to just be in one or the other, or like, have the wisdom from the thoughts that are not helpful. There’s an Einstein quote, that you can’t solve a problem with the brain that created it.

So really, what this is, is about accessing the brain that figures it out, and having a dialogue with yourself and being able to actually open up to yourself, especially if you find it hard to open up to others in a really raw and honest way, and not being in a pity party about things or victim or you’re complaining, but just like oh my gosh, I’m just really having a hard time with this thing. And I’ve just been trying to figure it out, and I can’t or whatever is going on for you like just having that dialogue with yourself. And then being able to support yourself and do that, without shaming yourself or judging yourself or policing yourself is so powerful. I think so much of the overthinking the procrastination, the burnout, like we’re just trying to avoid self judgment. And we have this fear of self judgment, fear of judgment from our future self, of what if we get it wrong? What will our future self say about us? What will our future self think about us and we’re trying to people please that future self, forgetting that our future self doesn’t actually want us to be like getting it all right, and trying to be perfect and never making a mistake.

So this exercise is really, really, really helps with that. The next thing is to make decisions, and let yourself move forward. To actually make those decisions that have been on your mind on your heart, if you do need support with then this isn’t to say, like, make it all by yourself. Like I think when we’re self policing, we become overly self sufficient, or overly reliant on others, that we’re either like trying to figure it all out by ourselves, which is what I tend to go towards. Or other times we do a lot of that procrasti-learning, and like the right answer is out there. And I need to go and find out that answer, or we do a combination of the two.

So instead of is actually getting support from other humans, we are trying to be self sufficient, but get information from elsewhere without actually having to open up to someone else and be like, here’s what I’m really struggling with. And we might tend to as it relates to business, become really focused on the strategy of things and getting it right, and asking a lot of questions, maybe, but not actually getting coaching on our brain. And so you need to make decisions. If you haven’t been making decisions if that’s one of the ways that it has been coming up from you for you. You are making decisions and second guessing and constantly changing them or you have decisions that you haven’t been making. You need to make those decisions.

And again, to trust yourself to do that by actually trusting yourself. And if you want to identify like thoughts that help you trust yourself, or we’ll help you, you can look at the thoughts you have about someone in your life or maybe multiple people in your life who you really trust. What do you think about them or when they’re making a decision. What do you think about them, so that you actually feel trust around them making that decision? So off, and it might be your thinking like, they’re going to make the right decision. And that really isn’t a helpful thought, though it can sometimes really create this feeling of trust, it’s like, we actually have more of this control, which is what the self policing is about, that there’s this real controlling energy. And so I mean, it is powerful to look at other people you trust in your life just because you feel like you can control them. That’s a whole separate topic.

But we want to really be looking at places where you feel like and you have a relationship with someone where you’re like, I trust them to make that decision. And that doesn’t mean they have to get it right. Like I trust it, ultimately, they’re going to figure it out, they’re going to get where they need to go. There might be some mistakes or lessons along the way. But ultimately, I can trust that they’re going to get to where they want to go. That’s the kind of relationship we want to be looking at. Because that’s the kind of relationship we want with ourselves, not what I trust myself, because I can control myself to make sure I do it, right.

So also, you want to identify around this too. And this is just something that’s come up for me a lot in the last year or so is identifying if you’re in a rush, or this kind of proving energy of there’s a lot of urgency and importance around things that for me, I feel that in my chest, it’s really powerful to identify where you feel it in your body, when you were in a rush and trying to improve things. You’re trying to prove to yourself that you’re trustworthy, you’re trying to prove to yourself that you made the right decision or whatever it is that I feel this like rushed feeling in my chest. And I know that when I feel that feeling, I need to take a step back and zoom out and slow myself down. Because for me, I tend to like try to do things really quickly. But then I can see as well when I have been in that. And then I’m like, okay, but I actually want to do something quickly. And I do feel self trusting about it.

But now I might questioning and this is another layer of self policing. Now I’m questioning like, Can I trust myself to do things quickly? Because when I’m self policing, then I try and rush. And so it’s really coming back to what I can trust myself to know the difference between taking swift action that is actually from a trusting place and aligned versus me being in that rush in improving energy, it feels different in my body. So it’s not about the speed of the action, but noticing the feeling that you have in your body. And using self coaching, getting coached as needed. In PGSD, you can get coaching on this, you can post in the forum about it as well, if you are feeling that rushing proving kind of energy. And also, I’m just going to wrap up this episode to say that what to actually do to develop self trust, and be more on that end of the spectrum. swing back that way.

Well, first of all, the other thing I haven’t got written down here is just knowing that it’s not like you have to build self trust with yourself, so to speak, that we can often talk about it in that way. But self trust is just a thought away. Self trust is just a thought away. And you already do know how to trust yourself. And you’ve probably just been forgetting to do that. And so I know it feels uncomfortable to release those brains and to stop the all the policing that you’ve been doing in the nitpicking and the walking on eggshells and the trying to get it right. But if you can identify and really recognize itself trust, because we know trust is a thought like trust is a feeling that comes from a thought. And we can have a thought that creates trust in any given moment, it’s available to us. And if those thoughts you identify that can help you trust yourself, you can add a little thing to the beginning, saying I’m considering the possibility that it’s safe to trust myself, I’m considering the possibility that I’m going to figure it out. And I can move myself forward here.

And I can course correct. Like, you can just add that if it feels like too much of a stretch to your brain. But it’s just a thought away. It’s not like you have to build back out to it. It’s gonna take me a year or whatever. I think it is a practice. But it’s more so like sometimes we’re having thoughts that create self trust. And sometimes we’re not, versus like it’s this mountain we have to climb. So just that reframe I hope is helpful. But to just wrap up, I want to talk about making amends and course correcting. And that when we are really in that self trust energy, that self trust mode, then we are able to course correct we allow ourselves to course correct and to not keep trying to force things to work. We are willing when we are in self trust to let go to move on to move forward.

And when we’re in self policing, we tend to become really attached and try and force it and make it right because we don’t want to prove our past selves wrong. So we try and make it right and that very forceful energy. And then we just often have a lot of questions about like, well, we know what to do and we know what decision we need to make but we should just be able to be better I make this way that we’re doing work. And so it’s actually having that conversation with yourself but like making amends course correcting, seeing like, Okay, well now with the information that I have the wisdom that I have the experience that I have other decisions that I do want to update and giving yourself permission to actually do that.

If you’ve been walking down the wrong road, I think Brooke Castillo said this on a podcast years ago, and I loved it. Like, if you’ve been walking down the wrong road, it is never too late to turn around like it, the sooner you can recognize that and actually do it, the better. And I know that for myself, there have definitely been things where I needed to course correct. And I was kind of just frozen because of the self policing and not trusting myself that I didn’t allow myself to course correct. And now I can just return to trusting myself, to make decisions to update decisions to course correct to change plans as needed. And that the goal isn’t to make the right decision and then force it to work. That’s not actually what I want to do in business. I don’t think that’s actually the most effective way either. And I love how all this works, that when it comes to the way that we approach business, that typically the way that our perfectionist brain wants us to do it very forcefully, with a lot of effort also, like we want to have this effortlessness and all that kind of thing, so that we can prove to ourselves that we’re so naturally gifted and all of that.

But the way that our perfectionist brain approaches business, ultimately doesn’t work, either because we’re not getting results or because we’re burning out or both. And so it really invites us to learn a new way to operate, and then that way trickles out into other areas of our lives and that you will naturally approach every area of your life differently. When you are able to develop self trust with yourself in your business. It’s why I’m so passionate about talking about this and sharing about this. So I hope this has been incredibly helpful. Again, power planning is one of the main tools that you can use like to practically do this work and have it go from being an intellectual pursuit to actually something that you’re practically doing. So I invite you to watch the free training that is in the show notes so you can start power planning right away. 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