Episode 472: [Follow Through Series] Courageously Putting Yourself Out There with Laura Miller

Welcome to Part 4 of my 5-part Follow Through Series. A series to help you release your perfectionism handbrake and consistently follow through with your plans without burning yourself out.

Today I’m interviewing one of my students, Laura, about how to take courageous action. This episode will be particularly helpful for you if you find that advice like ‘just do it’ or ‘don’t worry about what other people think’ doesn’t work.

In the episode Laura shares two practical strategies that will actually help you put yourself out there. And they’re things that anyone can learn and don’t involve you having to ‘just get over your fears’.

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to take a screenshot and tag me on instagram @perfectionismproject.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode472.

In The Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The two most practical things you can do to help yourself take courageous action
  • How to think about a new project so you can persist through the messy middle
  • How you might feel before putting yourself out there versus how you feel after
  • How to become a courageous person even if you’ve never been one before

Featured In The Episode:

Work With Me:
If you’re ready to plan properly as a perfectionist so it’s easy to follow through with your plans, I invite you to join us inside Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD). Inside you’ll be using my proven productivity process to take consistent action on the most important things for your business and mentally switch off when you’re not working. 
Now is the perfect time to join as our 12 Week Power Planning Challenge gets started on 1 July. To join us for the challenge, simply sign up for PGSD by 11:59pm New York Time on Sunday, 30 June by visiting 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 472 of The Perfectionism Project Podcast!

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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 (Custom Intro)
Welcome to part four in the follow through series. So in this episode, I have something incredible for you. I have interviewed one of my clients, Laura Miller. She is a performer, and she helps performers with their mindset, and she is just such a great example of someone who is doing courageous things. And so I wanted to get her onto the podcast to share with you how to do courageous things, how to follow through with those tasks and projects that you have planned out in your power planning how to actually have yourself do them, and how to support and encourage yourself to do them, rather than pushing yourself before you are ready.

So a huge thank you to Laura for all the wisdom that she shares in this episode, especially if the advice you have heard around how to do courageous things is to just do it and just don’t worry about what other people think. Like that was so unhelpful to me when I was so frozen, when I was just stuck, and I was like, I know what to do. I’m not able to do it, and I’m scared, and I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m so, so scared. I can’t actually do it. And having people say, Just do it. Just put yourself out there. Just believe in yourself. It didn’t help. I needed practical advice. I needed practical strategies. And so we talk about that in this episode, what that looks like, also how perfection is getting shit done can help you as well. So I hope you enjoyed this interview with Laura.

Sam Laura Brown
A really good place to begin would be to talk about why being courageous is really important? So do you just want to share a bit about like, what you see courage as, and why that’s important to you?

Laura Miller
Yes, oh my gosh. Prior to PGSD, I would certainly never have considered myself a courageous person, nor would I have said that courage was a value of mine. And now I would say that courage is my most important value. I think that having courage enables me to fulfill the rest of my values. It’s kind of like the cornerstone of like, if I’m gonna work on one thing, it’s gonna be my courage. Because courage allows you to live in integrity and do the things that you want to do, even when they’re scary. It’s not about getting rid of the fear. It’s about being afraid and doing it anyway. But as I’m sure we’ll talk about as we get further into it, in sort of a gentle way.

Sam Laura Brown
Yeah, and that’s such an important thing, we will definitely talk about that, because it’s not about forcing yourself to do things, or pushing yourself or dragging yourself along, but really supporting yourself to do courageous things. So what would you say, like Being courageous is you kind of mentioned about doing something even when you’re scared to do it? Would you say that’s your definition of it, that you think about it as or is there another way you think about it?

Laura Miller
I do think that that’s probably the simplest way that I would put it, you have something that is big and scary and feels impossible, and your knee jerk reaction is to shrink back and say, No, thank you. I don’t want to do that. That sounds so confronting. I’m going to have to really look at myself. I’m going to have to potentially fail in front of my friends, my family, my peers, a bunch of strangers and all of that sounds awful. It sounds like something that is not worth whatever it is that is on the other side of this courage. You know, having courage is being able to see those feelings, sit with them, let them be there and say, okay, and we’re gonna do it anyway.

Sam Laura Brown
So would you mind sharing a few things that you have done that have been really courageous, just as an example? Because for everyone, there will be different things that we find scary to what other people do, but for you, what has that looked like?

Laura Miller
So my most recent project is and I’ve done a shitload of super courageous things, especially since joining PGSD, but my most recent one is I have been dithering about starting a new business. I’ve had a few evolutions of my entrepreneurial journey and the current one that I just recently started, literally two weeks ago I started. It is a social media adventure, shall we say. So. I am a performer. I grew up in the competitive dance world. In my 20s, I transitioned over to circus arts, and in that time, I was a teacher, I performed. I had my own talent agency for a little while. That also required a ton of courage, and we can come back to that, but I had to take some time off after my talent agency for loads and loads of reasons, but I think part of it is that at the time, I bit off more than I can chew because I hadn’t spent the time to really build up my courage muscle.

Yet I like to use exercise metaphors a lot. It was like I was trying to deadlift 500 pounds when I should have been deadlifting 120 with my business at the time, and so taking the time off required a lot of courage, and now in this new phase of my business, I have showed up on Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube shorts, doing the same short form content on all these platforms for now 12 days. I did miss one day, but that’s okay. We get right back on and I have five followers on Instagram. I have six subscribers on YouTube and zero followers on Tiktok, and I really had to do a lot of self coaching to be able to get over the initial hump, to even just do this thing.

Sam Laura Brown
I love what you shared about having zero followers on Tiktok and all of that kind of thing, because a lot of times we put off courageous action because of the pressure for it to work right away. And we’re so scared, especially in that context, we’re scared of being seen and that it will work and we will have 1000s of followers instantly, and we’re scared of no one seeing it, and us judging ourselves, that no one’s even watching it, and we’re putting ourselves out there, we’re trying so hard, and no one’s even appreciating it. So I love how you mentioned that. Do you want to share a bit about how you felt before you decided to do that, like before doing the courageous thing of getting that started in going into your next iteration of your business. What did that feel like for you?

Laura Miller
The way that I was feeling before I had enough courage to take action in this new iteration of my business was just really pulled to doing this. What I’m doing in my business is helping other performing artists, other dancers, other circus artists, actors, musicians, etc, with their own mental health and career things, because those have been my pain points that I have done a ton of work on to get to the point where I’m at right now. And I just want to pay it forward. I want to be helping me five years ago, and so I’ve just been feeling this pull, this draw to create content, put it out there, speak to five year ago me. So on the one hand, I’m really excited, and I know that I’m meant to do this. I know that someone else out there needs, the wisdom that I have to give them. But on the other hand, we have the fear, the anxiety, the wanting to avoid feeling cringy and embarrassed and ashamed.

Since I started this new chapter on social media, I have been having jaw pain that I’ve never had before because I’ve been clenching my jaw in my sleep. That’s never been something I’ve ever dealt with before. So clearly, there’s stress happening under there, but there’s also excitement, there’s also a lot of laughter, there’s also a lot of pride in myself. I feel really, really proud of myself for being able to face the cringe and say, Yeah, fuck you. We’re doing it anyway, you know. And the pride that comes with building my self trust as well of saying, like, Okay, I’m gonna do this and then I actually follow through. You know, that is huge, that, like, really cannot be overstated, how important that is to everything else in life going smoothly.

Is like, yeah, having that self trust muscle built up and sure there’s maybe some like, disappointment too, that it’s like, oh, you know, I’m making this content that I think is really good, and it’s getting views, but it’s not getting any follows. So my perfectionist brain will love to hop in and be like, Okay, well, we could try this, or we could try that, or we could try this. What about this? What about that? Like, we need to change our profile photo. We need to change the bio. We need to start adding calls to action. We need to start doing longer captions.

Sam Laura Brown
I’m so glad you mentioned this, because especially with this example, and you said, like, you’ve been doing it for 12 days. For 12 days, that it’s like it actually you just need to do it for longer, and our brains like it’s not working, it’s not working. I need to get it working. And we go so much into the action and trying to be busy, and then we exhaust ourselves with that, and with all of the doubts as well. And most likely, what you’re doing is working. And you. Just need to keep doing it, and then when you do it over a longer period of time, that’s when you’ll know, okay, well, maybe I’ll try this and I’ll try that, and you’ll have enough data to actually be able to make those decisions. But we tend to do the equivalent of planting a seed in the ground, and then we pull it, has it grown yet? Oh, no. Has it grown today? Is it growing today? Or, like with a workout the equivalent of, well, I’ve been going to the gym for two weeks now. Why am I not ripped?

And it doesn’t work like that. It’s like, should I do a different workout plan? No, you just need to keep doing your workout plan, and in about 12 weeks, you’ll know if it’s working or not, not in 12 days. So I wanted to ask you, because I think that someone listening to this is probably like, I’ve heard people say, like, just do it, but I can’t actually just do it, which is like, this is why I’m so passionate about what I do, because I was that person when people, like, you know, you just do it or just post, I’m like, I literally can’t. I actually, like, frozen and I cannot. So I wanted to ask you about with your power planning, how that supports you to do courageous things.

Laura Miller
What I love about power planning is that it is a way for you to study yourself. I think that a lot of perfectionists and people who are new to PGSD can get really absorbed into the calendaring of power planning. If the weekly review is where the meat is, that’s like where the growth happens. And so I love my weekly review. I love that I get to take some time. I set aside time every Sunday to reflect, okay, what did I say that I was going to do? What did I actually do? And if there’s a difference, why? What did that difference come from? So part of it is you kind of estimate how long something is going to take, time wise. And I added another thing, which was, how much courage is this going to require?

Because I have limited resources in a week for super courageous things, and so being able to have that weekly review, and if, you know, I way over committed myself. Maybe not like time wise or appointment wise or work wise, but just like super courageous, task wise. And I fell off and, you know, got to, like Wednesday and just said, fuck it to my plans for the rest of the week, I can go back and recognize, oh, I’ve bit off more than I could chew in terms of my emotional capacity, not my time capacity, not my energy capacity, but my emotional capacity. So yeah, power planning has been so, so useful at helping me prioritize and not ask too much of myself in a week, because I am human.

Sam Laura Brown
The lesson I think you’ve learned through your experiences, that I’ve learned as well is that the support that matters most is the support from myself. And for me, I use my power planning to do that. And as you said, scheduling things in a way where I’m not expecting too much of myself in terms of the number of courageous tasks that I have on my plate. I’m working from a to do list, or we have a really over scheduled calendar. It’s just so hard to do the courageous things. I want to ask you as well about support and community like so in your persistence log that you were starting the Instagram account, do you mind sharing a bit about the power of support and community and coaching when it comes to being able to do courageous things, because there’s power planning, which is so powerful in and of itself, but then also the added benefit of having the support and the community and the coaching, like, what difference does that make for you?

Laura Miller
Yeah, I certainly would not have been able to build my courage muscle to the strength that it’s at now, if it wasn’t for the PGSD community, like, I’m just gonna put that out there right now, I think that there’s something so so powerful about having a safe space of other people who are going through the exact same thing as you and have the same or similar goals as you, because we can relate to each other on numerous levels. We can relate to each other in that we’re all entrepreneurs, you know, have these big goals and dreams, but we can also relate to one another on the level of like and maybe it feels really gross to admit that to our friends and family, and so we need a safe space where we can be vulnerable and honest with each other and have an outlet to be like, Hey, this is happening. Can somebody like, give me some support, some guidance? And it’s like, everybody there is like, Oh, we know, we know. We know exactly what you’re going through. Here’s what’s helped me. Here’s what’s helped somebody else. Like, let me put you in touch with so and so to talk about this.

Sam Laura Brown
I love what you shared about just having that place to turn because it’s so important, especially for any entrepreneurs who are working by themselves or the only founder in their business, it makes such a difference. Had so many recent conversations with people who just have. One little thing that’s happened in their business, like they might get negative reviews and they don’t have somewhere to go to be like, Hey, I got this. Is this normal? How do you respond? How do you think about it? And maybe I should just shut the whole thing down. It’s like, you actually just had a very normal experience, but you don’t have a community to be like, Hey, we’ve all had that too. It’s normal. Here’s how to get through it. Here’s how to make any decisions you need to make, and then you can just keep moving on, and it saves having to burn down something that was already working.

Laura Miller
Yeah, I think that also goes back to what we were talking about in terms of supporting yourself. Gets easier when you have community support as well from people who are able to speak to your exact wounds, your exact troubles, you know, and I hope that everybody who’s listening to this has supportive people in their life, but maybe they don’t, because that’s something else that we can face as entrepreneurs, as people who have their own limiting beliefs, and if you tell them about your big goals and dreams, they’re just immediately going to shoot it down. And I think that that’s even more harmful, yeah, yeah. And so like, yeah. Again, being able to, like, have a community of other people makes all the difference.

Sam Laura Brown
Thank you so much for sharing about your experience with being courageous and how you think about it. And it’s just been such a privilege as your coach to witness your own transformation. It’s just been incredible to see. So thank you so much, Laura.

Laura Miller
Well, thank you, Sam, because likewise, it has been an absolute privilege to be part of your group. I’m telling people about PGSD and the perfectionism project all the time. So life changing shit. Thank you for doing the courageous thing and putting your wisdom out there, because you’re helping me and you’re helping a lot of other people.

I hope you enjoyed that interview with my client, Laura. Tomorrow, we have part five of the follow through series. We’re going to be bringing it all together, and I’m going to be sharing with you how to get out of your own way, what that process looks like, and how to make that your reality. So I will talk to you tomorrow in part five of the follow through series. If you’re ready to start planning properly as a perfectionist so you can follow through with your plans, I invite you to join us inside Perfectionist Getting Shit Done. We will be starting a 12 week power planning challenge on the first of July, and it’s going to be perfect for you if you’re in need of a mid year reset, or you love extra accountability and support. To join us for the challenge inside the program, all you need to do is be inside PGSD by 11:59pm New York time on Sunday the 30th of June. You can find out more about the program and sign up at samlaura brown.com/pgsd.

Author: Sam Brown