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The High-Achieving Perfectionist: Why nothing ever feels good enough

If you’re a high-achiever, or identify as a perfectionist, you’ll notice some problems have been recurring throughout your life. You always do a better job than is required. Even if you do really well you punish yourself for not having done it better. You procrastinate and avoid tasks if you don’t feel certain they’ll go well, or if they turn out more difficult than you first expected. There’s a reason for all this, and a solution…


 

For personalised confidence building support, contact Dan directly with your questions

dan@brojo.org

 


Full transcript (unedited)

Today’s video is for perfectionist in high achievers. It’s for the people who never feel like their standard is good enough. And it always needs to be better. People who always want to outdo everyone around them to always want to be the best and always want to do it to the highest possible standard, and always want to impress people, that these videos for you guys. So I had a pattern of either dominating or quitting in my life. So if I did something, I did it better than anyone around me, I excelled in one and you know, looks like the best at least. And if I couldn’t do that, and I couldn’t do that quickly, and immediately, I just quit or avoided the task. So for example, when I got into Zook dancing, I excelled. You know, I danced five or six nights a week, I got into performances and competitions, I won those competitions with my dance partner, I kind of crushed it quickly. Whereas when I got into Muay Thai kickboxing, I did it for a couple months. And then I had my first proper fight, and got my ass kicked, I was put against someone who way out matched me, and pretty much quit after that. And this is a pattern I’ve seen in my life a lot. When I do something, I try to be the best. And I try to excel and I try to improve how it’s done. And I catch myself trying to make sure everybody sees me doing this. But if I get hurts, either before I start something, or during that thing, that I’m not going to be the best that I might be second best or mediocre or even terrible at it, then I pretty much just quit and I feel no real enthusiasm to continue. people pleasers and nice guys tend to try and win approval through achievement. That’s one of the methods that people pleasers use to feel good about themselves as to get that pat on the back for being high achiever. It’s because of a persona or reputation we want to create, we want to be seen as hardworking and reliable and extremely competent. We want to be seen as impressive as the best. We want people to say, yeah, that guy’s really valuable because of XY and Z. And whatever words He’s the funniest guy and I, nobody will work harder than Dan or you know, God, he picked it up so quickly. It’s kind of things we want people to think about us and say about us and say to us, and the desire for that response means we will tend towards activities that are more likely to get that response and avoid activities that are unlikely to create that response. Even though the activities we go towards might not be good for us. Or the activities we’re avoiding might be good for us. It’s really common for a people pleaser, for example, to do a job that they’re really good at, but they really don’t like they go to what the Excel out without asking myself do I actually enjoy this. And in the same breath, they’ll put off something they’re passionate about, usually an artistic pursuit of some kind, something they love doing, because they’re not good at it or not the best at it. That’s the thing is, it’s not even about just being good enough at it. If you’re in the middle of the pack, you might feel an aversion to doing it. If you can’t see yourself being number one, you kind of back away even if you love doing it. Now, when we’re trying to explain this to ourselves, we talk about fear of failure. Or we talk about goals that we’re trying to achieve. You know, we say I don’t start my artistic passion business, because I’m worried it’s not going to work out or I stay at my shitty job that I’m good at. But I hate because I have these financial goals. So we excuse her behavior with either fear or goals. But that doesn’t explain why you’re afraid of being second best or middle of the pack or just good enough. unimpressive. Why are you afraid of not standing out or being noticed in a positive way? Why is not getting approval? A deal breaker for you when it comes to engaging in an activity? I want you to think about that. And also think about the opposite. Why is being excellent at something a obligation to continue doing that thing? What’s that movie with the two stoners Harold and Kumar, go to White Castle. And Kumar doesn’t want to go and the thing that’s a doctor, even though he’s a genius, and he passed all the tests, and somebody asked him why don’t you want to be a doctor? trainees like well, just because you’re having like a donkey doesn’t mean you got to do porn. people pleasers are like that, if they’re good at something, they’ll feel obliged, like it’s a duty to do it, even if they hate it. But if the excellent they feel like they must do it, I think we get confused that our skills indicative of our passion, if we’re good at something must be something we should do. And you can be really good at something that you hate. Like, I used to be really good at managing a warehouse, or picking and packing distribution warehouse. I fucking hated it, though. So being good at it wasn’t necessarily a sign that I should do it. But I felt compelled to keep doing it. Because it’s such an easy source of approval, where you can rely on Dan Dan always gets the job done. And Dan came up with this great new idea for doing things. I’m suddenly bathing and all this approval, and never stopping to go, Hey, why am I have a job that sucks. Now, let’s get into the real reason this happens. I went on a trip once I went to the United States, it was my first really big overseas adventure. And I was away for about six months. And I distinctly remember from the moment I landed in the airport, returning to New Zealand. And the next few weeks that followed, I noticed something. One is, first of all foreigners, the scenery have changed. You know, new roads have been built houses and stuff, things have gone life and continued without me. And something about that was unsettling. And then, more importantly, I noticed people have moved on without me people were living their lives, as well as they ever had. Without my intervention. People were successful without needing me, people could live without me. It’s a realisation that slowly crept in, like I’ve been away for six months. And it nobody really noticed nobody really was bothered by this. Everybody just moved on and live their life. And it brought up an existential fear that I’ve been suppressing all my life, which is the fear that I’m not significant. The fear that I don’t matter. And this is a core people pleaser fear that underneath it, that our base raw, authentic selves has no real value. So we feel this compulsion to put on a performance to put effort and to be more than ourselves. To qualify as being valuable to have an influence and make an impact and say, See, I was here, I needed to be here, the universe needed me people needed me, I was important I matter. We’re deeply afraid that if I’m just going to chill and just do what I want to do be middle of the pack and just do things because I like them rather than them. Because I’m good at them. The net will be somehow proof that I have no worth I have no meaning there’s no point to my existence. This is what’s also known as toxic shame, the belief that there is something fundamentally wrong, or of low worth about you. That deep deep down under the massive performance of achievement and approval seeking that you put on. There’s just nothing, this broken thing that nobody could ever love, just on its own. This thing has to perform and provide a service before it can be worthy of love. It can’t be worthy of love, just suddenly doing nothing. And so people pleasers use achievements say, look, I exist, I matter. I’m important and valuable. Please confirm that I’m valuable. And it drives them to do things they’re good at and away from things that they’re not immediately good at, rather than things they actually want to do. And a whole life can be built on this. I work with, you know, more than a few clients. Now we’re over 40 over 50. And their whole life has been based on seeking approval through achievement. And they don’t like anything about it. They don’t like their job. They don’t like the marriage there and I can where they love that. And I like themselves. And it’s just proof as if any was needed, that this method doesn’t work. That trying to build self worth, by behaving as if you’re someone who has no self worth and you have to put on an act is not a way to build self worth. It should make sense. But of course it doesn’t because so many people do. You have to notice that you’re driven by insecurity. You lose track of what you’re even supposed to be doing. You know, when I was working in Department of Corrections, I became so obsessed with getting promotions for being the youngest guy to ever get promoted to whatever next level is that about two promotions and I started actually moving away from the work that I liked doing. You know, by the time I was sort of senior role I’m like I’m not coaching anyone anymore. That was the point of this job in the first place. How do I lose track of that, but somebody seeking endless achievement can easily start with something they liked. But then they get good at it and they move away from it. I see it in the dance scene as well, someone enjoys dancing, but then becomes obsessed with performing and competing to prove that they’re better. And eventually, they get to a point where they’re doing a type of dancing, they don’t even enjoy simply because they win competitions. You lose respect. If you’re always trying to beat people and outshine them and show that you’re the best how you mentioned, they’re going to feel about you, especially the clever ones who can see that you’re doing this from a desperate, needy, insecure place, that you’re not just naturally achieving, that you’re trying hard that you using effort to beat people. I used to do the same, like joke meeting. If I was ever in a room making people laugh, and somebody else was funny, I’d always try to help funny them. You know, I’d finish the jokes with an even funnier one. And kind of win the funniness competition, they only existed inside my mind. I can now imagine what that looked like from the outside. Like when I see someone else doing it, it just makes me roll my eyes. Like oh my god, that’s so trihard like chamber from friends just stop it. So you actually lose respect from other people and from yourself. And the whole time you’re being fake. You lose the energy and time. list in my voice. You lose energy and time. I used to sell books for an online bookstore that was similar to eBay, or Amazon for years. And I became obsessed with becoming really good at selling books. And I burned myself out day and night trying to do this job. Well. When if I just taken a second step back and go, Is this the job? For me? The answer would have been a clear fuck nor. And I would have just quit. But I was just obsessed with trying to do really well and impress my boss, you know, prove that I was worthwhile. And I just burned out a year of my life. And I really at this point in my life, I can’t see anything I gained from there. There were no skills or strengths that I developed in that role that helped me today. It was a total waste of time. total waste of time that my obsession with doing well means I couldn’t see them. And I think most importantly, you lose opportunities for what you might call an authentic life. You know, you don’t go talk to someone because you’re scared it won’t go well and turns out they could have been your best friend or your next lover. You don’t go for the promotion because you’re not sure you’re gonna get it on your first go. And yet there might be your dream job or lightened with me, you know, I didn’t pursue kickboxing. And now I look back and like I really wish I’d learned how to fight properly, you know, restarted recently before my injuries, doing Krav Maga but I was like, man, if I’d been doing kickboxing for 10 years up until now I’d be fucking with it. But I quit because I lost my first fight. You know what, what a missed opportunity. Just because I wouldn’t have been the best kickboxer and I won’t be ever right now learning how to do handstands I’m never going to be Cirque du Soleil level handstand guy. Right? At best. I’m going to be one of those guys who can do a handstand but you like you’re sort of cheating. It’s not quite right. That’s the best I could probably hoped for with my particular genetics and physical injuries and everything. But I like doing them. They’re challenging, they’re fun, a little bit scary. It feels like learning how to walk all over again. That’s the reason the door if you want to enjoy your life, you have to accept being a C student, middle of the pack, uninteresting and impressive to other people. In order to be excellent to yourself. You should have by now gathered enough evidence in your life that you can step back look at and go look. Trying to achieve highly all the time. Doesn’t make me happy. It makes other people happy makes them pat me on the back. That reward and that approval gives me highs Sure. But I don’t fucking like my life. You can see anybody’s doing really well in their job. And you say look, if I gave you $10 million, would you quit now? Oh, fuck yeah. Well, then you don’t like your job. You couldn’t pay me to quit coaching. Right? Now that doesn’t mean that you have to quit your job today. It just means Why are you doing it? You’re doing it just because you’re good at it just because people go when you’re a good little boy or girl. I mean that’s A pathetic fucking reason to do something. Instead of doing what you’re naturally good at, do what you want. Instead of being the big fish in the small pond, deliberately put yourself in situations where you’re the lesser competitor. You know, rather than trying to win everything, make sure put it this way, if you’re winning, whatever you’re doing, it’s not hard enough, it’s not challenging enough, you’re not pushing yourself enough. You know, you know, you’re in the right place, if you’re constantly coming in third, fourth, or fifth. And that’s you trying your best, that’s where you lay out. This is the right level of competition, I’m surrounded by people who are better than me, that’s good. Being the one that everyone looks up to, it might feel nice, give you a little dopamine that give you a little dopamine rush. But it’s not going to create a meaningful life, it’s not going to get rid of the existential fear that you don’t matter. Because the thing is you back and don’t matter. But that’s okay. Because you’re not supposed to matter to other people. You only matter to yourself. So if you’re depriving yourself, then you’re going to be meaningless, then you’re going to have no value or worth. But if you try to do what you want with this life, even if it means you kind of suck compared to others, you will matter to you that will create the meaning that you’re missing. That hole cannot be filled by other people. Their preferences and everything is so subjective anyway, with, even if they say you’re good, you’re probably not. You know, I had people who have done to me and they’re like, Oh, my God, you’re the best dancer. But I wasn’t. I was like an intermediate level dancer in a small country in a tiny part of the world. I’m definitely not the best dancer. So their feedback was meaningless. Right? Now, if they said, they enjoy dancing with me, that’s different. But more importantly, if I enjoy dancing, that’s all that matters. Why would I improve beyond that enjoyment? Why would I push myself to go somewhere where I no longer enjoy it? That doesn’t even fucking make sense. For those of you who have this issue, I seriously recommend do the brojo core values course and follow it with the living by your values course. It’s not doing things because they matter to you rather than because they get approval from other people. Okay, so one of the basic fundamentals of finding self confidence. Thank you so much for watching. And if you’re watching this on YouTube, Please Subscribe and Support the channel, share it around. Comment below. Let me know what your thoughts are. Contact me dan@brojo.org With any feedback or questions, and I’ll see you guys on next time.

 

 

 

 

 

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