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Society has conditioned you to chase perfection since we were kids. Your parents praised you if you did your homework. And scolded you if you didn’t eat your veggies. 

This idea tricks you into believing your worth as a person is tied to your actions. You feel invisible when you win. And like an utter loser when you make a mistake. 

But nothing sacrifices your happiness and joy more than chasing perfection. And it’s not even tied to reality — your worth as a person has nothing to do with how smart, skilled, or perfect you are. 

In this episode, you’ll discover how to stop chasing perfection so you can experience happiness on autopilot. 

Listen to the episode now. 

Show highlights include:

  • Why you’re not a failure even if you’ve failed more times than you can count (4:55) 
  • The weird way eating your vegetables as a kid stunts your self-esteem today (5:37) 
  • The brutal truth about why Floyd Mayweather isn’t happy even though he’s worth a billion dollars (10:55) 
  • Why being ignorant is the easiest route to a happy life (and how to practice ignorance) (21:35) 

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course. 

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

(00:04): It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F word here. Freedom. We'll share straight from the trenches. What we've learned from leaving our own addictions behind and coaching hundreds of others to do the same. And since it's such a heavy topic, you might as well have a good time while we're at it.

(00:35): All right. Welcome back to the alive and free podcast today. Can I help you with this prop that has been rampant in the world that a lot of people deal with, they call it perfectionism. And one dark side of perfectionism is this feeling of being an imposter or being a fraud or not measuring up. And another dark side is a lot of gifts, self guilt, or self shaming that happens. It happens inside of religious space, says it happens in office buildings. It happens in families, perfectionism itself, and chasing perfection has caused a lot of problems in society that if we could just eliminate that, we might find life to be a whole lot sweeter. So can I help you with that today? I want you to consider possibly where hall comes from. I grew up just loving to hear, look, I'm a martial arts nerd.

(01:29): You know this by now, right? You're not gonna escape this. I was so steeped in the legends and the history of it. I watched the Kung Fu TV series and the Kung Fu, the legend continues TV series. And I watched their stories about Shambhala, the legendary place and these Chi gifts that people have and all these miraculous things. And I read books on yogis who did all of these different, amazing deeds and gifts. And I read the Bible where Elijah was like calling down fire from heaven and where the, the 10 plagues on Egypt and Moses parting the red sea, or God parting the red sea for Moses and healings happening. And people being raised from the dead with Elisha and, and then all the miracles that Jesus did and so on and so forth. And I was just ENA my little nerd self was like, yes, this is life.

(02:27): So I bought into that hardcore. I bought into the comic books where people had superheroes and they had special powers and I really wanted it all. And I really truly believed that all of this stuff was possible for humankind. And because I admire it so much, I often mistook a person's ability to do something spectacular with the idea that they were somehow evolved beings or very spiritual beings or something like that. And as a result, I ended up losing my way many times or getting sucked into something that wasn't necessarily all that great. Just because the person leading it could do something quite spectacular. And then I would get disillusioned later on down the line. Now, why would this have started? Can you think back in your life to when this might have started for you, where might you have come up with the idea that you need to be perfect or you need to measure up to all the standards.

(03:31): Now, most of us had parents and most of those parents had expectations for us, right? So this isn't really all that hard, all that far. For every time you didn't live up to the expectations. Well, there was a disapproving look or maybe a discipline, or maybe flat out abuse. It depended on the family that you grew up in. Some of us got spanked, others got scolded, others got grounded, whatever it is when you didn't measure up to the teacher's expectations, you got a red mark on the page or a band grade, and that might have transmitted itself to other things. It translated into some other punishments at home and so on and so forth. So automatically growing up, you and I were taught, we weren't born thinking this. We didn't come out of the womb going like, whoa, I should be different than I am.

(04:16): Nope. We were taught that there are certain expectations that we have to meet now that in and of itself, isn't a problem. But there were certain people who managed to Excel in to a great degree in certain areas. And those people got praised a lot. So it's very natural for a little kid. Well, I'm getting scolded for not doing something great, but that person is being praised for doing something spectacular. So that must mean in some way, shape or form that doing something great means that person is great. And so it's very natural for any child to grow up, seeing some link between their ability to perform and the value of their soul. And that fundamental misconception is a pernicious part of society. Today is horrid. It's everywhere. People make a mistake on something they're trying to perform on, and they think it's a mistake in their being, not everybody suffers from this, but most people, just some degree or another experience, this fear of failure.

(05:25): Why would they fear failure? Well, they fear it because it means that they're a failure and they've created this weird link in their mind between exceptional performance and personal worth. And that started as a kid because parents scolded us based on performance. They didn't come in and be like, wow, you are worth something amazing today. I'm going to praise you. And you are rotten. You are worthless today. I'm going to scold you. No, no. They only looked at our behavior. Did we say the right words? Did we do the things that they wanted? Did we, did we eat all of our vegetables? Did we go to bed on time? Did we get a, our PP in the toilet or or did we accidentally piddle on the floor? All of those things were things that they were praising or not. They weren't actually praising us as a being.

(06:13): They weren't even in tune with it. Most people are not actually able to perceive the nature of life inside of another human being. All they perceive is what they see and what they then start thinking about it and their own little fantasies in their head. So when they're scolding you, what they're scolding is an idea they have about you a in their head, they're scolding an idea in their head, and they're hanging that idea on you so that they have some target to put it on, but it's not you that they're praising, or it's not you that they're scolding well, in my case, I really started getting exceptionally enamored with these martial artists, the people that were really gifted at martial arts and could do incredible things and could wield their Chi and could do all this stuff. And so in my mind, anybody who could do that was somebody who was also at a spiritual level, that was much higher.

(07:12): Anybody who could do certain things really well was spiritually gifted. We even said that in church, growing up that somebody who was talented was like, it's God's gift to you. So like they got extra gifts from God, and it's apparent because it's on the outside. And I always felt bad for the people that didn't have the external gifts. You know, some people had a tremendous ability to listen and understand people or a great piece about them, but that's not on the outside. So some of those people felt they were worthless because they couldn't play the piano or dance a jig to the tune or to the beat of the music. And I always felt weird because I was drawing and painting or stuff like that. And so this, I was praised for things that I didn't consider to be all that great necessarily or great work, but other people did.

(07:56): And so it was confusing, but still I had an idea. And so as I went through life, I looked at people that I really admire. Now I want you to take stock. You may not admire the same people that I admire in life. That's totally cool. But why do you admire them? It's likely that you admire them because of what they're able to do now. Oh no. Bob, this person is really kind. What does that mean? It means that they're able to do things in a certain way. You're not really admiring their being. That's somehow unlinked to the way that they are, the way that they behave. This person's kind. Does that mean that they talk to people in a gentle way? Does that mean that they reach out and are generous with their cookie ease? Does it mean that they keep a smile on their face or there's a certain look on their face that you really appreciate?

(08:47): It's all external markers. Maybe not a hundred percent of the time. I mean, there may be people that you genuinely just feel good around and that's great. But if you look at the people you admire, it's likely that you admire them or you put them up on a pedestal because they do something that you really love. They do it in an exceptional way. And so you've mistaken their skill with them as a person, you put them on a pedestal when all you're really admiring is what they're doing, their behavior or their skill sets or their capacity. I did this. So I had these martial arts teachers that I followed for a long time. And man, oh, they had all the cool stories. They had all the legends. I had them as legends in my own mind and the grand story I trained with and all these people that had come from all these places.

(09:37): And I had this massive fantasy book in my head about all these people. And then one day it came crashing down in a big way because well, one, I realized they weren't as good at their skill level, at their skill sets. As I thought they were a lot of that had been hyped up and I believed it. And when it came down to testing it, I realized, wait a second, maybe they're not as good as I thought they were. But then on top of that, some of them were involved in some scandals inside of the organization convicted of, or pled guilty to sexual harassment and some other things. And I really had to come to terms with this notion that somebody who was that gifted at martial arts, who had spent that much time training and that much time looking at things could also not be so spectacular as a human being in the sense that they're not behaving in the rest of their life in a really integrated way or a really compassionate way.

(10:35): There are a lot of martial artists on the planet, of the ones that I have met, of the ones that I've watched. A lot of them have a very, very clear perception of danger and whatnot, but there are very few of them that I would suggest have a really spiritual quality through them or as a being have really flowered. There's a lot of them that are still fighting for their lives that are like trying to overcome past traumas from their lives. Floyd Mayweather had a POed upbringing and a lot of his fighting came from that Mani Pake as well. I think a lot of their fight and their constant push in that way came from like kind of running from some childhood instances and some, some squabbles growing up. And so there's a lot of people who are in the martial arts that may be some of the most gifted martial artists on the planet. But when it comes to happiness, joy and fulfilled life, mm-hmm, they're farther away than many people that have no skill whatsoever.

(11:36): If you or someone, you know, is look king to drop the F bomb of freedom in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or want some help doing it head on over to the freedom specialist.com/feel better now and check out some of the things we've got in store for you, or book a call. So we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. And then I would chase people in the business realm, people who had made a million bucks. And then I remembered sitting in a room with one guy who was, you know, his company brought in, I don't know, around 10 million a year. And I was listening to him talk. And I was like, this guy he burns out from his business and he is like, wants to burn everything down every, you know, month and a half.

(12:27): He isn't making very, like, he's not making a lot of sense in some areas he can claim that aren't actually very healthy and, but people are fawning on his every word because, well, they assume because he's so good in business, he's good in everything else. And so they've chased this idea that here's the guru, here's the master because he's skilled at one thing, he must be skilled in everything. And he must be the Supreme kind of being, there are a lot of business people that are great at business. They've developed a wonderful skill at making money, but when it comes to living a fulfilled and genuinely happy life they're miles off target, there are a lot of people that I used to admire inside of church organizations. You know, they were high up in the organizations or they had high offices. And I assumed that because they had memorized a certain amount of scriptures or because they held a certain office that they were somehow greater spiritually than I was or greater spiritually than your average human being.

(13:30): And so I held them up on a pedestal because I saw their position or their skills. And I ASUC that for spirituality, this happens in all kinds of areas, people follow fitness, gurus, people, follow celebrities. Have you noticed this people worship celebrities? It's almost to the point of idol worship. I mean, we even have a, a show called American idol for crying out loud where somebody who has a certain amount of superlative skill that is not to be denied in singing or dancing or music making often that's the case or in art or in other types of things or in acting or something like that. They're worshiped as if they are gods. They have a certain skill, they are paid for that skill. Sure. Maybe they're paid a lot for it, like sports people and some athletes and some actors, or maybe they're paid just a little bit for it.

(14:21): And they really have to scrape by, but they're paid for those skills. And yet a few of 'em because they're in star positions or they do really good at it. Suddenly they're held above the board as if that person is worth more than their skillset. That person is now more important than other people and that they deserve a deference or something like that. Even presidents of the United States or presidents of other countries or presidents of organizations. Often we pander to them. We, you know, brown nose to them. We suck up to them. We do all of these different things just because their position makes us hold them in greater esteem. And it's insane to watch because people don't realize they're doing it, but often a person, especially these, will follow them. They will know everything about their life. They'll study everything as if they are really like, they really know this person and they don't.

(15:19): I once watched I think it was the guy from maroon five, but Levine, Adam Levine. I think he was, I think it was at a super bowl, something. I saw a snippet of it and he was singing. And then he took off his shirt. He threw it into the crowd. And I remember just sitting there going, like, all these fans have studied all the things in all of his songs and they know his words and they love him. And they're gonna take this shirt and they'd be like, they're the number one fan of Adam Levine. But they don't know anything about him as a being, all they know is that he has some sort of starstruck quality about him. And they've mistaken that for who he is, it's taken me a long time to realize the difference between for lack of a better term spiritual realization or enlightenment and mastery.

(16:08): I used to think that they were the same. I used to think the, that somebody who was a spiritual master was like, Jesus, this became popular back at the time of Jesus, by the way before maybe a century or so before Jesus was around the, there wasn't such a push toward miracles that does, they do show up in, in the Bible by, by all means. But the push proving a person's spiritual worth by the miracles that they produce. Wasn't something that showed up until maybe a century before Jesus or something in really full force. At that point in time, people would say, Hey, here's a person who can do something miraculous who can do something that's above normal. Who can do something that's superhuman. And because of that, we know that they are divine. We know that they come from God.

(16:56): And so then that became the measure and the basis by which they would judge, whether a person was divine or not. And so people were asking Jesus to work miracles. And of course he's Dem mirroring when it's not gonna be helpful to the group because he understands that that has nothing to do with spirituality at all. Working miracles just means you understand the natural way that, that the laws of nature function and you're in direct communication with 'em in such a way that you can do something that most people don't expect that's outside of their capacity or their ability to even understand that doesn't mean it's not, it's against the laws of nature. That doesn't mean it's not natural, that it's supernatural or anything like that. It just means that most people, people don't do it. And so when it does happen, it feels like, wow, this person must be from another planet.

(17:39): They must be divine. They must be something. And so this has started happening a lot. The more miracles a person did, the more that they were seen as divine. But the problem with that is there's lots of people that can do so many pretty incredible things, but that doesn't make them divine. Divinity is something different. And as long as there is confusion between perfection and spiritual wholeness and spirituality, like, ah, I don't have a good word for it. It's not Salva. It is Sal in a way, but being whole and complete and fulfilled and flawless and blameless before God, or however you wanna describe that there are two separate things. Shanti who's a Zen teacher. He once described enlightenment this way. He had a teacher, he told him about some past life or Russians and stuff. And he was asking about it. And the teacher was like, look, if you do have them, they're not one they're not required.

(18:35): Two. We don't even know what they are. And three, if you do have them, they're probably gonna find that they're from times when you were a jerk in another life, because enlightenment itself doesn't really leave a trace. There isn't a body shape that would have help you ascertain whether Jesus was enlightened or not. It's not a body shape. In fact, the way Isaiah writes it, supposedly he's a Reed out of dried ground. Some withered thing that wasn't exactly comely to look upon, right? It's not that you would be missing anything from him. Maybe his presence would be different, but he's not exactly gonna look like a superstar, right? He's not gonna be hanging on Kim Kardashian's arm maybe or something like that. So what we're looking at is that there isn't really any physical form that you're gonna look at. There's not an occupation. That's an indicator of whether or not a person is enlightened or really divine or not.

(19:25): There's not a language that is more divine than another, another one. Even though people argue about that all the time, there isn't any external marker of what would make a person truly realized. It's an internal thing. Why, because what we're searching for in real true fulfillment, isn't something that's visible, the word for eternity. And the word for E eternal is something that gets confused a lot. It's alum in in Hebrew and what it means is something that is beyond what you can see. It's beyond your eyes, right? It's leading your eyes somewhere, maybe, but it's beyond your eyes. And so they would use that term to discuss the past meaning that's beyond what I can see. They would use that term to discuss the future, meaning that's beyond what I could see. And they would even use that term to describe something that maybe even is hidden.

(20:17): It's hidden, it's invisible. So when, and then it's translated as everlasting or forever, but everlasting happiness upon their heads is a blessing that's in the Bible. But if you really looked at the word, it would mean a kind of happiness that isn't visible. It's beyond. What I can see is upon their heads. Now that's a very different kind of promise. And that's what you're gonna experience inside of a person who's really within themselves whole and complete. And that's not the same thing as that person having tremendous and prodigious skills. And so all of this perfectionism is probably accidental in many ways. Parents didn't mean to turn you into a perfectionist and your religion teachers didn't mean to turn you into some perfectionist. You're supposed to be like Jesus. Well, they didn't mean that you're supposed to walk on water and raise the dead and all the other stuff, but then there's verses in there's.

(21:06): It's like, well, when I'm gone, you'll do even greater works than I am. And so a lot of people still get hung up on these outward signs of divinity and not on that inner sense of fulfillment and connection with the divine and everything else. That's really there. And so in my life I had that confusion. And because of that, I chased perfection. I chased abilities. I chased skills. I chased techniques. I chased knowledge and understanding. And then one day I was walking out of the mess hall with Vladimir Vasilia. Who's one of the main instructors of Russian SMA. And I was at a camp with him and we looked off to the side and off to the left side. There were some people that were doing some therapeutic practice and he looks over and he goes, what is it? And I said, well, that's, ZHealth, you know, that's, they're doing this.

(21:53): And it works with the nerves and the system and all this other stuff. And I said, do you wanna learn some more about it? And he says, no, no. I've figured out that if I'm not interested, but not in my life. And then he walked off and it blew me apart better than any punch, he had landed on me. Just that one little phrase that, Hey, if I found that it's not of interest to me, that it doesn't really enhance my life made me really, cuz I got my value out of how much I knew how much I understood how much I'd studied, how much I could put people in their place. And all of a sudden here I was recognizing that no amount of information in the world mattered no amount of skill in the world mattered. If ultimately it didn't enhance your quality of life.

(22:36): And here was a man who was some ex Russian operative who was prodigiously skilled and who realized like it's not useful for my life. So I don't need to know it. I'm willing to be the ignorant one in the room if it's not gonna help my life because true happiness, true fulfillment, true joy is something totally different than mastery of a skill. You don't have to be a master of anything to have total fulfillment, total peace within you, total realization, total enlightenment. You don't have to have any mastery of anything to wake up from the nightmare of suffering that can happen. Whether or not you ever learn to do things better than anybody else. Isn't that such a gift? Yes. It's fun to master something. Yes. It's a way to train the mind and the body. Yes. It can produce experiences in life, but happiness and joy aren't dependent.

(23:30): Don't do any of that. Those come from just waking up and that's such a pro prestigious promise to you, my friend do not have to be perfect at anything. You don't have to be perfect at anything. If when Jesus in the Bible said be perfect. He used the phrase, be complete and be whole, even in Latin, the word perfect means thoroughly done. Meaning there's not a part of you missing and your whole incomplete as you are right now. So be that way, be whole and incomplete and stop thinking that, oh, if I just learned this next thing, or if I just get this next bit of next certification or if I just, you know, this, that or the other, somehow I'll be more worth something it's not true. Who you are is sufficient and you don't have to live another day suffering if you can really see that. And that's it for today's alive and free podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bomb landing in your earbuds subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcast from. And while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus it's just nice to be nice.

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