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Most of the things you love and enjoy in life are imperfect in some way. But that doesn’t keep you from loving them. In many cases, you love something because of its imperfections.

Yet, we’re pretty hard on ourselves. We expect perfection and nothing less, so we end up feeling stuck because we can’t make something perfect.

This is a huge problem because quantity leads to quality.

Perfectionism inhibits consistency. Without consistency, you won’t produce quantity—which means you can’t produce quality. The very pursuit of perfectionism ensures you won’t get the results you seek.

Your standards are unrealistically high if they cause paralysis.

You don’t get to determine the value of your work. That’s for others to decide.

So how do you get past the mental roadblocks and be consistent? That’s what we’ll talk about today.

Links & Resources Mentioned
Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated by Descript and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

Sean: [00:00:00] What do the ants do they come up there? Like what’s this? Can you describe what I’m doing 

Ben: [00:00:05] Yes, Ash on is waving his hands and feelers in the are trying to figure out what’s going on. Why is why is there suddenly this object in the path? 

Sean: [00:00:17] then? Yeah, they roll over on their backs and they die.

Good morning. Then. I see I got you people in the chat there like good morning Ben and I just said it short. You never 

Ben: [00:00:52] Never know. Wow. 

Sean: [00:00:55] You never know. That’s the problem then when you’re not consistent. See what I did there. I got to the topic faster than we ever have. 

Ben: [00:01:05] toes today. 

Sean: [00:01:08] have to be perfect.

Feels wrong getting in the topic so fast, how are you doing? 

Ben: [00:01:16] I’m here. Now I’m doing I’m doing 

Sean: [00:01:23] even I don’t even know. So like it’s you know week away from a sabbatical week and that sabbatical week. Is the last one basically before the end of the year, like there’s one more right before Christmas, but then it’s kind of done like then it’s basically 20/20 on a month sabbatical year.

That’s 

Ben: [00:01:48] There’s this thing that happens when you get into a consistent Rhythm where like things things like that like you anticipate them coming. I’ve got a I’ve got a vacation coming up. and. I’ve known that it was coming for several months, but I’ve been so locked into my rhythm that it’s. Oh, it’s here.

It’s like practically just right around the corner and I don’t know like it’s kind of nice and in some ways sort of like when there’s something you know, when you’re a kid and like you had a birthday the next day and you really excited and and you’re kind of like fighting between do I you know, I feel like I want to stay awake because I’m so excited but then like the sooner I go to sleep.

The sooner this this day will get here and I feel like that’s kind of what it is. It’s like you you’re putting your head down and your you’re just you know, and focus mode and then it’s not that you want time to pass but. 

Sean: [00:02:54] know. That’s weird. It’s weird to process. I don’t want to like, you know toot my own horn or anything, but I feel like White’s my color.

I think this is working. You can say no Ben well is just silent for so long. This is why people don’t watch the video podcast. 

Ben: [00:03:15] it’s terrible. I you know, actually I don’t think it works. 

Sean: [00:03:20] Okay. All right. Yeah. 

Ben: [00:03:22] But White’s white stuff. 

Sean: [00:03:25] just trying it 

Ben: [00:03:26] of a personal 

Sean: [00:03:27] just trying it out. Usually I’m like muted chat room silent.

Okay. I’m never wearing white again. What’s the Labor Day rule something about white? Before after how does that work? 

Ben: [00:03:40] I have no idea. I’ve 

Sean: [00:03:42] this the show? 

Ben: [00:03:43] this is 

Sean: [00:03:45] We were on such a roll. We’re right into the topic. Emily says good now, they’re feeling bad 

Ben: [00:03:52] wearing a how you know, this is interesting.

I’m wearing a black shirt with no logo on it. I’m going to just face the camera here. You know, you know what it reminds me of. 

Sean: [00:04:06] the shoulder Angels? Like you’ll be the devil? I’ll be the I’ll be the angel and we Whispering people’s ears. 

Ben: [00:04:12] to say spy versus spy. But yeah, 

Sean: [00:04:14] close. Okay. How to cure perfectionism and be consistent that’s our topic today.

A lot of people struggle with perfectionism been I don’t know about you. I know about me. And I definitely have struggled with it. It’s an ongoing battle. I think I’ve found some stuff that that works that helps that allows me to put things out consistently regardless of them being perfect or not.

But I was thinking about this this morning and I realized most of the things you love and enjoy in your life are imperfect in some way. most of them and in some cases maybe many cases. You you not only love those things in spite of their imperfections, but maybe because of their imperfections like I look at this little wave painting from Hawaii that I got my desk here and you know, I look at it every day and you know, I stare at the lines and stuff and it’s slightly imperfect, but I love it.

I think I love it because of the imperfections like if it looked like a perfect vector. Print it wouldn’t be as endearing. You know, it’s like it’s what makes it authentic. It’s what makes it human and original like and gives it character.

Ben: [00:05:41] there’s definitely something to I was thinking about the same idea. I’m sitting here looking at that wave and thinking, you know from from where I’m sitting. it looks. Perfect. Like it looks like something that was crafted. From someone who has done this so many times. 

Sean: [00:06:05] 10 

Ben: [00:06:11] yeah there there are there are imperfections but like compositionally the.

The way that I mean like just the fact that it’s on the box the thickness of it like all of those things kind of in my mind. It’s perfect in a certain way. 

Sean: [00:06:30] He would say we would probably say of that that’s quality craftsmanship 

Ben: [00:06:35] know if perfect is the right word, but it’s just like it’s it’s solid like I can’t I can’t look at that and.

and criticize it. You know, like I feel like it’s not it’s not missing anything. 

Sean: [00:06:52] But but artists like, you know, the artist name is is melon that’s his what he goes by you know, he criticizes his own paintings and he sees the imperfections when we look back on our work. We see the flaws. We see what we would have improved at some point.

We just kind of threw up our hands and said, all right. This is as good as it’s gonna get and we put it out there but. It has to pass some threshold that allows us to say. Alright, I’m willing to put this out there instead of just completely scrap it but I think for most of us that threshold that bar is far too high because you know, you’re sitting 10 feet away and it looks great but in a sense.

Everyone sitting 10 feet away from your work. You’re right up close because this is your work and your you’re the Creator. You’re the one crossing the t’s dotting the eyes, you know perfecting The Strokes like you are up close everyone else. It’s like it’s just kind of a passing glance. They’re not looking for the flaws in your work like you are.

You’re looking for the flaws. They’re not actually looking for the flaws there thinking about the flaws in themselves and the things they create they’re not really like we think everyone’s looking for the flaws to nitpick at us. But in reality they just don’t care. 

Ben: [00:08:23] to like put this together because.

I think about a television show that I really enjoy and. How from a production standpoint like all of the shots the dialogues the performances everything is? I would call it perfect and yet it’s still like you have I’m sure each individual involved probably has something that they look at and think how I wish I would have done that a little bit differently like like 

Sean: [00:08:58] like that like the Star Wars prequels.

Ben: [00:09:00] Okay. Let’s not go 

Sean: [00:09:01] close to perfect. 

Ben: [00:09:04] I wasn’t I was talking about the television show. my performing 

Sean: [00:09:10] can’t they 

Ben: [00:09:15] I’m talking about something that’s actually perfect so. but like my performance was off there or the person who did that, you know the editing like. Or the person who set up the lights like this wasn’t lit just so you know, like there are all of these little things that individual.

People might feel our imperfections in a work that is from the outside seems completely. Perfect. Just solid. Like I can’t I can’t poke any holes in it, you know.

I’m just trying to think of like different things like like musical performances, you know, nobody when you go and see a live performance. You don’t want the radio version of the song like you 

Sean: [00:10:10] It reminds me of like those animatronics, you know, like you don’t you don’t really go to a show to see robots perfectly perform the moves in sync, you 

Ben: [00:10:21] I never go to Sea and sinking concert the the performance and the like the emotionality of it and the.

breaking, you know your voice breaking on that that line or like doing the lead riff a little bit differently and maybe bending a note too much because you were just super into 

Sean: [00:10:43] live performance albums better than the originals because you do get a little bit of that like. You know the harmonics in the guitar a little bit different and like the energies a little bit different and the way they hold that one note is a little bit different but it’s raw and authentic.

It’s not so like auto-tuned and produced not that there’s anything wrong with that necessarily but there’s there’s just something a little more real. 

Ben: [00:11:12] mentioned earlier just like the human element. Is something that we’re. Were so drawn 

Sean: [00:11:22] and we’re missing in a lot of cases like, you know, I used to do hand lettering.

That was something I talked about a lot, you know back in the day and hand lettering experience this resurgent interest Suddenly It’s not like people had never done hand lettering until 7 years ago 10 years ago. They were doing a long time ago. You know hand-painted signs and stuff. But recently in the past decade there was this resurgent interest searches for the phrase lettering hand lettering on Google went up a thousand percent.

Where’s that coming from? My theory is as things got more automated and we’re automating lots of things we get Robo spam calls and we get automated call systems and and letters in the mail that are printed with. Ink fonts that are supposed to look handwritten. It’s like we’re we’re wise to that and we’re kind of sick of it and when you can tell that there was a human with a soul behind the work that you’re looking at whether that’s a handwritten note whether that’s art on a billboard or a campaign.

But like when it looks like some actual human put some some thought and energy and Care into this thing. We connect with it more. But it’s but it’s it’s actually what that is is the imperfections. That come from the human element that are what we connect to yet. We think what people want is the robotic output.

It’s like when I when I made when I make a typo in one of my quote graphics and then in a later post I pointed out like with with an arrow, like look I messed up this word. Like that helps people feel like I’m a little bit less of a robot. Like there’s not that just this machine cranking out this stuff, but it’s me sitting there typing on a keyboard.

Ben: [00:13:20] what they don’t realize is that you have so perfected the art of appearing human that you can even manufacture mistakes.

Sean: [00:13:34] on 

Ben: [00:13:35] I’m just kidding. 

Sean: [00:13:36] ourselves though. We. We expect Perfection of ourselves and we feel stuck because we can’t make something perfect. You know, like we can’t make something perfect and we expect perfect. So we just feel stuck. Where where does that come from? Where does the the expectation of perfection come from?

I mean. we could talk about that but wherever it comes from. It’s a huge problem. Why is perfectionism a huge problem because quantity leads to Quality. It’s it’s counterintuitive. It’s the opposite of what you think but through a volume of work. Will you perfect your craft? And get better at what you do not by sitting and thinking and remaining inactive until you can produce the perfect thing but by going through many iterations are at as as I like to say a sea of imperfect work.

Just imagine filling up a sea of imperfect work. Just just keep keep contributing keep contributing more more imperfect work more imperfect work. Just just keep producing that’s going to lead you to Quality. It doesn’t work when you start with the expectation of quality and Perfection because Perfection inhibits consistency.

And without consistency you won’t produce quantity. And that means you can’t produce quality. So the very it’s the very pursuit of perfection that that ensures you won’t get the results you seek. 

Ben: [00:15:29] Philip in the chat says I’m a perfectionist to the point where I don’t even begin things because I get demotivated at my inability to reach the image.

I have created in my mind of how something should be. I mean that’s.

that experience of imagining something. That’s perfect. It’s it’s kind of. it’s a little bit of a comfort thing like. While it’s still in my head it’s perfect. And and I can imagine that it’s perfect and I can see all the ways that it’s perfect. And as soon as I put my pen to papers soon as I start typing out that article or as soon as I start designing that thing.

Sean: [00:16:24] produce 

Ben: [00:16:28] And so. and and yeah, I mean so many people get stuck there. I we keep composition notebooks like tons of composition of books around the house and we given to the boys. For for writing drawing, whatever. and. It’s really interesting to me. It’s been really interesting to me to see how.

the younger ones they will just like they’ll start on a page. They’ll scribble something on it. And then they’ll go to the next one and then they’ll just burn through composition. Notebook like they could do they could do that in afternoon just over and over and over again and. The older they get the slower that process seems to be.

and what’s also interesting is the younger they are the more likely they are to show us what they’re doing maybe like look what I made and then as they get older they kind of they get a little bit more selective about what they’re showing and and and part of that is natural, but I think I think there is something really cool about.

That feeling of freedom to like I’m just going to scribble something on here. And then I’m going to go to the next page and I’m just going to keep doing it and I’m going to rip out every single page I make and be like I made this for you. I made this and it’s like, you 

Sean: [00:18:02] producing without judgment.

Ben: [00:18:09] And as you as as you look at the pieces that come out like you can you can see the trends you can see the improvements you can see. the like the circle with the five lines coming out in different places and like that slowly becoming a person over time and it’s so.

But but we’re so afraid. two.

so I think we look at that and we think oh that’s cute. But that is the creative process. 

Sean: [00:18:53] when you don’t put out imperfect work. You you don’t show a journey of progression. There’s there’s Beauty in that story of progression. Like it there’s there’s it reminds you of where you came from. It shows other people that where you are now, which let’s just fast forward five or ten years in the future.

You’re going to do better work you’re going to do amazing work people are going to look to you and be like, how do you how do you do that? How can I do that? Why can’t I do that? But when you share along the way the imperfect works you create this story of progression. Someone else can go back to and they can they can understand the process.

This wasn’t magic. They didn’t get here overnight. It was hard work and consistency over time. So we feel tormented because we have this perfect idea in our minds this vision of whatever we want to create. And then when we when we move our hands and we try to we try to breathe life into it and and and birth it into the physical world.

It doesn’t look like that image of perfection in our minds and we get frustrated and we judge and we feel insecure because we feel tormented. Why can’t I transpose this idea my mind? To Something in the physical world. Why does it look terrible and we feel like someone just out to get us but everyone has gone through that process.

Everyone has gone through the process of honing the ability to translator transpose the perfect idea in their minds into physical reality like it is it’s an art form. It’s a skill. It’s something that you develop over time. You’re not tormented. You just haven’t gone through the process of creating a sea of imperfect work anyone else who’s able to do that in a way that appears to be effortless has simply honed the ability to transpose ideas in their mind into physical reality.

Ben: [00:21:15] and showing that story of progression. I started thinking about. My my video production I got a comment on a video I made recently asking about how the teleprompter works and like how to use a beam splitter glass and follow along and I was thinking back to this video. I made it must have been like three four years ago, maybe.

and. it would that video would answer this person’s question. And I was really hesitant to link to it because I was I was like what they’re they’re experiencing me today. Which you know like I’m still I’m still very I I can I can pick apart my my videos and my lighting and like all of that stuff, but I can also see a huge difference between what I’m able to produce today versus what I was producing three or four years ago.

So one, I think I think I should. Send that guy the video so that and just get over myself because even even that like it’s it’s useful information. And even though the quality isn’t what I’m capable of producing today, it kind of illustrates something else. But I also thought about how there are these gaps.

And if you like if you were to go to my personal YouTube channel and you look back through my feed. There are you know several months where I just wasn’t posting anything and it doesn’t mean I wasn’t making anything a lot of times what was happening and you know, tell me if well, you’ve been such a consistent Creator, but.

But I would start a vlog or I would start a video project and I’d get all the footage and put the sequence together and and drop everything in and start editing it and just be like this is terrible. And it just it never got past the first draft never saw the light of day. They’re there months of.

Of work like that that I just I never published and so there are these huge gaps between where I was and and how I’ve grown, you know, so I’ve done the work but I’ve not shared it and the thing is like those months. Not only would have told the story of my progression but also being consistent even if I wasn’t.

Super happy with it. It would have put me much further along than I am today in terms of my audience and my ability to connect with people and my ability to help people and that’s the thing I think is the most frustrating like. 

Sean: [00:24:25] knowing. 

Ben: [00:24:27] knowing that what I want to do the most I’m hindered. and doing because I was so worried about.

Putting 

Sean: [00:24:40] And posted something I think the other week. That said choose consistency over perfection. I’ve I mean I’ve had those gaps to been like I’ve shared this before but I used to post hand lettering and so a large part of my audience in the past was following me just for the lettering not for me not for any of my.

Ideas insights anything I had to say it was just for the lettering. Excuse me. I pivoted started talking more about business stuff. And every time I posted I would lose a hundred followers. So I was I was actually at 98 thousand followers on Instagram. And when I change the the type of the content every time I posted I lost a hundred followers.

I’m down to like 70,000 now. Every time I post I lose followers, sometimes it’ll go down and come back up and then go back down but it’s just down down down and that that discouraged me so much, which is absolutely silly. Like if I just suddenly said Bend you have 240 thousand followers and every time you posted you lost a few.

Like you would think well, I would be grateful for those two hundred forty thousand followers. And even if 80,000 of them are going to unfollow me at least that’s you know, a hundred sixty thousand like that’s still awesome, but psychologically it gets to you the numbers get to you you attribute the value of what you do to the numbers and you see numbers declining as an indication that.

Your value is going down and I’ve seen this happen. I know this happens for people at every level with millions of subscribers like or followers or whatever. I know this happens and people stress out about it. And there’s so many variables right? Like there’s algorithm changes, you know, like these platforms change things so that your organic reach goes down because enough people are paying for advertising that.

They don’t need to give away free reach right people will pay for it. That’s just how it works. But still, you know it gets to you right and so, you know, you said you said Sean you’ve been such a consistent Creator, but there have been multiple times where on Instagram for instance. I just went dark for six months didn’t post a single thing because I would get so.

discouraged. By posting something that I felt like was good and just because of how we’re wired psychologically. I didn’t pay attention to the people that liked and commented on it who appreciated it. I watched the follower count dwindle and think that it’s no good and so as irrational as it is, I just stopped posting because hey if I stop posting I’ll stop losing followers, which is the stupidest thing in the world and and I feel dumb saying it out loud.

But like that’s what was going through my mind. So, I mean, I’m I’m just as susceptible to it. And I also go through dark periods where I’ll just like not post things right because it’s this isn’t even necessarily like Perfection exactly, but it’s still it’s still mental like it’s it’s a it’s a mindset thing.

It’s a how you want to look at it thing and. I don’t know exactly what the reason is for everyone. I don’t even know if this is the reason for me or if there’s probably a lot of reasons and deeper reasons, but I think we believe that if if what we make is not perfect then we’re not perfect and if we’re not perfect we’re not good enough because only perfect is good enough.

Ben: [00:28:39] yeah, we’re maybe we. maybe we’re. Worse so good at criticizing and picking apart our own work. And were not as good at doing that with other people’s work. And so what we and and there’s also I think some of that. I forget I forget how exactly it’s termed. But like you see you see the the top.

Producers like the very best of the best and whatever your field is, 

Sean: [00:29:15] bubble of Awesomeness like the the best work in the world. Whatever your field is film making art, you know, it doesn’t matter the cream of the crop Rises to the top. That’s the stuff that gets circulated and goes viral and that you see and is popular and is you know at the top of the algorithms in your feeds and all that stuff.

You see the best of the best in the entire world and you compare yourself to that you concoct you create you establish this bubble of Awesomeness around yourself and you compare yourself to it. And it’s the point zero zero zero one percent of all the work that’s out there and you may actually be doing incredible.

But you you create this bubble of Awesomeness for yourself. And you convinced yourself. Like I’m not good enough without any regard for where those people were a year ago or five years ago or what that Journey looked like it’s just like, oh, I’m 

Ben: [00:30:18] yeah, so think of all the people and I don’t know like this is I think a great way to visualize it as you think of all the people who are trying to do what you’re trying to do.

I’m on video here. Like I’ve got one finger on the left of the screen and one finger all the way on the right of the screen. That’s backwards anyways, so. So you got this is all of the people who are trying to do what you’re doing what you see as like the quality standard for being allowed to be in this space.

Just like I’m only allowed to be in the space if I can be as good as these people. And and it’s such at like what you’re actually seeing and what represents Perfection to you is this tiny sliver. Of what’s actually out there and the reality might be that you’re actually like up here. You’re like 

Sean: [00:31:20] you’re in the 90th 

Ben: [00:31:26] yourself.

And because your quality doesn’t match that you think you don’t belong in 

Sean: [00:31:31] when in reality 99.999% of people are not even actively producing 

Ben: [00:31:40] thing, 

Sean: [00:31:42] it. Maybe they want to maybe they do every once in awhile. They post once a month or something like that. Like if if you’re even trying or thinking about it or doing something consistently.

You’ve set yourself apart. It’s a matter of time. It’s a but you know, this kind of brings us to the the consistency part of today’s topic. It’s a matter of time and consistency like quantity over time that’s going to lead to Perfection, but you don’t get to you don’t get to jump there. And you also like this is the other problem with this whole perfectionism thing.

It’s rooted in this belief that what we have is not good enough. I was talking to Dan yesterday on a call and I said I said Dan here’s what you need to do because we were talking about writing a book and I told him still I think writing a book is the hardest thing I’ve ever done like there’s been a lot of difficult things, but that was just difficult and it in writing a book was difficult because it’s just.

Hard work overtime. There’s no like there’s no other way around it. It’s just going to be a lot of hard work. It’s just a lot so it’s really hard and he’s like, yeah tell me about it. Like I’ve been trying to Dan’s been trying to write a book and I said, you know what you should write you should write a book called.

I tried to write a book. And and talk about how you were able to write a book and talk about how you failed and why and I’m like, I know you’ve got all kinds of stuff to say about how and why you were stopped up as a writer and why you had nothing to say and why it was hard. Like this doesn’t have to be a perfect book.

But if you wrote a book if there’s a book that said I try to write a book by Dan Jacobson, I’d buy it and I’d read it. So there’s your first customer like it doesn’t have to be. But somehow like just taking the pressure off of having to write this perfect thing if Dan was supposed to write his book and instead he procrastinated and wrote a different book called.

I tried to write a book he’d finish it because it’s because of the pressure he would be removing the pressure from himself. So we feel like what we have and what we’ve what we’ve made as compared to what we have in our minds is not good enough and the problem with this is not good enough is basically making a judgment call on value.

This is not valuable. Right? So therefore it I don’t get to put it out there. You don’t get to decide what’s valuable though. Others do value is subjective value is defined by the end consumer they get to determine if this is worth it. We talked about in a recent episode. You know, I did a little Instagram clip with my phone like Hey, we’re recording a podcast.

I’m like, that seems dumb. No one cares about this stuff. But some people do I don’t get to decide I’m used to this studio and all this stuff. So I’m like, whatever. But yesterday I did a little Studio behind the scenes showing people all the gear and I was like But the irony is I made this clip on my phone and you could just stick it on a tripod and use light from the window and and it’s fine.

Right but I kind of showed people behind the scenes and they thought it was awesome, you know, and to me like this is normal, right, but we don’t get to decide what’s valuable. We don’t get to decide. What’s interesting. We don’t get to decide. What’s what’s good enough or what’s perfect, you know, like we just we just need to put it out there and let other people decide and so you can’t overthink you have to you have to just be consistent you start with the end in mind.

I’m going to post every day. If you have 15 seconds, great hold hold down the button share a message. Let go. What do I post? Don’t overthink it? Document what you’re doing. That’s it. I’m recording a podcast. I’m working on a design. I’m trying out this 30-day riding challenge Philip. You just you share that you don’t get to decide if it’s interesting.

You let other people decide what’s interesting. So you just you share you post you post you post everyday start with the end of mine. I will post something today. Then you see what the feedback is then you’re able to respond to people. What are they interested in? What are they asking for? You know, what?

Are they paying attention to? That’s the only way you can’t we can’t figure that out when you’re just stuck 

Ben: [00:36:28] Yeah, there’s there’s so much emphasis on. Trying to gather enough data ahead of time like doing keyword research. And like I’m I’m thinking about, you know, specifically producing videos, but even you know in.

In in the writing industry. It’s like well what books what books are popular what? What are people what are people purchasing what genres are most interesting or like what what artistic style is resonating with people the most and trying to trying to like figure that stuff out and then you’ve got your own ideas about whether or not something is ready and or whether or not something is valuable and the thing is like as long as it’s in your head or even like just.

If you haven’t put it out there yet. If you’ve not exposed your work to other people and other people’s ideas and valuations and stuff like that you’re working with. This the smallest data set that you possibly can and trying to make a decision about whether or not to publish something based on.

Not enough information. And so yeah like. You you want data you want to know what resonates with people that’s and that could be part of why you’re stuck. Like I want to I want to know that this thing is really going to be a home run. I want to know that it’s going to get a lot of likes and comments.

I want to know that. People are going to find it value valuable. I want to know that people are going to want to pay money for this or I want to know people are going to want to subscribe to have access to this or whatever it is. And you can’t you can’t know that. Based on the limited information you have from not actually having published anything.

You get the ball rolling you get the data pouring in. When you start publishing consistently like that’s what unlocks the floodgates. That’s what gives you so it’s like, you know, a hundred a hundred posts or published Works into it, you know a lot more about what’s actually going to resonate with people.

What’s going to make money. What’s going to get subscriptions. What’s you know, like that’s that’s how you that’s how you get that information. That’s how you know,

Sean: [00:39:13] I would submit that the world the vast majority of people want more imperfect stuff from you.

I would just submit that so then there’s the whole other thing of like they probably won’t even see all of it. So you should be sharing more. But also people want to like I want to see more imperfect stuff from Dan. Talk to me about the writing process talk to me about how you’re blocked. Like well, no, I don’t want to like that makes me look like I’m struggling and I’d rather just be invisible.

But like no no one’s you don’t share the process. You’re not letting anyone inside the journey. You’re not you’re not making yourself accountable. You’re not showing up every day, like just show up and say like I’m stuck and the fact that you started with the end in mind. I’m going to show up and I’m going to post an Instagram story every day update day, you know 48 of trying to write a book.

Here’s how it’s going. I didn’t really want to start editing because it’s 51 thousand words and that seemed like too much so I just want to play Skyrim. But then I told myself I’ll just edit for five minutes. And since I said I could just edit for five minutes that made it more approachable. And then I edited for 35 minutes.

There you go. That’s your 15 second post for today the next day you show up and you say day 49 I edited for 20 minutes a day 50 you show up and you say so I just don’t I didn’t feel like editing today. And I feel bad about that. But I wanted to just keep stay accountable and post my update today day 51 I didn’t edit today can’t tell you why I just it was a busy day.

It wasn’t feeling it day 52 and you’ll start to realize. Oh, wow. I’ve I’ve shown up three days in a row and said, I’m not editing. And that forces you to think about it forces you to assess it. Forces you to stay accountable maybe fix something about it to say nothing of whether anyone has a useful suggestion for you and showing up to say nothing about being able to look back and see exactly what it was like to write that book when I wrote overlap.

I was not only I’m not suggesting anyone do this. I’m just saying I’m glad that I did was not only writing the book every day. I took me 14 days to write it. I was also live streaming every single day. sharing the process. And the reason I’m glad I did that is because when you look at the past you see the past through rose-colored glasses.

You don’t actually see it for what it was. They do studies where they’ve severed the left and right hemisphere of the brain and they they communicate to one hemisphere using different input methods and and tell the brain to do something like go walk over there and get a glass of water or something like that.

Then they asked the other half the other hemisphere. You know, which could be like the rational size so they could just speak, you know, and and that side of the brain will tell you why it did whatever it did even though it has no idea because the other the other hemisphere is what was influenced.

The brain retroactively rationalizes what it did we rewrite history to make sense of it for ourselves. So when you don’t document the journey as you go you have no idea what you went through. You have no idea what the process look like for. You can’t share that with others. You can’t share it with yourself.

Even when you write that retrospective. It’s not accurate. It’s not accurate. The only way to preserve the truth of the past is to document as you go. That’s how you get the real story. That’s how you get the real picture which is encouraging to other people because of Dan Waits until he finally writes this book to say here’s how I wrote a book, you know, I sat down and I started on this part and I start on this part and then I edit it together like.

That’s not actually what it looked like what it looked like was 3 days in a row at day 50 of not feeling like doing anything. And so if someone’s reading your retrospective something you wrote after the fact about an experience when you’re looking at the past through rose-colored glasses, they’re not going to get an accurate picture of what the process look like, which makes them feel alone when they’re struggling or they’re experiencing these different nuances that you actually experience.

But you didn’t capture you didn’t document along the way and so those details were lost. There’s just so many benefits so many benefits to documenting as 

Ben: [00:44:04] idea of this person. Just showed up and like was awesome at what they did. Like like a pop star that has their single on the radio for the first time and they explode and it’s like wow this this person has never done any bad work in like they don’t even really talk about or publish.

I think it’s I think it’s becoming more more and more common that people do get into their back stories and they and they share some of the. The harder parts of their Journey. 

Sean: [00:44:39] most inspired by? 

Ben: [00:44:42] well and so I will say that there is something to like. I think people enjoy the experience of looking at something and and being in awe of it.

But if if that’s what you’re going for. You sacrifice the ability to really help people. You are the subject you are the. you are the thing that people are looking at and you can’t if you if you don’t get real with people and you don’t share the if if you’re not if you’re not a real person because that’s what it is.

I mean like when somebody when somebody is held up as a celebrity. Or as like just this this picture of perfection for this thing.

You get you get all the Adoration, but but you just you 

Sean: [00:45:48] helping people helping people is one part but also realize they’ll have a greater appreciation for what you did if you show the process like this is what went into it. We all love the behind the scenes, you know, give me the the. People don’t use DVDs anymore, but you know that I was thinking like the DVD extras, you know, like like the making of the direct directors commentary like we love behind the scenes stuff.

We love the process stuff show me how the magic trick was done like and then I appreciate it even more because it’s like look at that sleight of hand. How does he make it go behind his hand and look like it wasn’t there the whole time. We love that stuff. And so when you show not only the how and the process but also the struggles along the way it’s like, oh wow.

He’s not superhuman. She’s not Superwoman like she got to a point where this was difficult. This was this was hard. This was agonizing. She wanted to give up. I’ve been there. I felt like that so you’re on you’re on the edge of your seat. Like how is this person going to respond in this scenario in which I’ve often found myself as well.

How are they going to respond? What are they going to do? Like we want to be inspired. We don’t actually want it to be perfect. Like we don’t want it to be like effortless because we don’t want to feel alone. We want to feel like other people go through what I go through and it’s a struggle to make something.

Ben: [00:47:30] Yeah, so there’s and I think that’s like really what it comes down to is this sense of separateness that that you maintain if you don’t. Don’t allow yourself to to show the struggle and tell the story of your journey along. The way one is one is all about elevating yourself in the minds of others and creating something really that’s.

That’s a fabricated version of who you are verses. connecting with people and having a real relationship because I mean, I think that’s. but like I said people people like to be in awe of things. But but I think deep down. We all realize we’re just being told. A narrow version of that person’s story, you know, like deep down we realized that it’s fake and it’s and it’s manufacturer.

It’s like deep down. We know that there’s there’s no such thing as magic and. and we can and we can only our appreciation for something can only go so far. The depth of that relationship can can only go so far before it’s like well, that’s that’s it. It’s just the spectacle and then nothing else.

But like when you get to see somebody being a real human being and struggling and failing and trying again and working through those things.

It’s. You’re just you’re able to relate your able to say I can I can actually go deeper with this person. I can trust them because they’ve been

Sean: [00:49:23] You want the end results without the process you want to just jump straight to having made the perfect thing without going through the process of making and producing and putting out something imperfect along the way it doesn’t it doesn’t work like that that that’s just not how it works. It’s. You might think like well, I just have high standards.

but if your standards. It’s not just high standards. Your standards are unrealistically high if they cause paralysis, so if you’re not moving you can know my standards. That’s what you believe this holding you back. My standards are unrealistically high. Cuz it’s resulting in paralysis.

Perfectionism is ego and ego is insecurity. There’s a comment in the chat here. It’s hard to be vulnerable even though it’s actually what other people want. I’m not really sure why this is but it sure describes my entire life. It’s hard to be vulnerable. It’s hard it’s hard because we want to go from.

Zero the starting line to having made the perfect thing and we don’t want to go through the process of putting out something imperfect because when we put out something imperfect we feel like that is a reflection of who I am perfectionism is ego and ego is insecurity. You’ve got to get secure with yourself separate from your work.

You are not what you do. You are not the results of what you do you are not worth less. When what you produce is imperfect? So once you really understand that at a deep level it unlocks your ability to be vulnerable. It unlocks your ability to share the journey be imperfect show the process and help people understand like.

This is what it looks like. I’m going through the same thing as you I experienced the same frustrations, but I but I keep going because I don’t attach my identity to what I’m producing or the results of what I’m doing. I’m just going I’m just going and it’s those people we connect with the most because it’s the most human experience that we all go through and it’s encouraging when someone shares that real raw process.

We feel connected to them. We respect them even more even though it’s so counterintuitive because we think if we if we show that imperfect work we expose ourselves and we’re not comfortable with exposing ourselves because we’re not secure with ourselves in the first place.

Ben: [00:52:24] I think there’s incredible pressure for someone who? thinks that they have to. they have to put up perfect work. They have to keep up this facade of perfection. Like I can’t I can’t afford and I wonder I wonder if some of it maybe comes back to like if you have put forth this idea like you are trying to.

Put forth this idea that you are. This version of perfection this this elevated version of yourself that maybe you really not so like you’re trying to be someone you’re not because you you’ve seen other people. Get subscribers get likes make a lot of sales being. You know, whatever version of perfect that is in your mind.

And so it’s like why can’t afford not to be that. And maybe maybe you do put something out. That’s it. Was it was your very best work you’ve ever done? And then and then you feel this pressure. Like I can’t I can’t put out another thing. That’s not at least that good. If not better I can’t. 

Sean: [00:53:44] whole that’s that’s a whole thing topping your past work.

Ben: [00:53:49] Yeah. If you’re not if you’re not allowed to be imperfect. And it’s such a dangerous thing like you. You experience so much more freedom. And then ironically you do much better work overtime when when you’re allowed to make mistakes in front of people. 

Sean: [00:54:15] is exactly the word I was going to use it is so freeing.

When you reach the point where you’re okay sharing the imperfect work being vulnerable because like it’s actually so much more pressure to keep up the facade. And you in a sense you actually get less credit because people eventually reach a point where they they feel like this is effortless for you.

Like you’re a machine. You’re a robot like you’ve got to the point where the. This is effortless. You just crank it out. And in reality. It’s still it’s still hard work. It’s still an effort. you know and when you share that when you’re like look today kind of sucked and it was hard and I’ve got this other stuff going on and I’m having a hard time focusing like.

people can relate to that and it kind of makes the winds even bigger because it’s people have an insight into. What you really went through to get that? Like like when I hear you know, David Goggins is running a your mute switch power is off. That’s why it keeps doing that when I hear David Goggins is.

you can just interrupt me anytime. 

Ben: [00:55:37] that still not 

Sean: [00:55:40] going to tell you a story. 

Ben: [00:55:42] Okay, so. No way. What story was I supposed to 

Sean: [00:55:49] Just messing with you.

#mute switch when I see David Goggins run-up 240 mile race. It’s kind of like well, you know, he’s David Goggins like he’s just he’s just crazy. Of course. He did that like David Goggins. All right. But when you see that marker got knocked over. Could have been by a wild animal or something like that and at Mile 100 something he gets turned off course and goes 15 miles out of the way five hours lost like just imagining what that would what that would do to you.

How do you even go a hundred miles in the first place? And and then realize I have a hundred 40 more to go? Get knocked off course just head in the wrong direction for hours like the mental anguish that that that would have on a person and you don’t most like want to just give up but he kept going like he was in second place.

The the marker was knocked the wrong way. He followed the arrow the wrong way. And he still got back on track and he kept going and kept going kept going till mild to 14 and he literally couldn’t breathe because of altitude problems. Like he couldn’t breathe and had to go to the hospital and the doctor said don’t don’t do anything for 14 days and this altitude stuff is going to mess you up.

You can’t even go on a plane. Just just stop. He still wants to go back out there. He asked the race director. They say no you left you went to the hospital. You’re disqualified. All right that what are you going to do you tried you wanted to you tried who can fault the guy he went 214 miles and 15 of them were extra bonus miles, you know.

All right, like that’s. It’s an incredible feat no one saying it’s not an incredible feat. That’s that’s good enough. But because he’s sharing the journey, it’s not just like I finished the Moab 240 you go. Wow, 240 miles good for you David Goggins. Like I couldn’t do that. But good for you. He posts like right before we start recording this podcast.

He’s like look, don’t do what I’m doing. Don’t do this. I’ve been disqualified the race director did the right thing and disqualified me. He this video is him on some trail with like, you know the vest and everything and like he’s like don’t do it. I’m doing but to feel better about myself. I need to finish what I started and he’s going back out there.

He said he’s already been going for three days. He’s going back out there. And he’s going to finish the thing even though it’s not even a part of the official race anymore. That sharing of the journey and what he’s gone through. Completely changes my perspective and what I think about his eventual achievement of completing the Moab 240 240 mile race because I can imagine myself going the wrong way for 15 miles.

After going a hundred miles and how how that would feel I can imagine myself being disqualified and like what are you going to do if you’re disqualified from a race, what are 99% of us going to do? We’re going to throw up our hands and say well look I tried to go back. I tried to continue and they disqualified me and that’s fine.

I can’t do it. I tried I gave it my best. But he’s doing it anyway without the credit, you know, like I was inspired by him and Elliot kipchoge who on the same weekend broke the two hour marathon barrier ran a 159 40 Marathon, which is a 4 minute 36 Second Mile pace for 26 miles. It’s like running a hundred meter at at 17 seconds 422 times.

It’s a two-minute 52nd kilometer pace. For an entire Marathon absolutely insane. I was super inspired I go out on my run. I’m like, I’m going to run a half-marathon never never run run one before I’m going to run a half marathon. I start the workout on my watch I go six point five five miles and turn around because if I run the same thing backwards, it’ll be a half marathon.

I tapped the wrong thing and end the workout. 

Ben: [01:00:36] it goes 

Sean: [01:00:39] Well, that was my mentality been I was like if I don’t get credit on the watch and get a activity notification sent to been that says Sean Ram 13.1 miles. If I don’t get a running workout record badge, what’s the point? And so I said, I’m just going home.

I only ended up going nine miles. I didn’t do it. Because I didn’t get the badge. I didn’t get the credit meanwhile. David Goggins is gonna go finish this race, even though he’s disqualified and he’s not going to rank and he’s not 

Ben: [01:01:18] So on the one hand, you could look at that and say is that perfectionism like you’re gonna is it not good enough that you ran 214 miles, you know, maybe like prepare for your next race.

So I 

Sean: [01:01:34] unreasonable. 

Ben: [01:01:36] Right like, you know, maybe. And that’s fine. I but I. But I think if you’re if you’re looking at it from another perspective, it’s like. setbacks are. The norm like the setbacks are guaranteed part of the process like you don’t you don’t get to create things without experiencing barriers and struggles, 

Sean: [01:02:07] we censor those we tend to.

Ben: [01:02:10] right? And. And we well. Or we get to those barriers and we and we take it as a sign that we need to stop. 

Sean: [01:02:23] see a trail of ants. 

Ben: [01:02:27] Yeah, you talking about how they like they walk in 

Sean: [01:02:32] you they’re in a line. They’re all they’re all lined up. They’re passing on the information to each other. Have you ever tried just like sticking a pebble right in the line right in the path?

Ben: [01:02:41] That’s evil. 

Sean: [01:02:42] Have you ever tried it? What do the ants do they come up they like, what’s this? Can 

Ben: [01:02:50] Yeah, so Sean is is Sean is like waving his hands and feelers in the are trying to figure out what’s going on. Why is why is there suddenly this object in the path? What do we what do 

Sean: [01:03:05] they’ve they roll over on their backs and they died right there right there.

This is the end of the road it’s over. No, of course not. They go around. They form a new path. Oh, yeah, they got to check out the rock. What is this thing? What is you think but then then they go around it if they’ll even been I don’t know if you’ve seen stuff like Nature Documentaries and stuff.

They’ll freaking make bridges with their bodies. They’re like, I want to get to the other side of that Cliff over there across the water, you know, whatever and thousands of them will just. Bond together and they’ll just clumped together until they make a bridge across they are Relentless. So there’s two options.

You can see this barrier as an indication that this is the end of the road you have permission. You have an excuse to stop. Or you can be relentless. You can find a way around the barrier. 

Ben: [01:04:11] Yeah, and it said it’s such an important question to ask yourself like. A reasonable person might stop here.

Because of you know X Y or Z. and nobody like nobody would fault me for. Giving up on this project or giving up on this thing and. and I could I could just say yeah like this is this is what happened and this is why I can’t continue and everybody would be cool with it. But but you have to ask yourself.

Like are you are you looking for an excuse like are you is is your need to do this perfectly leaving you vulnerable to? Looking for excuses and reasons not follow through. 

Sean: [01:05:01] Oh, yeah.

I’ve got a head like three sections of an outline and I went through one of them are just rapid fire one of these why be consistent number one people. See you as reliable. I mean, we all love reliable people think of someone in your life who you see as reliable. You love that person. They’re always going to be there.

You know, you just know. People see you as stable you ever stop listening to a podcast but no like in the back of your mind. There’s they’re still publishing like whenever I whenever I want to come back they’re going to be there. I don’t know. I’m getting tired of this TV show but they keep putting out new episodes.

So you’re like you might take a break for three years, but you come back because they’re just still going there. Just consistent in your like sweet. I got a nice little backlog, you know, I can binge this. Consistency is what’s required to break through the noise. We talked about magic of seven on a recent episode.

You gotta keep showing up. You gotta keep saying the same thing more than once. Because people aren’t paying attention. They’re not seeing everything you say and even those who do need to hear it multiple times consistency. Why be consistent you’re not going to break through? Unless you find a way to show up every day.

And I say expect to show up every day for two years without results. The only way you can keep showing up without seeing results showing up even when you don’t see results is when you have consistency, so you’re not showing up. Because you know, you expect the results you’re showing up because you made a decision to show up you’re trusting the process.

So how do you be consistent? Well, there’s one reframing of perspective that really helps a lot and that is to differentiate between lead measures and lag measures what our lead measures and lag measures lead measures are things that you’re doing now that you can measure now. That you’ve done lag measures are the results of things that you’ve done.

So as an example of a lag measure, you might ask questions. Like when will I be happy or have I lost weight yet or am I a best-selling author? These are results. These are Lag measures instead of asking those questions. focus on lead measures Express gratitude everyday exercise for 30 minutes.

Write something daily. So another way to think about it is could I create something in my habit tracker for this thing? Like can I check the box? Did I write for 20 minutes? Did I exercise for 30 minutes? Did I do 20 push-ups, you know, can I turn this into a regular activity a habit that I can check each day?

And and create a chain, you know of consistency. That’s if you can if you can do that that’s going to be a lead measure and Lead measures produce the results when you focus on those results those lag measures, that doesn’t help. You doesn’t help you get there doesn’t actually help you achieve it.

I like John John Maxwell’s way of putting this. The biggest thing that made the difference for him was he said I changed my question from how long will it take to how far can I go? It’s just flipping it around. 

Ben: [01:08:53] when when I originally came on board with podio one of my one of my job’s is to grow the YouTube channel so that it becomes an Avenue for people to sign up for trials and subscriptions and and.

And that is that is a goal of mine, you know, like I want to be successful in in building that channel of growing the subscriber base, but I can’t set. Subscriber number goes like I can’t I can’t say okay by such and such a date. My goal is to reach 10,000 subscribers. If I’m not being consistent and and really like I can’t even I can’t even there’s there’s no way I can reliably say like, you know based on this this this and this I know I’m going to achieve that result.

What I can say is by this date. I want to have published this many videos. And then getting even more granular than that, like even even the goal of publishing a video depends on other things that need to be done consistently. So if I make it a goal to write. every day or I make it a goal to. Do a certain amount of research every day.

So that like what I’m producing is is solid like those are those are things that I can even take from what I might do as a weekly Rhythm and turn it into a daily rhythm. And then, you know like you and I talked about daily video content. so that’s that’s something that’s on the horizon 2 but. But thinking about it in those terms it kind of It kind of takes the pressure off of like having to look at that number and worry about well, what does it mean if I earned three fewer subscribers this week than I did last week.

Instead look at the fact that you were consistent week after week after week after week like that. Is that is what you want to focus on. Because if you keep looking at the subscriber count. 

Sean: [01:11:26] only is it not going to make it increase but it could very likely discourage 

Ben: [01:11:33] keep yeah, I could keep you from taking action because you’re like well, this isn’t 

Sean: [01:11:41] You might have actually got the results.

The results could have been around the corner. But because you were looking for them, you know that it discouraged you from staying consistent. Which actually kept you from getting the results you wanted in the first place just start small just just start small you 

Ben: [01:12:01] So it’s it’s a signal to people to like people who arrived on your social media page or your website or whatever wherever you’re posting your work like.

Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t go back and like examine all of your work before they make a decision to follow you. Or to or to purchase your thing or whatever it is. But but when you have a body of work that you’ve been publishing consistently that’s that’s a type of signal that you’re giving to someone that like you’re going to continue doing more of the same.

And and that’s that’s incredibly refreshing like arriving like somebody a friend shares somebody’s work in Psycho. That’s awesome. And then you go to their page and like that’s the first piece they’ve shared in three months and maybe they have a few older things, but I’m not as inclined to want to follow and.

And keep up with that person or even if I do like, I’m not expecting like I guess I’m not going to see anything from them, 

Sean: [01:13:16] right? 

Ben: [01:13:17] but you. You go to that person’s page and they’ve got tons of work on there that they’ve just been publishing consistently over and over again. 

Sean: [01:13:26] every day. I’m probably gonna get one tomorrow if I follow.

Ben: [01:13:30] Yeah, that’s exciting. Like there’s more coming.

Sean: [01:13:37] several things that I want to share, but I’m seeing some good conversation in the chat. So I want to kind of rearrange things a little bit. This wasn’t actually as a question, so I’m not going to read names. But this would there’s discussion going on. So I’m reading a comment, I guess doing your best and trusting the process is a good place to start what I mean by the fear of disappointing yourself.

Is that sometimes I have a hard time starting a project even if it’s just a personal one because I am afraid I will somehow fail. And if I fail, I would have no choice but to conclude that I’m not good enough. It’s not even fear about what other people might think but fear of my own judgment.

Pretty Twisted. I know. And there was a question from Dan earlier that I had some thoughts on that relates to this common. I just read so I’m kind of bringing this in Dan had said why is it or does it does it seem like the pain of not doing or not finishing something is more acceptable than the pain of shipping something.

Which I think is a great question. It’s not that. It’s not that the pain is necessarily more acceptable or less. It’s it’s simply that it’s deferred. The pain is deferred. If you have the choice to temporarily feel pain right now or hit snooze and feel it later. What would you do? Well you have this Choice every day and you hit snooze and experience the pain later.

But here’s the bad news. 

Ben: [01:15:16] put it Twist on 

Sean: [01:15:17] No. No, you can’t because I’ve got a great punch line right here. Here’s the bad news that delayed pain comes back later in the form of regret. 

Ben: [01:15:28] Yeah. 

Sean: [01:15:30] And by then it’s too late. Nothing’s sadder than the regret of an old person who doesn’t have time. So there’s this comment of trying to avoid judgment by oneself the pain of judgment right the paint and and Dan’s asking here.

Why is it that the pain of not doing not finishing something is more acceptable than the pain of. Shipping something in perfect. So there’s this idea that change happens when the pain of. in action is greater than the pain of action. So he’s like what why is it that way and it’s that way because you’re simply deferring the pain like I’m going to defer the pain.

I’m not going to feel it right now. If I if I put something in perfect out I’m going to feel discomfort. So I’m simply not going to put something in perfect out. So I leave E8 the pain now, but I push that pain I push it into the future and when you eventually get to it that pain comes back in the form of regret because you didn’t do and you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.

Do the problem is there’s no time anymore. You can’t go back. It’s much better to experience the temporary discomfort of putting something in perfect out there and then eventually getting so accustomed to it that you realize it’s a part of the process. It helps other people it helps you. It shows the process it removes pressure.

Eventually you get over it and and you are free. But if you keep pushing it back it comes it comes in the form of regret and that’s that’s just absolutely poisonous.

Ben: [01:17:18] in talking to people who are. You know like near the end of their lives who? Have had these kinds of experiences and carry regret and allowing them to tell their stories and articulate that pain because I don’t I don’t think we get it. I think I think what happens is we we have this idea of like, yeah the so there’s comfort and maybe maybe we even know that there’s pain coming.

Like that, we understand intellectually that regret is a real thing and that will look back on our lives and there are things that we will not have done will feel a sense of regret. There won’t be any time left. But we think we think we can we think we can wrap our minds around that and so whatever idea we have of what that pain is.

Is better than.

the potential for pain that we can’t Define and what I mean by that is we’re going to share something. and whether it’s or we’re going to attempt to do something and and whether it’s we disappoint ourselves or we share it and people hate it like there’s. There’s all of this potential downside and we can’t we can’t define the potential for the pain of that.

And so it’s scary. It’s like I might I might walk into this forest and it’ll be beautiful and a wonderful experience or I might be or I might walk into this forest and be mauled by a bear like the we have we have no idea but at the edge of the forest were like well, I just don’t get to experience the forests and I feel like I’m missing out 

Sean: [01:19:22] But what amplifies the pain later is realizing realizing that you weren’t thinking about it the right way you thought I was just I’ll just not share.

I’ll just not put something out. It’s I’ll just I’ll just push the pain to later later you realize. You weren’t thinking about it right then and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. The time was gone like there. You don’t get those years back. You don’t get those. Moments those opportunities back and that that regret is heavier than you can you can ever imagine because it’s the regret of realizing the way I was thinking in that moment wasn’t right and I can’t go back and change it.

It’s just it’s the feeling of loss. 

Ben: [01:20:14] Is there is there a way that you personally tap into that in a way that’s motivating for you. So I like weekends we can sit here and describe it but like I can’t I can’t conjure up that emotion 

Sean: [01:20:29] yeah, I literally I literally imagine that I’m a time traveler literally like in the most literal sense.

I like II theorized that people have a permanent age. Maybe you’re 46, but you just always feel 21. We all know 21 year olds who seem like they’re 60. Like I think we all we all just kind of have this age. That isn’t necessarily the one that is on our birth certificate for some reason like I guess this is just how I’m wired or whatever.

I’ve always felt way older than I am. And I think that contributes a little bit to feeling like I’m in a time machine. I read the book Man’s Search for meaning and I’m not going to be able to quote it perfectly but he basically says imagine as if you were about to live this moment. for the second time.

and you don’t want to make the same mistake twice. It’s not the exact quote. It’s a very. Heavy powerful short book. but more or less imagine as if you’re about to live this moment for the second time and that that’s how I imagine things. I imagine that I’m 6070 whatever and I’ve been given the gift of coming back in time.

And now I’m 30, how would I live and and make every decision? A second time. and avoid making the same mistake twice.

Ben: [01:22:17] so so I get I get that. I think I’m trying to come at it more from like. I want to. I want to get a real taste of that regret so that I can hit that feeling against the fear of whatever other discomfort might be on the horizon in a way that. in a way that helps me. I

don’t know. It’s hard to explain like. 

Sean: [01:22:49] if you can’t if you can’t visualize it yourself, then you’ve got to talk to people who are experiencing it and you’ll see the pain on their face. 

Ben: [01:22:57] Well, yeah, and that’s like that’s my best. Guess it like how you get there is is you got to see someone else who is actually experiencing it like Ike.

I was just thinking about a scenario where maybe like you you look back at a specific time in your life and. there was a point of decision and you. You did the safe thing like you did the comfortable thing and it ended up having horrible consequences. and maybe you’re at a place in your life where like you can fix things and you can make things right, but what if.

what if you were on your deathbed or you had physical limitations because of your age or whatever it is like. the if you if you were to go back and relive that moment. It would only ever play out the way that it did because you no longer have the ability to change what you did. And an imagine just experiencing that moment over and over and over again in your mind never being able to change the outcome like that.

That is that’s a certain type of hell, I think for people. but if. I wonder if that starts to approach. What that’s like, you know, I don’t know. I’m try I really want to get there because like I feel like I feel like we need all the tools we can to get going to move to make to create because there’s so many things that are working against us.

Sean: [01:24:48] There were more comments about people in the chat saying. They fear more than they fear judgment from others and what other people will think think they fear judgment from themselves and very important thing to understand is that’s not you that that is not actually you judging yourself. That is something that has been instilled in you from some source.

Some person in your life some person in your past. And you’ve you’ve internalized that and you are now projecting that it’s you’re not actually judging yourself and you don’t fear your own judgment. You think you don’t fear what other people think? You think you only fear your own judgment, but it’s it’s not true you fear what other people think you’ve just you’ve just internalised someone’s.

And you’re now projecting it so you perceive it to be coming from you you perceive the you know, the reality of the situation to be that you judge yourself. But it’s really the internalization of a judgment that was at one point external from someone else. So at its core at its root it is the fear of what other people will think it is the fear of judgment from others and it’s this is so important to understand.

Because. it if you can get to the root and discover where this came from where you originally felt that the Judgment that you believe comes from yourself. Think about how you feel when you judge yourself. So you do something. You judge yourself? Like I did the wrong thing. I feel bad. You feel shame.

Think about how that feels to judge yourself and then go back into your past. And find where you first felt that way. And where that came from and when you realize that that came from outside yourself. You have an opportunity not not immediately. But but through through a process over time to divorce yourself from that judgment and to realize this is not coming from me.

If it was something that was instilled in me at one point and I don’t I don’t have to be attached to that anymore and through that process. You can eventually free yourself, but just knowing that you it’s not actually you judging yourself that can be a very enlightening realization that can send you down a path that might result in you freeing yourself.

Ben: [01:27:41] It’s hard for me to think through this because I know that there are things that are just inherent in in our Humanity where. the way that we interact with one another and like our sense of morality and values like that’s not just all external. So shame and guilt end up playing some role. some you know symbiotic roll with our human nature that allows us to interact with one another and to be safe and to survive and to.

but. but there are so many unnatural ways that guilt and shame are used. In our lives by people outside of us. and so it’s not that it’s not necessarily the guilt and shame are bad. and just 

Sean: [01:28:47] they’re 

Ben: [01:28:47] it’s just the way they are used the unnatural ways that those are used against us in our lives. 

Sean: [01:28:56] And probably in more cases than not.

Unintentionally, 

Ben: [01:29:00] Right. Yeah. Yeah, 

Sean: [01:29:02] someone could be projecting their own sense of something that came from another place that affected you right like, yeah, 

Ben: [01:29:12] Absolutely. Yeah, so at this isn’t this isn’t to like try to go back and see who who is your enemy and like the their herd is passed on dysfunction is passed on.

And and so it’s just.

Yeah, if you’re afraid of your own judgment that absolutely is not coming from you. And that is that is a part of that hurt that dysfunction that was passed 

Sean: [01:29:43] ahead and say it out loud. Just so people can reflect on this 90% of the time. It’s from a parent. So I’ve been implying that but in case anyone wasn’t picking up on that.

The Judgment you feel comes from yourself was instilled In You by a parent 

Ben: [01:30:03] and not because they hate 

Sean: [01:30:06] right? They almost certainly didn’t even realize what they were doing like but like Ben says it’s passed on but will let people reflect on that one. I had a couple of other thoughts here kind of Shifting Gears getting back on like the you know, what’s keeping you from putting things out there and you know, Perfectionism and and why it helps to put out imperfect things.

You know, it’s some people think why why put anything out there? Why can’t I just stay invisible? We talked about this in a recent episode. If you’re invisible people don’t know you they can’t come to like you they can’t come to trust you. And why should you care about that? Right? Okay, fine.

Nobody knows likes her. Trust me. What’s the big deal? Can’t I remain in obscurity? Sure. The problem is no one’s going to get on board with your cause No One’s Gonna donate. No one’s going to support you. No one’s going to spread the word. No one’s going to buy your services No One’s Gonna hire you no one’s going to purchase.

No one’s going to become a client. And that sucks. Those are all really awesome things. Like you can create movements you can create a life for yourself a business for yourself, you know, meaning like fulfillment from your passion like community so many good things come from that but if you remain in obscurity, it can’t happen people aren’t aware of you and so content is the gateway to awareness.

But if you’re if you’re stuck in your mind, and that’s keeping you from putting things out because it’s not perfect. It doesn’t match the picture in your mind. You’re not no one’s aware of you. And so some people are like, I don’t want to be an influencer like I get I get you. I understand like there’s these terms influencer personal brand like we have connotations with these but it all comes around whatever the buzz word of the day.

Is it all comes back down to something that hasn’t changed. For centuries, which is this notion of reputation. And you can either have a good reputation a bad reputation or no reputation and the latter two are both problematic. I mean certainly you don’t want a bad reputation, but you also don’t want no reputation.

It would be much better to have a good reputation. 

Ben: [01:32:31] bad reputation or no reputation? 

Sean: [01:32:34] I just don’t like the question. Well, of course, it’s better to have none than bad. But I just don’t even think that’s how we should be approaching it. It’s like you want to have a good reputation because so many good things come of that and if you remain in obscurity.

At best you have no reputation, but you might even have a bad reputation, you know, if you’re not actively contributing towards. You having a good reputation? Well, then that reputation is declining and so if you want to throw influencer personal brand, you know YouTube account, like whatever business owner entrepreneur artist like whatever label you want to throw on it.

It is your reputation. What is your reputation? It’s the way other people talk about you when you’re not in the room. You want a good version of that? 

Ben: [01:33:31] I wonder if like reframing it helps a little bit because I don’t know if it’s the difference between a good reputation and a bad reputation as much as it is.

being perceived as. so so if I’m not if I’m not posting anything, then people can’t say that I don’t do good work or that I don’t or the or that I’m mediocre that. A pretty like I don’t belong I’m an imposter like they can’t say any of those things. And so when I hear the word or when I hear the phrase bad reputation, I think more in terms of like.

people are going to think or say that I don’t belong that. 

Sean: [01:34:16] just real quick before we go down the rabbit Trail. All I was trying to do is say some people are like, well, I don’t want to be an influencer. I don’t I don’t want to have a personal brand. I’m just trying to get those people to realize forget the buzzword.

This is about reputation. And yes, you do want a good reputation. And in in this current age the way you do that is with content. And it’s with a quantity of content that’s even imperfect at times and if if you’re adopting a mindset of perfectionism. It will actually keep you from getting the results you’re seeking.

So like it’s I ended up mentioning good bad or none, but like it’s less about that and it’s more about helping people realize this is something they want. Even if they think oh, I don’t I don’t want to build 

Ben: [01:35:12] you can’t I don’t know 50 years ago. if you wanted to. Have the resources to make a better life for yourself and for other people to have influence you had to go to college like it was it was just a foregone conclusion.

That’s not necessarily true. But that’s that was kind of the wisdom of the day. But but today like it really is if you’re going to have that kind of influence you need to build relationships with people in the way that you do that is by. Putting yourself 

Sean: [01:35:55] You’ve heard the expression your reputation precedes you.

That’s all we’re talking about. Some people call that you’re you’re following your influence your brand. That’s all we’re talking about your reputation precedes you. What is it that people say about you when you’re not there? And of course if they said bad things that’s not good. But here’s what’s also not good if they say nothing.

Because once again we Circle back to without awareness which content creates it generates, they can’t know you like you trust you which means they don’t buy from you support you donate share. Invest in the caused by higher join. You don’t get community. You don’t get money. You don’t get resources.

You don’t get. you know fulfillment in your passion. You don’t get momentum in your movement like everything that you care about. is furthered. by having people know like and trust you. That’s that’s the content is the catalyst. And you just simply cannot afford in this day and age to not have a good reputation that precedes you and if perfectionism is keeping you from putting out content.

You are inhibiting your ability to do that. That’s why I think this topic is so important. 

Ben: [01:37:34] Yeah. 

Sean: [01:37:37] I guess we can end with this question. I think we’ve made a pretty solid case in the recent episodes for why you need to show up every day. Why you want to post content? It’s simply let’s roll back the clock a little bit before social media.

I think we could agree. It would be a good idea to connect with people and have meaningful conversations and help one another. We could say that’s pretty good idea. And if someone had a meaningful connection with you were in you helped them. They might also spread the word about you contributing to your reputation in today’s day and age.

It’s the same thing. We just have this fantastic resource of the internet and social media. Which amplifies. You can have conversations. We’re having a conversation right now and we’re streaming it and we’re recording it and we’re going to District distribute it and it’s amplifying that conversation.

So that many more than just the two of us in this room can hear and even participate live in the community or benefit from this conversation. It’s the same thing. You just have the added bonus of amplification. So we’re just saying hey, you should have more conversations with people wearing you add value and help one another and then by the way amplify that in the form of content, so we’ve made a pretty good case for that.

But why are you still going to wake up tomorrow and do nothing about it? That’s that’s the nut. I’m trying to crack like what what is it? And here’s the question. I want to ask. I want you to ask yourself. Ask yourself this question. What would it take? For me to show up every day. Dan oh, it just said it he’s owned out.

He was on another tab. 

Ben: [01:39:39] I’m glad 

Sean: [01:39:42] been Ben but we’re going with Dan today everyone’s Dan. Everyone’s Dan Dan. You’re not going to post tomorrow on your Instagram story. He said I was writing this down as a possible clip but now forget it. Yeah, you got to edit all this out. You’re not going to post an Instagram story tomorrow.

Why? Well, I don’t know like I was kind of moved by Today’s show but I don’t think I’m going to do anything about it. Okay, fine fair enough, but let’s flip it around. I want you to ask yourself. What? Would it take for me to show up every day? Like let’s just think about this. What would it take?

That’s why you asked yourself.

Then you want to wrap this 

Ben: [01:40:41] Sean where can people go to find Us 

Sean: [01:40:43] what to do now. 

Ben: [01:40:44] an intimidating question. 

Sean: [01:40:48] But it’s it’s a sales tactic because you don’t say. is there anything is there anything else you want to talk about? Is there any is there any thing keeping you from? No? No, I think I’m good.

Good show sir. Yeah. See you next episode when you say what? What is it? Then you have to come up with the answer and like it forces you to reconcile with whatever this thing is that’s keeping you from doing it. Like what would it take? 

Ben: [01:41:24] It’s it becomes a becomes another perfectionism Loop because I start thinking of like well, I just I have to come up with the right strategy to implement.

Daily content production and then once I have that strategy in place, then I can get going. Like once I went to get my processes in place once I set my studio up just the right way. 

Sean: [01:41:47] action you don’t act because you’re not motivated motivation doesn’t start. I mean it. It doesn’t start with motivation.

That’s not the beginning Point. That’s not the source this the spring, you know the well, it doesn’t begin with motivation. It starts with a decision to show up it starts with action and only after you act. T’ will motivation come. You act proactively regardless of feeling you don’t feel like showing up today.

But you show up because you made a decision went in and it helps when you’re when you make yourself accountable because if you say I’m going to work out tomorrow at 6 a.m. Well you’re going to wake up and you’re not going to feel like it. I can pretty much guarantee it but if you told someone else you’d work out with them or you paid for a class, you know these different forms of accountability.

You’re more likely to follow through. You’re not going to go off of feeling. I don’t really feel like working out. Well doesn’t matter if you felt like it. You told your buddy you’re going to do it with them. And so you follow through regardless of how you feel but then you know what you’re out there and you’re doing your workout and like this is this is pretty good.

Like all right, get the endorphins going, you know, like this is good. Like it’s a you know that good workout feeling. And that and then you’re motivated, but it’s only after you show up and 

Ben: [01:43:26] to that regret is when I don’t go to work out and then my gym posts Instagram story showing people doing their lifts and stuff and I’m like.

Man, that could have been me. That hurts.

You want to wrap this up? No way. Are you supposed to ask me that first? 

Sean: [01:44:00] Then where

Ben: [01:44:05] I don’t know man. There’s so many so many great places to go. You know, you should absolutely do is go to Sean West.com sign up to become a member if you struggle to take action. If you struggle to make consistent content, these are the right people to be around. You should be a part of the community.

Sean: [01:44:27] is it is a community like like there’s a mindset of we’re going to do our best. We’re going to apply ourselves. We experience struggles. We encounter setbacks, but we’re going to work through it and there’s just a mindset of. Positivity here like we’re going to figure it out. We’re going to figure it out together and it’s just it’s good good energy to be around.

Ben: [01:44:51] get motivated.

Sean: [01:44:57] I 

Ben: [01:44:58] You 

Sean: [01:45:01] like this. I mean he brought it on himself, right? He tried to mess up our aftershow the other week. 

Ben: [01:45:08] Always yeah, always he had 

Sean: [01:45:10] it coming. All right. I think I’m supposed to say good show sir. You can follow me on Instagram at Shawn West. I’ve actually been getting a few people say hey, they follow me and sometimes I’ll message people and say hey, thanks for thanks for following me.

I hope you’re having a good day. And they’re like thanks. I’ve been listening to your podcast a really long time. And so I think think some people actually are hearing. Me mention my Instagram at Sean Wes on the podcast and they’re going in there Instagram app to the little magnifying glass search and they’re typing Sean West and that input bar and there’s me.

There’s my little circle Avatar and they tap on me and they come to my profile and then they follow me and I think it’s they’re actually doing it been actually doing it. They don’t really they don’t usually send me a message though. a few people have. But I always like it when people send a message.

Let me know what you think of the show. You can send been a message as well. You 

Ben: [01:46:12] Yeah, you totally can’t even go to. 

Sean: [01:46:16] Where can they find you 

Ben: [01:46:18] hosting.com. I’m at bent Wilson on all the things and I would love a message from you. So do it.

Sean: [01:47:08] There’s a good comment from Sarah. She said a game changer for me in this struggle paralyzed with perfectionism was fully grasping the importance of assuming generously about other people. Instead instead of believing my anxieties very negative stories about what other people were thinking about my work.

I started countering it with I can’t know what they’re thinking or doing or believing. So I’m going to go ahead and assume they’re busy putting myself in the shoes of the person looking at my work and then assume positive things huge. No longer afraid of sending off the work. Writing the email because I don’t believe the anxiety fueled lies running through my head after I hit send.

I thought that was good but believing in assuming generously about people. 

Ben: [01:47:59] experience is constantly.

or at least trying to correct how I project things will go in the future like I do I I think through those things and I have anxiety and fortunately like. I am consistent in spite of that. But I would I would save myself a lot of suffering if I would learn the lessons of the experiences the real experiences that I have every time I publish something.

It’s it and and I know not everybody. some people some people. You know get the trolls or whatever like that’s that’s a real thing. For the most part, I think what experience teaches us is that people are not as mean-spirited. They’re they’re not as they’re more enthusiastic and excited about seeing our work.

Sean: [01:49:08] Yeah, just. 

Ben: [01:49:09] than we give them credit for. 

Sean: [01:49:11] to focus on what the right people will think. 

Ben: [01:49:14] mmm. 

Sean: [01:49:14] You’ve got your people. They want to hear what you have to say choose to focus on what the right people think.