A rhetoric that gets passed around in the self-help or the wellness community is that everyone can be great. We see messages from people at the top of their respective games or industries saying that if you just put your mind and heart to something, you can do anything. But what does greatness mean, and why are we even supposed to chase it? In this episode, physician, life coach, podcaster, and burnout expert Dr. Errin Weisman joins Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen in examining this idea of greatness versus enoughness, tying it to the concept of perfection, which can both be a superpower and kryptonite. Is the amount of sacrifice we put in to achieve greatness worth the end gain? Find your answer as you listen to this thought-provoking discussion.
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Greatness Vs Enoughness, Perfectionism, And The Invisible Rulebook With Dr. Errin Weisman
“Too legit, too legit to quit. Yeah, yeah.” It is not often we drop a MC Hammer reference. I think this is maybe the first MC Hammer reference in the history of this show. It is thanks to our guest and our new friend, Errin Weisman. When we were communicating back and forth, as we do when we bring guests, she dropped an MC Hammer reference, and I thought, “This is my kind of guest.” Welcome, Errin. Thank you for that throwback.
When you asked me about my podcasting setup, I had to put Too Legit to Quit. It’s glad to have somebody who catches the reference because all these young Millennials are like, “What are you talking about?” You guys wear MC Hammer pants. You got to know the songs.
That reminds me of something I’ve seen on TikTok, which constantly reminds me of age differences because there are people of all different ages on TikTok, but it’s primarily whatever generation, 16 or 17-year-old is now. That’s actually something that I have trouble keeping track of. I’m constantly getting the different generations confused. All I know is I too am on the older side of a Millennial. Jason is technically not a Millennial, but he acts and lives like a Millennial.
That’s also a reminder that doesn’t matter how old you are because each of us can take on the qualities of other generations. I digress. I guess being a kid right now is very appealing or intriguing to do things that we did in the ‘90s. Perhaps these songs will become more well-known because ‘90s is a trend now for teenagers. There was this uncomfortable reference that I saw on TikTok where I get most of my information where they were saying that the show That ‘70s Show was made 28 years after the ‘70s. That felt like a long time ago. For us Millennials, when we were watching that show, whenever that came out, it felt like the ‘70s was old. Now they’re saying that the ‘90s feels old to people. So much so that they could create a show called That ‘90 Show and teenagers right now would be like, “That’s the old days.”
I hope they do bring back the ‘90s. I play moms soccer on Monday nights and I’m in charge of the leagues and you better believe I’m talking to echo and we listened to the best of the ‘90s. I bring that shit back all the time.
You’re a perfect guest for the show because Jason’s into ‘90s music and ‘80s music. I feel like there’s a lot of vagueness and crossover between the ‘80s and ‘90s music, style and all of that. That also reminds me, I don’t think Jason has watched this, but maybe he’ll surprise me and say yes. Saved by the Bell just came out with a revamped version of itself. It’s super interesting. I used to love Saved by the Bell.
I can’t do it. I love the original.
Did you try watching it?
I tried. I could not do it. I’m like, “No, this is not it.”
I felt the same way, but I did end up getting into it because it has its moments and enough to be interesting, even though I agree it’s nowhere near as good in my heart as the original. There’s just something about that style. It’s much like Friends. Other shows try to be their own version of Friends. It’s just not the same. I don’t know Friends will be the same if you brought it back. I think there’s enough nostalgia in the new Saved by the Bell for me to watch it. They actually make fun of the old show in very clever ways. They brought back a lot of the cast. Jason, have you checked it out at all? Are you at all interested in watching that? I can’t remember, Jason, were you into Saved by the Bell or not?
First of all, I have not watched it. I will give it a shot. What’s funny, and this is maybe part of a more generalized conversation, I feel like a lot of the prototypical socially passed around things that have happened during COVID I have not partaken. For example, I would be baking sourdough. I’ve not made a single loaf of sourdough. I’m not interested. There’s an amazing vendor at the farmer’s market I get my sourdough from, so I’m cheating on that one. There are other shows like the Queen’s Gambit or Saved by the Bell. There are these things that are like, “Did you make your sourdough? Did you watch the Saved by the Bell reboot? Did you listen to the Dave Matthews live stream?”
I’m literally not participating in basically any of those activities. Here I go on a tangent. Welcome, Errin, to the tangent show. I feel a pressure sometimes on top of everything else I have decided and chosen to take on in my life of like, “Jeff wants me to watch the Queen’s Gambit, and Whitney wants me to watch Saved by the Bell. This person wants to bake sourdough.” I’m like, “I just want to take a fucking nap.” I feel sometimes a level of not pressure so much, but kind of. I’m very reticent to do too much even leisure activities if this makes sense because I feel my sensitivity to overwhelm and burnout is so high. It’s so high partially because I’m recovering from a surgery. I had a motorcycle accident, Errin. On top of everything else in my life, it’s this idea that people telling me to watch things and I’m like, “I just want to nap. That’s what I want to do.”
I think you should say that you just don’t succumb to social pressure and just leave it at that.
I like that. I have a feeling, Whitney, won’t accept that though when she’s like, “I sent you 159 TikToks. Why haven’t you watched them?” You’d be like, “Whitney, I don’t succumb to come to social pressure.”
I have to say, I am not on TikTok. My one pushback is I got enough going on in other places. I’m not a TikToker, but I did watch the Queen’s Gambit and binged it. It’s a great series. I did not watch that one with the tiger guy though. That has been my one opt-out.
I will say that I am glad that I’ve taken my time and I did not binge-watch the Queen’s Gambit because I found out within that it’s not an ongoing series. It ends and that’s it. There’s not a second season coming out. I like to know that in advance so I can take my time. Otherwise, I rush through and maybe take it for granted thinking like, “There’ll be another season of this, so I don’t have to slow down.” If I know that it has its own contained mini-series, then I tend to watch it very differently. Do you know where I learn this information? TikTok. This is where I get the great majority of my daily news. TikTok is a marvelous place for staying in touch with what’s happening around the world. It’s very current events and also trendy.
Is that your algorithm? I love people asking people what their algorithm is. My niece who is a TikTok addict, hers is all cute puppies.
This is a very good point. I think this is actually one of the cool factors of TikTok. Yes, it does change based on your viewing habits and what you’re liking and interacting. In a way, you can control the direction of TikTok if you intentionally go, like and comment on whatever engage with, watch specific styles or types of videos, and then that’s all you’ll get in your feed. You won’t get any of the things that you don’t like. If you’re not into the sourdough, the dancing, the Tiger King references or whatever, you won’t see very much of it at all. I would also say to your point, Errin, about having so much on your plate. It’s basically replaced every other social media network. I’m barely on Instagram. I use it for communication. It’s another side of email. People sending direct messages at least, to begin with. A good conversation starter on Instagram. I use Instagram to post things, but I don’t enjoy scrolling through Instagram. I do it because I feel like I have to just to see what people are up to. The place that I scroll is TikTok. I barely use YouTube anymore. I don’t use Facebook. It’s crowded out the other social media platforms for me unless I have more time to use it.
That’s the opposite for me because I feel like my Instagram feed is a power dose of encouragement when I jump on there. I’ve got it curated enough where it’s like, “Scroll, kick-ass, take names Monday, scroll. Look at the amazing lady boss stuff that I’m doing, scroll. There’s a cute picture of somebody’s kids.” I think it is all about curating your algorithm with that. The one thing I do have a beef with now is IG. They discontinued hashtags with all the election bullshit. I’m waiting for them to get those back on because I miss my good hashtags. The other place that I hang out on the internet is LinkedIn. It is popping in my world. I love me some LinkedIn. Facebook, no. YouTube, I’ll go there for my yoga with Adrian videos, but otherwise, no. I am loving LinkedIn now. That’s where I’m having most of my direct messages, conversations, finding amazing people who are doing incredible work in the world, and sharing my sass all over the place.
That’s a good reminder because I don’t spend enough time on LinkedIn. I don’t think Jason does either. Maybe the readers do. I feel like it gets left behind unless you’re focused on business. People forget that LinkedIn in itself is a social media network and not just truly networking and connecting.
It’s not just business. I feel like it’s more of the place where people are getting shit done because like me, I post a lot on there against burnout, against the culture of burnout, especially in healthcare since that’s my bubble. I see a lot of other people talking about what they’re doing. It’s a great place too to brag a little bit about yourself. What did you publish? What new podcast episodes you got? Because then if somebody puts something cool in there, then I’m like, “I’m going to go listen to your episode because I saw this post.” The other cool thing that I love about LinkedIn is the conversations that happen in the comments because then I find new people all around the world who comment on this one thread that I thought was pretty stinking awesome. I have a connection with them, and then anytime I want to talk to them network with them like, “I see you’re doing this cool health tech startup.” It’s natural ease rather than what I feel like LinkedIn was maybe several years ago.
You’ve inspired me because I think the reason I don’t use LinkedIn much is because I’m out of the flow with it and it overwhelms me when I go on there. I feel like I haven’t curated my feed yet so I keep seeing posts that I’m not that into. It’s like you have to invest the work into any of these platforms in the beginning to get them to work for you and dip your toes in enough that you start to feel more comfortable with that. That’s basically how I felt about TikTok. A lot of people have misconceptions, but I do believe that TikTok or some other platform, it might not be TikTok. There’s a lot of conversations going on about people getting incredibly frustrated with Instagram and Facebook, which have been the big social media networks TikTokers in general.
There’s at least the trend that I’m seeing. Just because you see a few videos doesn’t mean that everyone feels this way. The consensus that I’m noticing is TikTokers can’t stand Instagram. They’re constantly complaining about it. What’s been interesting about it as both a creator, consumer or a viewer on TikTok is that it changes the way that you view other platforms for good and for bad. People are also noticing that your intention span is not benefiting from using TikTok because now YouTube videos seem way too long. Facebook and Instagram seems boring because on TikTok, it’s very stimulating. You have to stay conscious of it. I think, unfortunately, because the main user base on TikTok is very young, they’re not aware of how it’s affecting their brains. As an adult, I am very aware of that and I still succumb to it. I have to set more boundaries with myself with TikTok.
To Jason’s point, Jason, I’m curious if you can confirm this. I sent Jason a ton of videos on TikTok every day. He’ll watch a couple of them comment on them, but he doesn’t watch the great majority of them because I’ll just go through a binge share. I’m posting or sharing tons of videos on there because I’ll be on TikTok for an hour a day as my entertainment or more on the research side of things. I learn a lot on there. It tells me about trends. It tells me what’s going on in the world. It’s like a combination of entertainment, infotainment, and news.
I ended up sharing a lot with you, Jason, and it just doesn’t seem like your thing. I’m curious why, and to Errin’s point about the digital detox side of things, I’m curious, are you afraid Jason of falling down the rabbit hole and getting too into this stuff? Is it that you have a threshold that’s already been met and thus why you don’t want to watch the trending show and you don’t want to make the sourdough? I don’t think it’s not just peer pressure. It also seems to me to be like, maybe you already have too much on your plate or you just don’t want to add anything else because you like what you currently have. Is that how you feel about TikTok, LinkedIn or any of these other platforms?
This is going to be a long answer so buckle up. Number one, I think that I’m getting better at assessing the value quotient versus the amount of time and attention I’m going to give to something. With TikTok specifically because you brought it up Whitney, there are layers to it. It’s not that I don’t feel entertained by the things that you send me because your curation skills are masterful. You send me great content, but it’s the volume of content that I receive from TikTok from you that I have a very distinct threshold of saying the amount of minutes and hours I’m going to spend looking at this stuff does not result in a dividend, a level of joy or return that makes it worth me investing this amount of time each day.
That’s just not with TikTok, that’s with a lot of things. For me, I think it’s part of an overall conversation that I’m still exploring. We’ve talked about this on the show, Errin, this idea of digital detoxing, but even taking it a step further into taking a break from social media completely. This is a slippery slope because we have a business, Wellevatr. We have this show. We have certain promotions, programs and things that we have students in. To be honest, my personal threshold is getting lower and lower in terms of what I want to take on digitally and the amount of room in my head I want this stuff to occupy. I realized that if I’m going to be blunt about it, most of the stuff that I’m consuming and giving my attention to which I feel attention is the biggest currency now with digital media is that I don’t feel inspired by most of it.
I don’t know that I want to get into the psychological ramifications of why that is. Perhaps it’s because I’ve not done a great job of curating, but even people I find that used to inspire me. I don’t necessarily need to bring up specific examples, but authors, speakers, coaches, certain people that I followed for years, I’ll get their emails or I’ll get their posts and I read them and I’m like, “This doesn’t resonate at all.” I think for me, it’s an attention versus value quotient where I’m finding that most of the attention I give to these pieces of content, I’m not driving a lot of value from them. It’s a few moments of laughter. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t want to give that much attention to social media anymore.
It’s a slippery slope because we do have an online business and we are entrepreneurs. I’m still trying to find the balance is my long summation of this answer. Passing it to you Errin and to piggyback on Whitney’s question, you have quite an interesting flow on your website talking about burnout, overwhelm and overworking. I saw that you have this amazing quiz I want to take called How Crispy Are You? To be blunt, I feel different levels of crisp every damn day. There are times when I’m like, “You left your pizza in the oven for two hours and forgot about it. Now the whole house is filled with smoke and you’re fucked.” That’s rare, but if I’m honest about it almost every day, I feel some form of crispness. I find that odd and concerning.
I find that concerning for you. I don’t want you to crispy around the edges. We need to work on this for you.
How to begin when you have the layers of entrepreneurship, digital media, being a content creator, being a podcaster? In your case, being a mom and a wife. We have all of these roles and hats that we all play. Some of them are different than others, but if we’re going to be engaged in the “modern world” run a business, have a family and have a mortgage, we can go way down that rabbit hole, how do we not be crispy for fuck’s sake?
I’m going to get all life coachy on you. I think you have to dig down and remind yourself why are you doing all the social media? Why are you doing the entrepreneurship gig? Why did you buy the house? Why do you have all the things that you’re doing and all the dishes you’re spending and keeping up into the air, digging into that why and being okay with it. Also, discovering if you’re not okay with your why then how do you change that? That’s a huge thing for me. I’ve been an entrepreneur for years now. It started out as a side hustle when I was still practicing medicine full-time. It’s now become my full-time gig. It’s how I support my family. It’s what I love doing.
Burnout was not just a component in my clinical life but is a component in my entrepreneurial life too. That same thing of like, “Why am I practicing medicine?” It was the same question I had to ask myself a couple of years ago. It’s like, “Why am I doing this small business thing?” Because it can fucking suck sometimes. It can be grindy and get crispy around the edges doing the next post, getting the next launch up and sending that email series. It’s super important to tap back into that why and to make sure that it still aligns. If it doesn’t align, then you’re going to have friction. You’re going to have warmth, you’re going to get crispy and then you’re going to burnout.
That’s why I encourage you, Jason, to sit back. Maybe what you’re feeling now is some misalignment with things. There’s a couple of things you can do when you get misaligned. I don’t know if you guys know the Eisenhower Matrix. It’s an amazing square with four little squares inside of it. It’s a decision-making tool. I’m going to tell you that I’m a math science nerd, I proudly profess that. The X-axis is a column that says urgent, not urgent. On the Y-axis is important and not important. If you’re looking at tasks and you’re like, “I have so much to do. There are so many things happening.” You look on the Eisenhower Matrix and you’re like, “Is this urgent? Yes, no. Is this important? Yes, no.”
If it’s urgent and it’s important, then you just do it. You put it on your to-do list and you knock it out and get it done. If it is important, but it’s not urgent, then you just schedule it and you don’t let it take up any more brain space. You know that constant thought tornado that we have that’s like, “I got to do this. Then on Sunday, I got to do this. The cat’s got to go to the vet on Friday. My middle kid has got an appointment.” You just schedule it and be like, “I’m going to trust the schedule magic. It’s going to be there and remind me when it’s time to do it.” Popping back into the other category, say that there’s something urgent, but it’s not important to you. I love this square. This saved my life during COVID. This is the delegated square.
This is who can do this better than me, who can do this more efficient with me? Who can I pay $20 to do this when it would take me ten hours’ worth of work to do and get it off your plate? Many more people, I especially know that I do this. You listed all of my roles, but I’ll be perfectly honest. I can’t be all those roles at one time. I can’t even fit all those roles into one day. I have to be intentional about what roles do I want to be doing. I don’t want to be the toilet scrubber so I’m going to pay somebody to do that. I love mowing the grass, but sometimes when I’m busy and I’m doing other things and I want to go play with my kids or go to the pool that I’m like, “I’ll pay the neighbor kid and delegate that out.”Look at the invisible rules and ask ourselves, “Is this true?” and, “Is this serving me?” Click To Tweet
Even my kids have had to learn delegation. Mom is not your slave. Even at 9, 6 and 4, they know the art of delegation probably too well because they’ve started delegating to each other. Getting back to my Eisenhower Matrix, the four square, which I think is as important as the other three. If something is not important and it is not urgent, Jason, I think you’re living in the square a little bit, but it’s deleted. What I tell my people is like, “You just need to chuck it in the fuck it bucket and leave it there.” Too many times, we’re like, “We’re not going to do that,” but then we dig it out of the trash. Reminding yourself what is important? What is urgent? What do I want to do with the situation? Knowing that it’s totally okay to say, “I pass on that.” What’d you guys think?
I want to take the catchphrase, “Chuck it in the fuck it bucket and write it in my office.” Errin, it was brilliant. You’re wise and you have so much humor. Do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to get a physical bucket and write the fuck it bucket. Write things down on slips of paper and toss them or incinerate them in the fuck it bucket. That sounds so fun to me.
I think in the culture that we’re living in that we’re supposed to do all the things, but we’re not supposed to do all the things. We’re supposed to do all of our things and reminding ourselves that we have a choice 100% of the time at this.
I think the interesting thing, piggybacking on this is something Whitney and I were discussing Errin in an episode about the idea that the more that we do, the more that we take on, the harder we work, being the hardest worker in the room. Things that a lot of us conditioned since childhood in school with grades and working hard. I remember in school stressing so much about getting “good grades.” You’re not going to get into the college you want. What about your sat scores? There’s so much pressure for these arbitrary measurements. If you don’t excel in these arbitrary measurements, you won’t “get access” to the things you want or your parents say you should want. I remember the kids that were getting GPA’s over 4.0.
I remember the first conversation I had with someone, a young lady. I was like, “What do you mean you have a 4.125? How is that possible?” She was like, “I’m in AP classes.” I remember her being stressed and frazzled. She’s like, “I’ve got a 4.125. I’m A type excel at everything.” I think this conversation of being a good spouse, being a good mother, being a great entrepreneur, being a great content creator, being an influencer, whatever the hat is, there’s still this socialized systematized idea of he or she who works the hardest and excels the most will get the rewards. People are literally killing themselves trying to outwork each other for this idea of some gold medal at the end of the rainbow. I’ve fallen into that for sure, but I realized that the more people I meet and discuss it with, there’s a lot of people falling in this trap.
You’re talking to the queen of type A personalities. I think I graduated from high school with a 4.1.
You’re one of those.
You don’t go into a high-performing career. You don’t go into medicine and not be a little bit of a perfectionist. I meet so many people who we have this invisible rule book that gets installed in our brain, probably unconsciously when we’re elementary school or younger about hard work always wins. I used to tell people all the time, “I may not be the smartest in the class, but I will outwork you.” I was like that on the athletic field with anybody that I would outwork you, because somewhere in my brain, it got planted. If you work hard enough, you will win. You will succeed. You will get the gold medal.
We’re all starting to wake up and be like, “Where’s my fucking medal? I’ve been grinding for a while. Is it that I do this?” I think that was where my epiphany was back in 2014 when I got out of residency. I’m a family medicine physician. I’ve got a family medicine residency. I started my practice. I was supposed to be at the top of the mountain. I had done the things. I’m the first doctor in my family. I had two kids during residency. I had the dog, the house, the white picket fence, the minivan, the things. I looked around and I was like, “Is this life for the next 40 years? Is this what I spent my twenties on? Is this what I missed for my kids’ first year of life because I was in the hospital taking care of other people’s families? Is this my gold medal?”
It still is very hard for my family to understand why I’ve done a whole 180 change from being a traditional family medicine doc to now being a life coach. I looked around and I was like, “If that’s what all my work got me, I don’t want none of it.” I don’t care about the multiple six figures. I think it’s getting real about like, “What’s the point? What do you want to walk away at the end of your life with?” The big influencer to me is looking at those invisible rules that we tell ourselves and being like, “Is this true? Is this serving me?” I grew up in the Midwest. I am a good old farm girl. I married a farmer, a true blue all the way through.
I now look at it and some of the things that people say around me or even for instance with my oldest, we got his report card, which here in Indiana, we’d been doing hybrids going. They go to school for two days in their homeschool for three days. He got his report card back and he had all A’s, but he had one B in spelling. One of my family members jumped on him about it that he got a B. I was like, “In the whole scope of his life, getting a B in third-grade spelling, do you think that’s going to matter? I don’t.”
I look back at my whole academic career and all the A’s, all the bonus points and all the extra studying when I probably knew what I needed to know. Where did that get me besides a handful of burnout re-evaluating my choices in my 30s and 40s? I wouldn’t take any of it back now. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I don’t regret becoming a physician. I think it’s opened so many doors to me, but what I’ve had to realize is the rules that were written in my rule book were not written by me. At this point, I get to choose what they are moving forward.
How this pivot process that you had of spending many years and so much money studying, being in residency, having this career track and then completely pivoting out of it. From an emotional or mental perspective, obviously, you had the input of your family or friends, people may be criticizing you or judging your choice. What was it like to look at this decade-plus you invested into your education, your career, and to be like, “I don’t want to do it anymore?” Was it a simple pivot or was it fraught with second-guessing yourself like fear and doubt? What was that whole process like mentally, physically and spiritually for you?
It was all of that, and plus some. Even now, there are times of stuff bubbles up to the surface, I’m like, “I thought we worked through that,” and it comes back up again. I think the first point was looking at how I identified myself and realizing that my ego played more of a part into it than I realized. Choosing my career path, being a physician is such a noble profession. I always encourage people, how do you introduce yourself to a stranger? Do you say like, “Nice to meet you. I’m Dr. Weisman,” or do you say, “I’m Errin. I work as a physician?” I think those words I am are so pointing to what we’re hanging our identity on to. For me, the realization that I was not happy with my identity was huge because it wasn’t just my job. It is what I had based my whole life on what I was going to become.
When I got there and I didn’t want it, who was I? I went through this whole point of like, “Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m broken. Maybe it’s just me,” but with a little bit of help and thank goodness that I found a fellow coach that I started working with at that time, I realized that it wasn’t me that was broken. It wasn’t me that was crazy that other people had thought these same thoughts and we’re doing things about it. I wasn’t alone and that change could happen. I had to go through a legit grieving process of letting go of the past, letting go of all the expectations of how life was “supposed to be” and how it was supposed to turn out and go through denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and then acceptance.
I had to go through all of those to then be able to be like, “I’m at this point now, where do I go from here?” It was so helpful to see other people who had walked the path before me were maybe 5 or 10 steps in front of to be like, “If they can change and do something different then can I.” What I discovered as I looked around that there were a lot of older in career physicians who had made some changes, but there weren’t any young physician, mom coaches at the time. If they were, I wasn’t able to find them. I started looking around and I was like, “I think I need to tell other people about this. I think I need to speak out about this. I think there’s other women out there who would relate to my story and I need to help them as well.”
That’s when I realized that my identity was not a doctor, why I was put on this earth was not just to be a physician. Why I was put on this earth was to help people and that I could help people and thousands of different ways. It was just up to me exactly how I wanted to do that. Once I got clear about my identity and that I wasn’t put on this earth to do just one thing, but maybe I was going to do multiple things multiple different times and look multiple different ways. I gave myself permission to try it differently. You said fear and fear was definitely there, especially the fear of failure. Talking to the recovering perfectionist. When I was able to start giving myself the permission to try, then I also had to give myself the permission to not do things perfectly and to start viewing failure as feedback for the next time.
This is such a poignant thing that we’re discussing because I feel like there’s this idea that if we do things a particular way, Whitney and I have talked about this ad nauseum about formulas in life and how so many coaches or people online that are supporting other people have formulas or blueprints. If you follow this formula or this blueprint, you’ll have a joyful life, a fulfilled life. There are many versions of this. It’s not just coaches and people online doing this. I think society in general, predicates, you go to school, you get your doctorate, you have the white picket fence, you have the three kids, you have the dog, you have the farmhouse, you have all these things you mentioned.
We have our own versions of that. I think every person has their own version. One of the scariest and most exciting places to be is when you’re on the other side of achieving all the things that they told you would make you happy or fulfilled and you’re not. I’m in that space with letting go and transitioning out of my career as a chef and being in the food industry. It’s challenging. I’m in the bargaining phase because there’s this, “People are still dangling carrots and there are still these opportunities. You’ve built all this equity and people know you for this.” It doesn’t bring me joy anymore.
I call that the golden handcuffs.
It’s bargaining though. It’s like trying to negotiate with myself, but for what? To keep the handcuffs on? I have this fantasy and I was telling Whitney too. She’s been supportive throughout this whole process of, I took down my entire vision board for the first time in years. I’m going to shred all of it because I looked at it all and it was all kind of this hyper materialistic goal setting. There’s nothing wrong with nice things. I like nice things. I realized that everything on my vision board was this idea of, “Get this house, this car, have your body look this way. Do all these things and get invited to this conference and speak on the stage.” I’m like, “Who fucking cares anymore?”
For the first time I kind of looked at my vision board in many years of doing it and went, “I don’t care.” Why on the other side of getting this house, this car, or this “gold medal” and then what? Are you a better person? Have you become a more holy person, a more ethical person? Does God love you more now? Are people going to celebrate you more? Getting to the why you mentioned is such an important part of this. I’m deep in it now. Why do I want those things? Because they think that I’ll prove something to my mom. I’ll prove something to my friends. I’ll prove something to God. Why want all these things? I’m way deep in that question right now of why. It’s coming through like a flame thrower in my life. It’s burning shit left and right.
You’re in that deconstruction zone of how I always felt as I constructed this house of glass around me and then looks around and be like, “I don’t want this.” I think the reckoning that I had to could come against was like the traditional idea of the American dream and about how shallow that is to have the house, pay off your mortgage, fund your kid’s education. Why? What difference does this make in the world if I have a 4,000 square foot home versus a 3,000 square foot home? It’s a home. Are we warm? Are we taking care of? Who have we helped in the world through this? I think that’s where a lot of us are doing some processing. I think 2020 has forced that upon all of us.
I know one big thing that it seems a lot of people are talking about as well when you mentioned having a certain shaped body. I just remind people that, what is your body doing now that you need it to do? You’re breathing air, your heart is pumping blood through all of your capillaries, you’re thinking thoughts. It doesn’t look a particular shape because to me all bodies belong. I think it is a good idea to step back and remind ourselves again, digging beyond the surface of those external factors of what success are, and getting into a new paradigm. One cool thing that I’ve started doing, I don’t know if you guys had this when you were in grade school. We always had these cards stock report cards. They would come in a yellow envelope and the teachers would write your grades on them. Do you know what I’m talking about?Write yourself a new report card. Click To Tweet
I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I’m like, “I think I do remember that.”
You would flip open the top because you’re like, “What were my grades going to be?” You go through reading, math, science, social studies, art, all those kinds of things. I had my graphic designer come up with a report card like that and we printed them. It was a homework assignment for the people that I coach with to make a new report card because we’ve been told our whole life, these are the things that you need to do to achieve, to be a good, successful person in the world. I remember my dad would always say, “My job as a parent is to make sure that you are an independent and well flourishing adult.”
I go, “That’s nice.” What else? As we’re having this conversation, it’s important to look at your new report card. Instead of being like, “Education, check. Family, check. House, check. Student loans, not quite checked on that, but getting closer.” Asking yourself like, “Is this what I want to measure my life and my level of success?” If it’s not, reminding yourself that you can put new things on the report card, like impact. One thing that’s important to me is community. That would go on there. Write yourself a new report card.
I’m curious, and this is for both of you. Whitney, you and I have touched on this, but I want to bring it back around because we mentioned it previously. In this re-evaluation of what matters, I think it’s looking at a lot of rhetoric that gets passed around in the self-help or the wellness community. I don’t even know what to call it anymore. The industry and the community we all play in, whatever it’s called. People looking to take a deeper look at who they are, their why and what motivates them. There’s this rhetoric that everyone can be great. This idea of greatness, the school of greatness, be great, excel, be a champion. We see these messages of people at the top of their respective games or industries saying like, “If you just put your mind in your heart to it, you can do anything.” One thing that I’ve been sitting with is like, “Why do I want? Why am I chasing ‘greatness?’” What does that even mean? Is this about proving something to someone, prove my worthiness?
Is it a deep desire and connection I have to whatever this industry I’m in or is it that I’m defaulting into some system of not-enoughness that somehow being average is somehow a dirty word now? It’s a bad thing to be average. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. It’s like, I’m an average height, average weight, make an average amount of money. I drive an average car, live in an average house. If I look at my life, but that’s not a bad thing. I like this stuff and it’s okay, but I’ve been under this guise for years of, it’s not enough. I need a bigger house. I need a better car. I need to somehow prove my greatness to the world and that if I’m not “great” at what I do, then I’ve somehow failed.
I’m somewhat realizing that average isn’t all bad. It’s not this negative, horrible thing that I think that I’ve certainly been taught my whole life of like, “You brought up getting a B or a C. You better not get Bs or Cs because that’s failure.” It’s like, “A B or C is failure? I thought an F was failure.” I’m realizing all the layers of decades of conditioning that go into this idea of you have to be great at everything or you’re a failure. I don’t know if I have a question and all this, I’m just reflecting in real-time during this conversation of how many layers of conditioning there are. How deep this goes?
I think you hit on one topic that a lot of people are rustling, which is greatness versus enoughness.
When you say that, what does that mean? What’s the distinction?
Greatness, as in you’re thinking like perfection, how it’s supposed to be, be the best versus enoughness in the sense of like, what would be enough? The snappy phrases going now is done is better than perfect. I’ve been challenged personally and then also professionally. It goes back to perfectionism, which can be a superpower but can also be our kryptonite. I think striving for greatness and perfection is okay, but when it becomes pathologic and when it becomes kryptonite against us, that is the only option. If you do a deep dive, just do a Google search sometime about adaptive perfectionism versus maladaptive perfectionism. I love jumping into this topic because there are three types of people.
You’re either an adaptive perfectionist, a maladaptive perfectionist, or you’re not a perfectionist at all. I don’t know very many of those people to be perfectly honest. It’s just where I am in life. I think we let our perfectionist tendencies are things that drive us to strive for greatness morph and to pathologic maladaptive issues when we start to view ourselves as a failure, instead of looking at a situation and being like, “That didn’t go exactly how I planned. Next time, insert adjustment with that.” Whereas the maladaptive perfectionist is like, “That in go great. I’m a failure. I’m horrible. I’m never doing that again. I’m going to crawl in my closet and I may come out in a week. I’m going to beat myself up mentally the whole week that I’m in my closet.”
We were talking about this in terms of aims versus goals. We are such a society that like you were saying, Errin, especially on social media, we see all these little nuggets of motivation. It’s like, “Reach your goals, go for your goal, set your goals.” There’s a lot of this mentality and this ties into the overall conversation. We have this big desire to get somewhere all the time as if there’s ever a place to be. As soon as we get there, we’ll feel satisfied, but everybody who’s achieved a goal knows that once you achieve that, you’re just onto the next one. Sometimes that can feel good and satisfying, but I think a lot of times we get there and we almost have an empty feeling or if we don’t get there, that’s sometimes even harder to tie in this perfectionism mentality. It’s either didn’t do it good enough or well enough, or I didn’t get it at all. I’m in second place. I’m in third place. I’m in the last place. It’s this comparison trap. That can be incredibly challenging, especially if you already have those perfectionist tendencies.
I guess looking at it like we’re looking at binaries of greatness versus enoughness. Aspirations versus expectations is a big one. Journey versus destination, I think is what you’re getting at, Whitney. Are you in the day, are you in the journey or are you just grinding and hitting your head against the wall for the arriving? That’s the one big thing I love talking to people about. There never is an arriving. You never just arrive and it’s perfect. I look at all celebrities, people who win the lottery, they’ve made a big. They’ve hit the big time, but then they lose their money in a year after that.
I think the thing that I rub up against in not only looking at and taking a critical look at the conditioning that I’m unwinding and peeling back the layers on, realizing how many things that I thought I wanted were actually installed in me or things that I co-opted from society, culture, family, religion, where I grew up. The people that I for many years and society in general deifies or makes godlike are people, I’ll just use two random examples like Kobe Bryant. Kobe was one of my favorite basketball players. You interview someone like Kobe or even Michael Jordan is an example of many examples that they had this unrelenting myopic, psychotic drive to be the best that if anything short of a championship every single year was considered a failure.
There are a lot of athletes that have that. I’m using Michael and Kobe as two examples because I love basketball, but we could look at football. We could look at hockey. We could look at any competitive sport where there are a very binary winner and a loser. In interviews, Kobe has often talked about how he would sacrifice the sanctity of certain relationships because of his unrelenting desire to win. It was basically like, “I’m here to win. If you’re not, fuck off.” You see that in entrepreneurs, in business, this idea of someone like Elon Musk who I admire many of the things he’s done. Getting almost no sleep and literally sleeping on the assembly of the Tesla plant. These people in our society that we put on a pedestal because of their breathless psychotic, myopic, like this thing will be done no matter what. I don’t care if I sacrifice my relationships. I don’t care if I sacrifice my health. I don’t care if I sacrifice my sanity, I’m going to get this goddamn thing that I want. We celebrate those people and we champion them. I don’t think it’s necessarily a healthy thing.
It’s the same thing in medicine. We go without sleep, we’d go out without eating. God forbid you go to the bathroom when you need to go see another patient. I love Kobe too, but he had an expiration date like the rest of us do. What’s the endpoint in all of that? I think that’s where you have to sit down with those philosophical questions and think about it. Is that amount of sacrifice worth the end gain? That’s where I had to get in my own career to be like, “No, I’m not okay with other people raising my kids. I want to be there.”
I was saying something similar to Jason about this whole idea of the sacrifice. For me, I don’t have children. One of the advantages I’ve heard is that I can sleep whenever I want. It sounds like if I ever become a mom, that might not be the case. Sleep is very important to me. I value it. This idea of like, “If you want to be successful, you have to skip out on sleep.” I’m like, “Hell no.” Especially being somebody who’s passionate about health and wellness. Sleep is one of the most important things for our health and wellness. You’re telling me that I’m going to get less sleep and thus compromise my short-term and long-term health. I don’t think so. I want to feel good. I want to feel energy. I don’t want to have that drained feeling unless there’s something that’s more important in which case, perhaps one day, if I am a parent that would be worth that sacrifice. Making more money, getting more followers on social media is not worth losing sleep over for me, literally.
It goes back to this conversation of what are we giving up and what do we want to have happened? It goes back to this idea we’ve been discussing, this overarching philosophy of where’s my gold medal? It’s this idea that if I grind as hard as Kobe, Elon or whomever, then I’ll get a result as they will. I think the three of us having been entrepreneurs as many years as we have, we know the sleepless nights, a certain amount of sacrifice or doing things in a specific order or in a specific way don’t guarantee any outcome. You mentioned, Errin aspirations versus expectations. I think that expectations are baked into this equation a little bit of, we’re encouraged to emulate our avatars or our heroes.
Whatever industry we’re in many people, encourage us to find someone who’s further along on the path or way down further in the path and maybe reverse engineer their success. I’ve personally found in my life that certain not philosophies, but actions, steps or the way that their life played out is not going to mirror how my life is going to play out. Even if I try and take the same steps or “walk the path that they walked.” In this unraveling process, guidance is necessary and mentorship. We obviously are big fans of coaching and mentoring people. The slippery slope is thinking that if I just do A, B, C, D, E, and F, I’ll have the same result as Errin, Kobe, Whitney, Elon or whomever we try and emulate, but it’s just not true.
I think that that can be frustrating. “I did all the right things, I followed the advice, I did the roadmap, I emulated this avatar and this hero. Why the fuck didn’t it work for me?” It becomes this idea of, “Do I keep going with the thing or do I give up?” When do we know when it’s time to give up on something or when it’s time to keep going? I know that’s a very acquiesce open-ended question for both of you, but it’s something I’ve been sitting with. When do we know when it’s time to say, “I’m ready to give this up. I should keep pushing?”
I think that’s the million-dollar question, especially for me. In my line of coaching, I do burnout and transition. I have physicians and high-performing women that come to me and they’re like, “I’m ready to quit. How do I do it?” My first thing always is I’m not your guru. I’m not going to tell you how to do this, but I will sit next to you and we will work through the processing of this and the unbundling that you’re talking about, Jason. It is easy. We all want the equation. We all want the protocol that says like, “Do this and this will happen.” It gets me so frustrated when I see ads online or I get emails like, “Here’s your five-step process to dah, dah, dah.” I’m like, “I wish it was that easy.” It’s not. What makes true coaching so hard is that I don’t have your answers. You have your answers. I get to help you discover them. A good coach is going to be a mirror rather than a microphone. With that question of, “Is it time to throw in the towel or do I go another quarter?” I think that has to be a very personal answer. You have to get fucking real with yourself.
I love that you are so forthright about you’re not this guru, you’re not this person who’s going to do it for them. I feel like one of the concerns that I have with the coaching industry, I was having a conversation with a mutual friend of mine and Whitney’s. There’s this new terminology that’s been floating around and the term is called Contrepreneur. It’s like, “I’m going to show you this 5, 10, or 12-step program to make seven figures and just follow my thing and you’ll do it too.” They’re making millions off of telling people how to make millions, but it’s hilarious because it’s like, “I’ll show you how to make a million dollars because I’m making a million dollars telling you how to do it.” It’s rampant.
Many people positing this idea of, “Just do these steps and you’ll have the result. By the way, pay me $20,000 so I can show you these twelve steps.” I love the term Contrepreneur because I don’t believe everyone’s heart is in the right place in this industry. I don’t believe everyone is in it with this idea of helping, supporting, guiding, and showing people that the answer’s already inside of them. I think a huge portion of this industry is scaling these programs to a point where they’re not individualized anymore. It’s just a one size fits all, here’s my course, here’s my seminar come to my program. Whitney and I have been to many of these. I’m realizing that a lot of the advice that I’ve been given in years past, I don’t want to listen to it anymore. I’m like, “I don’t want your roadmap. I don’t want your one size fits all guidance. I want someone who will talk to me as a human being with my individual hopes, dreams, fears, concerns, and traumas, and honor that rather than trying to give me a 50-page guide, that is the same 50-page guide you’re giving to everyone.”
This also reminds me, Jason of the conversation we had about coaching certifications. There are some coaching certification programs that are wonderful, and there are some that are just designed to get you to pay them money, certifications in general. In any and wellness capacity, you can get certified in something. It’s tricky. Errin, somebody asked me how I was certified as a coach. I was reflecting on that thinking like, “Does it matter to be certified? What does that actually mean?” To me what’s most important is are you in it for the right reasons? Are you studying it? Are you practicing it? Are you based in ethics? Are you working with people? Are you doing good work? Just because you have a certification it doesn’t mean that you’re a great coach or a great practitioner of any type. I’m curious how you feel about being certified.
That’s why I say preach because it’s true. Knowing my background, I come from the ultimate roadmap certification industry. It’s medicine. We got to jump through so many hoops between residency trainings, getting your degrees, sitting for your boards, getting your state licensure, keeping your credentialing up, all of those things to prove like, “I am good enough.” Essentially, that’s what people are internalizing. I am good enough. I have the piece of paper. That’s why I love coaching because anybody can be a coach. That can also be a downfall that anybody can be a coach, but just because you have the piece of paper, does that make you good? No, it doesn’t at all. There’s a lot of discussions in physician coaching arena that we need to have some kind of standardization.
I spoke up in a meeting and was like, “No, we’re not going to MOC. We’re not going to maintenance and certification coaching like we’ve done with being a doctor.” Look where that’s gone. We now pay these organizations who board us thousands of dollars a year just to say we’re good enough, answer some questions, doing some modules, turn in so much paperwork and pay them money to say that we’re adequate as physicians. I don’t know that the general public understands that, but there are some bad doctors who are board-certified. I don’t think that that is the telling line. I think it’s the same thing in coaching. You can easily go online and buy a certification by just getting an online course and never doing any of the modules. You can get a good certification where you do a hundred hours for an entry-level coaching program.
At the end of the day, I do think it comes down to who you are, who you show up as, and the people that you talk to and you work with. They first and foremost must trust you and you must be a trusting person as well. You have to understand what coaching is. What rubs me the wrong way is there so many people who are telling people what to do, how to do this and how to fix their life. That’s not coaching, that’s mentorship. That’s consulting. Coaching again is, I’m not giving you those answers. I’m going to help guide you. I’m going to ask you powerful questions. I’m going to ask you to see it from a different direction or a different perspective, but at the end of the day, they are your answers because only you live your life. I don’t go home with you. I don’t knock the donuts out of your hand. I don’t tell you to get up out of bed in the morning. You have to be accountable for your own life, your own decisions, and your own answers.
It’s almost like an elitist perspective too. It reminds me of getting a degree at college. It’s wonderful. There’s so much that you can learn by going to a university or a college. It’s great to have that degree, but I can’t say in my personal experience. I went to college for a creative career. I went to film school and I studied psychology as well during that, but that wasn’t my main focus. I got this degree that barely anybody ever asked me for. They’re not looking to see what my degree is. They’re looking to see what I’ve learned, when I’m putting it into practice and who I’ve become. I’ve met incredible filmmakers who never went to film school. You’re not like watching their movies or let’s say you’re not going to their IMDb credits to see what their film school credentials are.
You’re looking to see, do you even like the movies that they’re making? Do other people like the movies that they’re making? What are their reviews? To me, that’s similar in a lot of ways to coaching. I’ve never had anybody as a client come to me and say, “What are your certifications?” They don’t care about that in my experience. What they care about is, can I get these results that you’re talking about? Can I help change their life? Can I give them their a-ha moments? They’re often looking for somebody to comfort them for someone to hold them accountable and support them through things.
That’s not to say that I don’t believe in certification, but I have not been certified as a coach for a lot of those reasons that you shared Errin, because it didn’t feel necessary. Honestly, it feels like it’s taking me away from my work because all of those hours that I’d be putting into that certification are taking me away from the hours that I could be spending with people that already want to work with me and don’t care about the certification. Maybe if I can balance the two of them, eventually all get certified in something. It’s hard to even trust what certification program to join because there’s so many out there that to your point, Errin are they there to help me or are they just there to make money from me?
I think these bleeds into so many industries. Having been a chef for many years and exiting that industry, one of the biggest questions I get from people is, do I need to go to culinary school? Will that be a thing that is advantageous for me in going into the food industry? The great majority of the time I tell people, “No, you don’t need to go and spend the $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 at CIA, cordon bleu, or whatever it is.” To both of your points, I’ve met extraordinary artists in the culinary industry that did not go to culinary school. I think it’s this decoding of a lot of layers. Going back to society’s markers of success of you have this piece of paper, you have this certification, you’ve spent the hundreds of thousands of dollars to have this title. Therefore, you must be trustworthy.
It’s interesting how we do that. It’s how people see a certain title, whether it’s a doctor, a chef, a coach or whatever it may be. We’re also obsessed with everyone being a New York Times bestselling author. Whitney sent me a tweet from someone who was like, “How could it be that every fucking author out there is a New York Times bestselling author?” People are like, “Who the hell is this person or Amazon bestselling author?” We’re obsessed with these metrics of success and these titles. I’m just getting to a point where it’s like, “Who fucking cares?” Do you love what you do? Are you in it for the right reasons? Are you supporting people? Are you bringing a sense of joy, connection and presence to your work? Are there tangible results? Are people digging it? Is there a point? I don’t know.
I am 100% right there with you as a woman who was a multiple six-figure earner to not anymore. It is. It’s going back to like, “What is enough?” What is enough in my life? What are the things that I must do if this isn’t enough? What am I going to have to sacrifice to be back at that financial level? I just had to sit back and be like, “It’s not worth it.” Even in entrepreneurship, I look at people who are grinding and doing all the things, the webinars, the Facebook ads, all the damn things. I’m like, “If that’s what I got to do, it’s not worth it to me.” I’m not interested. Pass.
Ultimately, that’s not why you’re doing this work. Jason were talking about somebody who their whole business is based on referrals. It’s not based on social media marketing, newsletters, website or whatever else. They’re just getting referrals from other people and sustaining their whole career that way.
That’s exactly what runs my business. It is conversations, connections and finding those ways to make it with people. The highest conversion where I get my clients from is because their friend, their sister, their cousin was like, “I worked with Errin. She rocked my socks off. You’re burned out, go talk to her.” That’s that they are human core. I think if we would get away from all the bells and whistles, maybe this will help you, Jason. All the social media and giving yourself permission to disengage is because at the end of the day, people just want community. They want connection. They want somebody on the other side to hear them and to see them. I think podcasting is another great medium where we can sit here and we can have honest to God, real conversations that we share with other people in the world.There never is an arriving. You never arrive somewhere, and it feels perfect. Click To Tweet
We’ve made connections with them. I hope that they reach out and have further and deeper connections. I think if you want to honor yourself, your clients, your business, you start to focus on those connections. When life gets crazy, overwhelming and frustrating, you step back and you say, “Where have I gotten off of the mission?” It’s about helping people and making connections and you realign. I’ve had to do that twice now in my business and be like, “No, we’re pulling back. We’re not going to get crazy even though other people saying that’s successful.” I’m like, “They say they made six figures, but how much did they spend?” Because personally, any member that I am interested in is what gets deposited in my bank account.
Also, to your point, Errin, it’s not just how much money they spent, but it’s how much time did they spend doing it? How much energy did they spend doing it? There are so many other costs involved to get to that place, not to mention a lot of the sacrifices that people make ethically. I look at a lot of social media trends. I was talking to a friend about this who I’ve had a lot of conversations with about burnout. He realized that he was so burned out trying to hustle as an influencer. He’s just doesn’t want to do it anymore. He’s trying to step entirely away from marketing and sales and maybe hire somebody else to do that for him because it makes him feel so burned out. He’s done it for ten plus years. It’s just not what he wants to do. It’s not in his heart. He was saying how hard it is to watch the influencer space evolve because it almost feels like it’s the popular kids now.
It’s totally junior high all over again.
It’s the same challenges of like, “Do I have to dress the way this person is dressing to get attention? Do I have to talk like this person? Do I have to go to the same parties?” A lot of those same things that have burnt us out from when we were young are still happening online. I think when we’re feeling that discomfort, it is a good sign that, that isn’t for us. High school is a great lesson because the popular kids in my high school who they are right now is not who I want to be. I’m glad that I didn’t get into their popular cliques because maybe that would have led me down a different path. Instead, I was hanging out with my good best friends.
I didn’t care about how popular they were, what they were wearing, etc. We were together because we loved each other. We connected, as you were saying, Errin, we had that community, that bond there. I didn’t want to be with somebody just because they were popular. My journey of being a content creator, the amount of times that I’ve done collaborations with people because of their numbers is sickening. When I look back on it, I’m like, “Why?” I was so influenced by that pressure of like, “You should be friends with this person because of their numbers or you should collaborate. You should whatever else with them because of what their numbers are.”
That’s so gross now. Why did I ever live that way? Jason and I started this whole brand and this show because of those experiences. I’m grateful that I went through that because that helped me realize what I didn’t want. I realized that I don’t need to win a popularity contest because that’s ultimately not fulfilling for me. I just want to keep doing my thing. As long as I have enough money or have the means to continue surviving as a human being, that’s ultimately what’s important to me. I don’t need that flashy lifestyle that a lot of these influencers have.
We’re going full circle, which is why I’m not on TikTok because I refuse to get up there and shake my booty and point at words. I was just having this conversation with the people that I work for, for social media. They’re like, “You need to be doing Instagram reels.” I was like, “I don’t want to do Instagram reels. I don’t want to be part of the cool kids and getting that attention.” My people, they’re probably not even on Instagram. They’re there just trying to survive. They’re trying to get through the shift, get home, get to the grocery store, throw some pop tarts and mac and cheese at their kids for dinner and get them to bed without ripping their heads off so they can start it over the next day. I’m so with you. It is about that deeper, authentic connection with people and not shaking your ass on TikTok and Instagram reels.
I think the big difference is if it brings you joy or not, I can tell that LinkedIn brings you joy, Errin, and you can probably tell that TikTok brings me joy. I actually found this phenomenal woman who I invited on the show. She’s just this wonderful down to earth woman. She’s not a teenager. She is teaching people about email marketing. I was so excited about her content. She’s sitting there in her office chair sharing tips about how to send great emails. I was like, “This is awesome. This is what I want to see.” I’m grateful that she is on TikTok because I wouldn’t have found her otherwise. She is on some other platforms, but it just wouldn’t have come up on my feeds or at least not for a while.
I think the big key is, does it bring you joy? Do you like this platform that you’re on and be evaluating why you “need” to do something? Because if you don’t like doing Instagram reels or TikToks, then don’t do them. Unless you do them and they do lead you to that person that you want to meet. Then maybe you “do need” to do them. I’ve done this too. I am so guilty of this simply because I love social media and I’ve used those terms a little too loosely like, “You need to be on TikTok.” I say this to Jason all the time, but he doesn’t want to be on TikTok. He’s not going to do it until he feels like it if that ever happens. The truth is he doesn’t need to be. I just think it would be a fun experiment, but that’s up to him to decide those things. There’s a lot of pressure online about what you should do, what you need to do. Each of us have to filter that through what’s important to us and if that brings us joy.
Going back to the business side things, not getting caught in the trap of, “This is how I get clients so this is what I have to do.” Because when I’ve made those pivots and business where I’m like, “I’m not sending out a weekly newsletter. This is bullshit,” lean into what brings me joy so many times. I think people are so scared to give up things that are their stream of income and how they’re getting people to come in. I think the energy is different when it’s something that brings you joy that you love doing. For instance, I love doing my podcast. I’ve loved talking with you guys. I do that instead and that’s where my energy goes. I think you’re right, Whitney, about trying things, seeing how it works or sticks and then also be willing to release it when you’re like, “I’m going to pass on this one. Not me.”
I have to note, I think I heard a cat in the background, Errin, and that brings us a lot of joy. Jason and I love cats.
Do you want to know my cat story?
Take a little tangent.
My first fur baby, his name was Linus. He was a one-eyed West Highland white terrier, the little Caesar dog.
I had a Westie growing up too.
I got him on my first year of medical school way back in the 2000s. He was a rescue when I was in school in Missouri. We had Linus forever and ever. He was starting to get old. Long story short, he died in May 2020 and we went without pets for a while. I was like, “We got COVID and children, so it’s enough,” but then my grandma had some barn cats who had a slew of kittens. I’m talking like thirteen plus kittens. I was like, “We can do some outside casts. We live in the country. They’ll love it here.”
We go to look at her kittens and I have three kids and of course, they go with me. We pick out cat number one, cat, number two, cat number three. Of course, mom needs a cat, so cat number four are in the pet carrier coming home with us. They’re quasi. We call them porch cats because they come inside sometimes, but most of the time they’re outside. They snuck before our recording. I didn’t have enough time to usher them all back outside. We now are the proud owners of four cats. I call myself an Ambi pet owner. I thought I was always a dog person, but I think I’m a dog and a cat person. I’m bipetual.
That brings me so much joy, Errin, that it was like, “Not one, not two, not three. Mom needs one. Let’s go with four.” I also have four felines and one tiny, muscular French bulldog here at the house. I’ve often joked that the only thing preventing me from getting more is a space issue. Because in the size of the house that I’m in, five animals are fantastic. I’ve often joked that just give me some acreage and it’s going to be an animal farm.
You need a quarter of an acre for chickens. Get some guineas, maybe a goat.
There are pigs in the future lineup. There are goats in the future lineup. There’s probably turkey. It’s just going to be literally animal farm Dr. Doolittle’s situation. I’m so glad that you have for felines. This is an interesting thing. You talked about being Ambi because I have a theory. That doesn’t mean it’s true. I love dogs and cats, but I think that the general demeanor, this is a sweeping generalization of dogs and cats and how that’s reflected in owners. I’ve talked to people who are very much team dog and as a result, many of them are anti cat. I’m like, “Why don’t you like cats?” They’re like, “They’re fickle and they’re independent. They do what they want and they don’t listen to me.”
I’m like, “Revealing some interesting things about the nature of what you like and don’t like.” “My dog is always happy when I come home. It always jumps on me and greets me in. He or she does what I say and they’re trainable.” I think it’s interesting what one chooses to have as an animal companion may or may not reflect different aspects of how they relate to the world. Because for me, I personally like the fact that my cats are loving, but they’re also aloof and they do what they want. They’re just like, “You can’t control us. Good luck with trying to train us and control us.” Not the cats aren’t trainable. Bella, my dog, every time I come in the door, it’s like, “What are we going to do? Are we going to play? Are we going on a walk? Are we going to feed? Are we going to belly rub something?” I just think the animal companion is an interesting reflection of a person’s personality. Do you find that or am I overreaching for both of you?
I love it so much because I was a camp team dog, but now having cats I’m like, “These guys are easy.” They clean up after themselves. They don’t poop everywhere. They tell you when they’re hungry. They’re like, “Yes, you can love on me now.” I don’t know that we’ll get an insight inside forever all the time animal again. I liked that they have a free-range or they go outside and take care of themselves. I think you’re right. I know when I got my dog, it was definitely out of a place of self-need. I needed something for me and he filled a big space in my heart.
I think it maybe does tell a little bit about our personality types, but another story coming off of the dog story is when I realized I was so burned out, that I needed help was the day that I was considering getting rid of Linus because he was yet another burden. I was trying to be like, “What can I offload?” It was an eye-opening experience for me because I love this dog. He is like my first child. He was on all of our Christmas cards. He even made 2020’s Christmas card, even though that he died halfway through the year. It’s telling that that was the depths that I was in when it was bad that I was thinking about getting rid of something that I utterly loved to death.A good coach is a mirror, not a microphone. Click To Tweet
This is when Whitney chimes in and says, “Jason was going to do the same thing.” Go ahead, Whitney.
I don’t need to.
I have threatened to offload my animals at times because I’m like, “You ingrates, I buy you food, care for you, brush you. You guys are ungrateful. You can fuck off, go fend for yourselves.” It is when I get into a process of complete overwhelm and burnout. Because when I’m feeling balanced, sane and I’m feeling healthy and joyful, the last thing I’m going to think about doing is offloading my animals. Truth be told Errin, there’ve been moments where I’m just like, “I’m done with shit. You guys are too much.” I’ve never done it thankfully because I do love them and they’re like my children, but I have thought it.
I think that supports the statistics about people who are burned out. It’s like you’ve got three times more increase of getting divorced and engaging in unhealthy habits be it gambling, alcohol, drugs, the like of it because you’re in such a brain space that is not functioning. I use those what I call red flags to be like, “Are there some red flags up in here right now? Are you think about leaving your husband, selling your kids?” Use that as red flags to be like, “Alert, something is happening here.”
It’s almost like I find that our body’s giving us feedback and giving us signals, but if we’re busy and inundated with things to do, we often are not paying attention to those signals until they maybe get loud. The point that I try not to get to and encourage people not to get to is, what is the phrase that gets passed around? Practice listening to the whispers so the whispers don’t turn into screams.
I always call it the feather or the 2×4. Do you listen to the tickle of the feather or do you wait for the 2×4 upside your head?
What if it’s a 2×4 covered in feathers?
It still was going to hurt.
It softens the blow a tiny bit. As we’re getting closer to the wrap-up here, Errin, I personally want to take your How Crispy Are You quiz. If people want to dig into getting a taste of evaluating where they’re at and learning more about your work, is that a good starting point?
It’s totally tongue in cheek. It’s fun, but it can be very eye-opening to be like, “That’s exactly what I’m thinking. That’s definitely some thoughts I’m having.” It has no scientific backing behind it. It’s something purely that is out of my own brain. I do hope that it brings some awareness for anybody that takes it for sure.
One thing I’m super curious about, you have something on your website called the REST Technique. I’m seeing a lot of talk about meditation too. What is the REST Technique and how does meditation play into the things that you encourage people to do?
2014, that was the worst fucking year of my life. I had a good friend at the time and she was like, “Will you come with me to yoga?” I was like, “Okay. I know I need to get more exercise in my life. Yes, I will come with you to yoga.” I would love the class. Honestly, it was intense up down, dog down, all over the place. You’re sweating and you’re slipping around on your mat. I’m just like a He-Man woman hear me roar type of thing. We would get to the end and Shavasana and I hated it. I hated lying there on the floor. We’re supposed to be taking deep breaths and feeling the earth cup our body.
I’m not into it whatsoever. I tried the Headspace app when it first came out and some other stuff. I knew all the literature behind talking to patients like mindfulness and meditation. It brings up your cortisol levels. It does such amazing stuff for your body. I knew that I needed it, but I couldn’t get into it until I had a friend, her name’s Dr. Jill Wener. She’s out of Atlanta, Georgia. I interviewed her for my podcast. It’s been years ago now, but I was sitting there and I was like, “You’re an internal medicine doctor, a meditation teacher and you’re cool? I don’t get this.”
More conversations with her. Then she was like, “I’m going to start doing meditation for doctors. Would you be willing to beta test this for me?” I was like, “Yes. #TakeMyMoney.” I was like, “If she could teach me how to do this in a way that doesn’t feel horrible like it does right now, maybe I could learn something.” That’s actually her program. The REST technique that I advertise on my website because July 2018 is when I did the beta testing for her. It fundamentally has changed my life. I thought meditation had to be like all Zen. You had your little seat thing, your candle and peace bubble around you. I don’t know. How she taught it made so much sense to my science brain. She got into the neuroanatomy and some of the physiology about it that I was eating it up.
When she walked you through and did it, and I was like, “That’s it? I just release and I breathe. Any thoughts that come up, I notice them and let them go. There’s no weird chanting.” It phenomenally changed my life in ways that the challenge was you needed to meditate twice a day for a couple of weeks. She wanted you to document before and then post afterwards. The example I gave was three kids were now 4, 6, and 9. At the time we would have been 2, 4, 6. One of my kids was painting fingernail polish on another one of my kids. They dropped it on the floor so it’s all over the bathroom floor and the rug.
They run through the house because they got fingernail polish. Typically, I would blow my lid and lose my shit, but I had started doing meditation and it was just like, “There’s fingernail polish all over the place and on my children. I see this. I’m okay. We’re okay.” My husband looked at me and he was like, “Are you okay with this?” I was like, “We’re going to be fine. We can handle this.” That was the point that I was like, “This stuff is so good. I have to tell everyone about it.” A majority of anybody who comes and coaches with me, I’m like, “You need to head over to Jill’s website. You need to buy the self-paced course because it’s super easy. She breaks it down and videos you don’t have to do anything.”
This is before COVID. “You don’t have to go to the retreats. She will teach you.” How I learned was through the internet. I can tell you that it made such a huge difference. It’s science-based, it’s not super wacky. Thank God I had meditation in my life when COVID happened because those were like the times that we needed it. Not knowing that everything before that was the warmup game. I can’t say enough amazing things about it. It helped me with what she calls adapt energy. Helping me see my thoughts don’t control me that they’re just there. As the heart beats, the brain thinks.
There are many good quotables from you, Errin. As part of the show notes, we have tweetables and I feel like there are so many for you it’s going to be tough to decide because you’ve dropped so many succinct nuggets of gold.
I was trying to write down some of them to help out our editing team. I’m like, “I don’t know what I’m going to pick.”
My team keeps a document on Google Drive that says, “Shit Errin Says.” I would love if you guys could contribute to that document.
We will add golden nuggets in the Shit Errin Says folder gladly. Errin, it has been such an incredible pleasure getting to know you. It has felt like we were kicking it by the fireplace, having some tea or some coffee. Your personality is so open and lovely. You’re full of wisdom and love. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here.
I’m thankful that you guys said yes when I asked to come on here. It’s been so much fun. I want to put out to your audience that you’re not alone with the thoughts that you’re having. I hope that we have spoken out some of your thoughts into the open world to validate you and to say like, “You’re not broken, nothing has gone wrong here. You are okay. You’re just going through some deconstruction and that’s a perfectly normal part of life.”
I needed to receive that too as much as anybody else. Thank you for that encouragement, that reflection Errin. To you, dear reader, her website is TruthRXS.com where you can take her quiz, dig into more about her incredible work in the world with helping you recover from burnout, her great programs and coaching. If you want to reach out to us directly, we always love hearing from you guys. Errin, you have a new website. Tell us about it.
It was part of the pivot and business. I’m excited since we talked about it. TruthRXS is still up, but I cut the fat. You can still find all that goodness on TruthRXS. Where I want to promote is Doctor Me First. That is where my podcast resides. If you want to come and hang out and get some more Errin Weisman SAS, go there. This is not like the handbook on how to fix yourself, but if you’re looking for a fun workbook with a lot of Errin Weisman SAS in it to help you deep dive and get a better look into yourself, more awareness and clarity, Doctor Me First workbook is there too. Head over there. If you want the coaching side of things, go to Burnout to Badass. It’s so much fun, such a cool community. I think everyone would love it there, specifically focused for females and high-achieving careers.
If you want to get all those buckets of sass, troughs of sass, Grand Canyons full of sass, go check out Errin’s website, her incredible work in the world. We will be back with another great episode. We adore you, Errin. We’re huge fans already of your work. Thank you for blessing us with your presence!
*We use affiliate links in our show notes. This means we receive a small sales commission if you purchase an item based on our recommendation.
- Errin Weisman
- How Crispy Are You?
- Dr. Jill Wener
- Doctor Me First
- Burnout to Badass
About Errin Weisman
Errin Weisman, DO openly speaks on her experience of professional burnout early in her family medicine career so that no woman feels alone and to prove you can have a joy-filled and sustainable career. She lives and practices life coaching and medicine in rural Southwestern Indiana, loves her roles as farmer’s wife, athlete and mother of three. Besides being sassy, she enjoys getting mud on her shoes, teaching her children to catch tadpoles and reading a great fantasy novel.
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