Today’s episode follows on from our recent episode about perfectionism. We discussed what perfectionism is, and how to recognize it and interrupt it while it’s happening. But the next couple of episodes are all about the solutions to overcoming perfectionism, and we start this week by discussing something I call worth dysmorphia.
We’re familiar with the idea of body dysmorphia, where one has an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in their appearance, despite it being minor or imagined. Well, I see the same thing occurring when it comes to self-worth, and more often than not, people turn to perfectionism to try to fix the perceived flaws that lead to worth dysmorphia.
Tune in this week to see if you might be struggling with worth dysmorphia. I’m sharing how this might be showing up in your life, how it relates to perfectionism, and I’m giving you three amazing ways to deal with worth dysmorphia, so you can intentionally decide you are good enough, whatever that looks like for you.
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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- What worth dysmorphia is and why so many people struggle with it.
- Why we turn toward perfectionism to address our lack of self-worth.
- How to get clear on your own self-worth and where you might be struggling with worth dysmorphia.
- What changes when you intentionally build belief in your worthiness.
- Why worthiness and enoughness are 100% subjective and arbitrary.
- How to define what enough or worthiness actually means to you.
- 3 ways to establish self-worth and belief in your enoughness, so you can start to overcome worth dysmorphia.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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- If you want more information about the Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind, visit my LinkedIn, my Instagram, or email me!
- Get on my email list!
- Episode 24: Perfectionism
Full Episode Transcript:
You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 25. Today, we’re talking all about worth dysmorphia. You ready? Let’s go.
Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach, Olivia Vizachero.
Hi, my friends. How are we doing today? Greetings from Miami. I just got down to Florida, I’m going to be here for about 10 days, and I’m having some fun in the sun before I head to my mastermind with my business coach. Myself and some of my best coach friends are down here soaking up the sun in South Beach having a great time.
I hope you’re enjoying the last bits of summer before we kick into fall. I know I am. I’m super excited for the next couple of days to just relax with some of my peers. Then I’m going to go soak up all the goodness with my business coach, learn all the things and work on scaling my business. Which also gets me super excited for the next round of my mastermind, The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. Doors to that, are going to be opening up in November, and I cannot wait. I’m so excited for the next live event with that mastermind.
Just like the mastermind I’m in with my business coach, Stacey Boehman, I also host an in-person live event every six months. Which is, so amazing because it really creates this sense of community among the members, you get to meet everyone in person. You’re in an immersive environment, which I love. I think you either are a conference person or you’re not a conference person, and I definitely am.
I have gone to Tony Robbins events before. I love being in person with my coaches, Brooke Castillo, and Stacey. It’s just so neat to be able to be there. You’re really all in. You’re learning hours and hours a day. And then, there’s all the amazing side conversations in the morning, at lunch, at night. I can’t wait for mine.
Then I can’t wait for The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind event, in a couple months. Doors open to that in November, and the next live event is going to be in the very beginning of February. If you are interested in joining, make sure you mark your calendars so you can apply when doors open up.
All right let’s dive into today’s topic. We’re continuing along with the topic of perfectionism. It’s one of the three P’s; people-pleasing, perfectionism, and procrastination. I talked in the last episode about what perfectionism looks like in your life.
What does it appear to be in practice? How do you spot it? How can you recognize when you’re in a perfectionistic pattern, in order to interrupt it? So, I gave you lots of intel, for you to be able to spot that when you’re indulging in perfectionism yourself.
But now we want to talk about the solutions to overcoming perfectionism. I decided to break this up into two separate episodes. I’m going to give you some more tactics to apply, in the next episode. Today, I wanted to talk to you about “worth dysmorphia”, which is a term that I coined, and it’s inspired by body dysmorphia.
Now, this isn’t to make light of that, at all. Body dysmorphia is considered a mental illness. It’s where you have an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in your appearance. Oftentimes, it is either minor or imagined; you think that you look different than you are. You think that you’re less attractive than what you actually appear to be.
I was thinking of that concept. I see that come up all the time, when it comes to self-worth, as well. People have a perception that they are less worthy, or that they are not good enough. Again, this can be obsessive, where we’re constantly indulging in perfectionism, in order to fix this perceived flaw, even though it’s not really there. I was thinking about this, and oftentimes, when I ask clients about how they perceive themselves and their self-worth, they tell me, “I just don’t feel good enough.”
I recently had a conversation with a client of mine, she’s actually a member of the mastermind. We were talking about self-worth, and she said that exact thing to me. She said, “Olivia, you know, I just constantly feel like I’m not enough. Like, I’m not good enough. Like, I’m not worthy enough.” I asked her, “Hey, you know, what is that based on?” She said, “Really, honestly, I don’t know, kind of nothing.”
I tend to find that this is very common. People have this perception that they’re not good enough. It’s really based on absolutely nothing. There’s no substance there. I always like to say, “There’s no there, there.” Just like body dysmorphia, where someone can be very physically attractive, they just don’t see it themselves when they look in the mirror. They perceive their body to be different than it is. They perceive their self-worth to be different than it is.
Before we talk about how to overcome worth dysmorphia, and to establish self-worth and belief in your worthiness, in your enoughness, I just want to do a quick check in with you. Do you think that you are enough? When was the last time you asked yourself that question? Do you think you’re good enough? Do you think you’re worthy enough?
Maybe you’re struggling to answer that in a yes or no capacity. If that’s the case, if it’s kind of a question mark for you, use a 1-10 scale. You guys know I love a good 1-10 scale; it helps flush out where our beliefs lie, a little bit more. On a scale of 1-10, do you think that you are enough? On a scale of 1-10, do you think you’re good enough? Do you think you’re worthy enough? You can break it down into those three questions.
There are a lot of other ‘enoughs’ that we talk about. I did a whole episode on this, on defining enough. Do you think you’re smart enough? Do you think you’re capable enough? Do you think you’re productive enough? Efficient enough? Those are a little bit more specific, though, and contextualized.
I really want to focus, for the purposes of this episode, on do you just think you are categorically “enough?” You guys can’t see me, but I’m using air quotes. Do you think you are enough? See what answer you come up with. Maybe you’re a five, maybe you’re a two, maybe you’re an eight, maybe you’re a ten? If you’re a ten, amazing? I love that. But you want to check in with yourself and see where you’re at.
Then, whenever you come up with your rating, you want to ask yourself; what are your reasons for it being the number that you chose? And come up with all of those, list them out so you know what it’s based on. If your numbers, for each of these ratings, are kind of low and then you find that, like my client, it’s based on nothing, you just want to take note of that.
If that’s the case, you may be suffering from worth dysmorphia; where your sense of yourself isn’t based on reality, it’s just an altered perception. It’s a perceived flaw based on nothing; just this human phenomenon where we perceive ourselves to be less worthy than we actually are.
The good news there, is that when it’s based on nothing, you can just believe the opposite. I know that sounds kind of pie-in-the-sky, but it brings me to the three categories that I want to talk to you about today. These are the three ways that you can work through worth dysmorphia, and establish a self-worth practice where you’re building, actively, belief in your worthiness.
You get three options, when it comes to self-worth. Technically four, but I absolutely hate the fourth one. I’m going to give that one to you at the end, and it’s what you’re already engaged in. I’ll explain it in a second. But the first option, when it comes to your self-worth, is that you can just opt out of this concept altogether. You can do what I call, ‘unsubscribing from it’.
There are a lot of concepts in my life that I have unsubscribed from; I have unsubscribed from feeling shameful about myself. I don’t think there’s any purpose; I don’t think shame ever serves us in any way. You can just opt out of that entirely. If you don’t think the thoughts that cause you to feel shame, you won’t experience shame.
I’ve also opted out of regret, I’m just not here for it. I always think that you learn from your experiences, and you probably made the decisions that you made based on a reason. If you course correct afterwards, you realize that it didn’t serve you or you didn’t like the outcome, that’s fine. But there really is no purpose in indulging in the concept of regret; that you chose wrong. You chose whatever you chose for a reason.
I’ve also unsubscribed from failure. It’s just not something that I believe you can do anymore. I really believe that you’re always just winning or learning. If you don’t quit, you can’t ever fail. That’s another concept that I’ve unsubscribed from. There are quite a few of them, those are just like my top hits.
Self-worth is another one that I’m adding to my own list. I’ve really thought a lot about this, since having this conversation with my client, where she raised this issue of self-worth. Saying, “I really don’t believe that I’m enough.” I asked her what is it based on, and she said, “Nothing.”
I got off our call, and this just kept running through my mind over and over and over again. This concept that so many people are going through their lives believing that they’re not enough, based on nothing. The next question that entered my mind was enough to whom? Because not everyone’s going to agree on what good enough is, what worthy enough is, what enoughness constitutes. We’re all going to have our own definitions.
Moreover, we really don’t even have definitions for these words. We just use them very ambiguously, very loosely, very amorphously. When we do that, we’re constantly chasing a horizon of enoughness. Feeling like we’re missing the mark, feeling like we’re not there, that we haven’t arrived yet. But we don’t even know where we’re trying to go, because we don’t have definitions for these terms.
If that’s you, which it likely is, because it’s most people, I just want to turn you on to the concept that enoughness is kind of bullshit. It’s really arbitrary. It’s completely subjective, no one’s going to agree on what it means; no one ever really takes the time to define it anyways. This whole thing that we’re striving for to begin with, we’re so eager to reach this destination, to reach this endpoint, this enoughness, it really doesn’t exist.
You get to buy into this concept with me. By buying into it, I don’t mean the concept of enoughness, I mean, buying into the concept that there is no such thing as enoughness. That it’s arbitrary, it’s totally subjective, it’s just, ultimately, BS, utter BS. That’s what I’ve chosen to opt into. That’s what I’ve chosen to subscribe to.
That’s the first option when it comes to worth dysmorphia, and deciding what you want to do about your own self-worth. I’m just like, this whole concept is garbage. It’s not a thing, it really doesn’t exist. It’s totally arbitrary. Unsubscribed.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can take option number two, when it comes to self-worth. Which is, you can just decide that you are worthy. That you are enough, right now. You don’t have to do anything differently. You are currently enough. People might be tempted to be like, “Olivia, that is so pie in the sky. What are you talking about? You can’t just decide.”
Honestly, you’re already doing this, but you’re just doing it in the negative, right? You are believing that you’re not enough, that you’re not worthy, that you’re not good enough, also based on nothing. So, just do the opposite. Also, based on nothing. If you want, you can sit here and come up with a long list of reasons why you currently are good enough, make the argument. You’re an attorney, put that attorney hat on and argue your point that you are enough.
If you do that, if you tell your brain what evidence to look for, it’ll go out and find it. When you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, it also goes out and finds evidence of that. You want to make sure you are directing your brain here, and telling it what evidence to search for. But with this being said, you literally just get to decide that you are currently enough.
I was thinking about this. It’s kind of like when we’re kids, and we think adults have it all figured out. We think that they really have their shit together. Then we become them, and we realize how mistaken we were. We realized that; oh, everyone’s kind of just figuring this out as they go along. No one really has it dialed in and figured out, in the way that we may have thought.
Because of that, sometimes we find ourselves a little underwhelmed at what the adult experience is like, or by what the adult experiences like. We’re like, “Oh, I thought it was going to be a little bit more majestic than this. I thought it was going to be a little bit more grandiose.” And, it’s not. We’re just figuring it out as we go along. We may have thought that it was going to be a little bit more put together, a little bit more perfect than it is.
The same thing can be true for ourselves. We may have thought that ‘good enough’ was going to be a little bit more grandiose than it is. We may have thought it was going to look different, just like you thought adult life was going to look a little bit different than it is in practice. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not an adult, just like it doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough.
You can decide that you are good enough, that you are currently living in the land of enoughness, and it’s just a little underwhelming. It’s just a little less grandiose than you expected it to be, but nothing’s gone wrong. You can just decide that this is what it is. It looks a little bit different than you thought it was going to look like, but this is what it is. This is enough. You currently are it. Nothing needs to change; you don’t need to do anything different. You’ve already arrived, you’ve reached the destination.
So, that’s the second option. First one, is you can just totally unsubscribe, opt out of enoughness altogether. It’s total BS. Second, is you can decide that you already are enough. That this is what it looks like; you’ve arrived. You’re here, this is what it is. The third option, which I think is my least favorite, among the three. It’s not my least favorite of the four, which we’ll talk about in a second. But it’s my least favorite of the three.
If you really want to subscribe to this concept of enoughness, and you’re also really beholden to continue believing that you are currently not enough, then here’s what I want you to do. I want you to define “enough”, very concretely. I want you to define it in an objective manner, where I’d be able to come into your life with a clipboard, and decide whether you’ve reached your definition, your standard of enoughness. I’d be able to check the boxes to see if you qualify or not.
So, you want to make sure your enoughness standard is objective. And then also, attainable. Those are the two qualities you want your definition to meet: objective and attainable. Then when you have this objective, attainable standard, you’ll then have a clear path for how to qualify for that enoughness. For you to eventually become enough, for you to arrive there. You can begin to work towards that.
Now, this may be hard for you, because enoughness tends to be so amorphous, it’s hard to articulate. But I really want to encourage you to try. Try to articulate it. Try to come up with that objective, attainable standard, and then begin working towards it. So, you can get to the destination of enoughness. So, you can feel that you’re good enough, worthy enough, just all around enough.
Now, those are the three options, that I like, when it comes to enoughness and self-worth. The fourth option is to keep doing what you’re currently doing. Which is, believing that you’re not good enough, not worthy enough, that you’re not enough generally.
And to have a really amorphous, ambiguous standard, that you don’t really understand, so you have no idea how to work towards it. And, you just keep indulging in this worth dysmorphia. Thinking that you’re not enough, not worthy enough and feeling inadequate as a result, but having no clear path on how to get out of that shitty situation.
That’s option number four. If that’s what you’re doing right now, I want you to, you know, establish some grace with yourself and don’t beat yourself up. I think a lot of people are out in the world doing exactly the same thing, indulging in this worth dysmorphia. But you get to stop anytime you want. You get to choose one of the other three options, that I’ve laid out for you today.
Now, why is this so important in the context of perfectionism? When you indulge in perfectionism, you’re doing it because you think you need to be different than you are, in order to be worthy, in order to be enough. So, you keep chasing that horizon. The chase is your perfectionism in practice. You keep striving for more, because you believe that when you’re just better, when you’re just more perfect, then you’ll finally be good enough.
In order to put down the perfectionism, in order to put a pin in it, once and for all, you have to believe that you’re already enough. Otherwise, you’re constantly just going to be striving for that perfect, for that better, for that best, you’ll keep chasing. That chase is really exhausting, and it also doesn’t feel good, right?
You feel unworthy, you feel insufficient and inadequate in the process, as you’re chasing that standard, that elusive standard of enoughness. These two things go hand-in-hand: We have to solve for the self-worth issue, in order to solve for the perfectionism issue. When you believe that you’re good enough, you’re worthy enough, you’re just good, old fashioned enough, you get to stop indulging in perfectionism.
That’s the goal, for all the reasons I discussed in the last episode. Perfectionism is really a drain emotionally, mentally, taxing on your time, all of the above. It really does not serve you, and it keeps you from accomplishing those big lofty, amazing goals that you set for yourself because we quit.
We give up, we start and then stop, we don’t follow through, we don’t stick with things, we procrastinate. Because of perfectionism. There are all of these problems that our perfectionism causes, so we want to solve for it. Okay, my friends. That is what I have for you today.
I want you to check in with yourself. Are you suffering from worth dysmorphia? If you are, ask yourself why? You’re probably not going to have a good reason, just like most of my clients don’t have a good reason. Then, I want you to make a decision: Pick one of the three options that I laid out for you.
Choose them, in order to work on your self-concept, your worthiness, your self-worth. And then from there, it’ll put you in a better position to implement the tactics, that I’m going to talk about in the next episode, on how to overcome your perfectionism. The daily little tips and tricks that you can utilize in order to get out of this habit.
All right, my friends. Have a beautiful week. I will talk to you in the next episode.
Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.
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