What are you trying to achieve with perfectionism? Why do perfectionism and self-neglect go hand-in-hand? Are you seeking a sense of peace and self-acceptance? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about overcoming your perfectionism in 2023 with Dr. Menjie Boduryan-Turner.


Dr Menije speaks relentlessly on many platforms to share her personal story combined with her professional training to help women break-up with perfectionism. She knows one can be a prisoner of their perfectionism. Her hope for her clients is that that they turn the judgment to compassion and ultimately live a life where they embrace imperfection rather than striving for perfection. Visit Perfectionism University and connect on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. FREEBIE: Check out Dr Menije's 6-Step Email Course on Overcoming Perfectionism


  • What is perfectionism?
  • Perfectionistic tendencies can develop in childhood
  • “Play the tape forward”
  • A happy, free, and secure life cannot be controlled
  • Perfectionism and eating disorders

What is perfectionism?

Perfectionism is about having unrealistically high expectations of ourselves … I really like to highlight that because it often gets misunderstood as having standards. (Dr. Boduryan-Turner)
Often people will try to defend their perfectionism by saying that they simply have “high standards” for themselves. They may argue that anything less than perfect would mean that they are “lowering their standards”. Anything can be a target for perfectionism, from your posture to your body to your habits. Perfectionism functions with black-and-white thinking and strict rules with no compassion.
That’s [how] perfectionism is this race with no finish line. I often think of it as this marathon and somehow the finish line keeps being [pushed] further and further away from you where anything you do is never good enough. (Dr. Boduryan-Turner)

Perfectionistic tendencies can develop in childhood

How did you develop this belief that you are not enough as you are?
From the research that I have been learning, it really does start as young as five and six years old … it’s also around that age that we start to develop [a sense of] comparison. (Dr. Boduryan-Turner)
People falsely believe that if they do things perfectly then they will feel “good enough” or “liked enough” because they have externalized their sense of worth. You are not blaming your parents by examining your childhood. Gaining a deeper understanding of how your childhood circumstances impacted you can reveal great insights into how you cope with the world as an adult.

“Play the tape forward”

What helped you to survive and achieve a sense of peace, calm, and safety in the past does not have to stay the same in your future. The patterns and habits that you learned as a child no longer serve you as an adult, especially if you want to become the happier, healthier, and freer version of yourself.
So, when you play the tape forward you realize that perfectionism is never your friend. (Dr. Boduryan-Turner)

A happy, free, and secure life cannot be controlled

Life will have difficult moments. There will be times when you have to face unpleasant or uncomfortable things and the only true way to get past them is to go through them. Therefore, if you want to create a life for yourself that has true peace, you need to let go of your urge to control everything around you and focus your energy on controlling your responses to what happens. That is where your power lies: stick with yourself through the pain instead of abandoning yourself to control the situation.
[There] is a war that you start inside of yourself when you try to keep the peace outside [of yourself]. So, that’s what I would ask people to consider if they’re having a really hard time or [are] hesitant about setting boundaries, is again, play the tape forward and you’ll find out that when you did all that you did to keep the peace outside you start a war inside. (Dr. Boduryan-Turner)

Perfectionism and eating disorders

Perfectionism doesn’t exist. No one can ever be perfect because it is unattainable and not possible. Are you striving to be perfect in the eyes of other people? Why? Is it to receive acceptance, gratification, worth, or love? You can stop playing perfectionism’s game and step away because the inner peace, self-acceptance, and love that you are looking for have always been inside of you, not outside.



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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Podcast Transcription

[DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Behind The Bite podcast is part of a network of podcasts that are good for the world. Check out podcasts like the Full of Shift podcast, After the First Marriage podcast and Eating Recovery Academy over at practiceofthepractice.com/network. Welcome to Behind The Bite podcast. This podcast is about the real-life struggles women face with food, body image and weight. We're here to help you inspire and create better healthier lives. Welcome. Well, hello everyone. Welcome to the show. I am really excited today because I know many of you out there are perfectionists and hold yourself to really, really high standards and so you are going to really relate to our guest today. Not going to do much of an intro because she has a lot to say and I just want to delve right into the show. So we have Dr. Menije, who is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, California. She's a leading expert on overcoming perfectionism and building an authentic life, and is a founder of Perfectionism University, which is an online platform for self-help courses on breaking up with perfectionism. Her goal is to create a community where we can all unlearn perfectionism and start our journey of embracing imperfections and owning our enoughness. [DR. CRISTINA] Well, Dr. Menije, thank you for coming. I'm so excited to discuss this. So perfectionism, how did you become someone who just focuses on this? [DR. MENIJE BODURYAN-TURNER] Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me here and I love talking about perfectionism. The truth behind my interest in perfectionism come from a very personal place actually. So I bought a decade ago, I was reading Dr. Brene Brown's book, Gifts of Imperfection, so I had my rude awakening of what was behind my never-ending anxiety and guilt that I was not doing enough, or I did something wrong, I upset somebody. I realized that so much of it was my pursuit of perfectionism that was getting so debilitating for me, and I started to understand that I wanted to work on that for myself. Few years later, I graduated with my degree and I started to do therapy and I start to see so much of our clients also struggle with perfectionism. What's always very interesting for me, and I always like to help people understand, is that we tend to go to therapy understandably for mood issues, relationship issues, body image issues. It's often when we start to unpack those things, would I find perfectionism in there, perfectionism in addiction and codependency and eating disorder, ADHD. So it became a perfect marriage where it is something I personally worked on myself, and I was seeing it professionally. I understood that this was a human struggle. Our need for belonging was definitely behind our need for perfectionism. So that was really the combination of that personal and professional thing that led me to talk about all things perfectionism. [DR. CRISTINA] All right. Well, so the audience, people listening here focus on eating disorders, body image, and I work with obviously clients who are struggling with these things, and this is something that is very prevalent with people who have eating disorders and body image issues. I'm sure you've worked with some patients yourself and your practice. Could you speak a little bit to what you've found in the people you've been working with in terms of, let's just focus on body image for one. What do you typically hear? [DR. MENIJE] I think I want to come back to maybe what the definition of perfectionism is because it shows up that way in people with eating disorder, body image issues, where perfectionism is about having realistically high expectations of ourselves. I'd really like to highlight that because it often gets misunderstood as having standards. So often the argument people have is like, well, if I'm not perfect, if I'm not going to try to do things perfectly, then I'm just settling down and lowering my standards. It's really important to understand perfectionism is about having unrealistically high expectations of yourself and at that point, anything could be a target. It could be your weight, it could be the way you look, the way you talk, the way you sit, the way you cross your legs. Any part of your body is under the microscope of the perfectionism lenses and being judged. What's also I think, very debilitating about perfectionism is the way, I often think of it as like it's rules. So perfectionism says, well, if you were really good at it, you would do it again. Like, let's say if you were really athletic, then you would duplicate, you would repeat that workout tomorrow. Well, if you were actually really good at it, you'll do better tomorrow. That's where perfectionism is, this race with no finish line. I often think of it as like this marathon and somehow the finish line keeps being pulled further and further away from you where you, anything you do is never good enough. Can you do it better tomorrow? Can you do it faster tomorrow? Again, if you're really that good, you should be able to repeat it. [DR. CRISTINA] I love that you said that, I always hear people say that, the unrealistic expectations, I hear people say like, it's almost like if I don't hit this standard, then there's nothing in between. It's fatter failure. It's like this all or nothing. It's like I have to hit this, it has to be perfect, otherwise it's like complete and utter failure. I don't know if that's also what you hear a lot. [DR. MENIJE] Very much so. I think absolutely a trade of perfectionism, is that all or nothing, black or white thinking. What's interesting is when I ask my clients, because as we have to start from a place of curiosity and saying, okay, tell me a little bit about how your perfectionism shows up in your life, tell me a little bit about what it tells you about your body, about what you should eat and shouldn't eat. What you come to realize, when you look at those dialogues and you look at those expectations and you look at those rules again, they're very unkind, they're very unrealistic, they're very extreme and absolute and on top of it, typically other people are not subject to those expectations. They're always harshest and hardest on themselves, and they are towards people around them. So that's where it makes perfectionism also very abusive and self-abusive, is that people tend to be a lot more flexible kind and understanding towards other people and other people's fluctuation of body weight. But when it comes to themselves, it's this rigid rules that they must do a certain way every single day, every single hour of the day. [DR. CRISTINA] So somebody's really holding onto this and saying, no I have to do it this way, for instance, like with body image or things that go along with that, like, I have to look at this certain way or else I'm not good enough or I'm not going to be attractive or I'm not valued and they truly believe that. Let's be honest, social media plays into this in diet culture. These are these messages that are pretty toxic. How would you combat somebody that's saying like, but it's out there. It's there. Everyone's saying this and it's true. So what are you supposed to do with that? [DR. MENIJE] You mentioned two parts of, I think this problem we have, one of it is that what is all this perfectionism for? Why are we trying to do things perfectly? Why are we trying to pursue a made-up abstract concept of perfectionism? It is because of a core need for feeling worthy and feeling enough. So there really is no other answer, that perfectionism stems from a core belief that one is not enough as they are. I'm not smart enough as I am. I'm not beautiful enough as I am. I am not attractive, friendly and interesting enough as I am. It absolutely stems from that so we then have to understand how did you develop this belief that you are not enough as you are? From the research that I have been learning from, it really does start as young as five and six years old that we start to develop, because I believe from what I understand is that it's also around that age we start to develop comparison. There's this interesting resource that shows like when you show a 3-year-old do you want this or do you want that, they might go with something that's like what they like or what they interested in. But around age five or six, they start to realize, well I will like that particular, let's say toy because it's again, bigger, it has more value. They start to again, have that comparison starting up, that I think correlates with the negative belief that, okay, where am I placed on the scale and I'm giving myself a low grade here. This idea that I'm not good enough as I am is part of why we get so attached to perfectionism because I call it a coping mechanism. We falsely believe that if we do things perfectly, as you mentioned, we're going to feel good enough and ultimately we're going to feel a sense of worthiness, a sense of love and sense of belonging. Then the second thing you're mentioning that is absolutely part of unpacking perfectionism is what are the causes of perfectionism? I absolutely do encourage people to look at their family environment, not to blame mom or dad for this, but to understand the environment we grew up in and then looking at that environment. We have to of course also question the role of media in how it's making us accept ourself and how is it feeding into the comparison and the judgment. [DR. CRISTINA] Right, and so when people, like if you're working with somebody and you're trying to help them challenge like what's out there in their families or out in culture, do you find that there's a lot of resistance and a lot of difficulty in combating that? [DR. MENIJE] Absolutely. There is, and I'm afraid that's also because of repetition, how long they have gone judging themselves, how long has it been since they have not been kind towards themselves? I know it's probably been said a million times, but it really comes down to self-compassion because ultimately we all have imperfections and flaws. Again, social media becomes a problem because we do not put our imperfections on display. We keep it to ourselves. Part of it could be, yeah, when we're having a hard time, the last thing we want to do is talk about it. Maybe we might journal about it privately. I understand that that some of it might just be how we handle painful moments is that we tend to just be alone or want to be alone. So I do encourage people to consider compassion, to combat this inner dialogue that says, you are not enough unless you weigh this much. You are not enough unless your body looks like this or you can fit into the stress. So you are right there is a resistance, but I'm afraid that resistance is due to the length, like how long it's been that people have been treating themselves with this type of high expectations, unrealistic expectations. So it's not, obviously it's nothing to do with like, oh, it can't be changed. We are just having a hard time because that's all we know, that's what we're familiar with. [DR. CRISTINA] Well, how much of that's also the fear of if I let this standard go, this unrealistic standard that they, maybe they don't even see this perfection, they just see it as like, this is what I set for myself. This is what I want for myself. If I let go of that, then it's, again falling into the all or nothing, then I'm just going to let everything, it's like this, I'm going to let everything go. I'm not going to have any standards. The only thing that motivates me to maintain this level of whatever they have going on is being hard on myself, like being mean to myself, like putting myself down. That's the only reason I hear this from people all the time. The only reason I have gotten straight A's or been so successful in my business or been motivated to do all these things, it works in every other area of my life. So I have to keep doing that with everything. I have to just be hard on myself, have the inner critic and hold myself to these high standards. Otherwise, can't be mediocre. I can't be average. That's the worst thing. God forbid you let go of the standards, I'm going to just completely fail. [DR. MENIJE] This is, I think where things get tricky because perfectionism initially works. When you do things perfectly, you get promoted when you do things perfectly, you can dodge the bullet. You don't get rejected or you don't get hurt. So I understand that there are these lived proofs, evidences that perfectionism worked out for them or worked out for any particular person. I think it's okay to honor that if it's okay to accept that. But then I would ask them, play the tape forward and what happened next? Or keep playing the tape forward and what happened eventually. We are going to get to a moment in your life where perfectionism caused isolation, where perfectionism caused disconnection, where perfectionism caused burnout. Because you could never raise your hand and say, I cannot take on that project. I just can't, there's nothing left in me, I can't do that anymore. So it's not just about obviously, recognizing the way that perfectionism gets rewarded or reinforced in our culture or in work settings or personal life. It's about playing the tape forward and having a realization that what helped me survive is getting in the way of me thriving. [DR. CRISTINA] Those like adaptive at some point. [DR. MENIJE] Exactly. I think it is. That's where we might also have to go back to those childhood experiences and understand what might have personally happened to you. I also speak about part of I think my personal stories. I came to United States, I was not born here, I came to United States when I was well two weeks before my 15th birthday. I always say that's gave my therapist and I a lot to work with, two weeks before my 15th birthday, so a lot of adolescent insecurities and a lot of parent, child dynamics where outside of the home, I am the English speaker. So I am literally at the PTA meetings, translating things to my mom and then I come home and I have to be the child, so a lot of relational issues, obviously it arises from life events. I often also recognize grief can play a role in why people come to latch onto perfectionism. Again, I say all of that because we really want to unpack and write the story of your perfectionism and really understand what experiences made you believe or left you feeling that if you do this perfectly, you can avoid pain. I think that's what Brene Brown's research has shown over and over again, like it's to avoid pain, it's to avoid shame. We latch onto perfectionism like an armor. So I'm not shy away from talking about the way that perfectionism might have worked for them, but I also call them out on the fact that, well, let's play the tape forward because you're in my office and we're talking about how much you hate your body and we're talking about how you can be intimate with your partner because you don't like your body or other personal and relationship issues you're having. So when you play the tape forward, you realize that perfectionism is never your friend. [DR. CRISTINA] Well, so like, if we transfer over into the eating disorder part of this, a lot of perfect rules, perfect ways to eat, perfect ways to be right, what do you, I mean, I could speak for days, days about what I'm hearing. I also had my eating disorder. I know how that all go went from me. But what do you hear with people when you're working with their perfectionistic thoughts and behaviors? [DR. MENIJE] It's along the lines of what you're mentioning, all these specific rigid rules that show up in the way that they need to control and have certainty. Behind that control and certainty lies a full sense of safety, that again, if I wear the perfect clothes, if I am having the perfect body, then I can avoid ejection, I can avoid abandonment. Which again, I really want to honor and make sure that every person takes the time they need to grieve whatever happened that because there are personal experiences we have that made us felt like you mentioned like either rewarded for our perfectionism or got rejected because of our imperfections that makes us believe like you don't understand. They may say to me like, this is what happened. I think I really want to come back to also these rules people may have regarding their bodies and their relationship with food. My experience there has been a lot of people who were influenced by a family member. So I do think that setting certain boundaries and rearranging and restructuring our relationships with people who may negatively influence us and get in our way from having a healthier relationship with our body is part of the conversation too. [DR. CRISTINA] And that could be really difficult, especially if a lot of the people I work with along with this are people pleasers. They want everyone to like them. That's part of the perfectionism as well. It's like everybody likes me, I'm so agreeable, I go along with everything. Even if in the family dynamics, maybe culturally even it's not okay to set a boundary, it's like how do you manage that one? [DR. MENIJE] Absolutely, yes. There are, you're right, I mean, people pleasing tendencies are another trait of perfectionism and eating disorder, body image issues that we have to look at some point. I think one of the motivators need to be the idea around authenticity. I'm really not trying to throw buzzwords into this conversation because I know it's like everywhere. At the same time, there's so much value around being your authentic self. So I do believe that boundaries, if they are being honest and if they're being genuine, they're not there to make anybody else happy. So I think the only thing we can ask ourself is the boundaries I'm setting. I'm not, it's not a payback boundary oh, well you did this to me three years ago and now that I got my conference back, I'm going to set this boundary with you. It's, as long as it's not a power move and it's honest and it's genuine and it's being authentic, that's all you, that's the only permission you can give yourself to set that boundary and then let go of what might do that to the other person. Maybe that's also part of the conversation is letting go of that control. You cannot keep the peace forever clearly. Again, I feel like I'm such a, well I am a big fan of Brene Brown, so here I go again quoting her. Maybe she got this quote from somebody else, but it's this idea of the war that you start inside yourself when you're trying to keep the peace outside. That's what I would ask people to consider if they're really having a hard time or hesitant about setting boundaries is again, play the tape forward and you find out that when you did all that you did to keep the peace outside, you start a war inside. [DR. CRISTINA] So people are much more likely to want to please other people than to take care of themselves. [DR. MENIJE] Yes. That also brings up the idea of self-neglect, doesn't it, with perfectionism and eating disorder is like how much we might have neglected ourselves, how disconnected we we are by the time we get help from ourselves. [DR. CRISTINA] Well, yeah. So like you said, like what is the goal of being perfect? Like in all the things that people are doing to be perfect, what's it really getting them? Are they, is it bringing them the happiness? Is the goal that you're finding people wanting to be happy? Is it like what are they really trying to achieve by being perfect? [DR. MENIJE] That's the tricky thing about perfectionism. The way that I often describe the cycle is you try to do something perfectly and you clearly fail because that doesn't exist. Then you feel a sense of, I mean, long list of difficult emotions like depression, shame, guilt, self-blame, so all sorts of like anger, all sorts of difficult emotions. Then when you, out of that emotional state, typically what perfectionists do is they say to themselves, hold on, I can do this better. There were just a hiccup, let me just try again. They go back to the beginning where there are high expectations, we're waiting for them. So at some point you have to say exit, like at some point you have to exit that vicious cycle. Otherwise, that's what it does. It says what, that failed, like that exercise routine failed, or I didn't lost that weight just because I didn't, I can do it again. This time I'll get it right. This time I can make it perfect. So they go back to where they begin or where all of this begins, that high expectations. Again, this is why it's a vicious cycle. So it's really is breaking that cycle. It's really is exiting that freeway to say, nope, I'm not playing this game anymore because that was a genuine realization I had that I am suffering. Like I don't like me. That's a big problem. And I've heard it's not a podcast couple months ago that said about 80% of people report not liking themselves. So to me that's a really, like that's an epidemic to say we don't have self-acceptance, self-love and perfectionism is what's getting in the way. Again, how can you tell me perfectionism is good for you? [DR. CRISTINA] Well, I guess that's to the point too, I was just getting at it's like, why are people holding themselves to this perfectionistic standard? What are they thinking it's going to give them, or what are they going to get? What's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? What are they seeking? [DR. MENIJE] Yes, yes, what are we think we are going to get? I think some of it could also be maybe a spiritual discovery for people to understand that that inner peace and happiness you're looking for is always inside of you. It's never outside and it's always in going back home and trying to find you again and hang out with you inside. But the other idea that I wanted to also share part of this journey is, which is going to sound more behavioral, is doing some exposures. At the end of the day I think people need to test out their ideas. Maybe that's another way that I would gradually get my clients to question or leave their perfectionism behind is through exposure. So clearly doing things imperfectly is a great start, but also doing things in a way that might get them to be rejected, like asking things that people will say no, tends to be a really great exposure so we can get comfortable with hearing now. So doing some sort of exposures where you're doing things imperfectly, putting yourself in a position where you might hear no and not shying away from that. Another one is asking for help, like telling people, I need to delegate this. That feels like a completely different exposure for people than doing things imperfectly. [DR. CRISTINA] What do you find when you have people do that one, that's interesting? [DR. MENIJE] To ask for help or? [DR. CRISTINA] Yeah, the asking for help part. [DR. MENIJE] It takes a lot of practice. It takes a lot of practice. I also see people bargaining with me on what help they can ask for and how, oh, here's another one, justifying it, like, well, I will ask for help only if I'm really stuck or if it's the holidays. Like there has to be these conditions to them asking for help and it then goes back to like, no ifs or buts. You're going to ask for help. Are you going to say, no, I cannot take this on this week. Is there somebody else that can do that? I know I'm giving some work examples here, but coming back to maybe body image and eating disorder that could be relevant is for people to, again, don't cook, order out. That might be also a great exposure to let go of that control because I know some of, sometimes people prefer cooking at home where they can control all the ingredients that's inside the food versus ordering out. So doing things opposite, that's probably what it all comes down to is exposure is doing the opposite than what you've been doing. [DR. CRISTINA] Yeah, I was just a few, my mind went into a few places. One was the asking for help thing. I was just imagining most people like, no, I can't, I can't be a burden, I can't show that, I can't do it all or I don't have it all put together myself because I'm weak or whatever it is. That's just the whole thing there. Asking for help is like, you're weak, you can't do it all yourself, people are going to resent you, you're afraid of the no. What if somebody says no? Then what does that all, their mind will just spin into all sorts of directions about why that's happening. [DR. MENIJE] It does, it does. It's all the work we do of unpacking all these barriers to asking for help, all these beliefs we have that makes asking for help wrong. Obviously, it's about, at the end of the day, rewriting those things to say, asking for help is wrong, turning that into asking for help is good. Asking for help is right. Asking for help is self-loving. So absolutely, I think we have to change our perceptions before we can take certain actions. At times I do think that doing certain exposures to test out our thoughts and helping those exposures to give you new evidences to think differently, our choices we have [DR. CRISTINA] My mind went to the other spot was just related, which is when you were bringing up boundaries, being able to say no when people ask you for help if you're already overburdened. Because it goes back to that people pleasing, but also the perfectionist of like, yes, I can do everything. Yes, I'm going to be the perfect friend. I'm going to be the one who can always be there for you and if I say no, the fear of like, oh my gosh, they're going to be mad at me. Like all this bad stuff's going to happen, they're not going to like me, which comes back to like the body image. Like, I have to look perfect, be perfect. Why do people have such a hard time putting up healthy boundaries and saying, no? It's so hard. [DR. MENIJE] It really is. It really is. I'm sure part of it comes back to our need for belonging and we don't want to get rejected. Then I also do want to encourage people to see the value of a practice because if you, again, were raised or you yourself spent so many of your years practicing unhealthy boundaries, know that doing the opposite consistently will then rewire your brain and it will help you do things differently. I think one of the other things that are coming up for me when you mention like the people pleasing is the one that can't say no or need help, I always also encourage people to really understand, like I was saying earlier, how perfectionism shows up in their relationship with food and body because there's so many varieties. Of course, I say that at the end, perfectionism is about having high expectations, but I also want people to know that that can cause, that can show up so differently. Like I was saying for somebody because of their high expectations, they may, I know this is a very simple example, but they may cook at home all the time. They may want to be in charge and want to know exactly what's in their food and control it to a t. But another person with perfectionism actually gets so debilitated by their high expectations of themselves that they procrastinate. So they never cook, so they never for an example again, this may sound a bit simple examples, but like a person may never go shopping because they believe they never going to find the perfect outfit that fits their body perfectly, that makes them look perfectly. So there's a lot of, again, go-getters with perfectionism, like I'm a hundred percent going to like just be the leader and control everything. Then another version is people who get so debilitated by perfectionism that they avoid shopping, cooking, dating because my body's never perfect enough. Why bother date? [DR. CRISTINA] Hmm. [DR. MENIJE] So there's a lot of, again, reverting and avoidance versus some other people, it's a lot of like those what we think of high achiever, go-getter leaders who are again controlling every detail because of their perfectionism. [DR. CRISTINA] That's interesting. I don't think people look at procrastination as perfectionism. [DR. MENIJE] Yes. To be honest with you, on social media, that tends to be like, I would say that's in the top three conversations that I get most questions about, is the relationship between procrastination and perfectionism, avoidance, analysis, paralysis of how perfectionism is not always your type A people. They're not your A+ students. They can also be the one that are indecisive and delaying making decisions, procrastinating, slow to make progress and it all stems from the same one underlying belief. If it's not perfect, like you were saying earlier with that all or nothing thinking, if it's not perfect, it's not worth it. Don't do it. [DR. CRISTINA] Well, I mean that goes to eating disorder stuff too. It's like, it can be the white knuckling of being perfect on a diet and eating perfectly one day. If you deviate a little bit you eat one thing that's off the diet, then all bets are off, you broke the dam, then it's like you're going to, that's it, your day's off and you might as well just eat everything in sight because this is your day, you already broke it. So like, okay, I'll get back on track tomorrow and be perfect tomorrow. [DR. MENIJE] Yes, yes. That extremes are part of this problem with perfectionism is how it's extremes. It also feeds into that sense of failure because it wasn't perfect, it's like, again, it's a waste of time. It's not worth paying attention to or keep going or listening to my body taking good care of it, now I'm just going to punish it or ignore it, neglect it. [DR. CRISTINA] Yeah, a lot of disconnection from their wants, their needs, like what's actually making them happy. Just this pursuit of like, I need to achieve this above and beyond everything else is what I'm hearing you say? [DR. MENIJE] It is, absolutely, absolutely. I think it goes back to people I don't think very aware of this, but it really is about like, how can I be perfect in the eyes of other people? We lie to ourselves that those are expectations I have of myself, but I believe that those are expectations subconsciously you think other people have for you. Because again, you want their approval, you want their likes and it's also expectations other people had of you growing up that now became your rules that you follow so blindly. [DR. CRISTINA] I love that. I love that you help people challenge those things and like work through them. Because you're right, it's perfectionism underlying so many things that people do come in with. It's pervasive and not just body image eating disorders, but yes, depression, anxiety, all sorts of reasons that I'm sure lots of listeners here can relate to and shake in their head like, okay, maybe I have some of that. So I'm wondering if people do want to learn more about you, they want to know more about how to maybe challenge their perfectionism, like follow you, you have great social media, like how can they find you? How can they read more about what you do or maybe even work with you? [DR. MENIJE] Definitely. Thank you. I am very active on Instagram, so they can definitely find me on Instagram, which the handle is Dr. Menije. One of the resources I love to share with them is a free email course I have walking them through six steps. It's an email that they will get from me and they don't have to respond if they don't want to. But they can always share some of their takeaways and discoveries and I'm really interested in seeing how that will help people. It's a, yeah, it's a free course that they can sign up anytime they want. [DR. CRISTINA] That's fantastic. Thank you. Don't worry, I will have all of that in the show notes, so if you didn't get that down, don't worry about it. Just go to the show notes and click on everything. Thank you so much. I know so many people will be helped by listening to what you had to say today and I'm sure it just touched so many people because they're probably going, yes, that's me. So, thank you again. [DR. MENIJE] Thank you. [DR. CRISTINA] Any last final words before we end? [DR. MENIJE] Oh no, I just want to say thank you again for having me here and I hope that this was a nice reminder for everyone to pause and remember that we're all imperfect and worthy of loving ourselves. [DR. CRISTINA] Awesome. Thank you. [DR. CRISTINA] This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.