Anxiety

Ep 61. Overachieving, perfectionism and living life juicy with Mandy Lehto

June 17, 2019

Mandy Lehto PhD is a brilliant coach, speaker, writer, and champion of high achievers eager to trade the hustle for something more sane – and satisfying. Her work blends academic research with intuitive, heartfelt guidance. We discuss:-How we use achievement to buy enoughness -Overcoming over-achieving  -Why perfectionism can be used as an ‘escape’ from anxiety […]

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Mandy Lehto PhD is a brilliant coach, speaker, writer, and champion of high achievers eager to trade the hustle for something more sane – and satisfying. Her work blends academic research with intuitive, heartfelt guidance.

We discuss:
-How we use achievement to buy enoughness

-Overcoming over-achieving 

-Why perfectionism can be used as an ‘escape’ from anxiety

-Mandy shares her favourite practical tools for more calm and confidence

-Living life more juicy

Find Mandy Lehto here on her website

Mandy Lehto’s Instagram

Ep 61. Overachieving perfectionism and living- life juicy with Mandy Lehto

Chloe:                     Hello and welcome to the calmer you podcast, this is your host Chloe Brotheridge, I am a coach and a hypnotherapist, and I’m the author of two books: The Anxiety Solution and my latest book Brave New Girl, Seven Steps to Confidence. Brave new girl is all about helping you to end people-pleasing, discover the power of no and becoming your most confident self. And it’s full of stories from people like you and me, who have grown their confidence.

As well as practical tools that you can slot into your life, they’re going to help you to you be the best you that you can be. So this week I’m talking to Mandy Lehto, she is a coach, a speaker, a writer, she’s a champion of high achievers eager to trade the hustle of something more sane and satisfying. Mandy has a beautiful way of blending academic research with intuitive and heartfelt guidance, and she helps people to seize life with both hands.

So in this really inspiring conversation we talk about how we can use achievement to buy enoughness, now how many of you can relate to this? How we hang our worth on achievements, whether that’s how much money we earn, or getting a promotion, or getting likes on a social media post we really get into this and how to get away from doing this because it ultimately isn’t very satisfying. We’ll talk about how to overcome over achieving, and this is different to high achieving by the way.

Overachieving is going much too far than really is possible for a human being to go, and Mandy’s had her own experience of this, shares loads of stories about how she’s experienced this and overcome it and how she helps other people to as well. We’ll talk about why perfectionism can be used as an escape from anxiety, as a way to not have to feel anxious if we are constantly striving. If we are trying to control what other people think of us by putting on an image of perfection, we’re trying to protect ourselves from feeling anxiety and yet the process of trying to be perfect actually creates a lot anxiety in itself.

Mandy also shares her favorite practical tools, there are loads of things that you kind of want to be making a note of and returning back to off this episode, and we also talk about how to live life more juicy. So if you are looking to grow your confidence, I have a free confidence challenge that is taking place on the 1st of July. It’s free to join, you can head over to Calmeryou.com/confidence and enter your email address there and I’ll send you all the details, and over five days I’m going to be helping you to silence your inner critic, start to feel better about being you.

We’re going to be connecting together as a community in the Facebook group, and I’m going to be encouraging you to start doing more of what you love and what you really would want to do, and making that really easy with simple steps. There’s also going to be a live interactive workshop with me on the 4th of July, I’m going to be leading a group in a therapy session.

And from these workshops that I run in the past it’s amazing, we usually have a nice big group of people, lots of interaction in the chat and just loads of inspiring tips and tools and of course the hypnotherapy session which has the power to really transform things for you in a single session. So head over to Calmeryou.com/confidence and join me in the competence challenge, so let’s get into the interview with Mandy.

Chloe:                     So welcome Mandy, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you?

Mandy:                   I’m really excited to be here, thanks for creating this opportunity.

Chloe:                     Thank you. Can you please tell us what it is that you do and how you got to do the work that you do today?

Mandy:                   I am an executive coach; I do multiple things, so I think that if I had to have a serious job that is my serious job. So I work mainly with women but not exclusively, and I also am a writer, I’m a blogger, podcaster, I’m working on a book and the other thing that I do is I go into companies and offer corporate training. So the way that I got there, I left an investment banking career that I had for nearly a decade, which was exciting and it was adventurous and it was the perfect petri dish for my overachieving self to get to a stage where I thought I just cannot get up to another five o’clock alarm for another day of my life.

So I decided to leave my career, which was a very difficult decision, I was doing and throwing, I was literally standing at a crossroads with pushing the buggy in one hand, Starbucks in the other hand and this question that was perpetually going around in my heart do I stay or do I go? Because the inner critic in my mind was saying you’ve gone to university for 11 years, you grew up on a farm milking cows, you’re in London now in this shiny office and how can you possibly give that up, if you give this up you’ll be a nobody, so that’s what the inner critic was saying.

And then the inner compound waver or the inner champion is saying actually this isn’t your purpose in life; you know you’re made for more than this. And you want to spend some time with your kids, and all of this ends no the peonies and then the Sun rises and the sitting down and having tea in the garden, and all of those things that I never made time for because I was constantly nexting. So that is how I got into being self-employed, was I chose the fearful, exciting, follow your heart solution and left that seemingly stellar career that I had created to go into the unknown of doing my own thing and here I am.

Chloe:                     Amazing. Can you tell us more about the overachieving, what was that like for you?

Mandy:                   Well I think that’s been my way of being since childhood, because for anybody who identifies as an overachiever it’s such a perfect winning strategy until it’s not. So as a winning strategy what it was for me, and this may be different for other people, but as a winning star it was a way of getting these pellets, like in lab rats get pellets, it was a way of getting pellets of validation from other people.

When I got gold stars being a kid and blue ribbons and trophies and it bought me I thought immunity from criticism, it allowed me to feel, which feels kind of edgy saying this, as a young person it allowed me to feel almost superior to other people. Like look at how hard I’m working, and look at how those people are off having fun and I’m reading my books and doing my essays, and the payoff of being an overachiever is exactly getting those pellets of validation, getting the pats on the head.

And growing up it continued to be a great winning strategy, especially going into a career like investment banking or anything in the corporate world, where they will take as much as they can get. They’re not interested in anxiety and mental health and quality of life, well maybe they are I’m not sure if that’s a box-ticking exercise, but back in the day when I was doing that it was harder, faster, more stay late come early work on weekends. And that was also an opportunity to get promotions, get bonuses, get told you’re good, somebody to say oh you’re ambitious that just felt like inside, there was this warm ember burning inside of me I’ve been told I’m ambitious.

So there were different kinds of pellets, and overachieving was a winning strategy and if I actually break that down into component chunks, part of overachieving was the out working everybody else. If I outwork everybody else, I don’t have to be the smartest person in the room as long as I work harder than anybody else, which means postponing joy, which means obviously that had takes its toll, that has its cost, also things like people-pleasing that was part of my winning strategy and overachieving. So if I can make everybody like me, again going back to childhood which I never thought about at the time consciously, it buys me immunity from criticism.

So if I become my boss’s right-hand person, I make myself a linchpin, I become indispensable. And the third leg of that overachieving stool was this idea that if I am perfect or fake perfection, which is really what perfectionism is, is faking perfection, I can create this image that I completely have my life together and everybody will pedestalize and think like how does she do that? And that will allow me to stand out, that will allow me to be somebody. So there’s a huge payoff to being an overachiever, because it gives you a sense of self, it gives you a sense of purpose; it gives you a constant drip of pellets.

Chloe:                     So you get rewarded for pleasing other people who are working harder than everyone else? It’s really interesting that you mention about perfectionism, and how it’s all about what other people think, other people’s perception of you being perfect, and yet I suppose there is a cost for you. What was the cost for you trying to be perfect all the time?

Mandy:                   Well I think perfectionism is a form of image management that we use to escape anxiety, and as you said perfectionism it exists in the eye of the beholder right. So to be perfect in somebody else’s eyes one needs to adapt and to distort their own true self, their own authentic self to become that image of what somebody else wants them to be. And this is something that I identify in overachievers in my own coaching work, and my own research and interviews that I do on this.

Is often overachievers become very adept at morphing into whoever some beloved or authority figure or whoever’s attention they’re seeking, that they can morph themselves. In North America we have this thing called Gumby, I don’t know if you have Gumby here, but its thing that can stretch and bend, it’s a toy that can bend in all these different shapes. So the ability to Gumby oneself into whatever that person boss, lover, husband, father whatever, whatever that person would perceive as perfect, so it’s actually overriding our own instincts.

So I had a boyfriend in university who I was absolutely crazy about, and he loved gorgonzola cheese, which I don’t but I was actually training myself, holding my nose and going to Sainsbury’s and buying gorgonzola cheese and learning to override my retch reflex, to learn so that when we were having wine and cheese and crackers together I could just toss my head back and laugh and say oh I love this, this is so wonderful. So this is a funny silly example of attempting to create this fictitious, inauthentic persona to be able to be perfect in someone else’s eyes, it’s all image management.

Chloe:                     I love the idea of image management, I never thought of it like that, but that’s so true. And I suppose it’s exhausting trying to do that, you’re going to use up a lot of energy, you’re not going to get your own needs met when you’re doing that. What was the result of that, when did you get sort of fed up of that way of being or when did it reach work one for you?

Mandy:                   I think for overachievers and certainly for this recovering overachiever it becomes so dyed-in-the-wool, it becomes such a core part of who I thought I was that I didn’t actually realize I was doing it, it was not conscious to me until very recently. When a couple of years ago, five-six years ago this winning strategy stopped working and it’s a classic case of what got me here won’t get me there, as in there being whatever the next level is.

So I started to suffer from very odd symptoms of brain fog, and you know that classic thing of going into the room and thinking why am I actually here, and not happening on multiple times in a day. And complete energy loss when I’ve used to be the Energizer Bunny, and all of a sudden I’d climb three or four stairs and I’d have to hold the wall and my heart was jackhammering, like what is wrong with me? And I thought I need higher octane coffee, I need more carbs, I hired a personal trainer and I said I need more energy, so he said let’s do some high-intensity interval training, I said brilliant let’s do all of that, because those were all the things that had given me the juice before.

So instead of actually listening to my body, I realized little by little that all of those old tricks weren’t working anymore. So it’s not like I went willingly into this metamorphosis of leaving behind this overachiever persona I thrashed, because it felt like I was dying, not me physically I mean that to a certain degree, but that voice inside that panic, that anxiety voice of you are losing your edge, you’re going to be a nobody, you lazy sack of shit, pardon the language but that was the word that my inner critic was constantly using. And attempting to thrash me back into my old way of being, because it felt like I wasn’t getting any pellets, and it was like whatever the rehab version of being an overachiever was.

And to use time-lapse photography on this story, I ended up having a spectacular crash where for about a year all I could do was basically feed myself and have a shower and take my children to and from school, and I had no energy for anything else. So that was like my drying out period of not being able to go out in the city and do my speaking thing, and my training thing and not being able to take on any high-profile clients. So I in effect went completely to ashes from my overachievers mind at that stage, and it really sucked, I’m not attempting to glamorize that in any way, but that was the absolute rock bottom for me at that stage where I was so identity less and rudderless. I didn’t know who I was, I felt utterly worthless.

Chloe:                     So is that what you’d call a burnout or adrenal fatigue or something, was there kind of a diagnosis on that at all?

Mandy:                   I went to the doctor several times and they did my bloods, they said there’s nothing wrong with you, so the inner critic pops up see you’re just lazy, you’re just worthless and the vitriol of that voice inside that I had normally blanketed with achieving, I wasn’t able to do that and I think because the doctors gave me no diagnosis, that was just overwhelming.

And then by chance I happened to start working with nutritional therapists, and she did a test on me and she said we need to talk urgently, and she showed me what my adrenal curve looked like compared to what a normal person’s curve looked like.

And she then put me on a rigorous regime, and took me off my high octane coffee and my tents, she said you need to cancel your personal trainer you basically need to rest and recover and sleep. No carbs, no sugar, no caffeine, no gluten, really letting my nervous system reboot entirely, so yes she said I had severe adrenal fatigue.

Chloe:                     It’s interesting because I hear a lot of people say that they do you kind of hit training in order to calm themselves down, but actually that kind of intense exercise can increase adrenaline because you’re stressing the body in a sense. So to add that on to an already stressed system can make things worse, and actually rest is the thing that we really need in that situation.

One thing that I’ve heard you say is around using achievement to buy enough nurse, and this is something that if I think about a lot of the clients that come to see me, and also my own kind of experience with anxiety, kind of not feeling good enough is very often at the root of things. So can you talk about your experience of that, and what you know about that?

Mandy:                   I think it came from childhood, in fact because I’ve done so much work on this I remember exactly where it came from. I was about eight years old and my grandmother had brought from Finland, I lived and grew up in Canada, she had brought this interesting-looking, looked like a bit like an autoharp but it was a very old-fashioned Finnish traditional folk instrument. And everybody in my family was musical my mother was a singer, both my father and my brother they played various instruments and I was the smart one, so it was like it was a clubhouse that I didn’t have the password to.

So when my grandmother brought this instrument, I was determined that I was going to learn how to play this because there was this huge festival, cultural festival coming up where I was going to make my family proud, my dad proud in particular, that I was going to belong to this club and be able to play. So I remember on the day it was really important my dad was a pillar of the community, and it was very important for him that all of us looked good and made our family looked good.

So I was sitting in the kitchen and he was tonging my hair with the curling iron, not my mom my father interestingly, and I put on this little red dress with this white peter pan collar and my little Mary Jane shoes and I remember sitting there on the stage waiting to do this. And I was thinking we’re going to go for ice cream afterwards, and it’s going to feel good and so I had this buzz going through my body and I remember the curtains opening slowly.

And all of sudden there were these bright lights on me, and there were all these people and just swallowing and thinking and the man at the side of the stage said okay honey, do it, come on, everybody’s waiting and my fingers started playing this too, and then I had learned by ear, I couldn’t read music and I had learned this piece and my little feet were swinging because they didn’t reach the ground. And I was just near the end, and right at the last few notes I played a wrong note, and it was all of a sudden like everything went into slow-mo and that mic that was positioned right over this harp that I was the autoharp I was playing, all of a sudden that just reverberating through the whole audience and my heart sank.

I’m thinking there’s going to be no ice cream, and my dad’s not going to be proud of me. I did my curtsy and I rushed off the stage, and I put the instrument in its protective case and then I kicked it after I put it in the case. And on the way home my father said you made mistakes, and in that moment the eight-year-old in me realized that it was not safe to make mistakes, it was not safe to try new things that I wasn’t already good at.

And it’s weird because I completely forgotten about that until I had a coaching session with somebody, and that old ancient, I mean I’m 48 that’s 40 years ago, that old story emerged and somehow I had like sedimentary rock, like layer different behaviors on top of that. But until recently I’ve still also been terrified to do anything that I’m not already good at, and if I do do something, if I can’t win I at least don’t want to fail spectacularly or publicly, so it requires constant vigilance to self-soothe that I’m actually okay to try things that I’m not already good at.

Chloe:                     Wow, yes. So it’s like things that happen in childhood can really stay with us can’t they? So vividly, like a traumatic event like that. And I hear from people all the time that memories will come up through sessions about getting laughed at in front of the class, or being shouted out by their mom in public.

Or these things that you might not even remember as an adult until you really kind of go looking for whether the root cause of the issue is, and then you can start to see how being kind of shamed or embarrassed or having a very fearful experience like that or being criticized really can stay with us and create all these problems in our later lives.

Mandy:                   Yes. And also I noticed that I became hyper vigilant to scan for those kind of threats where I would be mocked for failing, so there may have been plenty of other examples where it was okay to fail, but it’s almost like I fixated growing up on oh better not do that because I might not be good at that, I shouldn’t try that instrument. So I never played an instrument ever again, and I thought I’m just going to stick to what I know, so I’m going to become the best student, the valedictorian, the top grades and that’s what I did.

Chloe:                     Yes, wow. I can relate to that because when I was 15 I loved playing the guitar and singing, and I would sing everywhere my parents like would always remember me singing basically. And then I had a boyfriend, my first boyfriend at 15 and he said to me one day you think you’re so good but you’re actually not, I think I was like hogging the guitar or something.

And I literally did not sing in front of anyone for 15 years, I was 30 it was like two years ago that I’ve finally started to sing and play guitar in front of people. So it’s amazing how these things can stay with you even as a 15 year old, something definitely relate to…

Mandy:                   And that boyfriend it was probably about him, just like with my dad wanting to manage his image, it wasn’t anything to do with me. Instead of saying wow look at she’s a teenager singing and playing, or little eight-year-old who’s taken the initiative to learn an instrument and put herself out in front of hundreds of people, but we don’t have those skills at a young age do we, to look at things more rationally.

Chloe:                     Yes. And it is so important to just step back and recognize that it’s not necessarily about us, I think my boyfriend probably thought I was just hogging the guitar, he was actually a really good guitarist and had been playing for ages and was really talented, and I think I was probably like hugging the guitar with my four chords. What are the sorts of things that you help your clients with; can you tell me about that?

Mandy:                   Well because I have direct experience of it, I work a lot with people who identify as overachievers. And the insidious thing about being identified as an overachiever is, as I talked about that, it’s an ember in the chest, it can feel really good to be called an overachiever. So usually it’s people who may be on the other side of burnout, because nobody who’s an overachiever will ever believe that they’re going to go into burnout, because every single person without exception who I’ve talked to or worked with they’ve had to hit the wall because they believe they’re immune from it.

So I work with a lot of people who do identify as overachievers or rather as recovering overachievers, who are seeking more freedom and to be able to get to a place where they don’t need to postpone joy, they’re allowed to try things without being perfect all the time, they’re allowed to put boundaries into place. So that’s one group of people that I work with in coaching, other groups that are other types of people that I work with are also people who just feel that what got them here will get them there, they’re kind of stuck in certain patterns of behavior even if they don’t identify overtly as overachievers.

But this sense of they have a winning strategy like I had my people-pleasing, overachieving, perfectionism everybody has a winning strategy. And occasionally those winning strategies required dismantling, because every winning strategy has its payoff, even for people who are not overachievers, everybody has a winning strategy. So I help people when they get to a stage when they feel stuck with what’s always worked before, when it stops working.

And then there are other people who I just click with, who we have chemistry with and we work on things I have nothing to do with overachieving. But usually these are people who are looking to live juicy, and by living juicy I mean that there’s the awareness that the sand is slipping through the hourglass, and I’m not saying that in a kind of morbid way, but just a realization that they want to be at the end of their life and not die of a heart attack at 55 because they’ve worked and worked and worked and worked and never experienced what it meant to feel alive.

Chloe:                     Yes, I think we all maybe need that reminder at times, that we’re not going to be alive forever. And you mentioned that the phrase kind of nexting a couple of times, can you explain what that is for people that don’t know?

Mandy:                   Well I think this is a classic thing for anybody who is identified with their output, particularly for us recovering overachievers is this is something that I noticed when I look back there’s a distinction for me between a high achiever and an overachiever, and I think overachievers are the ones that need to show I can do this faster, better and with more finesse than anybody else. So it’s not actually about what the goal is, it’s the ability to achieve it and to look good while doing it.

So it’s almost like swinging from one vine to the next because it’s the pellet thing right, once you get to whatever it was that you wanted to get a promotion great well what’s next, because it’s never really about the promotion it’s really about I did it, I was able to do it, I got the accolades, I got the pellets, I need more pellets, what’s next? Whereas high achievers they’re actually having a much healthier way of looking at this, that they are willing to fail, they’re willing to pivot, they don’t have that kind of single-minded drive that the overachiever does.

They’re actually interested in the promotion, or they’re actually interested in learning Italian or whatever the goal is, and they don’t necessarily have to the first, fastest, best, look good while doing it. So this is somebody I identify as high achievers somebody like Richard Branson, who’s willing to splat in public and he dusts himself off and he’s like okay well that didn’t work, and let’s try this, let’s try this, his whole ethos screw it let’s do it, whereas for me as an overachiever like Oh shiver to think about failing in public.

So I think nexting is another way of getting the next pellet, so it’s constantly having the eye on the next prize as opposed to celebrating like oh wow, look at what we achieved.

Chloe:                     Yes, we definitely need more celebration don’t we. Do you think there’s something in society that means we’re always looking to the next thing? Because people even ask your if you have a baby people are saying when you can have the next one, people are like oh when is the next one coming.

Mandy:                   I think we can choose whether or not to participate in that right, and I think this is part of coming out the other end of something like this sort of pellet diet once you’ve recovered from the pellet diet is, it takes two to tango. So now when I feel the compulsion to next, or exactly when somebody says when’s your next book coming out when my first one hasn’t even come out yet, it’s just it’s up to me how I am in relation to that person and how I say well actually I’m not sure yet, I’m going to take some time to really let this sink in and to celebrate the fruits of this.

Because I think this celebration, even if it’s a micro moment of celebration, there is something to this. It’s like putting a crowbar in the machinery of the pellet diet, when we stop and actually think I did that or we did that or I give myself permission to rest, it also creates an integration between body and mind, whereas I think definitely when I was an overachiever mode I was a total head on legs. I had a big manhole cover here, like we do not listen to the body because the body is going to tell us what we don’t want to hear.

Chloe:                     Yes, wow, that’s such an interesting way of thinking about it there. Not listening to the body, being so much in the head I’m sure lots of people can relate to that.

I think with anxiety we can be so much in our heads and then finally the body starts to tell you actually you can’t carry on like this, and it becomes too much to bear and the physical symptoms of anxiety or people start getting physical illnesses like headaches or IBS or something like that and then you really have to listen. But so yes we need to listen to the body, and celebrate things more definitely.

Mandy:                   Absolutely.

Chloe:                     What are the first kind of steps or what tools do you recommend for people that really want to start to overcome things like overachieving, in-perfectionism or the things that you’re describing?

Mandy:                   So one of my favorite tools that I would share with your listeners is asking yourself what image of myself do I need to release, because I’m sure that overachiever there is a part of all of us that wants pellets, there is a part of our image for all of us that is on some form of pellet diet, maybe it wasn’t as radical as mine. But it’s like we don’t often wear, before something becomes vintage there’s like from our wardrobe it’s not cool enough to be vintage yet, but there’s things that like oh that’s kind of past its best before date.

It’s the same with our identities; there are certain parts of how we self-identify that are past their best before date, so that would be one question. What image of myself do I need to release? Then the second thing is something I just recently learned, I was in Austin Texas at Camp star heart, a really wonderful group of women. And one of the things that we played with the theme of the conference was becoming, and we played with this sentence stem and I’ve been using this for myself and some of my clients too.

So once you start to release that image of having to be a certain way, using this particular sentence stem, I’m becoming a woman who, because it doesn’t mean that we’re going immediately from being on the pellet diet to oh now I’m this, because there’s a lot of turbulence in between there. But actually if we tell ourselves I’m becoming a woman who, for example has nothing to prove. I’m becoming a woman who is okay making mistakes, I’m becoming a woman who is fine trying things that she’s not already good at; I’m becoming a woman who lives juicy.

When we say that to ourselves we already know what to do right, so if I’m becoming a woman who lives juicy, immediately a smile comes on to my face because I know that that means like being way nicer to myself, not driving myself like crazy. So after figuring out what part of the identity needs to really be laid down, and has had its best before date, playing with that sentence stem I’m becoming a woman who or I’m becoming a person who and just playing with that even in your journal or just sitting there while you’re on the bus or waiting in the supermarket queue, I’m becoming a woman who and just see what pops up without censoring it.

And then the third thing I would recommend and final thing is, feed forward instead of feed backwards which is looking at things that have happened in the past, start to make decisions from the future you, the future you who’ve you’ve explored in that sentence stem exercise. So if I’m really becoming a woman who lives juicy, if I was her how would I schedule my day. Like would I back everything up that I have no white space in my calendar at all, no, obviously not, I would leave some time for reading a book or having a cup of tea or meditating or having a walk with the dog. So this idea of coming from your future self, because she already knows what to do.

Chloe:                     That’s so brilliant, I love that, I’m definitely going to write down some ideas myself after this call. One thing that I’ve noticed since my book: Brave New Girl came out is I and a lot of the readers have told me, they’re in this mindset of I’m a brave new girl, what does a brave new girl do?

She speaks up for things, and she puts herself forward, and she makes conversation with strangers. And it is that thing of right what is that identity that you want to move into, and thinking about how you can move into that.

Mandy:                   And isn’t there something beautiful about how putting ourselves into that identity allows us to step out of anxiety, because that brave new girl knows that she might feel a bit nervous but she does it anyway, she doesn’t get caught in the thought loops going around like squirrels that arrive in her head right.

Like she feels the sensations of anxiety and yet she puts her hand up to volunteer for that opportunity, or she goes up to the person at the buffet, next to the bowl of laws and introduces herself. So this is what I mean about we already know what to do if we allow ourselves to come from that place.

Chloe:                     Amazing, I love that way of describing it, you put that so well. Brilliant, thank you so much for talking to me, I love this conversation. Can you tell me what it is that you’re working on at the moment, and how people can find out about you and how to work with you?

Mandy:                   Thank you so much for having me, this was a really nourishing and fun conversation. So I am currently working on a memoir which talks about everything that we’ve been talking about in this call, it’s about the ways that I used overachievement to buy good enough ‘no sand love and how in the process of creating this perfect image, that I actually had to create these variations of myself depending on whose love and enoughness I was seeking.

But actually by using overachievement to become someone, it actually got in the way of the very thing that I wanted because if I was an image of perfection or the image of someone who loved gorgonzola cheese, or the image of someone who always had her life together, that’s not real, it’s not lovable, it can never be loved, so it’s creating this loop of something that can never be.

So that’s the book that I’m working on, the extent that I was willing to go to get something that I could never get. So I will keep you posted on that, and you can get regular updates of that. My social media of choice is Instagram, where I’m just there by my name which I’m sure will be in your show notes @MandyLehto and I’m also on my website where you can find my podcast and other interesting nuggets around this theme MandyLehto.com.

Chloe:                     Thank you so much for listening to this, I really hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I enjoyed interviewing Mandy. Come and let me know over on Instagram what you thought of this episode, you can find me @ChloeBrotheridge, and if you’ve enjoyed this please do subscribe to the calmer you podcast, leave me a little review, give it a little 5-star rating, I would see so grateful people take the time to do that right now.

And if you’ve got a friend that needs this take a screen grab, WhatsApp it to them and we’ll spread the word in some way, let’s get the word out there about all these amazing tools for becoming our calmest and happiest and most confident selves. So thank you so much for listening, I’m sending you loads of love and I’m wishing a really great week.

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