PR Julian | Perfectionism Management

 

Julian Reeve has worked on a myriad of musical theatre productions around the world, including Hamilton. Sadly, this part of his career ended abruptly after he suffered a heart attack. Now, Julian focuses his mission on perfectionism management. He joins Adam Markel to delve into the management of our quest to become perfect, including some of the resulting challenges to self-compassion and self-worth. Julian explores how to attain equilibrium among these various forces, resilience, and the art of being ready to tackle sudden pauses and pivoting. He also explains why the conversation around perfectionism must begin with the minds and hearts of young people so they can learn to manage it well, as early as possible.

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Julian Reeve: What Young People Can Learn Through Perfectionism Management

I am feeling incredibly resilient and filled with energy. It has been raining and we have been spending some time holed up in this little island retreat we call our haven. It’s like a treehouse of sorts. It has been cold and rainy. My mood has been tracking the weather. I don’t know if you can relate to that at all. The weather is such an indicator of what’s going on internally with us sometimes. I have certainly felt that way. The sun is shining and I’m feeling energized and ecstatic. I was sitting in meditation and prayer and enjoying a moment of being present and grateful. I felt this ecstatic energy about it being a beautiful new day. A perfectly imperfect day as they all are. We are going to talk about perfectionism. What does that mean? What does it look like for us as adults? Where does it sit with kids?

I’ve got an incredible guest. Somebody that I have never met before so this is a new meeting for me. I’m getting to meet him as you get to meet him. How exciting is that? That’s trippy and surreal. As our daughter, Chelsea, reminds me, “It’s not surreal, Dad. It’s so real.” I have Julian Reeve with us. I’m going to read a little bit about him, and then we are going to dive in as always. Julian Reeve is a former Music Director of the Broadway musical, Hamilton, turned Perfectionist, Contributor, Speaker, and Author of Captain Perfection & the Secret of SelfCompassion: A Self-Help Book For The Young Perfectionist.

Julian, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the show, welcome.

Great to be here and great to meet you. Thanks for having me.

I’m excited about our conversation. When I realized that we were going to be chatting, we created a little graphic. Isn’t that cool to put that into place?

Yeah. It’s nice to see that again. It has been a minute.

We are going to talk about resiliency. It has been such a mixed bag outside of the suffering in terms of loss of life, which we will put aside because I don’t have a way to reconcile that. Look at some other mixed bag of things that the pandemic has produced. Some people have got phenomenally wealthy. People have created new businesses out of thin air or pivoted their businesses into some other thing that has been a great blessing. Our business pivoted to delivering the work that we do, which is primarily training speakers and public speaking ourselves. When we went online, we thought, “This will never be the same. It will be a poor facsimile of what we used to be able to do in person,” and we were wrong. It was quite a bit more impactful.

Every day is an evolution that provides the highs and lows. There's no constant. Click To Tweet

Broadway and the live, in-person performing arts, I don’t know that we can say the same for what it has been like for them. Let’s talk about that as well, Julian. I am a massive fan of Hamilton. I have never seen it play three times. I fell in love with Broadway when my grandmother took me to see Sweeney Todd. I must have been a couple of years into high school or something like that. When did you fall in love? Did you ever fall in love with Broadway? Are you in love with Broadway? I assume you are. When did that happen, Julian?

I didn’t grow up here. I grew up in England. I grew up in Cambridge, which is outside London, England. I grew up in a musical household. Both of my parents were abled musicians, performers and academics. I started playing the piano when I was four. I was always immersed in music. My mother was the deputy head of music at King’s Cambridge, which is a well-to-do school. She was doing a lot of musicals around the time that I was growing up. The musical is quickly becoming a language for me. I fell in love with musicals probably around the age of 8 or 9. I started performing them maybe when I was 10 or 11 and then did my first professional tour when I was seventeen. It was in my blood early.

I haven’t thought and spoke about it in so long but isn’t Sweeney Todd a British production and Angela Lansbury was the star of that?

Correct. I last saw Sweeney Todd in New York with the amazing production with Jeremy and Sally Ann Triplett playing the lead. It’s an incredible play. It has been a crazy time for people in the industry. We have all struggled. No more so than people in the Broadway community. By Broadway community, Broadway itself but also the touring community, which I was very much a part of. I count myself slightly fortunate because I had to leave Hamilton in early 2019 through injury. I wasn’t expecting to leave the show. That was a forced transition that I wasn’t expecting.

I have been through a lot of what my colleagues have been through this 2021 but a year earlier, I suppose the only difference is that I knew that I wasn’t going back to Broadway because it’s proved to be a career-ending injury. The idea of pivoting, resilient, thinking outside the box and having to not only think differently but consider things differently physically, there are many things to consider when we go through these big changes. I’m pleased that Broadway seems to be back on the rise and push forward the opening. It’s September 14, 2021, on Broadway and perhaps even sooner on the road. Wicked is the first tour in production to open in Dallas in mid-August 2021. Things are slowly getting back to normal, which is amazing.

Slowly getting back to normal is interesting. People crave normalcy. We crave control or at least some visibility for the future. It’s an interesting thing because if we look to nature as an example, there’s no normal. Every day is completely different. There are no two that are the same and things are constantly in a state of evolution. We hope for that because expanding that evolution is what life requires. Anything other than any contraction involves things dying. This entropy’s also involved.

I would love it if you would be willing to go there. For you to have a career-ending injury and many people have had that, that a pivot is a forced pivot. Often, we talk on this show about the pivots in life that we are designing, which was the book, Pivot, I wrote was more about the designing of a pivot. Since I wrote that book, I have had a forced pivot or two myself, one career forced to pivot. Tell us a little bit about what that was like from a mental, emotional, physical, even spiritual standpoint.

PR Julian | Perfectionism Management

Perfectionism Management: You can’t move forward with any form of pivot successfully unless you fully deal with the issues.

 

If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be difficult. Partly due to my career but also partly due to who I am as a human being. I have pivoted a lot in my life. In the career I have had, you go through the ups and downs. You get a gig and that gets great for however many months. The show runs, and then we are back to like, “What are we doing now?” We are doing a bit of teaching to pay the bills. “There’s the next job.” All of a sudden, you wake up fifteen years later and it’s like, “I have worked my way through that.” I was never comfortable with that degree of high and low so I have always sought other things. I have owned production companies, managed record companies and founded a talent agency in London that’s still going. I have had a bunch of business interests to keep me going.

All of that was to say that when I was forced to pivot because of the injury, much of my life experience helped with that. In hindsight, much of my experience with pivoting is about acceptance. You can’t move forward with any form of pivot successfully unless you have fully dealt with the issues that we all have to deal with whenever a pivot occurs. It took a long time to get to that point. We are quick in forced transition to put ourselves in a position where we demand answers. All of a sudden, our world gets turned upside down. We don’t think that we are panicking but we are. Inwardly, we are grappling around for answers for anything that we can hold on to keep our head above water.

Often, we make some quite bad decisions. It was interesting, I caught myself in a car showroom about 1.5 weeks after leaving Hamilton. I’m about to sign on the dotted line for this nice car and I was like, “What are you doing? Please, step away.” It turns out that we didn’t need that car at all. It was something that I thought I needed to do and it was all based on the emotional reaction and the physical reaction of the upset that I have been through. A lot of it is acceptable but it’s also being in tune with your authentic self and listening to what your body and mind are telling you.

I often encourage people going through a forced pivot to allow time to be their friend. Time is tricky because if we have been pushed off the treadmill like I was, we were running 100 miles an hour, that feels weird. A month of not doing much, when you have been running at that pace, can feel like 100 years. I’m a big fan of the phrase, “Allow the silence to provide the answers.” It’s leaning into space and unknown to let the universe speak to you in ways that it’s never spoken to you before because you have never allowed the space for it to do so.

Noisy as well.

It has been noisy on many levels but leaning into that space as scary as that is. For perfectionists, it’s super scary because we hate the unknown.

We are addicted to certainty.

Many perfectionists don't embrace imperfection because they value trying to be perfect. Click To Tweet

We cling on to certainty for dear life. That was a big part of my journey. I’m happy to be out the other side. Have I completely settled out the other side? No. Why? It comes back down to what you were saying, every day is an evolution and every day provides the highs and lows. There’s no constant. Reminding yourself that constant is amazing. With the pandemic too, I wonder, whether people will eventually if they are not able to do so now, see the benefit in what they have been through. What I mean by that is they were forced off the treadmill. They were forced into a place where it’s like, “What do I do?”

Ultimately, they would have learned things about themselves that they didn’t know before. I’m looking forward to it and I may even do some of this work myself a couple of years down the road, meeting some cool people. It wasn’t about survival for them. They didn’t go, “I have to earn X number of dollars a year. Therefore, I have to pivot my business.” I leaned into the time to listen to what I want to do. Maybe they were a stockbroker and now they own a wellness suite wherever. Who knows? I’m interested in those stories and what space provided people for sure.

I’m as curious as you about this that you are bringing it up. There are people who, at some point, accepted the pause and the fact that there was so much now beyond our control. It’s a form of surrender, not resignation. Surrender in a beautiful way to be good with where we are and to be here now and experience this, whatever this is, without wishing it was different.

It’s funny, monks are perfectionistic strangely. Immediately, we conjure up negative connotations with surrender. With perfectionism, there are healthy aspects and there are unhealthy aspects. The same deal with surrender. There’s healthy surrender because what we can become in healthy surrender is quite powerful.

You are opening yourself up. We open ourselves up to so much. Space is creative. What happens? You can’t predict. Good that you can’t because it wouldn’t be creative if you could predict it. There is a level of having to let go of what you said. Maybe it’s perfectionism or needing, craving, having and masturbation. Dr. Ellis wrote years ago that you must know, must have answers and must have certainty. It seems to me like you have been a master of navigating uncertainty for the entirety of your life. If I was to say you seem to master uncertainty, what would you attribute it to? What can you say about that?

Thank you for the kind words. I don’t know, whether I have mastered anything. I was born with a relatively thick skin in terms of change and thin skin in other ways. Interestingly, I learned about the negative power of the word should in my early 30s and that was game-changing for me. There have been several game-changing moments in being able to pivot and all those things. At least, Simon Sinek’s great book, Start with Why, is another good one. The word should is powerful. “I should do this. I should do that.” I spent much of my life being able to pivot because I was driven by should. A part of the reason why I say I don’t think I have mastered anything is that it’s easy to be driven into pivots through unhealthy drivers.

Including other people that should generously give their shoulds.

PR Julian | Perfectionism Management

Perfectionism Management: It’s very easy to be driven into pivots unhealthy drivers.

 

At least parental expectation. The generation above us was different than the one now. I was lucky in the fact that my parents weren’t should-based. That’s one example of how it can affect us. I can’t remember the last time outside of this interview I said the word. I have managed to eradicate it from my vocabulary because it’s unnecessary. We don’t need it. It’s a word that invites pressure, negativity and issue.

It also implies certainty, doesn’t it?

Yes, absolutely.

The word itself is saying, “This is the way you do something.”

For a perfectionist, that’s a real challenge because of the all-or-nothing thinking. It’s a big part of perfectionism. Perfectionists believe that there’s only one way to do something because the fixed mindset keeps them in that zone. They are not able to adopt a growth mindset because of their perfectionism. To overcome their perfectionism or at least manage it better, they have to make that pivot from fixed to growth. Interestingly, that should and negative expectations are something we don’t need.

Is that what inspired you to write the book? It’s probably a decent segue into Captain Perfection.

I worked on the Broadway production of Hamilton as a rehearsal pianist for around a year, and then they asked me to take out the first national tour as the music director. The first stop was San Francisco. I was 43 years old at the time. Three months in, I had a heart attack. That heart attack proved that my right coronary artery was 90% blocked. We fixed me physically and we’ve got back to the show. I jumped into some work with a psychologist and we realized that the real root cause of the heart attack was my perfectionism. Why? It’s because the perfectionistic issues that I have struggled with since I was probably five years old had led me to make some interesting lifestyle choices in my 20s and 30s, which badly damaged my body to the point that I nearly died from it.

Self-worth is the absolute root cause of perfectionism. Click To Tweet

I dove into perfectionism in quite a serious way. Not only for my own benefit but I was interested in the subject. I ended up doing a TED Talk on it in 2019 in Santa Barbara, the wonderful team down there. It’s a subject that I realized we have started to talk about it more. There are now more self-help books available, which is great. That certainly wasn’t the case when I was a child, mainly because perfectionism wasn’t researched in any real depth until 1990. If you were growing up before then, you were screwed in terms of knowing what perfectionism was and how it affected you. I realized looking around at the marketplace that there was little that introduced perfectionism to children in a way that didn’t oversimplify the subject, in my humble opinion. Ostensibly, I went about writing a book that I wish I would read as a kid because perhaps, I might not have experienced the heart attack had I’ve got these self-compassion techniques and learned more about my perfectionism earlier in life.

Let’s talk a little bit more about self-compassion. Is self-compassion self-love? Is it an aspect of self-love?

Dr. Kristin Neff is the leading psychologist in self-compassion and she breaks it down into three components, self-kindness, mindfulness and common humanity. Self-kindness is where we learn to be warm and understanding to ourselves. Mindfulness is when we discover to observe thoughts and feelings as they arise but not necessarily suppress, deny or react to them. We have a common humanity, which is the understanding that suffering and imperfection are all part of the human experience. Those three categories combined are a powerful tool.

A lot of the reason why the core of my work is self-compassion. It’s proven to regulate the experience between maladaptive perfectionism and depression. There was a study in Australia in 2019 that proves that so it’s a powerful weapon. The more we can encourage children to develop these techniques early, the more they start to recognize perfectionistic signs, behaviors and feelings, and the more they can manage those in healthier ways.

The reason why self-compassion is powerful outside of what I have already said is that a lot of the reason why I’m pursuing this as a career is that I’m desperate to start a new dialogue with perfectionism because I am living proof that there are positive aspects to it. Too often, it’s portrayed as being something simply negative and I’m living proof that that isn’t the case. There are many others like me. The problem that we have in society right now is that we are not meeting perfectionists where they need to be met.

For example, there are fabulous books. At least the first one that I ever read on the subject, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. It’s an incredible book. The reason why I picked it up is that I suffered a heart attack and I needed to embrace imperfection to be healthier. Many perfectionists don’t embrace imperfection because they value trying to be perfect. We have to meet them where they want to be met.

What I try to do in my work is use all the same techniques that are in people like Brené’s book but promised to make perfectionists better by enhancing their perfectionistic abilities. In effect, I’m doing the same thing by dealing with all of the maladaptive issues but I’m selling it differently. I’m marketing the subject differently so that people are inspired to come to the table. At the end of the day, they understand that their adaptive, positive and healthy perfectionism will be enhanced by dealing with some of the maladaptive traits and concerns.

PR Julian | Perfectionism Management

Perfectionism Management: Perfectionists believe that there’s only one way to do something because the fixed mindset keeps them in one particular zone only.

 

What’s the optimal age to begin to have this conversation with children?

I don’t think it’s ever too young.

In the garden, is it something that you think could become a part of the early education curriculum?

I pitched the book starting at age six because, in my experience, that’s when children are starting to create enough awareness to be able to take relatively deep subjects like self-compassion and perfectionism on board. It’s not to say that that wouldn’t be applicable for younger children. Much of it determines whether your child is displaying perfectionistic behaviors and if they are, jumping in sooner rather than later is absolutely a great idea.

There’s a payoff for perfectionism. Maybe if I’m reading you right, you are a poster child for some of that. There’s an ROI for perfectionism as well. Is it fair to say that a lot of perfectionistic people don’t believe they could be successful without their perfectionism?

Completely. Why would they pick up a book called The Gifts of Imperfection?

I was a lawyer for eighteen years and fifteen or so of those years, I was not in denial. I was just plain unaware. Unawareness turned into some form of awareness, which turned into some form of pain, which then turned into denial.

Human beings have a responsibility to try and be the best they can be. Click To Tweet

At that point, you did something about it.

I was held at the hospital with the faux version. We call it faux heart attack, which was an anxiety attack but it got the point across.

That’s the challenge in what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to reach perfectionism before the pain point. My work is about prevention, not cure. Everything surrounding perfectionism is about the cure. It’s not about prevention.

It’s further down the stream. This is why we are excited to have you on the show and be able to share this with people because, at some age, which I would imagine, it’s relative to the child. For one, it’s easy to introduce this at 5 or 6 and another, it’s 8 or 9 or whatever it is. The conversation or even from a curriculum standpoint, being that we want kids to understand that succeeding has its benefits and of course, you want to succeed and to do things well. A job doing is worth doing well and all that sort of thing. Where it turns into proving yourself, proving your worth or being validated by that exclusively, it then starts to ingrain itself in other ways. The earlier you could help a human being understand self-compassion, the better for all.

I love that you have mentioned self-worth. I believe that to be the absolute root cause of perfectionism. That’s absolutely where it all comes from. There are many things that we can do to empower our children to feel worthy. When we do, it’s amazing, the knock-on effect that that has to perfectionism into developing perfectionistic traits, for sure.

These are complex topics. I’m going to ask you a question that I know there isn’t an absolute. Part of what’s interesting here is that words like should imply absolutes and certainty. We know that the world isn’t that way. We can observe it as something quite different. For those folks who say the pendulum has swung so far in the direction of every child getting an award and having no distinction between the job well done and the job not so well done. We were going to lose something in that leveling of the playing field to the point where there’s no incentive or motive to go the extra yard, so to speak. I know that’s a complex concept but any thoughts on that?

I agree. It was important to go as far as we have done but the pendulum needs to come back more into the middle. I’m not against reward when the reward is earned. We have a responsibility as human beings to try and be the best that we can be. There’s no way that I would have grown up with that type of thinking if I have been spoon-fed and rewarded every corner because everything is fine. I’m bumbling along. I’m doing fine academically and I’m fine in sports. This is a lot of the reason why I adopt this stance. We need people to be driven. We need perfectionists. Steve Jobs, where would we be without him? Apple was built on perfectionism. It’s not to say that we need unhealthy perfectionism but we certainly don’t need everyone to be so rewarded that they feel accomplished by average.

PR Julian | Perfectionism Management

Perfectionism Management: The more children are encouraged to develop perfectionistic techniques early, the more they can manage those in healthier ways.

 

These are these wonderful more Eastern philosophies and things to consider. Where’s the place that represents a middle, a place of center even versus driven at all costs versus not driven at all? You then go, “How wonderful.” Julian, how would you define resilience? There’s no question that you have been a model of resilience. We are all marvels and models of resilience in our own way. I’m always curious how another person defines resilience and even what it looks like in terms of their daily routines and rituals. Amid great uncertainty, the one thing that we can benefit from is the rituals that we have. As you say, you have been practicing uncertainty. You have been leveraging uncertainty and the power of that long before you had a forced exit from your work on Broadway or with the musical. Are there rituals that you have created that help you to be resilient even while things are getting wonky?

I simply describe resilience as being able to be adaptive to change. By able, I mean fully able, as in fully capable. What does that look like? That’s going to be different for everybody. I love what you said about routine. A lot of my struggle out of Hamilton, for example, I was in a strict routine for two years. Breaking that routine and going into something different sounds crazy and it takes a long time to get your head around it. What do I do? Ultimately, we are best placed to deal with any day that will be full of change, uncertainty, and highs and lows on a footing of equilibrium and a solid grounding. One, you are in complete control of that.

I’m still learning this because my perfectionism often wakes me up. It’s like, “It’s 5:30 AM. We are going to walk the dog. We are going to have breakfast. I need to do this.” Now, I know that I need to get up, walk the dog, have breakfast, breathe for ten minutes, yoga for a minute and maybe a bit of a workout if I’m in the mood. Either way, it’s getting the mind to a state where you can be acceptant of whatever that first email says. I have learned this in my career at cost. We react to things at the moment. We can read the same email one way at 9:00 AM and completely differently at 12:00 PM depending on where we are in the world.

It’s a responsibility if we want to be resilient and navigate change successfully to be as much in that equilibrium state where we are simply able to handle the curveballs as they are thrown, if they are thrown and when they are thrown. That’s what I try and do every day. Am I successful every day? No. Am I perfect in what I’m trying to achieve? Not. Do I sometimes not get it right? Do I sometimes go, “I don’t need to do that now,” and at some point, during the day, regret it? Every time, I do. It’s a constant learning thing. That’s an important thing to remember, too. I’m not entirely sure we ever master anything. Getting better at something, particularly at what we are talking about with resilience, puts you in a good spot to be able to handle those curveballs when they come.

I love the use of the word equilibrium there because someone else could easily replace that word with balance and I’m not a fan of balance. We have a book called Change Proof and it challenges the myth of balance among other things but equilibrium is a state of harmony. It’s more often associated with the body, chemicals and the way things interact. To Eastern ways of thinking, it might be called the yin and yang. Harmony or equilibrium is so important.

What you said about the first email about how it is that you accept that you put yourself in a place of acceptance because we all know what that’s like when you check your phone. For some people, that’s the first thing they do. Imagine more than 90% of the people reading this perhaps take their phone right out of the gate. They open up their eyes and their phones are in their hands. Before you know it, your day is being started not by your design but by the design of whoever it is that’s either liked your posts, commented, the news that’s flashing in front of you that’s often disturbing or the email.

We were influenced all the time by external forces. I don’t think that we can be authentic unless at some point, and this is why I’m such a fan at the start of the day, cleansing ourselves of that influence so that we get to the truth of who we are. The early reply on an email is where we want it to come from rather than what we are inspired to write through external forces.

Everyone doesn't need to be so rewarded that they just feel accomplished by average. Click To Tweet

In many ways, our lives are a product of our rituals, the things that you might even call habit. That initial waking ritual is vitally important. What do you do when you begin to open your eyes in the morning? The thoughts that you are entertaining there are the seeds that you planted in the soil of your day. That became something that as you were transitioning from the daily, I can’t even fathom the craziness, busyness or the intensity of working on a show like Hamilton, to it not being there. Your beginning of the day ritual must have been a powerful tool for you to avoid going sideways mentally.

To give you an idea, I left the show in Puerto Rico. I took the production with Lin-Manuel Miranda playing Hamilton over to Puerto Rico. We did some amazing work and we raised $16 million for the arts over there. It was intense. The level of expectation from all over the island was incredible but the media, attention, etc. to come from that to, “End of career. Now, what do I do?” You are absolutely right. Going right back to basics, leaning and breathing into space and establishing new routines, those quickly became my new superpowers, if you like.

Now you are on the road in a different way, which is beautiful. We will say a couple more things as we wind down here. For folks that want to find out more about Captain Perfection and want to buy this book for your child, a child you know or someone else’s child. Pick it up for every child you can think of. I would imagine as a parent and soon-to-be grandparent. I feel like it’s going to be required reading.

First off, congrats. That’s amazing news. It is interesting, the whole idea of self-compassion, I have had many people say to me, “I learned as much from this book as my child did. Thank you. It’s certainly not just a book for children.” A quick synopsis of what it is and the power of it, I suppose, we introduce children to perfectionism and then to self-compassion, we read three stories where we follow through with different children who experienced perfectionism in slightly different ways. Captain Perfection helps them out with that, then we start to build our own self-compassion superpower. We build your mindfulness superpower, self-kindness superpower and common humanity superpower.

In the end, there are a whole list of environments that are driven by perfectionism or behaviors. You can learn, which of those superpowers you can use against certain thoughts and feelings as they arrive. It’s a book you can keep coming back to, which is cool. I have been humbled by the response. I have achieved what I set out to do, which was to put something useful into a child’s hands that will hopefully equip them for a long time to come. Now, I’ve got to get people to read it.

It’s the joy of authorship for sure. I know that one well. It is true that so much of what is simple enough or let’s say distilled to a level that a child can get is exactly the level of clarity that’s required to reach a soul. We convolute things, and then something convoluted might be interesting but it’s not useful. Robert Fulghum wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. These things that we learned or could have learned early on in life are powerful. Of course, there are things we learned and forgotten as well.

To the point of perfectionism in children, it can be a learned behavior and also genetic. If you are a perfectionist and your husband or wife is too, there’s every chance that you have a perfectionistic child simply through genetics. If you aren’t, it doesn’t mean to say that your child won’t be because they can learn that behavior. Part of the reason why parents say that they’ve got so much out of this book as well as their child is that they understand that they play an important role in, whether their child is going to manage perfectionism successfully or not.

PR Julian | Perfectionism Management

Perfectionism Management: The more you can persuade your child that you are imperfect on a daily basis, you’ll go a long way in them taking you off that pedestal and stopping for striving for perfectionistic results.

 

As much as that, what I always encourage parents to do is to get on their level. The more you can persuade your own child that you are imperfect daily as well as when you were their age, you will go a long way. Taking you off that pedestal and striving for perfectionistic results because they are desperate for your love or your attention. It’s all about that self-worth. It’s empowering children to be worthy.

The modeling is such a strong piece of it that even if they show the child is grasping it but what’s being reinforced at home is the opposite of that. The parent is never satisfied. It’s the dangling carrot. It’s always out of reach or whatever the case might be, that’s the strongest signal for what is the normal or the thing that we are striving for. I was struck by that only because I know that at various points in my own life, I have felt the need to tell our kids. One of our children in particular, as many of the mistakes I have made as I can think of and I have made too many to count so that’s easy. I always come back to that to dispel any false belief that somehow or another, I’m not without a lot of material flaws but that the world is also the way it is perfectly imperfect. A good place to land this conversation, Julian. I have appreciated having you with us. This has been a treat.

Thanks for having me. I had a lot of fun. Thank you.

I will remind everybody as we get to move on with our days that everybody started their day the same way now. If you are reading this, we all started by waking up. That’s across the board. I know this is a fact. I also know is it was a blessing and a gift because there were people at the moment when you were “waking up today” who were not. People were taking their last breath at the moment you are taking your first conscious breath of the day. There’s something important about the fact that we have been given this new day.

Assuming it happens again for us tomorrow, which is my hope, prayer for all of us that that’s the case, you will find something when you do wake up to be appreciative of and grateful for. Before you pick up your phone, check your email, social media, or whatever it might be that you pause. As Julian reminded us, take that pause, whether that pause is 10 seconds or 10 minutes. As your feet touch the floor, perhaps think about something that you intend for your day. It was the thing I asked Julian. I asked him what he intended in our conversation and he said, “To have fun. Let’s have fun.” It’s a perfect intention.

When I wake up and I put my feet on the floor every day, at least for the last twelve or so years, my feet touch the floor and I say these words that are written on my hoodie, four simple words, “I love my life.” That is my intention for the day. It is a powerful ritual and a seed that gets planted in the soil for this brand-new day ahead. You get to choose how you start your day and what ritual you create around that. We wish you a lot of wonderful beautiful days. I appreciate your following what we are up to and supporting it in the way you do. If there’s someone that you know that would benefit from knowing more about Julian and his message in the book, please share this episode. You can always leave us your feedback at AdamMarkel.com/podcasts. If you haven’t subscribed, feel free to do that as well.

Lastly, if you would like to find out a little bit about your own level of resilience mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually even, you can go to ResilienceRank.com. It’s entirely free and there’s no offer there for you. Just that you find out where you are ranking, where your score is in those four quadrants. Of course, we will send you a bunch of resources to help you to create some of these new rituals and ways to develop even greater resilience. As Julian said, greater acceptance, equilibrium and ability to leverage the power of uncertainty even. It has been a pleasure and we will see you soon. Thanks so much.

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About Julian Reeve

PR Julian | Perfectionism ManagementJulian Reeve is a former music director of the Broadway musical Hamilton, turned perfectionism contributor, speaker, and author of Captain Perfection & the Secret of Self-Compassion: A Self-Help Book for the Young Perfectionist