Adventures in getting focused: My inner perfectionist drops in to throw a wrench in my plans

As I am getting ready to start the Focus Pocus Creative Support Group on Feb 5 I wanted to share some of my experiences as I work through the Focus Pocus process, to plant some seeds for the discussions we’ll have on our calls…

I’m going to be super honest here:

I started working with the Focus Pocus process hoping for a magical boost of super-focus-powers. Instead, it’s been really uncomfortable and it’s gotten much HARDER than ever for me to focus.

But that’s good!

Because Focus Pocus is part transformative healing circle. And any kind of transformative work begins with an invitation for the parts of you who need healing to show up more fully to help you see them more clearly.

This is the first stage of the healing process (you can’t heal it until you can feel it).

For me this showed up as this voice inside me who was saying things like:

  • You should never, ever get distracted while working on my creative projects. What is wrong with you that you keep checking Facebook?
  • You should do everything perfectly the first time. Experiments? Explorations? WTF just get to work already.

These are not voices/messages that come up for me often, so I was really thrown.

I mean these messages are the opposite of what the creative process is all about and I thought all parts of me knew that by now, but clearly not.

So clearly there is something for me to explore so I am inviting this part of me to have a discussion. To make this conversation easier to follow I am writing their words in italics.

Hello perfectionist who wants me to never be distracted and always do everything perfectly. Can we talk?

OMG as if you have time for this nonsense. Why can’t you just get to work?

Oh, hi. So you don’t want to talk?

Well this is ridiculous. And I loooove that you’re writing this up as a blog post. You’re not going to share this are you?

I think I will, I want to share my actual process of working with focus.

Then share the end result! The finished work that you finished because you STAYED FOCUSED ON IT. That’s the point anyway.

Well, I was thinking that the point was to learn more about your internal relationship with focus and the healing process of making space to explore creative dreams. Like how people can’t stay focused when their fears and doubts pop up and try to throw them off track. I wanted to work more deeply with all of that. But then you showed up.

There is no one throwing you off track except yourself. I showed up to crack the whip.

OK, you are an aspect of my internal relationship with focus. You are my inner perfectionist.

I’m the part of you who knows how to focus and wishes the rest of you would get your ass in gear, yes.

You’re being of mean. Can we agree that this conversation is a space of respect?

No. I don’t even want to be here. There is no reason to explore anything, there is just staying focused and getting to work.

Well that attitude is exactly what I think I need to heal right now.

I don’t need healing.

What do you need?

For you to get your work done.


So we can be safe.

So safely happens when work gets done on time?

Obviously, dumbass. Why are you even asking that? You’re wasting time.

[this is where I start to see this voice with compassion because I can see where it’s afraid]

Oh, I’m sorry. You’re afraid I’m going to get off track and lose everything.

Well of course I am!

That’s terrifying because I do need to get my work done if I want to keep my business going.

Duh. Yes.

And you don’t understand the creative process, so you think when I go off exploring my own internal landscape that means I’m off track.

You are off track!

I’m not.

[I stay calm and loving but firm like when I am trying to give my cat his medication]

You’re not being productive. What is getting done?

I’m untangling the stuck places inside of me. This creates new space for creative energy to flow. This makes it easier for me to hear my creative and intuitive voices. This is where the magic comes from and the magic powers the work.

[the voice is quiet]

You just got it, didn’t you?

I’m so sorry I was mean and called you a dumbass.

It’s ok I get it. You were afraid for my wellbeing and trying to make me do the things you think I need to do to take care of myself.

But I was so wrong!

Yeah but we’re all wrong sometimes. That’s why exploring is such an integral part of the process. So I can feel into everything and be sure of where I am operating from. I mean no offense but I don’t want to be creating out of a connection to you.

No offense taken, I see that. You’re connecting to the greater vision. I’m actually in the way of that because I am so afraid for you.

Yeah. And I don’t want you to be afraid! So how can we help with that?

Actually right now I feel ok. Like I am remembering that your process actually works so I feel ready to give you some time to explore a bit and trust that you will get back to work. 

Oh cool! Thank you.


And with that, I feel ready to get to work.

I feel free to explore and experiment and to forgive myself for checking Facebook and to simply show up for my creative dreams and do my best.

I’m sure this pattern is not forever healed, but I am also sure I can come back to this process any time I need to.

For now I have the space I need to focus on my dreams and that’s all need.

Want to explore this with me?

Focus Pocus Creative Support Group  is starting on February 5 (that’s next Monday!).

You’ll get support for working through whatever stories or patterns that are standing in your way with:

  • four live calls with me
  • daily check-ins online
  • creative journaling tools + magic for getting + staying focused

Find out more + reserve your spot here.