My Life as a Recovering Perfectionist,
Over-Achiever and Misunderstander
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."
I’m in third grade and have just dozed off to sleep. Suddenly, I wake up panic-stricken and realize I’ve forgotten a homework assignment that’s due tomorrow morning. My perfect record, and the love that goes with it, will be lost if I don’t get out of bed and finish that assignment.
Through the tears, I beg and plead and somehow convince my Dad to let me get out of bed, so I can do what I do - achieve external victories and maintain an illusion of perfection.
Hello, My Name is Curt
I'm a recovering over-achiever and perfectionist. As you can see, I’ve been at it for a long time.
I Misunderstood Who I Really Am,
Where My Feelings Come From,
and How My Experience of Life is Created
From a very early age, I believed that what I thought and felt about myself were true. I believed that my feelings were giving me feedback about my life. I equated my personal value with my intelligence and my achievements. It never occurred to me that any of this might not be true or relevant.
So, I spent most of my life chasing happiness and validation by trying to change my thinking, control my feelings and achieve big things. This strategy kind of, sort of served me - sometimes. I was always a straight A student and at the top of my class. I earned two doctorates and created two successful businesses.
But there was a dark downside to my driven life. It really truly felt like my feelings were telling me about my life. My external accomplishments were the only things that made me feel worthy of love, respect and attention. But they left me empty, unhappy and afraid that someday I’d be figured out. I was terrified that people would eventually discover that without the external victories, I was a hollow shell and unworthy of love.
Rock-Bottom is Proof that Hope is Not the Answer
I kept hoping that someday I would be big enough, rich enough or accomplished enough that I could finally relax and just be happy, satisfied and loved. But that’s not how it worked out. Eventually the chronic mental stress of living this kind of life caught up with me.
When I finally hit rock bottom, my health had tanked and caused me to lose my dental career forever. I was divorced, financially decimated, deeply in debt, darkly depressed, dependent on alcohol, and 50 pounds too heavy.
For 6 months, I hosted a big-ass pity party for myself before I was ready to accept the truth. All of the horrible things that happened “to me” had one thing in common – Me.
My Awakening - The Early Years
I spent nearly a decade in search of the Truth. Why was I buying into the story that I had to be perfect and accomplished in order to be loved and accepted? What was my role in creating my massive fall from grace? What was I bringing to the table that left me so dissatisfied with everything in my life – no matter how good it looked or how much I achieved?
I began the process of understanding who I really am and how life really works. I came to realize that I am not my thoughts - thinking is just what humans do. It's a natural function of the mind. I also woke up to the universal Truth that my feelings are not informing my about my life - they are only and always informing me about my thinking.
Eventually, I stumbled upon the Truth of how life works.
I corrected my misunderstandings about my thoughts and feelings and what they mean. I found my way back home and discovered who I really am – as if for the very first time.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
My Life, Journey and Purpose - How it Looks Today
Today, I have everything I was hoping to get through perfectionism and accomplishment. I experience feelings of love, fulfillment, self-worth and happiness – not because of external achievement, but because happiness and well-being is who I am. Well-being is innate. It's my default setting and it's yours too.
After all my searching, I’ve discovered that psychological freedom is a hidden variable behind incredible success without stress. I am more creative, productive and effective than I’ve ever been - without being driven or feeling the need for perfection.
Literally everything in my life has shifted. It’s as if I have a superpower. But there is nothing special about me. We all have the ability to wake up to who we really are. We all have the capacity to understand how life works. And we can all leverage our innate wellbeing like a superpower that will improve every aspect of our lives.
Today, I am grateful to do work in the world that I absolutely love and was born to do.
I sit with people and have powerful conversations that transform their life, their business, their relationships, their health. I sit with them in love and possibility. I help them come home to the Truth of who they really are. I help them see what they can’t yet see in themselves. I help them know for the very first time who they are capable of being, what they are capable of doing, and how much they are capable of having.
Much Love - Curt Eastin