Hypnosis Training Video #529: Use Hypnosis to Help the “Perfectionist” To Get Going and Become A Success in Life

Erika Flint, BA, BCH, A+CPHI, OB

Erika Flint, BA, BCH, A+CPHI, OB

Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, DNGH, OB, MCPHI

Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, DNGH, OB, MCPHI

How to “Unfreeze” Your Perfectionist Clients

What is perfection? Formally, a perfectionist is defined as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.” But to me, perfection is an illusion. Perfectionists believe that anything less than perfect is unacceptable, but that is not true, that is an illusion!

In this video, Cal and I talk about how you hypnosis can help your “perfectionist” clients to be successful. We explain how to reframe being a “perfectionist” so that you can “unfreeze” your clients, we pinpoint the emotion behind perfectionism and discuss how to overcome it, and we cover how deep forgiveness work frees your clients from perfectionism!

Reframing Perfectionism to doing everything with Excellence is a powerful and effective technique for clients struggling with this issue.

Reframing Perfectionism to doing everything with Excellence is a powerful and effective technique for clients struggling with this issue.

What do we mean when we say you can "unfreeze” your client? Well, what we are getting at here is that people can actually be frozen by perfectionism. In a perfectionist’s mind, if something isn’t perfect it will keep them from doing their work or showing up to a meeting and so on. Just like the phrase “frozen in fear,” the fear of not reaching that point of perfection freezes perfectionists and stops them in their tracks.

So, how do you go about “unfreezing” your clients from perfectionism?

The Steps to “Unfreeze” Your Client From The Fear of Perfection

  1. Preparation, Testing, and Convincing: Just like with any client, we're going to have a pre-talk so that the client can really understand hypnosis. We're also going to conduct a pre-hypnosis interview so we can really understand what change they want to make, and so on. During this time, I like to offer a reframe for my clients where I'll say something like, "You know, it would be really nice if you could work and do everything with excellence instead of perfection." Client’s get relief just by that thought that can be excellent without being perfect. That reframe is preparation to get them thinking about things differently.

  2. Age Regression: The fear of not being perfect is what causes perfectionists to “freeze”. And one of the main things we work on in age regression is fear. With age regression, we can help our clients bring up a sensation that has to do with the reason why they're coming in to see us that day, and a lot of it is just an overwhelming amount of fear of not being good enough or saying the wrong thing, being embarrassed, feeling ashamed, etc. A lot of it has to do with a situation in their life where this has happened to them where they have felt ashamed or felt bad about something, or if something they did wasn't good enough. Whatever the situation is, hypnosis reveals the issue. We just get to talk and have them bring up the feeling that has to do with why they're coming in to see us, and then age regression does all the work. When you begin to regress someone on that emotion, then we go back to where it all started, and we are able to pinpoint what it was that made them feel the need for everything to be perfect.

  3. Forgiveness: When something starts out of fear, such as the fear of not being perfect, then that means someone ignited that fear in your client. So the question is who developed that fear? Who made your client believe that anything less than perfect was unacceptable? Well who did that to them and who the other people were that were involved in creating that fear is all revealed in age regression. When it comes to dealing with perfectionism, it is usually an overbearing authority figure, such as a parent or maybe a teacher or a coach of some sort. So when it is revealed who implemented this need for perfection onto your client, it is natural and understandable for your client to be angry. To completely be free of perfectionism, we need to get rid of more than just the initial emotion that was associated with it, and that is anger. It is the anger they feel towards the person or persons who pushed them to becoming a “perfectionist”. So we're going to do a special form of forgiveness work where we're going to really do a deep, profound kind of forgiveness way beyond that which most people know. We're going to really get in there and make all of that anger go away.

  4. Release Guilt: Once we get rid of that anger, now it is time to get rid of that guilt. After releasing that anger, they're at a much more peaceful place, and now that they have gotten rid of the fear and gotten rid of the anger, there's some residual guilt for a variety of reasons. They will often think something like, "Why was I a perfectionist for so long? Look at all these things in my life that I missed out on in this time trying to be so perfect." This residual guilt causes them to become angry at themselves. So just like in step three how you helped your client release all of their anger towards the others who created this fear inside them, it is time to now release all of the anger your client has towards themselves for allowing that fear to control them.

Watch The Video Below To Learn How to Use “Hypnosis to Help the “Perfectionist” Become A Success in Life!”

Transcription of Hypnosis Training Video #529

Erika Flint: Today, we are talking about the perfectionist, right?

Cal Banyan: Yes, ma'am. This topic was totally Erika's. All of our cohosts, one of their jobs is, besides being smart and being able to talk and look good on video and all that, is they have to come up with every time we meet with some topics, and before the show, we go through the topics and figure out which ones we're going to do. Sometimes, I have one or two that I want to do, but the bulk of the responsibility to come up with topics is with our cohosts, and this was Erika's wonderful idea. Why don't you start it off?

Erika Flint: Part of the reason, I've been wanting to do this topic for a while, and the reason is because a lot of my clients will self-describe themselves as a perfectionist. Let me just be clear on this. Most of my clients aren't coming with this issue. They don't come to me because they're a perfectionist. They're not saying, "Oh, I'm a perfectionist, and I wanna get rid of it." That's not why they're coming to hypnosis for me. They're usually coming because there's a significant amount of stress in their life, and the stress is causing them some negativity where they're coping with alcohol or food or something like that. I've recently had clients where they have said this to me. "Well, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, so it's really hard for me to not be so stressed about this issue." There are issues where I really ... This is one of those cases where I really want to address this with the client and help them adjust that and see if we can work on that with the client so they can be happy, they can do work. Cal, has this come up in your practice, as well?

Cal Banyan: Yeah. As you talk about it, it reminds me of ... The first time I heard this phrase was from Edward Wunder, one of our 5-PATH hypnotists, and he says, "Hmm, they only think they're coming in for stop smoking, lose weight, drinking, whatever it is, and, really, they got something else going on at a deeper level, and the things that they're coming in to see us about is like a behavior that's being, a problematic behavior that's being generated by a deeper issue." This is perfectly an example of that.

Erika Flint: What is a perfectionist? There's a lot of definitions. I think this is definitely something that is more where people just identify, "Well, I'm a perfectionist, and really nothing less than perfect is acceptable for me," and this shows up, for example, in the workplace where people don't want to submit any work or they don't feel comfortable with the work that they've created unless it's absolutely perfect, and so they stay up all night to fix it or they don't turn their work in or they're not showing up for things because it's not perfect, and this ends up being a real problem in their life. The reason I know is because I'll ask them, "How is this impacting your life?" That's one of the really important questions that we can ask our clients to understand, is this something that we need to address? Right, Cal?

Cal Banyan: Well, absolutely. You can be absolutely frozen by perfectionism, and I want you to think about that. Frozen by perfectionism, stopped in your tracks, or not being able to move any further, not make that meeting, not get that report done, not, not, not, and I use the word frozen for on purpose because the emotion behind perfectionism, the main one is fear. You ever heard of frozen in fear? There are the three responses to fear. Fight, flight, and freeze. What do you think of that, Erika?

Erika Flint: Absolutely, and you know what they tell us. The neuroscientists tell us that frozen is actually the very first one, so to be frozen first, and then fight or flight after that. Frozen is really common. It's a primitive way that we respond to things that we're afraid of, right?

Cal Banyan: Right. Let's talk about how we're going to free them.

Erika Flint: How do you address this? Well, I'm going to give you guy ... You can use this if you want. I can tell you this has worked really well in my practice. I will usually offer a reframe for my clients, and I'll say, "You know, it would be really nice if you could work and do everything with excellence instead of perfection." Ahead of time, I'll usually ask them and see if they feel good about, "Hey, yeah, I like to do everything with excellence." All right, because what's happening here, a lot of times, is people care. They care. They want to do good work. They could stop caring if they wanted to, but that's usually not going to happen. That's usually what I'll do first. It eases a little bit of tension in the client there before we start doing the hypnosis, and then we get to do the really awesome hypnosis, which we'll get into in a second. What do you think about that, Cal? Helping them understand a new way of thinking about perfection as excellent, doing everything with excellence instead?

Cal Banyan: I'm talking to my audience here. Let me tell you what. This is one of the things that really absolutely thrills me about doing what I do. I talk to folks like Erika or Celeste Hackett, and it goes on and on, Brenda Titus. I mention them because you may know them because they've been cohosts, and they take what they've learned with the 5-PATH, and then they gain experience working with clients, and then they have super insights like that, and I think that's such a beautiful, elegant thing you did there, Erika, to go from perfectionism to excellence. That's beautiful.

Erika Flint: Thank you. I actually don't think I made it up myself. I do a lot of reading, but who knows where a lot of these things come from? We, at some point, are listening to what the universe is telling us, and then we're able to apply it in the appropriate way. In my experience, that has been really well received, exceptionally well received by all of my clients. They get relief just by that thought. "Oh, I can be excellent without being perfect." Excellent is an A or A-, not the A+++++, double smiley face, and they feel good about that. Then, we get to what happens next. Of course, as Cal mentioned, it's about fear, so we do some really powerful age regression with our clients to address this issue. What do you want to say about that, Cal.

Cal Banyan: The stuff, you folks that are watching, Erika was talking about, like preparing the person for the hypnosis, phase one, preparation, testing, and convincing. That reframe was preparation to get them thinking about things differently. Also, in phase one, we're going to have a pre-talk so they really understand hypnosis. We're going to pre-hypnosis interview so we can really understand what change they want to make, and so on. Then, we go to phase two. Phase two is age regression, and, absolutely, because one of the main things we work on in age regression, not exclusively, but one of the main things is fear. Take it from there, Erika.

Erika Flint: Well, after fear, we can help our clients bring up a sensation that has to do with the reason why they're coming in to see us that day, and a lot of it is just an overwhelming amount of fear of not being good enough or saying the wrong thing, being embarrassed, feeling ashamed. A lot of it has to do with a situation in their life where this has happened to them, where they have felt ashamed, they have felt bad about something, it wasn't good enough. Perhaps they have a strict parent. There are lots of things. I don't know to want to talk about all of the potential reasons why this could be coming up, but that's why we don't have to know. Hypnosis reveals the issue. We just get to talk about and have them bring up the feeling that has to do with why they're coming in to see us, and the age regression does all the work. That's what's so beautiful about hypnosis, right?

Cal Banyan: Absolutely. One of the things is when you begin to regress someone on that emotion, when we're finally going to get back to where it all started, and somewhere along the line, probably where it all started, the child is going to say, "If I had done this right," and in the mind of the child, that means perfect, "then I wouldn't be feeling this bad feeling right now. I wouldn't be getting, being judged. I wouldn't be getting punished, or I wouldn't feel bad." They will then set that goal, and in their mind, the only way they can avoid pain is perfectionism. Please take it from there.

Erika Flint: I just want to add something to that just to be aware of. Also, in my experience, it comes up a lot of times in households where there are parents who are either ... Maybe the parents are drinking or there's some type of, "I need to be quiet and not upset anybody in my house because life is better if everything is just perfect and quiet," and so that is often something that goes along with this. In the minds of some of the perfectionists, it's like, "I just need everything to be perfect so I don't get in trouble or I don't get yelled at or I don't get punished." Has that come up in your practice, too, Cal?

Cal Banyan: Well, yeah, and the thought that comes to mind is if I could just do this exactly right, then I wouldn't get in trouble, my little brother wouldn't have to put up with this, my little sister. They're protecting themselves or protecting the people that they care about, and they just take on a standard that is just not attainable in the real world, and it freezes them.

Erika Flint: It comes from a place where they're trying to really do good work and trying to help themselves or their family, like you said, but it's just unrealistic, especially as they get older, to really accomplish that, and that's why the work that we do as hypnotists is so powerful. After we do the age regression with our clients, what's going to come out of that is either some feelings that are erroneous, we get rid of limiting beliefs, or they get to feel good about who they were and how unrealistic it really was. There are so many wonderful things that come out of the age regression session, but after that, then we're going to move on to forgiveness. What do you want to say about that transition when it comes to helping people with perfection in this issue, Cal?

Cal Banyan: I can talk for days about age regression. In fact, in the 10-Day Course, I do talk for days about age regression, and within the context of what we're doing, what we really want to do is we need to remove that fear, and we're going to find in the initial sensitizing event, we're going to find the erroneous thought that's generating the fear, and the erroneous thought is, "I have to be perfect or all these bad things can happen," and we're going to replace it with the thought that was already checked out ahead of time, and that is to go to excellence instead of perfection. When that is done, we run them through the initial sensitizing event again, feeling safe, secure, confident, good enough, whatever it is that they didn't feel before, and with the new beliefs, that excellent is excellent. You don't have to do better than excellent. Then, once we have checked to make sure that the fear is gone, we move on into the segway of the direction suggestion. Segway is how we go from age aggression to direct suggestion. By the way, as I'm talking about this stuff, it's so difficult to take something that is really best covered in 100 hours and try to cover it in 20 minutes, but the next best thing is you need to subscribe to this on CalBanyan.com because all this stuff has been covered in depth. We have The Five Parts of Being a Successful Age Regression Hypnotist. If you subscribe to this podcast on CalBanyan.com, not YouTube, CalBanyan.com, I have a page that has a list of all, 500+, videos, and you can just search through that list by title and get to anything that we've already done on age regression, so don't get frustrated if we're being a little bit condensed on what we're doing with the age regression or the forgiveness work. We've already covered it in depth, so please subscribe, and then you'll get a link to that page, and you'll be able to instantly be able to access all that stuff, plus I'll send you a note every week to let you know when a new podcast is out. Here's a big deal. How do you know when phase one is done? When they come back to the next session, you're going to ask them, "How's it going?" If they're still feeling afraid, if they're doing the perfectionism out of fear, nervousness, worry, or whatever, then age regression isn't done yet. That should be totally resolved before we move on to the forgiveness work. Then, when that's resolved ... Age regression is not always a one-session kind of deal. For me, I commonly work, do two or three sessions on age regression work. I also tend to work on some really hard cases, I work on where other hypnotists have failed. Then, they'll refer their clients to see me, but do not think that 5-PATH or what you do takes two sessions, three sessions, five sessions, whatever. When you do a process, like 5-PATH, you know when you're done and time to move on to the next phase, and the next phase is forgiveness of others because here's the deal. Once something starts out of fear, then someone did that to them. Who? Well, that's revealed in the age regression, who did that to them, who the other people were that were involved in creating that fear. It's usually parents or a particular parent. Is that fair? No, that's not fair, so there's going to be a degree of anger. What happens is the perfectionism can actually turn in to a distracting behavior, and as they just work, work, work, work on a particular thing to a degree that's not necessary, past diminishing returns, now, this doing the polishing and the polishing of the project or whatever it is a way to avoid actually putting the project to test or putting it out there to be used because when it does, if there's any kind of criticism of the project, and if they see that as unfair, it can resonate with the anger that they have with the person in the past. To completely be free of the old pattern of perfectionism, we need to get rid of more than just the initial emotion that was associated with it, and that is anger. That's what we're going to be doing next. We're going to do a special form of forgiveness work where we're going to really do a deep, profound kind of forgiveness way beyond that which most people know. We're going to really get in there and scrub all that anger away. What do you think of that, Erika?

Erika Flint: That is so important, so important to do that complete work because that anger is going to be there whether ... I'll tell you, a lot of perfectionists don't want to be angry because they don't want to be angry because sometimes anger's what's causing the reason for being perfect so that nobody gets angry. We want to encourage our clients to get rid of that so that they can feel at peace again. I like what you said about the distracting behavior because what I wrote down is that it becomes a habit. Being a perfectionist is just a habit for people. They can't do anything at less than perfect. Their parking, they have to park perfectly. Every little thing has to be perfect in their mind, so then it becomes their life really ... They're spending so much extra time on being perfect that they're missing out on a lot of the really beautiful, amazing, tremendous, glorious things in life, and when they do come to see you the next week, like you said, Cal, what we want them to say is, "I'm not afraid, or I feel more peaceful. I have more ... I'm noticing things around me that are more beautiful, that I had been missing because I was too concentrated on things being perfect," and that's really what we want to hear. We want to notice in their voice and their tone and their gestures that, you know what, they are feeling, really feeling better. Right?

Cal Banyan: Right. They say things, like, "You know, I'm just not so worried about it anymore. I know that what I'm doing is more than adequate. I don't have to be perfect." By the way, if you have any doubts as to whether or not anger is associated with perfection, work with a perfectionist. Let them reach that level that they believe is perfect, and then find something wrong with it. Boom! There comes the anger. It's in there.

Erika Flint: Wow, that is a good one, Cal. I had never even thought of that. That's not perfect. You missed something here. There's a flaw in your perfection, right?

Cal Banyan: Yeah. Well, that's not fair. You don't know what I go through for you. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I go, "Okay. Just kidding." Too late. Too late to say, "I'm just kidding." All right. Anything else? Oh, let's go on to phase three, phase four.

Erika Flint: Well, of course. Then, once we get rid of that anger, we need to get rid of that guilt because a lot of our clients are going to be left with all of those years. Now that they're really peaceful, now that they realize it's not a big deal, and now that they have gone through, gotten rid of the fear, gotten rid of the anger, there's some residual guilt for a variety of reasons, but one of the reasons is, "Why was I a perfectionist for so long? Look at all these things in my life that I missed out on in this time trying to be so perfect." Right?

Cal Banyan: Exactly, and one of the things is in addition to guilt, having done something wrong, then there's also anger at the self. They're very, very angry at themselves when they're not perfect. Forgiveness of self-rids one of anger for what they perceive that they've done wrong to others, and then maybe other people that have had something unfortunate happen because of their lack of perfectionism or because of their perfectionism. Perfectionism causes more problems than the results of not being perfect. For example, people will put off doing stuff. It's not just like they do it, do it, do it, do it, do it until they perceive it's perfect. Just as likely, they put it off, put it off, put it off and eventually don't do it because of all the pain associated with their perfectionism. In order to get them totally free from it, we're going to put the same amount of effort into helping that individual forgive themselves as we did have them forgive the person who is most associated with the cause of the problem as indicated in the age regression. Perfect.

Erika Flint: Wonderful. That's all I have for that. There are a lot of other elements, as Cal mentioned, details of the age regression and forgiveness, etc., lots of videos on that, and I loved, Cal, what you said about those videos. Even if you have all this training, when you sign up and watch those videos every week, you're going to get a deeper understanding. Every time you watch something like this, you might know or, you yourself, a perfectionist and understand, "Oh, this is how it could apply to me or a client or something like that in my life." You get even more out of it every single one of these videos.

Cal Banyan: Hey, there's a perfectionist out there right now going, "All right. I can add. They've mentioned 5-PATH and five phases, and you just went through phase one, phase two, phase three, phase four. Where's the fifth phase?" I'll tell you what. The fifth phase is parts mediation work, and it's only used in situations where there's secondary gain, and I've never run into a situation. First of all, most hypnotists don't need the fifth phase, or it comes up very rarely. Five percent of the time, ten percent of the time, max, it's there if you need it. It has to do with dealing with secondary gain, and I've never seen anyone have trouble letting go of their perfectionism and all the problems associated with it. I've never seen anyone not be able to get rid of it with just the first four phases, and so phase five, I have not ever seen a situation where parts mediation work had to be done on that. How about you?

Erika Flint: No. I haven't. Sometimes, there's an identity level situation. I think sometimes people are proud of their self-described perfectionism. They, "Oh, well, I'm a perfectionist," almost like it's something that they like about themselves until we dive into it. That's just a front that they're putting out there, I think, for the world because of everything that's going on. That usually, it's not sticking around after the fourth phase, and they're not self-describing themselves like that anymore. They will start talking about ... They'll start using the word excellence. They'll start using that language, and they do care, so they do want to do things well. They want to do it with excellence, but they don't hang onto it after the fourth phase, in my experience, either. Thanks for mentioning that.

Cal Banyan: Perfect. Wrap it up.

Erika Flint: All right. Very good. Thank you, everyone, for joining us here today. I'm Erika Flint, and with a lot of gratitude, I'm very happy to be here today and happy that you have joined for this episode on perfectionism. I hope it's been valuable to you. You can find me at CascadeHypnosisTraining.com, and I hope to see you in class. Bye for now!

The Meta-Message Of This Episode: Perfection is an illusion!

The underlying message of this episode is that perfection is an illusion, what is good for one person, is not good for another. With the power of hypnosis, you can transform the inherent power in perfectionism to end its crippling impact on clients.

TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THESE GREAT HYPNOSIS TRAINING VIDEOS, THANKS!

I look forward to seeing you in class!  Let's help people lead better lives with hypnosis. 

From my heart to yours,

Erika Flint