Evi Van den Eynde of Truthful Tea Talks: “We need to choose our words wisely”

Firstly, let’s Reframe. We need to choose our words wisely. We need to say: “I will DO my best” instead of “I WANT the best.” With this mindset, we release a lot of pressure on ourselves and we can be OK with failure. We are able to look for growth, it was not perfect and […]

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Firstly, let’s Reframe. We need to choose our words wisely. We need to say: “I will DO my best” instead of “I WANT the best.” With this mindset, we release a lot of pressure on ourselves and we can be OK with failure. We are able to look for growth, it was not perfect and that was beautiful. We can be at peace with imperfection as long as we do the best we can.

Many successful people are perfectionists. At the same time, they have the ability to say “Done is Better Than Perfect” and just complete and wrap up a project. What is the best way to overcome the stalling and procrastination that perfectionism causes? How does one overcome the fear of potential critique or the fear of not being successful? In this interview series, called How To Get Past Your Perfectionism And ‘Just Do It’, we are interviewing successful leaders who can share stories and lessons from their experience about “how to overcome the hesitation caused by perfectionism.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Evi Van den Eynde.

Evi Van den Eynde is the Founder and Copywriter of Truthful Tea Talks, a space for imperfection where you can be your True self. She is a Happiness and Personal Growth expert and has a desire to take action. Evi is on a mission to empower others to thrive and evolve into their dream future self.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Thank you so much for having me! I’m originally from Belgium but having been calling Australia home for the past 8 years, educating the youth of tomorrow for the past 5 years. How does that happen you might ask? From an early age I was passionate about 2 things, educating young children, and basketball! Basketball was my everything, I trained 3 times a week and played 3 games on the weekend. After completing my degree in childcare, my horizons broadened, I started to wonder, was more to life than basketball and teaching? So naturally as you do, I decided to travel to Australia for 6 months. Gradually working my way round most of Australia, I then started working as a tour guide (yes, more travel), basically, living the dream. This was back in 2013, and I’ve been here ever since.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If you can dream you can do it!” I still remember the first time I heard this quote. I was 14 years old and shared my dream with a coach of playing in the WNBA. With instant regret, I played it down “But that will never happen off course.” The coach stopped me, looked me in the eye, and said. “Hey, listen up. If you can dream it, you can do it. You got this!” From that moment, this quote was my life motto! Of course, dreams change throughout our life, but this quote reminds me that if you really want something, it will happen! It gives me motivation, drive and I feel empowered.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Happiness Project from Gretchen Rubin. I moved to Australia thinking that I will be the happiest person ever, yet, I was faced with many challenges and started to question my happiness. Reading Gretchen’s book felt good, it validated my emotions, highlighting that this was normal! Motivating me to reflect on my life and make changes. I became passionate about the concept of Happiness and Personal Growth. Gretchen inspired me to start my own blog, Truthful Tea Talks, but as the perfectionist in me, it took years before I pressed that publish button! Thanks to Gretchen my blog is now online and I enjoy the simple things.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  • The most important character trait towards my success is that I see the strengths in others. Not only do I recognize these strengths but I also ensure that everyone becomes aware of their own capabilities. I told someone in my team how amazing she was at time management. She started to focus on this aspect and her self-belief skyrocketed. Not only did her time management improve even further but she also started to truly flourish in many other areas. Ensuring that others see their strengths will boost their confidence, drive, and kindness.
  • Active listening is key for success. Making sure that others not only have a voice but are also being heard is very powerful. When they feel heard, they feel valued. When you feel valued you are much more likely to give it your all. When a new team member came on board I could see that she lost her passion a while ago. When she started, I made a conscious effort to actively listen to her and implement the strategies she suggested. Within weeks she went from doing the minimum required to going above and beyond. Being Heard and feeling valued is what fuels you.
  • My willingness to learn and grow has given me many opportunities. The drive to strive instead of survive has allowed me to flourish. Every day I try to incorporate something that I have learned which gives me purpose. From going to the court to better my basketball skills, to reading personal growth books, there are so many ways you can improve. Basically, having an open mind to grow drives success.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Let’s begin with a definition of terms so that each of us and our readers are on the same page. What exactly is a perfectionist? Can you explain?

A perfectionist is someone who works till THEY think they have reached the perfect outcome. Because let’s be honest, how do we even define perfect? We all have different opinions on when something is actually perfect. My “Perfect” is different from your “perfect”. So why are we even so focused on perfectionism? Let’s take a step back, often when we try to strive for “perfect” this comes from underlying emotions. The desire to be liked or only feeling good about yourself when you get positive feedback, or as you mentioned, the fear of failure. A Perfectionist is someone who needs to stop and self-reflect to ensure that the “perfect” isn’t holding them back!

The premise of this interview series is making the assumption that being a perfectionist is not a positive thing. But presumably, seeking perfection can’t be entirely bad. What are the positive aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?

Perfectionists are often very driven, they show high levels of motivation. They like to plan by visualizing and mapping out their route to the perfect outcome. I’m a perfectionist and before my day start, I will plan exactly what my day will look like, what my priorities are and how I want to achieve them. With a clear plan of action, I start my day, this helps me feel in control and boost my self-esteem.

What are the negative aspects of being a perfectionist? Can you give a story or example to explain what you mean?

Perfectionism often translates to Procrastination. As we mentioned, the underlying emotions are often the reason we wait till the last minute to get started. The deadlines are coming closer, so there is no way out. We brace for failure, engage in positive self-talk, and start. We often focus on all the imperfections instead of looking at the positives which will bring us down. I was invited for a basketball trial that would elevate my career. My first reaction was excitement, joy, and disbelief. Then there was the deadline to submit your interest, 4 weeks. Every day I went to court to practice and self-doubt crept in. The day before the deadline, I submitted my interest. 4 weeks of self-talk, affirmation “If I can dream it, I can do it!” Yet, procrastination won as I didn’t want to deal with the feelings of rejection and the unknown was a better option.

From your experience or perspective, what are some of the common reasons that cause a perfectionist to “get stuck” and not move forward? Can you explain?

The fact that we want rewards immediately is what is stopping us. Think, exercise VS chocolate. We want the results, answer or feedback now so we can deal with it straight away. We are wired for the need for immediate rewards. The feelings of anxiety, not being good enough and the fear of the disappointment are main reasons we are stuck. I waited 4 weeks because I could deal with the unknown. Procrastination allowed me to feel good, I could still make myself believe I was good enough. I was able to quiet the voice “I will never make it” because I didn’t put it out there yet.

Here is the central question of our discussion. What are the five things a perfectionist needs to know to get past their perfectionism and “just do it?” Please share a story or example for each.

Firstly, let’s Reframe. We need to choose our words wisely. We need to say: “I will DO my best” instead of “I WANT the best.” With this mindset, we release a lot of pressure on ourselves and we can be OK with failure. We are able to look for growth, it was not perfect and that was beautiful. We can be at peace with imperfection as long as we do the best we can.

Secondly, Mindful Action. We need to work towards truly believing that the “Just do It” mindset is important. Reflect on WHY we are a perfectionist and how can we change this? Fear of failure? Let’s focus on growth! We need to gain clarity, it will allow us to come up with successful strategies. Everyone needs to find their own way to overcome this. Use guided prompts to delve deeper into the roots of the problem and take Mindful Action!

Next, we need to find Courage. Knowing that we will do our best and accepting that failure will help us grow will motivate us to “Just Do it”. We need to find the courage to put ourselves out there.

We also need to Let go of what others might think or say! As Perfectionists, we are already our hardest critics. That will do! We don’t need others to tell us. Letting go allows us to be free, to truly be ourselves. And in a world that is focused on Picture-perfect, let’s enjoy imperfection without worrying about others.

Lastly, Routine. If we want to stop procrastination we need to adopt routines, this allows us to purposefully master our day. It creates that feeling of control that will support us in taking action as the familiarity kicks in. Routines boost our confidence which will combat procrastination.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

“Imperfection is beauty” We keep striving for everything to be perfect which puts so much pressure on everyone. Let’s relax and truly see the beauty in imperfection. We need to start focusing on our own needs and stop copying others’ views. Embark on a Personal Growth Journey where we put ourselves first and be happy with our journey.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Well, I bet you can guess who right? But hold on! The reason I would have lunch is to express my gratitude for the inspiration and share that they are the reason for my growth. Say thank you, for helping me evolve. Now, in my Personal Growth Journey, there were 2 main shifts, my mind, and my body! I have 2 people to thank for this and I cannot express how grateful I am for their work.

Of course, I like to have lunch with Gretchen Rubin! She is the reason my blog is live and my addiction to become my dream future self!

The second person I would love to have lunch with to share my gratitude is Katrina Scott from Tone It Up. She has inspired me to look after my body and is definitely one of the reasons my confidence has grown! She doesn’t only focus on workouts but her vision to be Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous is just inspiring.

Let’s get these Lunches happening because guess what! If you can Dream It, You Can Do It!! ☺

How can our readers follow you online?

You can head over to my blog Truthful Tea Talks or you can find me on Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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