(Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the transcript right here!)
In this impromptu episode, Amy and Cheri process a week of FOMO, failure, and flashes of insight.
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- Angela Duckworth’s book Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance
- Amy’s book, Breaking Up With Perfect
- Amy’s book study starting August 1
- Amy’s recent interview with Kathi Lipp
- Love Rest — a beautiful devotional for tired perfectionists and people-pleasers by Amy Carroll
- Episode #07 Transcript
Transcript — scroll to read here (or download above)
Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules
Episode #07: Flashes of Insight on Grit & Grace (Mixed with Giggles)
Okay, this is a total aside…
…but I just want to say that Meryl Streep is a total copycat. Can I say that at this point?
All right. My husband is much more interested in the whole political kerfuffle, can we
call it this year, than I am. He was listening to the DNC video of that last night on TV.
Meryl Streep kept referring to “grit and grace.” I was like, “Oh, no. No, no. That is the
name of our podcast, Meryl.”
Hey, this is Cheri Gregory and you’re listening to Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad
Rules. Today my delightful co-host Amy Carroll and I will be talking about why we say
yes when we should say no, dealing with FOMO (fear of missing out) and also how to tell
the difference between perfectionism and grit. Good morning, Amy. How are you?
I’m doing great. A little tired still. Foggy also, but I’m good. How about you?
I am close to a book deadline and I’ve got a big event coming up next week and I’m
surprisingly calm. It’s kind of nice.
You know what? I think that sounds like progress to me — calm in the midst of a storm?
I’ve started getting to the point where instead of telling myself, “I need more time, I
need more time, I need more time” I’m starting to realize that deadlines and constraints
are actually a blessing. I’m trying to tell myself I’m going to do the absolute best I can
with the time I have. Rather than constantly trying to push for more, more, and more
time or even burning the candle at both ends, I’m just going to have to trust that it’s
going to be that elusive thing we keep trying for: “good enough”.
Well talking about good enough and something that wasn’t quite good enough. I want
to triage last week’s podcast that didn’t happen.
Oh, well, I tell you, this is life.
Well, it actually happened. We have the interview and it’s in the editing process but
while you were traveling and getting ready for She Speaks, I even messaged you on my
phone and asked you when you were going to post your blog. You told me and then you
said you could always change it if you needed to. I had one of those moments, and I
hope you’ve had them too (and if you haven’t I’ll survive, but maybe some of our
listeners have) where in my brain there was a part of me that was like, “Just say no now.
Say no. This probably isn’t going to work out.”
Then out of my mouth (actually, out of my fingers because I was texting you) I was like,
“Yes! Yes, this will be fine.”
“Sure, no problem!”
“No problem!” Then I had to text you back and say, “Oh, actually, it’s not going to work
out” and by then you were at She Speaks and things got too busy. You have a bunch of
very fine listeners who clicked a link that went nowhere.
So to be fair, let’s just say that I told Cheri I would take the link down but then I
stumbled back to the room about 10:30 at night and completely forgot. For those of you
who clicked the link from my website and wondered where we were, totally my fault.
Cheri can’t take all the blame.
Oh, no, Cheri wants to take all the blame. If I can’t be the best of the best I want to be
the worst of the worst.
Okay. Fine. We’ll blame you.
Good, good, good. Since I’m volunteering you might as well. Really, here’s my question.
Why do we do this? Why do we think to ourselves, no, and then we say “yes” and then
we get ourselves into that position where it’s too late and then we suddenly realize,
“No, now I need to say no.” And I know this is where some of us, at least, get the
reputation for being flaky and you can’t count on us and people see us on caller ID and
they’re like, “Oh, no, it’s her again. Whatever.”
I want to know in my own head, and I don’t know if I have a perfect answer but I have at
least one, why is it that we can’t just say that no in the moment when we really
probably should say it in the first place?
Well, I think there is this saying about where good intentions lead to, right?
That’s about it, right? Really it’s perfectionists and people pleasers. This might be where
the people pleasing comes in more is that we just … We really do want to be able to do
it and yet I remind myself a lot because I find myself saying the terrible thing about
myself so somebody else doesn’t say it first sometimes.
I do that all the time. My goodness.
What I realize is, okay, let’s parse this out a little bit. It’s not all bad, right? We’re not all
bad. Most of us that fall in these categories, we love people, we work hard, we want to
be able to do well. Those are all really good things but then it gets mixed in with that
nasty old sin nature of pride and self-centeredness. All those things that we’ve talked
about a little bit on the podcast before. I think that’s when we start saying yes when we
should have said no. What about you? What are some of your root issues with this?
This one actually I think is a fairly simple one and it’s the reason that you didn’t get a
flood of apologies afterwards because my first temptation after it happened was like, “I
am so sorry. Please don’t quit the podcast with me. I’ll never do it again.”
Oh my goodness.
I’m almost 50 so I don’t need to do the drama queen thing. And I think I know Amy well
enough to know that she’s not going to drop me like a hot potato after one mistake.
Thank you, thank you. I realize I still confuse saying “yes” to a task to saying “yes” to the
relationship. I want to say “yes” to the connection and so when I was saying to you,
“Yes, I can get this out” what I was really saying was, “Yes, I want to continue
collaborating with you.”
There must be that underlying fear that if there’s a blip in the productivity that it then is
going to mean a blip for the relationship overall. I didn’t take the time to go, “Hey, hang
on a second. I can say yes to our relationship as friends and co-hosts and still say, ‘This
week’s podcast isn’t going up.”
That’s so awesome. Okay, I think it’s really funny that our listeners they get to listen to
us process our friendship on the air. Here’s what you can know about me is that I …
Except in my marriage which that’s another episode, but except in my marriage, I almost
never blame my friends. I always blame myself. On the other side of all of this, I was
having to struggle and beat down that thing that we’ve been processing with failure
where I’ve thought, “Oh, I should have remembered to take that down. I told Cheri I
would take that down. Ugh, ugh, ugh.” You know?
I had to wrestle with that. Hey, we’re making progress because you didn’t apologize and
I didn’t get caught up in a cycle of complete angst so hey! Progress! Yay!
Okay, serious party time!
And, I do want to apologize to you and our listeners and not in a groveling way but I do
want to acknowledge it was an inconvenience. I am sorry it happened. I’m not going to
make any huge campaign promises.
I appreciate your willingness to triage it with me. I was hoping, if nothing else, if it
provides a few laughs for our listeners it’ll be totally worthwhile.
Absolutely. Yes, y’all. We are saying yes to the relationship with you. Just like Cheri said.
Hey, I was wondering while you were at She Speaks did you see or experience anything
that you think might be of interest to our listeners in terms of watching grit or grace or
breaking of bad rules?
Oh, always. Always. It’s amazing to me that … The first time I went to She Speaks was an
attendee and I’ve attended 10 times since as a team member. Every year God gives me
one big takeaway. I think He knows that’s all I can really handle and grasp onto. This
year the big takeaway … Glynnis Whitwer gave the opening message for pre-conference
this year and she walked out of the room and I said, “Glynnis, thank you. You wrote that
message just for me. It was me.”
It was just a fabulous message. She talked about working in our sweet spot and what
that looks like and how we sometimes mistake our comfort zone for our sweet spot.
Oh mercy. I think we’re going to talk a little bit more about my book later in the podcast
today. This past year, really the past two years, with this book writing process—hardest
thing I’ve ever done. Bar none. Even raising my kids has not been as hard. Biggest
learning curve, hugest, biggest swings from up to down. Just all of it. The day before I
had just fallen back into that trap of comparison that we can fall into and this message
was for me. One of the things that Glynnis said is that when we work inside our comfort
zone, it is our chance to show where we shine. But when we work outside our comfort
zone, it’s God’s chance to show where he shines.
That was my moment. It was my moment. It was like God was saying, “Amy, for two
years I’ve been calling you out of your comfort zone and you are clinging with your
fingernails to the edges of the comfort zone. If you would just let go, I’ll shine. I’ll shine.”
Wow. Wow. So I’m going to be processing that for the next year … or two … or three!
I wasn’t at She Speaks and so I stayed home and threw myself multiple pity parties.
We missed you.
That’s very sweet of you. The problem with pity parties of course is that nobody brings
any gifts and the entertainment is absolutely terrible.
You know, it made me really think about this whole … I’m not sure if I’m going to
pronounce it right (not that it matters because we’re not really worried about perfection
here) but FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out.
Oh, yeah. It’s a thing.
Oh my goodness. You and Kathi were like, “Okay, we won’t post anything.” I was like,
“No, I’ve got to grow up. I’ve got to be able to see pictures on Facebook and not be
jealous or whatever.” I realized part of the problem for me is perfectionism tells me that
what I need or what will really make me happy is always somewhere where I’m not or
it’s something that I don’t have or it’s someone who is not here with me right now. For
me, I kind of spent the time realizing that there could be two things true at once.
I was perfectly fine where I was and you guys were having a great time where you were
and I would like to have been there with you but it didn’t have to be either or. It wasn’t
like, “Oh, because I’m not there I now have to have a horrible, miserable time here at
home with the people I’m with and doing what I’m doing.” It’s like, “Well, what I’m
doing doesn’t look quite as exciting as what they’re doing at She Speaks” … that whole
black and white thinking, either or, — no, there could be several things true all at the
same time here.
For me as an HSP, travel is hard. That’s one of those realities I just have to recognize.
Time change is really hard for me and when I saw all the Southwest nightmares
happening I was really glad I wasn’t involved in those. Everybody else is really glad that I
Well, we did miss you and for any of our listeners that would like to see Kathi Lipp and I
dancing you can go to Kathi Lipp’s Facebook page where she makes fun of my stank face
where I was dancing. We sent a little video to Cheri.
It was very nice. It was very nice.
One of the things I did start doing while you guys were dancing your time away at She
Speaks is I did finally start reading the book Grit and I am loving it. I have a question I
want us to start playing with … One of the things that’s hitting me is I think that
perfectionism can masquerade as grit. I think perfectionism and grit actually have a lot
in common and the quick example I’ll use is that for me Perfectionism is always saying,
“Just try harder. Just try harder. Just try harder.” My limited understanding of Grit thus
far is that Grit kind of says, “Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up.”
Those two sound an awful lot alike. What do you think might be some of the difference?
I’m not looking for a perfect answer. I want this to be an ongoing dialogue. How can you
tell or what do you think might be the difference when you’re in Grit and when you’re in
That’s such a great question. As you said, just work harder, just work harder, as the
perfectionist that to me is a fear of failure. Whereas don’t give up, don’t give up is being
undaunted by failure. It’s like the same coin but opposite sides. Do you think?
I like that. I like that. It sounds like the motivation is very, very different. And fear as
being the driving force of perfectionism. I like that. I love the word undaunted.
That’s a great word.
I can’t wait to hear more about the book. That sounds fantastic.
Well, speaking of books, let’s talk about yours. You have an online book study coming
up and I want to first go on record saying I love your book. I adore your book. I loved
being able to read it while you were in the process of writing it. That was a huge
privilege. You even let me argue with you a little bit about it. There was one little
portion of the book where we had different experiences of the same basic thing and so
you let me give you some push back … and I got to be one of the ones who wrote an
endorsement for it. I texted you and said … I don’t remember what I said but it was a
fabulous book, incredibly well-written, I loved it, and I forgot that you are three hours
ahead of me so I probably woke you up in the middle of the night.
Anyway, so I love your book Breaking Up With Perfect. I’m really excited about the
online Bible study that you’re going to be doing. Tell us a little bit about it.
I’m excited too. Hey, having Cheri, as those listeners can imagine, being part of the
process was fantastic. If you don’t know she’s an English teacher so she used her red
pen a little bit for me. That was fantastic. Any time Cheri challenges my thinking I always
come away better from that so that was fantastic.
Yeah, we’re doing an online study. The writing part and the launching part and all that
was so difficult for me. The thing that I’m finding great joy in is interacting with other
women around the message now and finding out what do you think? How are you
experiencing perfectionism in your life and how especially is that affecting your
relationships? How can we … I love the community part. How can we, as a community,
move forward together? Get free from the bad stuff that we’re dragging along with us
so that our relationships with God and other people get better and we find more joy in
Starting August 1st there will be a community built on my blog and also a private
Facebook page. We’re going to be going through and talking about the book and
interacting around the book. I’ll be doing Facebook Live on Monday nights at 8 o’clock
(Eastern time for those of you that are on different timezones.) We’ll be on the
Facebook page doing that. Just lots of fun. Great giveaways we’ve got coming up and
just … I can’t wait.
The other thing that I’m doing that … Only this group will get this so is that I’ve been
talking about [how I] just came back from India for the third time not long ago. Every
Monday the blog post is going to be a lesson I learned in India that’s tied into a lesson
from the book. I get to share my pictures and share my stories. All that stuff I’ve been
waiting to do since April. That’s when I’m going to unleash it all. It is good, good stuff.
I’m telling you. Those Christians in India they inspire me because there’s no cultural
Christianity because of the persecution. They are on fire for Jesus and I learn things from
them every time I go.
I didn’t know you were going to do that in terms of sharing from your India trip so that
sounds really, really, really cool.
I also need to just put a plug in here. You did an interview with Kathi for her podcast
that came out this week.
Oh my goodness. That has got to be one of the best interviews I have ever heard.
No, you absolutely killed it in so many areas. You made Kathi cry in the right way so that
was really, really fun. We’ll put the link to that interview in the show notes for this
episode. There’s just so many things that I loved about it.
We’ll make sure that we put in the show notes the links to your online [book] study and
anybody that just wants to go find it it’s at Amy Carroll dot org. A-M-Y C-A-R-R-O-L-L dot
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Grit and Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules.
Next week we will be talking about how to make failure your friend with Kathi Lipp but
for today grow your grit, embrace God’s grace, and when you run across a bad rule you
know what to do: go ahead and break it!
- What’s your definition of “grit”?