I’m Dana Machacek—dreamer, romantic, book smart nerd, and recovering perfectionist. I’m here to help ease you out of your head and back into alignment with your spirit. The ultimate goals?
Unqualified success. Deep satisfaction. Full-spectrum thriving. And brilliance: unleashed.
If you’re a lingerer like I am, if you love soaking in stories and are curious to learn more about me and how I got to this point, I invite you to pour a cup of tea, to cozy up around my virtual hearth, and to drift down the rest of this page at your leisure. I might seem chatty and a bit awkward at first, but don’t worry– before you know it, we’ll probably be braiding each other’s hair, laughing like old friends, and sharing soulful conversations together. (Minus the hair-braiding part. Obviously.)
Where I Started:
For most of my life, I was both a capital-O Overachiever and a top rate Underachiever who constantly sabotaged my own success. On one hand, I was consumed with a carnivorous drive to prove my worth by excelling in all instances and at all costs.
External validation was my drug of choice.
Not surprisingly, I was a serial A-student. I also made it a holy mission of mine to be as well-rounded and well-liked by others, sprinkling things like “Math Club” and “Volleyball Team” onto my fledgling resumé—not because I actually enjoyed either of these things, but because I figured they would make me look good on paper. (If not dorky and random. Lesson learned.)
As a textbook perfectionist, most of my life was spent trading in my achievements for the acceptance and approval of others. But no matter how much I accomplished, and no matter how shiny my achievements were, on the inside, I still never felt like I was good enough.
Are you a slave to perfectionism, too? Can you relate to the nagging belief that you’re not good, talented, qualified, or worthy enough? Maybe we should connect.
Then there was the self-sabotage, overachievement’s evil twin sister. When I wasn’t pre-occupied with polishing my perfect, well-behaved, and unanimously agreeable veneer,
I was also a cunning master at getting in my own way, playing small, and ensuring that my excellence would never be too threatening to anyone.
I aced two degrees at university and promptly started applying for entry-level reception jobs at cat clinics. (Because nothing caps off a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies quite like felines and minimum wage, am I right?) I kept chasing credentials, stringing letters after my name and tucking program after program under my belt, but I still worried about putting myself out there.
I was afraid of what others would think of me if I finally started doing what I’d always—secretly—felt called to do: supporting ambitious, accomplished women in connecting with their deep emotions and limiting beliefs so that they may unleash a whole new dimension of success, joy, love, and abundance in their lives.
Being so focused on other people’s assessments of me and having to continually gauge the precarious, ever-changing line between acceptable levels of excellence and unacceptable levels of being intimidating to others rendered me exhausted, depleted, and totally disconnected from myself.
Are you stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage, too? Do you keep playing small in spite of feeling called to (and more than capable of) something bigger? I hear you, sista! We should probably hang out.
My Turning Point:
Everything changed for me in the summer of 2013, when my competitive drive totally backfired. My husband and I run a bustling art business together, and I was so intent on crushing it financially that season, that I sacrificed everything for the sake of eclipsing our former sales records.
I stopped heeding my body’s calls for rest, play, fun… and sometimes even basic hygiene, like showers or hair brushing. (Gross but true.) I worked for 65 days straight, refusing to take any time off and logging 12-14 hours of extreme customer service every single day. I gained a thunderous twenty five pounds in less than six months.
Intimacy with my husband suffered. Feelings of fatigue, helplessness, and Grade-A misery swelled up inside me on a near-constant basis but were met with the harshest disapproval and the most toxic level of denigration from my biggest critic: myself.
By the end of the season, I was utterly spent—a mere crisp of a former human being. Deep down, I felt a genuine loathing toward myself and couldn’t understand how I possibly could have let my well-being slide to such a great degree. It was so frustrating! Didn’t I know better? Wasn’t I an intelligent, competent woman? Shouldn’t I have done something more to prevent this from happening? I felt like such a failure.
I knew that my blind commitment to hyper-achievement was wholly unsustainable. I understood that I could never thrive fully and consistently in life if I kept prizing perfectionism over rich self-acceptance. But I didn’t know how to change. And, to be honest,
part of me didn’t even believe it was possible to be successful without being ultra-disciplined and totally in control.
I knew I needed support, and even though I was afraid to ask for help at first, I eventually turned to energy medicine. Through life coaches and healing practitioners, I got turned on to things like EFT, magnet therapy, and Healing Codes.
Gradually, I steeped myself more and more in the woo-woo, shamelessly enjoying massages, manifestation techniques, aromatherapy, and good, old-fashioned chakra cleanses. I started a modest crystal collection, had my palms and astrological chart read, started injecting funny-looking energy routines into my mornings, and slowly but surely found myself opening up.
As I started experiencing more joy, ease, and connection in my life, I realized that seeking support wasn’t just permissible (like, “Okay, fine—you can hire a coach… but just this once!”).
Seeking support was actually smart—fully, unequivocally, and irreversibly smart.
Having somebody in my corner didn’t hamper my achievements or hold me back from success. To the contrary—hiring a coach enabled me to thrive in bigger ways, in a more sustained fashion, and across a broader spectrum of my life.
I want these things for you, too.
I have now completed a coaching training program and have been mentoring with an incredible energy healer as well. I’ve learned through experience how to re-connect with myself, and I am ready and excited to help teach you how to do the same! That’s not to say that my inner perfectionist has been fully eradicated or that my faithful self-saboteur has packed her bags and left me forever. However, I now have the skills and tools:
- To help you love and accept yourself as you are right now, without feeling like you’re settling or giving in to mediocrity
- To deal with feelings of overwhelm, both gently and effectively
- To identify, question, and overcome limiting beliefs about what is possible (and how)
- To channel perfectionism into creativity, without getting burnt out or exhausted
- To thrive from the inside out, rather than constantly seeking external approval and validation
If perfectionism sounds familiar, if being an overachiever isn’t cutting it anymore, if you might as well be the President of the Playing Small Women’s Association (but can’t wait to step down from that post), and if you’re open to creative perspectives on these issues, let’s chat. I can’t wait to meet you.