Hey there!

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.

artsy me

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.

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/xi04H

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dana.M.Machacek

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanaMachacek

29 responses

  1. Hi Dana. I just stumbled onto your blog and wanted to say that it looks great! I love your story about the Vita Mix and making almond milk. I love Victoria; my younger sister lived there for a year, but is back now, living a few blocks from me, my husband and our 5 mos. old daughter in Edmonton. I also love your blog name; am about to start blogging myself…just need a name 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!



    • Thanks, Thea! Victoria is a great place to live, especially after enduring many freezing cold winters in Alberta! (I feel for you, honey.) Good luck starting up your own blog– WordPress is a great platform to use!

  2. Pingback: The Sunday Paper: F Bomb? I dropped it. « The Ramblings

  3. What a cool name for a blog!

    I am totally in agreement about no’s 23 and 24. When I lived in Paris and drivers NEVER stopped for pedestrians — seeing us more as amusing targets — I routinely kicked cars or hit them with my umbrella. Zut alors!

    My mom lives in Victoria, so I am there a few times a year. I love the breakfast at Demitasse.

    On my last trip up there (Feb. 2011) I spent a week in Banff and fell head over heels in love with the Rockies. Even at a nostril-freezing -38 degrees.

    • Thanks! The next time you’re in Victoria (if it’s in the spring or summer months), you should stop by our art booth at the Inner Harbour. It won’t be creepy or stalker-ish at ALL, I promise! 🙂

  4. Today I was thinking about your yester-year post about coming out and calling yourself a writer (oh hello, procrastination!). Then I realized I’d always thought of you as a writer. In addition to your wonderful university stylings in all things intellectually communicative, your long catch up emails were always infused with hillarity and appeared effortless, whether or not they were.

  5. I actually loved reading your list, Dana. See, one of the advantages of not blogging **but still going on the computer for a short while each day**is that you get to read things like THIS. This is magic. I feel like I know you a tad bit better, you geek, you. Laughing as I turn the computer off!

  6. We have so much in common — I was an intensely picky eater as a kid, my husband is amazing AND Czech, I love ’80s Dance Movies even though right now I can’t think of a one (Breakin’, Dirty Dancing, I would add Can’t Buy Me Love because of the great African dance scene, what else?) and I make a mean homemade soup. Woo-hoo, let’s hear it for soup!

    • YES! I’m glad to hear your husband is amazing and Czech as opposed to just Czech. 🙂 Have you outgrown the picky eating tendencies at all, or are you still plagued by hypersensitive food preferences? What about your children? Do they eat mostly everything or has history repeated itself?

  7. Pingback: If we were having coffee | breezes at dawn

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