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Imperfectly Navigating Divorce with Kathryn Ely | Ep 27

How can you release the stress of feeling like you need to always be perfect? How does perfectionism hold you back? Can your values guide you out of the people-pleasing maze? In this podcast episode, I speak with Kathryn Ely about imperfectly navigating divorce.



Kathryn is a former attorney turned licensed counselor and a recovering perfectionist. Through her Imperfect Thriving Podcast, coaching, and courses, Kathryn helps women let go of perfection and their limiting beliefs, discover what they want the next part of their lives to look like and the daily imperfect action that will get them there.

Visit Kathryn’s website, connect with her on Facebook and Instagram. Also, join the Facebook Group and listen to her podcast.




  • Focus on what you value
  • 3 Types of perfectionism to be wary of
  • Releasing perfectionism allows you to be in the present


Clear away the fog and focus on what is important to you, what you value. Think to yourself through difficult times ‘who do you want to be, or what behavior do you want to model for your children. What do you want them to know about you, and what do you want to be able to say about yourself when you get to the other side?

Remembering these ideas and values can guide you in your decision-making to make the choices with integrity. Through divorce, many people focus on what they do not want. When you tackle this process, think about what you really want instead, and work with this positive core.

“Get down to the core of what you want your new life to look like, then reverse-engineer it. Look at the result first and then come back and say ‘what do I value, I’m gonna set some goals in line with those values and then I’m gonna figure out the actions that I need to take daily to get there. (Kathryn Ely)


  1. Self-oriented: You judge yourself against unrealistic expectations and living totally in your head.
  1. Other-oriented by being overly critical of others: You try to control other people and are often disappointed.
  1. Feeling that others expect you to be perfect: You feel that everyone is constantly judging you to an unrealistic standard.


When people suffer from perfectionism, they never quite reach their goals, or even if they do, they immediately jump to the next one because they can never be satisfied. By releasing the addiction to perfectionism, you allow yourself to breathe and experience the present moment instead of constantly pushing toward an unattainable future.

Perfectionists miss out on the imperfect, human moments in their day. Perfectionists can never be or feel ready because they could always do more. This perfectionism process leads to procrastination because many perfectionists will only stop, or start, once everything is ready but nothing is ever quite ready. Kathryn recommends recovering perfectionists to begin their projects when they are 80% ready because that is a reachable goal.

Get started with your free Progress over Perfection workshop now.


About your host:

Susan Orenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Orenstein is a licensed psychologist and relationship expert  with over twenty years of experience. In 2005, she founded Orenstein Solutions, a private counseling practice in North Carolina that serves children, teens, adults and couples. 

She created the After the First Marriage Podcast to support individuals through the significant life transition of divorce. She whole-heartedly believes that “happily ever after” is an option for everyone, and is dedicated to helping divorcées regain the confidence to pursue a fulfilling future after the first marriage. 

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the Facebook community, or follow along on Twitter,  you’re in the right place!

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