Most people believe you can either have
performance or wellbeing.
If that’s you, then I’m betting you think you’ll soldier on for another day, and rest when you crash. Yoga, exercise or mindfulness is temporary relief, and honestly, a time suck on your To Do List. Who has time for wellness, especially when there are fun ways to lose yourself before tomorrow comes. Sleep can wait. But this isn’t how you thought your life would be.
Here’s the deal: You don’t have to trade one for the other. That’s the old way, disproved by neuroscience and real life. The real question is, “Do you want high performance or high burnout?”. Because if you master your energy and mind, you perform phenomenally and feel good. Whilst sleeping like a cat and living your life with feline grace.
I'm Dr Perpetua Neo (DClinPsy, UCL; MPhil, Cambridge)
Executive Coach & Psychologist
for high-performing female entrepreneurs and executives who dream of performing phenomenally and leading effectively in all areas of their lives, quickly and deeply, without burning out. They also want to feel like they have it all, rather than merely looking the part, even if they believe “It’ll never happen to me”.
People come to me because they want to manage their time, communicate effectively, and start/complete a goal. Sometimes they give me clinical terms like “anxiety”, “panic attacks” and “toxic relationships”. Regardless, they are charmed by how they start to love and respect themselves. Their lives blossom– careers, relationships, body, etcetera. “I walk differently”, they beam. That’s because when you master yourself, life beams back at you with a billion dimples.
Terri says. . .Terri Cole. Relationship Expert, Master Coach & Psychotherapist.
Jonathan says. . .Dr Jonathan Marshall. Leadership Expert, Executive Coach & Psychologist.
Hanita says. . .Dr Hanita Assudani. Clinical Psychologist
Garth says. . .Garth Spiers. Executive Coach & Charisma Expert.
Tay & Val say. . .Tay & Val. Spiritual Consultants and Purpose Leadership Mentors.
Here's the problem with most coaching and therapy
(or self-help books)
They give you some hack to ‘change your mindset’ as though Thought Surgery exists, or you talk for years analysing till the cows come home. Neither alone is enough for lasting transformation.
You don’t unpick and become free from old patterns, so your mind doesn’t get closure. And the patterns replay on loop. Newsflash: You can’t talk your old patterns away, that’s a pipe dream.
A Three Letter Method doesn’t honour who you are– your life story, experiences and personality. Generic is code for “have a personality transplant”. Why waste your precious time?
And, they tell you what to do, not how to do it. They don’t tell you why, and when you can’t get your brain on board, nothing really changes. So you haemorrhage decades, precious energy and thousands of dollars.
That’s not my way. We'll redesign your headspace, heartspace and soulspace, in a way that honours who you are.
WHEN YOU WORK WITH ME, WE’LL FIRST DETOX WHAT’S EXPIRED AND GROW THE RIGHT MINDSETS.
We’ll clear what doesn’t serve you– the burdens we think are normal, but really aren’t yours to bear. We’ll grow the right mindsets and systems to support you effortlessly– the tiny lifestyle redesigns that yield powerful impact.
Because deep down, you already know what you don’t want:— To feel more entrenched in your old patterns; to show your children that your experiences will be their destiny; to feel guilty for flaking out, uttering yet another excuse.
And deep down, you already know what you want. To feel light and free; to like what you see in the mirror; to go to bed at night feeling peaceful and wake up with an abundance of energy. All whilst performing phenomenally.
I call it Growing Your Psychological Capital, my signature blend of Cutting-Edge Neuroscience/Psychology Meets Ancient Wisdom tailored to you.
I TEACH MY CLIENTS THAT TO TRULY MASTER WHO THEY ARE, THEY MUST OWN THEIR BIOGRAPHY. BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T, SOMEONE ELSE WILL WRITE IT FOR YOU. SO FIRST, I’VE GOT TO OWN MINE. HERE GOES.
I thought I knew how to take care of myself. I was doing a lot more of the right things— cleaner living, meditation, saying no to substances. My job was meaningful; my wardrobe burst with beautiful clothes; and I’d been blessed with a world-class education at Cambridge and UCL. Most of all, I was free of the insane perfectionism that Singaporeans know intimately.
But it’s 1 January, and I’m crying on the bathroom floor. I want to end my life— should I use barbiturates or jump in the path of a moving train? I’ve just returned from three holidays to six countries, yet I’m broken. The strides I’ve made don’t matter. I’m a fraud, I’ve stopped working, and my panic attacks hit like gunfire in a warzone. And I can’t tell anyone, because he’s warned me it’ll “make (him) feel worse”.
What am I doing to trigger his paranoia? I’m so lost in the fog of confusion and terror, I don’t realise I’m accepting more crap as the new normal. So I’ve become an expert at making lemonade out of mouldy lemons. All you need are some preservatives and colouring, right?
It’s 3am on one of the scariest nights of my life. He’s drunk, yelling, and dragging me out of bed. My wallet and keys have been confiscated, but I flee, ignoring his menacing voicemails. My friend replies me. She tells me she’s been watching out for me, because she’s seen his behaviour.
For the first time, I realise I’m not crazy, unlike what he tells me— “It’s episodic, I’ve forgotten about it in the morning but you choose to remember it.” I keep thinking my trauma is my fault— how is it that the standards of compassion and clarity for my clients don’t apply to me?
Our friends set us on a healing journey. As I sit in the client’s chair, I’m no longer in denial about the abuse. I stand up for myself more, reclaiming my power. He makes me pay, but it’s easier to believe it’s my fault he’s no longer the man he first presented himself as.
I make a deal with myself that I’ll tolerate the nonsense as long as I protect myself. After all, he vacillates between “I’m sorry, I need to stop” and “You’re a snob, you’ve changed”, and I greedily gobble up the mere words of the first. I’m exhausted too, and those old stories of abandonment he tells me tugs at my heart. I feel more responsible for his wellbeing than my own.
When I flee again, he says “Now our friends know, you have to make it up to me” and in future I should “just sleep on the bathroom floor”. I go to New York for a business event, and there my panic attacks stop for good; I believe things will improve. But I’m soon either faced with a drunk and high abuser; or a sober one who corners me, interrogates me for taking the trash out, and taunts me “You’re sick in the head. . no one would ever believe you, my friends hate you”.
It’s one night at 2am, and I can’t look at myself in the mirror. I finally utter the words floating in my head— “I’ll be proud of you when your business soars, you lose the weight, and make up your mind about him”. You see, I’ve been eating to escape, and everytime I look at my body, I’m reminded about my situation.
I’ve forgotten how to love myself; I think I don’t deserve it. In my Road to Damascus moment, the tragedy of my belief hits me. So I look at myself and say, “I love you, I’m going to take care of you, we’ll start with losing the weight”.
Starting with a nourishing spice-based diet, I eat full delicious meals. As I release the weight, I release my fear and pain. I do more for myself, and acknowledge the possibility that it isn’t just his substance abuse, perhaps he’s a nasty man. One night, I’m lying next to him and opening Women Who Love Psychopaths on my Kindle. My blood runs cold.
So I walk into the local domestic violence charity, but downplay the details. The policewoman looks me in the eye and says, “You need to leave. You’re at medium risk of significant harm or homicide.” Soon, he shoves me in the stomach twice at 3am; I pack up my entire life in 8 hours.
I think, “If only I was my 20-year old self. Before he corrupted me”. But much as that 20-year old girl seemed happy, she had scars she was ashamed of, which was how he wormed his way in.
So I commit to a pilgrimage of mastery. My life and business start to blossom— premium clients, elevating business relationships, to-die-for media opportunities. I smile again, make new friends and do the things he guilted me into stopping. My waist shrinks to 23-inches whilst I eat chocolate and cake, and everytime I look at my body, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come. I’ve learned to master myself, perform phenomenally, and feel awesome along the journey.
Freedom is sweet, but really, it’s the nectar of self-love. I’m a brighter, stronger, unashamed version of my 20-year old self.
THEY SAY "YOUR MESS IS YOUR MESSAGE".
Here's why telling you my story helps me serve you best.
As I share my story, others come forward and tell me theirs, and the shame we carry hits me. It doesn’t matter if it’s relationships, anxiety, or the belief we aren’t good enough. We whitewash these parts of our life out, like how I did with my perfectionism and panic attacks. But we only have as much room for light as we have for our darkness, or they haunt with a vengeance.
It strikes me that all the supposedly-good things I’ve done— green juicing, sporadic exercising and supplement-popping— were out of fear. FOMO shows up in our rituals, and I was doing those ‘good stuff’ out of a fear of cancer, being fat or bad skin. So I commit myself to being intentional— in everything I do, I set the intention to be good to myself.
Because I give best, when I give from a full cup. And I’m worthy of that full cup.
I learn that mindfulness means nothing without the intention to love myself as a human being— so I can deal when the thoughts and feelings pop up and I feel the urge to sleep. I also learn that for real healing to take place, I need to start showing up from a place of authenticity— owning my story, no matter how terrifying it feels to be vulnerable.
It’s the only way we connect as humans, rather than if I merely cower behind my credentials and skills.
And so I start showing the real me without shame. I love beautiful clothes, delicious food and cats. It’s what makes me me; it’s what people tell me make them decide to work with me. “You radiate real joy, Dr P”, my clients say. I honour my personal journey to wisdom. It’s taught me I serve you best as a real human being.
Psychology teaches us that for the best outcomes, we need to have hope, resilience and the right mindsets.
But it doesn’t tell us how.
My life and work have taught me that we can be rich in financial capital, information and systems, but they’re nothing when not supported by psychological capital— mastering who we are. Our minds, energy, voices, and biographies.
That comes from a deep understanding and acceptance of who we are, and the courage to live our purpose everyday. Whilst being able to play and have passion in our lives. In other words, to be both high-performing and revel in that sense of wellbeing.
So today my work is about growing psychological capital to harvest abundance. It’s the manual to life we never had.
I once thought of myself as a broken vase, shattered into a million pieces. And then I realised that I was an abandoned garden— all I needed to do was nourish the soil and detox the weeds. At my pit, I thought I was dying. Now I realise, I was a seed that was buried, and I’ve flourished into my Jungle of Eden.
And for you, my friend, I want you to know that Eden Is In You, no matter what your story is. You’re the best investment you can make, and in working on yourself, you’ll master who you are.