45: Can You Glow In The Dark? Feeling Perfect In Your Imperfection with Katie DePaola

Welcome to the 45th Episode of the Curiously You podcast with Professional Certified Coach and CEO of Inner Glow Circle, a coach training and business development company for female leaders. In today’s episode Katie and I are discussing if it possible to glow in the dark, and show up each day fully embodied as who we are even though we are all imperfect beings with imperfect lives!

Katie is a recovering perfectionist and shares what it means to embrace the imperfect. She shares her story of experiencing trials in her life that could easily have caused her to shrink away, or give up on dreams, but instead she chose to grow and continue to glow even though times were dark and difficult.

We dive into the disempowering nature of the word “should” and what instead feels more expansive, as well as managing your way through anxiety and depression with greater ease, tuning into your intuition when making decisions in your life.

You’ll love this episode if you:

  • Feel paralysed by your perfectionism and want to know how to live with it while working through releasing it.
  • Wonder if you can still glow brightly during challenging times.
  • Feel called to dive more deeply into your intuition, learn to surrender, and trust yourself (over seeking validation from others).

Time Stamped Note

[3:51] Katie has been coaching for a little over 5 years now. This work is very close to her heart and she’s been able to grow and scale her business. She has attracted a ton of amazing and dynamic women. What is their commonality? They tend to be recovering perfectionists. They are learning to – as Katie puts it – “glow in the dark”.

Two years ago, she got hit with a couple of challenges around her health, including chronic Lyme disease, which went undiagnosed for 12 years until January 2014. She went through 3.5 years of treatment for the disease. Then sadly, three months after she launched her company Inner Glow Circle her youngest brother passed away in his sleep from an accidental overdose. She also broke up with her ex, who was involved with her company, and to whom she was engaged.

The trifecta of disease, death and divorce was deeply difficult for Katie. And yet her path has been to keep growing and glowing.

[7:46] Katie believes that you have to surrender so much to God, the Universe and to yourself. Katie’s company teaches other women to grow as coaches and entrepreneurs. She doesn’t believe in niching as much as other people do, instead your ideal client – and your people – will be guided to you with ease, and vice versa.

There are so many women out there who have been through some really hard times. Those are the women who have worked really hard to keep going and glowing. This is the woman who speaks to Katie. There’s been a magical experience for her that she can’t claim as intentional – the women that she is supposed to work with have been bought into her world.

Katie is no longer attracted by perfectionism. She prefers honesty, truth, imperfection and grit. The people in her life whom she has made the most impact upon are those with whom she has been honest. She used to be reluctant to share her trust and so drew a boundary between herself and her clients. Now that more time as passed, she has learned to speak what she terms the “truth truth”, which touches others deeply.

[11:36] Katie’s family is very straight-forward, honest, and have minimal space for BS. In some ways, Katie had the hardest time with the death of her brother. Her depression was so bad that she couldn’t function and, in hindsight, a lot of that was due to simultaneous troubles in her romantic relationship. Her friends and parents advised her to move on from her ex, and she had to start navigating through that process.

Katie believes that anything that comes after “should” is a lie. We have to constantly be in the mode of self-correcting with the word “should.” We have to start seeing all that isn’t “perfect” in our lives as perfect in order to move forward.

Katie chose to keep going although life was perfectly imperfect.

[15:42] Katie uses the example of “I should go to the gym today,” and corrects it to “I could go to the gym today,” which plays into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques. This helped Katie the most, and it is what she teaches within Inner Glow Circle.

We can get trapped in the “should”. Yet, when we change our “should” to “could” – or to choice – it gives us more power and freedom. Should is put upon from outside ourselves: we have either inherited or absorbed it. Language is very important, and Katie is constantly calling her clients out on how they talk to themselves.

Part of why Katie is such a good teacher is because she feels she is such a bad learner. When she is in a place of “should”, one of the things she does is “take the temperature” of how she is feeling, for example, anxious or depressed. As she starts to push the edges of these emotions, she starts to re-experience outlooks and ways of being that she thought she was done with.

Now, she makes sure she doesn’t take her temperature on how she feels about life, God, or her business on an emotionally “bad” day. She will wait until it passes.

[20:17] Katie’s brother struggled a lot towards the end of his life with drugs, alcohol and self medication. He was diagnosed with bi-polar and when he was younger, and he had anxious tendencies.

After her brother was diagnosed, Katie became very aware of her own extreme emotional patterns: high highs and low lows. The Lyme disease being out of her system, was a huge part of that and she is conscious to keep “a clean vessel”.

As spiritual beings we have a natural ability to get high on an idea, we feel excited and guided to out next step in life. Part of Katie’s practice is sitting with ideas and choosing her next step intuitively. She makes sure her body feels good when she makes big decisions.

Katie talks about her experiences with Lyme disease and her past unhealthy relationship and highlights how important it is to be grounded in your body when you make decisions. Ask yourself, “what’s helping me, what’s serving me, and what’s distracting me?” and, “are you using perfection to procrastinate?”

If it wasn’t for her co-founder, Olivia Chapman, at Inner Glow Circle who helps her feel balanced, Katie would be struggling a lot more with those questions.

[29:40] Katie talks about her childhood and how she coped with any dysfunction through perfectionism. She didn’t want to disappoint, she was fearful of her father and she wanted to do well. Perfectionism creates a high level of attachment, which is distracting and won’t help you build your business or relationship.

We can teach ourselves to surrender and trust – whether it be God, the Universe, yourself or other people. That has been the biggest thing. She has a “no chaos,” policy when it comes to her growth. She is committed to her success, over her perfectionism.

[36:17] Katie talks about how surrender happens many times during the day for her, and how she deploys healthier coping mechanisms. The most effective of all is to let things go throughout the day, as a practice.

She highlights an important distinction between being unattached, which as a healthier, lighter connotation to it, and being detached, which feels unhealthy. She talks about being unattached to outcomes and holding it in the highest regard and the highest space of desire.

A mantra she uses is, “this, or something better.” You can have a great idea for a business or a product, but it doesn’t mean that thing is going to help you feel the way you want to feel. How you feel is what will lead you back to your heart.

[43:23] You don’t have to destroy your perfectionism – the freedom is in surrendering your perfectionism. Being happy is more important to Katie than being perfect; she wants to feel amazing and live her purpose. No one else cares if you’re perfect or not – it’s really only you. If you actually want to create in life, you have to surrender.

[50:09] You don’t want to skip over your feelings, this is called Spiritual bypassing. This is essentially you not doing the work, and not walking the plank. You have to feel into whatever is present to you in each moment.

When Katie was growing up there wasn’t much space for this kind of reflection. There was a fear that if they got stuck in their feelings, they’d stay there. As a woman, she has taught herself how to feel whatever she is feeling. She also knows intellectually, she is not going to be there forever and that the feeling will pass through her and that there will be a new unfolding on the other side.

[52:58] Katie is playing with the concept of loving and losing. We have all these stories and these attachments of how life should be and should look. Should is a lie and perfectionism is a distraction. We can be where we are and utilise the hard parts of life to create more beauty and freedom.

Katie has reached a place of gratitude about her brother’s passing. It’s not to say that she’s happy or grateful her brother died, rather she is grateful for the learning that has arisen after. She believes that we can still be in relationship with people who have passed away, and she receives guidance and signs from her brother in so many different ways.

When there is a loss, something else is opening and becoming and available to you. In time, you will reach a place of acceptance and celebration because of loss, which feels radical and life changing. It requires you to surrender what you see as perfect.


Katie is a PCC certified life and business coach, Founder and CEO of Inner Glow Circle, the world’s premier coach training  and business development company for female leaders. She is a highly intuitive entrepreneur, believes in the power of sisterhood, and knows that her purpose is to solve the problems of today’s spiritual woman.

Female entrepreneur and considering becoming a coach, or upping your coaching game and business growth?

I personally have experienced 6 months of coach training with Katie and Inner Glow Circle and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.

Connect with Katie here to discuss further:

Katie DePaola | Inner Glow Circle | Facebook | Instagram

Katie’s Favourite Books:

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

The Artist’s Way: A Course of Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self by Julia Cameron

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shoda Rhimes

Curious Question

Katie often speaks about speaking and being the Truth. But she goes even deeper with this to reach the Truth Truth.

What is your Truth? If you peel back a few more layers you will arrive at your Truth Truth.

What have you uncovered? Let us know in the comments!

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Thank you for tuning in curious friends, and thank you Katie for joining us on the show this week and showing us we how to glow in the dark!

Until the next episode, take care of yourself.


Jen x

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Hi Curious Friends!
I’m Jen, and Curiously You is a safe space for you to move past who you “should” be and step into who you are!

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