178: Mel Burt-Gracik – On How to Overcome Perfectionism

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Mel Burt-Gracik – Management Consultant, Career Transition Coach, Speaker- is authentically herself. Mel helps managers lead their teams better in the work environment. Her goal is to help her clients say, “I look forward to coming to work everyday.”

Mel aims to create psychological safety at work in a way where individuals emotional needs are not just recognized – they are embraced. She knows first hand how failure is not a bad thing – it is just another stepping stone on the pathway to success. Ditching perfection, Mel chooses to always own who she is which ultimately shines through her craft.


I started saying to myself when I would experience that high of ‘aw I did something great, somebody loved me,’ I am no more full of worth right now than I was 10 minutes before I did that thing.
— Mel Burt-Gracik



There was a specific episode from the Netflix show Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. It was episode 17 from season 1 at about 15 minutes in that features a conversation between Jerry Seinfeld and Kramer. To summarize – Kramer had some drama a few years ago where he basically freaked out on stage and was not kind to someone in the audience. They talk about it on this episode and there was this vulnerability, sweetness and real friendship to their conversation. At one point, Kramer says to Jerry, “Thank you for sticking by me because I was struggling a lot and it came out and it was a horrible moment for me.” Then Jerry says, “Of course, of course, I love you.”

This conversation just had so much heart and was totally unexpected. These conversations are often about superficial stuff happening but every once in awhile they get to a great little nugget about who they are as human beings and so that moment really stood out to me.


“The Oscar performance of ‘This Is Me' by Keala Settle. This song really is what I wanted to share with you in my story today which is allowing yourself to be fully who you are. Bravely putting yourself out there and putting your foot down on the ground, saying F you. If you don’t love me that is too bad because I do, and I am not going to let the haters stop me from expressing myself. I am going to choose to love me! Here I am, take it or leave it! That song didn’t win but to me it felt like it did in terms of that performance.”