Take Action Today, No More Waiting

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast I want to strongly encourage you to take the action, even if it is the smallest of steps towards what you really want to achieve.  I hope you go from being perhaps slightly overwhelmed and where do I even start to knowing how you can begin the journey you truly want to embark on and the small steps you will have to take.  Let’s go, girls.

We, as humans, often fail to pursue our dreams, why?  Because we are waiting for the ‘perfect’ conditions to magically appear. 
You say to yourself…

If only I had a little more time…
If only I had a little more money…
If only I had a little more (fill in the blank)…
Well, then I would give it a shot.

Whether it’s starting a workout routine, a new hobby, eating healthier, a walking routine or any kind of exercise for that matter, writing a book, painting a room in your house, reading a book, or any infinite number of things… we can always find a reason to put if off because the conditions or circumstances aren’t just right.

Unfortunately, this is a lie we keep telling ourselves.  There is no perfect time.  There is no perfect place to start from, no optimal jumping off point. And, truth be told, the effort will likely never be perfect, no matter what we do. 

Believing, buying into this lie leaves us with a creeping sense of failure, a sense of unhappiness within us.  It leaves us feeling like we are treading water, working very hard just to keep afloat but never really getting anywhere or achieving anything.

It’s been said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the rings true in the pursuit of dreams and goals as well.  You have to start with a single step. It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other.

Honestly, there’s no other place that you can even start from.  Life will pass you by and you may never take a single step to chase down your dreams if you wait until you are in the perfect place – whether that is physically, mentally or spiritually. 

Today, more than ever, we live in a culture of perfection, so we have to ditch the attitude that our current society leads us to believe.  Far too many times, we are led to believe that only the newest and shiniest is good enough.  This is a lie! 

This is all you can do.  Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s chapter 10.  We are all beginners in everything we start with.  There is and always will be a learning curve involved.  Adopt a growth mindset by seeing activities as learning experiences and ways of figuring out how it can be done, rather than failures or setbacks.  What truly matters is not that your efforts are perfect, but that you made the effort in the first place.  You’re a winner for taking the initial action steps. 

So, let’s look at some scenarios that I see people in.

If your dream or goal was to become a runner, for example.  It’s not realistic to think that you could hit the roads or the trails and complete a 10-km run right from the start.  No, you’d have to start small and work your way up to that distance.

Start where you are – lace up and get at it.  Don’t wait for the perfect weather conditions or the perfect time of day.  Just do it! 
Begin by walk-running and see how that feels.  But if that’s not possible, just start with walking and alternate between slower and slightly faster paces.

Use what you have – I’m sure you have some comfortable clothes and shoes you can walk/run it to get started.  Don’t use the excuse that you don’t own the right equipment.  I hear this a lot.  Sure, it’s a good idea to have proper footwear that supports your feet, knees, legs and hips.  That is one thing I highly recommend owning no matter what.  But people often wait until they have purchased all the seemingly necessary items before they even set foot out of the door.
Do what you can – literally, every step in the right direction is positive here.  Don’t worry if you can’t walk/run as far as you’d like to at the beginning.  The fact that you’re actually taking the first steps toward your new goal of running, is tremendous.  Start small and build on that each and every day.  Keep track so that you can be proud when you look back at your meager beginnings.

Remember:  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your dreams and goals.

Okay, so let’s look at another example because not all of us want to become runners or simply can’t due to physical limitations. 

Many women want to improve their lifestyle and make it healthier, perhaps lose some excess weight and become more toned.  This could mean tweaking their eating habits, incorporating more exercise, improving their sleeping routine, and so on.

If we apply the “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can” to improving your daily nutrition, here’s what you could do in order to take small steps, yet highly impactful.

Start where you are  – decide to make one small tweak or change that will benefit you and your body.  This could be (and I strongly recommend this) hydrating more each day.  Many women underestimate how much water they should be consuming and the health benefits of drinking more, water that is.

Last week I made a post on the Inspiration2grow for Female Goal Getters group page on the advantages of optimal hydration.  There really are so many and it might warrant an episode on its own to talk about this topic.  I feel more energized; my complexion is better; I think it helps detoxify and cleanse my body; it lubricates my joints; it helps my head stay clear.  Whenever I don’t drink enough, I usually experience a bad headache.

There’s a nutritionist from L.A. who I have been following for some time now and she advocates:  water first, veggies most.  She always emphasizes the importance of drinking before eating and during meals as well as tracking your consumption.

Use what you have – everyone has water bottles at home.  You also have water pitchers or simply glasses you could fill and have ready for consumption.  There is no need to buy anything for this.

Do what you can – it may take some time to feel comfortable drinking 3 – 4 litres a day.  Start with a smaller goal if that’s the case.  A fitness expert once suggested taking 10 gulps each time in order to help get in more water.

So, I recommend starting the day by filling a few water bottles and placing them strategically for easy access during the day.  Set a simple goal of drinking (or refilling and consuming) 3 – 4 water bottles a day.  For example, every time to go to the kitchen, drink some water.  Before you begin eating, drink some water.  Every time you open the fridge, drink some water.  Every time you feel hungry, drink some water.

For those of you who don’t LIKE water, you could spruce up your water by adding: cucumbers and lemon, or lime, berries or fruit add a refreshing flavour to water as well.  Experiment and find the taste you enjoy most.

Have a look at your grocery store for the flavoured tea bags for cold drinks. The brand I often buy is Twinings and currently I have the flavours:  strawberry & lemon, mango & passionfruit, watermelon & mint in my pantry.  I love these, both in summer and winter for a slightly different taste to my water. 

Drinking more water is the easiest way to start living a healthier lifestyle.  But it is just one example.

So, let’s turn to starting a fitness/workout routine…

Soooo many people wait, plan, contemplate, wait some more, think about starting, then decide the time is not right or they don’t have all the equipment they need, or they don’t have enough time, waiting for the perfect moment.  It’s never going to happen.  The time is now.  So, let’s press play today.

Start where you are – you may be completely new to the world of working out or you may not have been active for a long time, but you’ll have to start exactly where you are now. 

One word of caution though, if you are totally new to exercise and working out, please consult your doctor or health care professional to get the green light and talk about any restrictions due to conditions you may have.

So, let’s get started.  What are you going to do?  Walk 5 – 10 minutes, bike for 5 – 10 minutes, pick up some free weights and do one exercise of 15 reps to get started?  Maybe you’re like me and want to start with an activity that is easy on your joints – so you decide to get in the pool and take up swimming.  Start there with one lap and increase it each time.

The point is ->  you do you and what feels right for you and your body.  Don’t overdo it.  Take your time and build up to more reps, longer exercise times, more laps of the pool, etc as your fitness journey continues. 

Use what you have – there is no need to head out to the nearest Canadian Tire or Sport Chek and spend money on equipment.  If you wanted to begin strength training program for example, you could use heavier food cans or water bottles as your weights.  There is also a plethora of free exercise routines online you could try – search online or send me an email so that I can recommend a few for you. 

What I am trying to say is that you don’t need a gym membership or fancy home gym equipment to get started.  If you want to graduate to these things after you’ve gained some momentum, that’s great.  But it is not necessary for the beginning stages.

Do what you can – Don’t get discouraged or frustrated with yourself.  Do what your body allows you to do when it comes to exercising.  If you can only walk for 5 minutes, great.  If you can only lift weights for 5 reps, great.  If you can only swim 20 meters to begin with, great.  It’s perfectly okay to feel like a true beginner, because after all, that’s what we all are when we embark on a new journey of any kind.

Just remember:  start where you are, use what you’ve got, do what you can!  That’s the winning formula right there.

Don’t put your life and goals on hold because you are waiting for the ‘magic moment’.

The perfect time does not exist!

Here are my thoughts on this…

“Waiting only attracts more waiting”- but taking aligned action creates results!

The truth is we normalize waiting.

You wait for the perfect time.
You wait until you have all the answers.
You wait until you are confident enough.
You wait until you have the ‘free time’ to do it.
You wait until all of the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted.
You just wait…. and while it feels safe in the waiting there is no growth there.

What most people won’t tell you is that waiting begets more waiting NOT results.

When we wait until all of the stars are aligned in our favour, you could be waiting for your entire life.

Can you relate?

My message for you, ladies, is DO NOT WAIT.

Don’t wait- and put your dreams on hold, because you could be waiting your entire life and that is not a choice you can afford to make!

When you make the first move, a spark of momentum will happen.

With every little bit of action, self-doubt becomes less and less.

Make the decision today to take the first steps in prioritizing your health, your fitness, your mindset, your self-care, and YOURSELF.

This is your chance to create the outcome you desire and deserve.

But it all starts with you, your decisions, and your actions.

Don’t wait. Your time is NOW.
And that’s my message for today, friends.
My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa xoxo

Being a Perfectionist is NOT a Badge of Honour

LISTEN TO PODCAST EPISODE HERE -> https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/BTOQqk9Xtwb

I used to think being labelled as a perfectionist meant you were somehow better than the rest, meticulous and extremely detail-oriented,  always striving to produce perfect work and optimal results in all things.  It was like a medal of honour given to those who only handed in assignments, submitted completed projects, went after their goals when everything was ideal, perfect in all aspects, above reproach, or criticism.  Perfectionists were no strangers to massive success, accolades, credentials and positive outcomes.

Today, I know that being a perfectionist is actually holding people back from achieving their goals and feeling a sense of accomplishment because, for them, nothing is ever good enough, nothing is ever worthy enough, nothing is ever deserving of praise.  They are constantly striving for an unrealistic, unattainable standard and therefore, will never be content.

“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous.  It’s about fear.  Fear of making a mistake.  Fear of disappointing others.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.” ~Michael Law

In my preparation of this topic, I came across a definition of perfectionism that I feel is spot on.

Perfectionism is a set of mental and behavioural habits that insist upon unrealistically high standards for personal conduct and achievement.  Should a person not meet these standards, they may harshly self-critique.  This leads to low self-esteem, procrastination, burnout, and emotional disorders.

Perfectionists have an ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality.  For them, something is either perfect or a failure.

Let’s do a little test to see if you have any perfectionistic traits.


Ø  Are never done. Due to the impossibly high standards, a project is never complete because it doesn’t meet the criteria for “perfect”.
Ø  Are stressed and discontent.  They are constantly worrying about having/doing everything to such a level of perfection and this mindset robs perfectionists of feeling satisfied and fulfilled with their work.
Ø  Have stifled creativity. If you are afraid of failing or being less than perfect, your imagination, creativity as well as innovation necessary for positive change and success are greatly hindered.
Ø  Never take risks. Perfectionists have a deep fear of failure and therefore adopt a mindset of “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I won’t even try.”
Ø  Try to make everybody happy.  Always the people pleaser, always wanting people to think highly of them, the perfectionist views herself as “good” if others like her.
Ø  Are highly critical of others, not just of themselves. 
Ø  Don’t/can’t delegate tasks.  They feel that in order to meet their high expectations, they have to do everything themselves because their way is the only right way of doing a task.
Ø  Personalize everything. They believe in themselves when things are going well and people like them, but any negative feedback is taken personally and is an indication of failure.
Ø  Never take time to rest or play.  They have the attitude, “I will rest or play when the job is done.”  But for perfectionists, the job IS never done, IS never perfect enough, and this often results in burnout.

Perfectionism can be coined: the unproductive mindset.  Why?  Because perfectionists get a job 90% done but due to their obsession with perfection, don’t manage to complete it.  Or, they never begin a task for fear of not being able to meet their high expectations.

Perfectionism is born out of a mindset that requires working hard at all costs.  There is an illusion surrounding perfectionism, “If I don’t work hard enough and demand perfection of myself and my work, then I or my work will be mediocre, at best.”

So, let me refer back to my statement at the very beginning of this episode:  Being a perfectionist is not a badge of honour.

In fact, “Perfectionism is the lowest standard for humans because it doesn’t exist.” ~ Tony Robbins

It is a disguised label for “I am not good enough” and a deep-rooted fear of judgement that is holding us back.

I’d like to challenge you to shift your mindset from perfectionistic behaviour to a ‘go-for-it’ mentality.

For the purpose of this podcast, I would like to touch on 5 ways perfectionism affects our mindset followed by some ways to overcome perfectionism when it’s holding you back with some simple, effective exercises and a bit more awareness.

1.)    Perfectionists set unrealistic expectations.  Harbouring the belief that “you can be perfect at any task” leads to disappointment as well as frustration with the results you get.  Perfectionists believe they can always do better.  This means that the goal or end of the task keeps shifting no matter how they improve.
2.)    Perfectionists have a fear of failure.  Many perfectionists never even start with a new task or hobby for fear of not succeeding at it.  Their anxiety levels are far too high due to not being able to do the task well enough or up to their impossibly high standards.
3.)    Perfectionism causes procrastination.  The pressure a perfectionist puts on him/herself can make that person postpone tasks continually. For such people, the standard is always ‘perfection’ which makes is very challenging to begin or ultimately complete projects.
4.)    Perfectionist often experience burnout.  Being under constant pressure is exhausting. Perfectionists spend a lot of time worrying about the task rather than working on it.
5.)    Perfectionists suffer from low self-esteem. Having high levels of perfectionism may have a significant impact on your self-esteem because you are not appreciating your accomplishments, big or small, up to standard or not.  In these cases, it is very difficult to feel good about yourself.  Over time, this compounds and results in feeling of poor self-worth.

For example, let’s say you worked really hard on a project.  You submitted it and received great feedback, but YOU believe you don’t deserve credit for a job well done because you didn’t perform exactly the way you had envisioned.  Your ‘almost perfect’ project just doesn’t feel fulfilling enough or up to your standards. You aren’t satisfied with yourself and therefore, cannot bask in the glory of doing an awesome job.

Losing confidence in yourself and your abilities is the most detrimental effect of being a perfectionist, in my opinion.  I have seen it over and over again in my work as a mindset and life coach.  Being caught up in the vacuum of perfectionism can be stifling when you strive for something so hard and set the bar so high that you end up sacrificing yourself and your worth in the process.

Once you lose sight of yourself, you begin to feel unsettled and insecure.  In addition, your identity becomes tied to how well you perform tasks, big or small.

The truth is… no one really is perfect.  Everyone one of us has flaws.

Whether you classify yourself as a perfectionist or you are a recovering perfectionist, I would like to walk you through some simple exercises I do with my clients when perfectionism is standing between them and their success.

Step 1:  Becoming aware of your perfectionistic behaviours

If you feel yourself NOT wanting to move forward with something, e.g. your proposal for work is not good enough, your social media post/reel is not good enough, etc.

PAUSE and pay attention to your thought patterns.  WRITE them down in a journal.  RECOGNIZE which thoughts are holding you back, so that you can change the self talk next time it happens.

If I were to take my podcast as an example…
§  A perfectionist would keep pushing back the official launch date, never feeling ready or good enough. 
§  A perfectionist would criticize oneself and knit pick at all the small details, never being fully satisfied with any aspect.
§  A perfectionist would procrastinate about topics to talk about, never settling on one to start with at least.
§  A perfectionist would question the quality of the recordings and the sound of one’s voice, never accepting that things will not be perfect from day one.
§  A perfectionist will keep his/her creativity and message from the world because he/she cannot focus on making progress over having everything perfect from the get go.
§  A perfectionist will plan, dream, work on, hope for starting his/her podcast, but in the end, will not be able to put oneself out there to the world because there will be too many aspects that simple aren’t perfect.

I think you get the picture.
Allowing perfectionism to keep you from following your dreams and chasing after your goals is keeping you small, safe and protected in many ways. 

Step 2:  Start focusing on the positives.

If you find yourself wanting everything to be ‘perfect’, you will likely fixate on the negative parts of your work, your appearance or yourself in some way.  It is extremely important to make a conscious effort to recognize the good.

CHALLENGE yourself to identify 3 things you can appreciate for anything that pops up you are not satisfied with.

My example:  I really dislike my recorded voice.  My podcast script needs this to be perfect.
– I am pleased with my consistency in producing my podcasts.
– I figured the technical side out on my own.
– I love the process of writing and preparing for my daily podcasts.
– I never run out of ideas and concepts for podcast episodes.

Step 3:  Allow yourself to make mistakes

CREATE two cue cards with the following quotes:

* Mistakes are opportunities for me to learn, grow and do better.
* The world will NOT come to an end if I make a mistake.  Life goes on!

CHALLENGE yourself to take on a new hobby or sport that you will likely not be good at at the beginning. Rather than trying to be perfect at this skill, ENJOY the activity itself and be happy with your efforts in slowly learning to improve at it.

Step 4:  Ditch the unrealistic goal setting habit

Perfectionists oftentimes set goals that are completely unrealistic and unattainable to reach, only due to their impossible standards.

SET GOALS that are super simple, specific as opposed to vague, achievable, measurable, and can be completed within the time frame you set for yourself.

By achieving smaller goals, you will gain confidence and feel much less stressed in your abilities to reach them.

Step 5:  Lower the pressure you place on yourself

The person who pressures you the most is yourself!  Be kinder to yourself and give yourself some grace.

The minute you find yourself imposing unrealistic standards, flip the script in your head and remind yourself:  If you’re doing your best, you’re doing just fine.

This step reminds me of children or teenagers before writing a test/exam and after receiving the results back.

->During the preparation, all you can do is review, practice and prepare as best you can.  Whatever the situation is, as long as you are trying your hardest and doing everything in your power to get your mind and skills ready for the upcoming test, you are going to be fine.

->In the situation where you get back the test results and they aren’t as high as you had expected or wanted, you need to tell yourself that the world is not going to come to an end.  Putting in your best effort was the key.  Obviously, there is room for improvement, so find out ways of getting better.  Use this opportunity to grow and learn rather than getting down on yourself for receiving a less-than-stellar mark.

There is no such thing as ‘perfect’ but we can be proud of doing our best.
Step 6: Focus on Enjoyment over Perfection

SHIFT your focus to finding meaning and above all else, enjoyment in what you are doing instead of striving to be perfect.

Again, CREATE a cue card with the words:  As I work on this task (or hobby), I will enjoy the process.  I will relish the small increments of progress I make.  I will start loving the skills I am learning.  I will focus on the present task and do my very best.

If something brings you joy and purpose, it will no longer matter whether it is done with perfection or not.
There is much more fulfillment to be had in finding enjoyment along the way.

Step 7:  Stop the procrastination.

Perfectionists are notorious for procrastinating and finding every excuse in the book to slack off.  We all know the hardest part of any task, big or small, is actually starting.

I think back to my days at school and the pending essay I needed to complete for English class.  3000 words were waiting to be written, formatted, reviewed and checked thoroughly for spelling and grammatic errors, and then submitted for grading.

Here’s my tip for you if procrastination is a real thing in your life:

Just start by creating a rough outline of what needs to be done. Next, take one small action step.  Then, take another.  Before long, the momentum will grow organically and like a snowball rolling down a hill, more and more pieces will fall into place.  Before you know it, the task will be done.
So, there you have it.
… the first seven steps anyone can start doing to combat perfectionistic behaviour and those feelings of not being able to reach the high standards you put yourself under to much pressure to achieve.
Allow me to briefly recap:
As with anything of this nature, it takes a certain amount of conscious effort to realize perfectionism is what is getting in your way AND to take action to see change happen.

I’d really like to challenge you to shift your mindset from perfectionistic behaviour to a ‘go-for-it’ mentality.  Let’s flip the script…

“Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for ‘better than yesterday’.”

Personal growth is about progress, not perfection. ~Hal Elrod

Don’t let perfectionism paralyze you and hold you back from things you want to accomplish.  Strive for continuous improvement and be sure to show yourself some love along the way.  The efforts you are making are votes of confidence in yourself.
Just in case you haven’t heard this yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

I believe in you and I know you have the ability to do great things with your one precious life.  Now, go out and show the world what you are truly made of.

That’s all for today’s dose of motivation.  I hope to have inspired you to grow.

With love,

Lisa xoxo