This weekend I had the privilege of spending time with a group of incredible women who are doing amazing things in this world, sharing their gifts and making an impact. We were in New York City for a fun media event that enabled us to network with each other and to gain some valuable insights from the panel of speakers to take our respective businesses to the next level. While this was an event for entrepreneurs, many of my key observations are directly applicable to the world of health and fitness.
I noticed common themes emerging as we each introduced ourselves.
Some women had previously experienced moments of paralysis because they didn’t feel ready to pitch themselves to the media.
Others were shy/nervous/intimidated about approaching editors at high-profile magazines.
And others hadn’t taken the next step yet because they were waiting for the perfect moment.
There it was. That word.
I felt a surge of emotions in that moment because I understood that feeling all too well.
How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something because you felt that the situation wasn’t ideal, or you worried that you would miss the mark – that it wouldn’t be “perfect”?
Have you stopped yourself from exercising because you wouldn’t be able to get a full workout into your schedule as originally planned? Well, if I can’t do it as planned for the full 30 minutes, then why bother at all?
Have you ever felt discouraged by your results because you felt that your results don’t measure up to those of your friends or to those “perfect” people on Instagram?
These feelings and thoughts are very common. Here’s what you need to know:
- The “perfect” moment will not arrive. The solution is to take the first step toward your goal. And then the next one. And then the next one after that. If you only have ten minutes, take the ten minutes to do a simplified version of what you had planned to do. Your consistent effort and these incremental steps will eventually lead you to your destination.
Don’t compare your Day 1 to someone else’s Day 100. When you’re scrolling through Instagram, it is very easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to the sculpted and tanned bodies that flock your Insta feed. Remember: everyone starts off as a beginner. E-ve-ry-one. This mindset is especially important when forming new habits. As you incorporate something new into your routine, you won’t always “get it right.” You’re still trying to figure out this new routine that incorporates this new habit. Developing habits takes time. Show yourself kindness and grace in this transition period. These sculpted bodies on Insta were achieved after months of dedication and persistence (or in some cases, through advanced Photoshopping techniques. But that’s a topic for another day…)
- Acknowledge your successes throughout your journey. As your body develops and changes during your tween and teen years, it’s important to embrace the changes and acknowledge each success along the way. For example, if you’ve decided to add more fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks, applaud your effort for making this change. Some days you may not follow your new food plan, and that’s okay. It happens. The important thing is to re-focus and try again. The goal is to follow your new food plan most of the time.
When we celebrate girls and women around the world today (and everyday), let’s celebrate them not only for their achievements and their contributions to our lives, but also for being perfectly imperfect.