#NotPerfect

I started using this hashtag in my “March Madness: Making it (Mildly) Healthy” fitness group. The idea behind it is to focus on progress and consistency, while neglecting the notion that we’re a failure if we slip with nutrition or workouts.

progress (1)

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot. In addition to nutrition, I’ve caught myself trying to be “perfect” in several other areas: Acting goals, finances, and balancing a work/social life to name a few.

Here’s the biggest problem with being perfect: It doesn’t exist.

There’s always something we can do make our situation, our goals, or our lives even better. Going after perfection just sets us up for failure, which ends up hurting our self esteem.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from creative career coach Dallas Travers. (And I’m really excited about the #AgentEquation series that she’s starting next week. Feel free to join me and connect in the facebook group!) She suggested we go about our goals in a way that makes us feel good – not necessarily the “right” way. When we focus on how we want to feel, it changes the game. We can bend the rules or approach our goals in a different direction that we might have originally pursued. This is much more fun than listening to what the negative voice told us.

Not only that, taking action feels good! In his book “Goals,” Brian Tracy talks about how gratifying it is when we complete a task. We’re literally releasing endorphin’s each time we finish something (I know, right?)

So how am I going about this #notperfect concept myself? Here are a few examples:

-I haven’t gone through all of my latests posts, but I’m fairly positive I’ve blogged about this topic a dozen times. Yet, it’s Friday and I have yet to post. This is what’s on my mind and it’s what I want to share. #notperfect

-Speaking of which, I used to blog weekly on Tuesdays. Since last fall, I’ve been inconsistent with days, and even missed a week here and there. #notperfect

-I made this very imperfect video for the Thriving Artist Circle page yesterday. It’s most definitely #not perfect.

I’m not perfect. I think it’s important to share our “imperfections” with others. No one can relate to perfect people because they don’t exist. More importantly, each time I write a blog, make a video, or complete a task, I get the endorphin rush and immediately feel better than I did before. I’d much rather feel happy doing things imperfectly rather than not doing them at all.

What can you do today to get that endorphin rush?

Go get ’em, friends.

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That Negative Voice Inside Your Head

Let’s talk about that pesky negative voice inside your head.

Voices in my head (Steve B)

You can tell the “great ideas” voices they can stay. 

You know that guy (or girl) who keeps telling you that you’re not good enough? That you’re not capable of losing weight? That you’ll never be the type of person who can eat healthy five days out of the week? Or that you’ll never be able to achieve financial freedom because being a starving artist is just “part of the job?”

Tell him to shut up.

Tell him that you’re taking control. This might be hard for some of us who have a really pesky guy telling us lies right now.

(Seriously. My guy keeps telling me it’s okay to eat that chocolate bar I’ve been saving. And that I’ll never have a rockin’ body. #lies)

Here’s the tricky part: Sometimes this voice is sneaky. He gets so subtle in the ways he plants ideas and thoughts into our brains that we think they’re perfectly legit. I mean, why would there be a tiny person in our heads? That’s just silly….okay yes, it is silly. And it’s much easier to believe that we’re incapable or unworthy of achieving our big and scary goals

Allow me to share some of my own examples from this week:

**

Me: Oh man! Courtney Rioux posted this sweet vlog last week. It lead to a bunch of “aha” moments that I could write about all day! I should share this concept and what I learned from it with the rest of my friends.

Pesky negative voice: Really Tony? Think about that for a moment: You’re going to write a blog about a vlog. And you’ve already shared it, like, five times already. Plus lots of your friends already know Courtney. This is a terrible idea.

Me: Oh wow. I guess you’re right.

**

Me: Oh man! I have another chance to book work for tomorrow. Unfortunately I scheduled an important phone call. I’ll have to politely turn it down.

Pesky negative voice: Really Tony? That person you need to call doesn’t need to talk to you. Yes, you made a commitment to chat with them. But you’re really being a failure with your finances by turning down work. Just remember you did this when you’re broke next month and complaining that you can’t do anything fun.

Me: Oh wow. I guess you’re right.

**

Me: Oh man! I’d love to do something fun within the next few days. Even if it’s low key.

Pesky negative voice: Really Tony? You don’t deserve to do anything fun. Get back to work and pretend like you’re being productive again.

Me: Oh wow. I guess you’re right.

**

That last example may have been a little extreme. I wanted to share that one because on really bad days, that voice can be very convincing by saying very little.

Start to recognize the negative voice in your own head. Figure out what areas he is affecting your confidence. Remember that HE ISN’T REAL and that you’re an awesome, amazing human being.

Who are you not to be

I shared this on my facebook page yesterday. ERIC THOMAS is my favorite. He’s inspired me to the point where I listen to him every morning….and again at night.

While I find his messages incredibly powerful, perhaps you don’t. That’s okay. If this is the first you’ve heard of him, it’s harder to relate.

Perhaps you can relate to me a little better. And if that’s the case, hear my message:

You matter. You’re amazing. Don’t you dare let anyone else tell you otherwise – real or not 🙂

Go get ‘em, friends.

How Being Healthy Caused Me Extra Stress

Many of you know that I’m a health and fitness accountability coach. I started a year ago and couldn’t be more grateful. I’m helping others, plus am constantly learning about workouts and nutrition.

Prior to this, I did the whole gym thing. For some, this is exactly what they need. For me, I was guessing (and mainly guessing wrong). I knew very little about weights or cardio. I didn’t know anything about nutrition. Forget about those abs I had wanted since forever.

Fast forward to today: I workout from home. I love my body. My nutrition plan is my favorite. And I recently got abs. So like, I’m pretty sexy now.

…I mean, I don’t look like Shaun T.

Shaun T

The rest of the body though? Oh that’s so me. Particularly the facial hair…#notreally

While I’m thrilled with how far I’ve gotten, it hasn’t been an easy journey. Eating clean takes a lot of work and preparation. Getting in my workouts sometimes means waking up extra early. I also took on some harder goals: Avoiding food three hours before bed, plus saved cheat days to just once a week.

This became easy enough when I didn’t have anything going on. I quickly learned, however, this was increasingly difficult on days where I had to, like, be a real person and leave the apartment. I refused to accept this as a day of adjustments. Not getting in my “perfect Tony routine” meant failing – which led to lots of stress and frustration.

I started avoiding the outside world. I was socializing less and rarely submitted for work – the kind that was, you know, paying my bills.

Granted, I was in the best shape of my life. But I was also pretty miserable.

Poster

I most certainly could have used more of this….

There’s a rumor going around that once we reach a certain point in our careers or lifestyle that we’ll all of a sudden be happy. Unfortunately, this rumor is false. (And if you know who started it, send them to me right away…) By putting our happiness on hold, we’re likely to feel unsatisfied as we start accomplishing our goals.

Should you ever find yourself in a situation similar to mine, here’s what I recommend:

1) Make happiness a priority. I wanted abs because I learned having a body I’m proud of makes me happy. Yet I finally had abs and was very much not happy. What could you be doing as you go about your goals to keep you happy?

2) Avoid perfection. Perfection is dumb. And it doesn’t exist. What areas could you allow yourself to be a little more laid back in? Want to know another cool trick? Failure actually helps us get better.

3) Learn to appreciate the journey. It’s not always about the final destination. Sometimes there is no destination – it’s literally a lifelong road!

Keeping all this in mind, enjoy the process. Seek failure. And then call me so we can eat chocolate together. (This has been sitting in my bag since Friday….)

2015-03-11 15.57.42

Go get ‘em, friends.

How We Can Relate to “Perfect,” Successful People

Ever tried to relate to someone successful?

me - blog

No, no, sorry. I mean someone really successful?

Papi

Anyone else excited for baseball season? (Picture from facebook.com/davidortiz)

There we go.

I love reading books by inspiring authors and listening to powerful speakers. Yet I’ve been guilty of just “hearing” their messages in the past without fully digesting their message. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

I find there’s a couple reasons why we can’t relate to some of those incredible, ridiculously successful people:

They seem perfect. Their level of success is more than “I quit my day job.” They did quit their day job. Then made six plus figures at their dream job, plus have a drink waiting for them upon entering Starbucks. Sometimes it’s hard to relate when we’re still waiting tables, plus get our names spelt wrong on our coffee cup.

They seem condescending. Take Eric Thomas, for example. He doesn’t just share his message. He shouts it. And he’s not afraid to call you out on your poor habits. When we hear a lot of messages like these, we sometimes take it personally. Kind of hard to listen to a message when we’re busy being offended.

Here’s the thing: Whether it’s in a classroom, at a presentation, or in our apartment as we’re reading, there’s a powerful message being delivered to our ears. Yet when we think about those themes I just mentioned, we’re really replying with “You’re too perfect for me to relate to” or “You’re being mean, so I don’t want to listen.” Kind of a negative response, isn’t it? But let’s not kick ourselves for our thoughts. That would be silly. Instead, let’s refocus them.

Think about this instead:

They’re trying to help. They didn’t just roll out of bed thinking, “Maybe I’ll go onstage today and tell people how to be better.” They’ve dedicated their lives towards helping others. They don’t just want to help – they need to!

They’re genuinely concerned for us. Many of the best speakers and authors went through some kind of struggle – usually a big one. The “harshness” of their tone or message isn’t because they’re mad that we’ve slacked or neglected our goals. Rather, it’s because they don’t want us to go through what they went through.

They’re like, really excited. Again, they do what they do for a living is because they need to. Yes, it’s also what they love. Combine the two and you’ll get a very excited person who can’t wait to share their message.

“But Tony, what if I really don’t relate to this successful person?”

The cool thing is that there are a lot of speakers and authors out there. It’s all about finding which one best relates to you in terms of style and personality. What also helps is learning about their past and upbringing. While I didn’t always love Eric Thomas, I become much more attached to his work after learning about his story.

As you learn from other successful and inspiring people, remember that they’re trying to help. Start looking for which ones have a style or story that relates to your own.

And then….start your own journey. Maybe you’ll be able to inspire others in your own way 🙂