8 Ways to Let Go of Perfect and embrace your imperfections

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Letting go of perfect doesn’t happen overnight but guess what? It IS possible! Of course you are the only one that sets the bar, it’s all in your head. Yes, it’s real, though no-one else sets your expectations and no one else really knows what goes on inside your head.

Perfect is not achievable and only sets you up to fail. It can be crippling and stop you from achieving. It’s time to let it go! Create the life that is less than perfect and be happier than you thought possible.

Try taking on a new title ‘Aspiring NOT to be superman/woman’. Challenge the thoughts that start with the words ‘I should…’.

Awareness is the first step to solving the puzzle. Be aware of your thoughts, be aware of your self-criticism. Think about yourself as if you were your best friend. Would you speak to your best friend in the way you speak to yourself?

Doing things that you perceive are not perfect can make you feel really inadequate. Or to re-phrase, you allow yourself to feel inadequate. No-one else is putting that pressure on. Are your self expectations achievable, sustainable and manageable?

Here are 8 ways to let go of perfect, helping you let go of stress and anxiety and drop the need for perfectionism. Increasing your energy and zest for life will be the ultimate reward.

1. Notice negative thoughts. We wake up in the morning thinking of the things we have to do and it doesn’t take long for the thoughts of inadequacy to come flowing in. Notice them. Pause. Be aware but don’t buy into them. Learn to laugh at them. Read more here.

2. Praise yourself for the things you DO achieve. Remind yourself every day, you are enough. Right here, right now is where you are meant to be. If you don’t like where you are that’s ok. Change is always possible. Just one step at a time.

3. Repeat daily and often ‘Done Is Better Than Perfect’. This is a great motto to adopt to help you find your awesome. It’s way better to get a task off the ‘to do list’ than to wait until it’s perfect.

4. Schedule your day with realistic expectations. Scheduling can help you realise there are only so many hours in a day and only so much you can achieve. Life is all about the journey and having fun along the way. Schedule in the fun!

5. Take things less seriously. Loosen up. Smile. Often. To let go of perfect we must accept that it’s OK to be imperfect. Imperfection is perfectly ok. You are uniquely imperfect and have so much to offer just as you are.

6. Let go of comparing yourself to others. Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. ‘What other people think is none of your business’. Stop being a people pleaser. Spend that energy working toward pleasing yourself. Doing what you want to do, not what you think you ‘should’ do.

7. Failures are learning experiences. Embrace them. Self criticism can be at it’s worst when things don’t go to plan. When you are striving for perfect, you can feel like you’ve failed on a daily basis. This is not the case! Lower your self expectations and never regret. Failures are just lessons.

8. Drop the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary. ‘If you should have, you would have’. Notice how often you say ‘should’. Re-phrase it to ‘could’, ‘could but chose not to’. Have fun picking up on how many times you say ‘should’. Read more here.

Done really is better than perfect. Let go of perfect. Today. You are enough just as you are. Start by noticing your habits. Awareness is the first step. If you already have awareness, it’s time to work on creating some new habits.

You are a whole lot of awesome. Believe it.

ACTION At the end of your day, write down 3 things you liked about yourself that day. There will be at least three things. Make it a new habit.

 

How to conquer climbs (on and off a bike)

How to conquer anything in life requires us to face our fears. Whether it’s climbing a hill on a bike when you’ve never done it before. Or you’ve done it and didn’t make it the first time. Conquering stuff will only happen if we make an effort to try it in the first place. And if it doesn’t work the first time to get back up and try it again.

‘What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything?’ ~ VINCENT VAN GOGH

A hill climbing challenge is happening at my local Mountain Bike Club. I live where it’s fairly flat. There’s one big hill, ‘College Hill’, and it’s a challenge. Eroded and rocky, smooth in parts. Super steep in parts. A little downhill section on the way up. It takes around 5 -6 minutes to climb on a mountain bike if your’e pedalling constantly.

It hurts. Your legs scream. Your lungs scream.

Your front wheel wants to lift off the ground. Your back wheel sometimes loses traction. You have to pick a line, because of the erosion. You don’t always make it up in one hit.

Why bother conquering this hill? Because the downhill run is awesome. Because the adrenalin stays with you for days – making it to the top (even if you can’t keep pedalling all the way). Because the view is deluxe, especially at dawn and dusk. And because if you can conquer climbs like this, it can teach you how to conquer any curveball life throws at you.

Grab your smartphone or a pen and paper and type/write down your excuses.

Invalid reasons that are purely excuses and won’t get you places; I’m not fit enough. I hate climbing. I won’t make it. I’ll embarrass myself. I’m scared of downhills. I need a better bike. It will hurt.
Valid reasons; I’m in Sydney. I have 7 kids to look after. I have broken ribs/neck/back.

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The only way to get better at something you don’t think you’re good at is to keep doing it. The only way to conquer something you’ve never tried before is to show up.

I’ve chatted to lots of people at the top of College Hill and not one person has said they wished they stayed at home. The smiles on their faces speak volumes!

My first attempt was amusing (in hindsight). I hadn’t been mountain biking long. I cried. I swore. I pushed my bike most of the way. I went back for more. It wasn’t easy but it was fun and with persistence you can achieve anything. The only way to overcome your fears is to face them, head on.

It’s a whole lot of awesome.

‘It will hurt. But it won’t kill you’ ~ MARCUS SPEED

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Climbing hurdles to find the magic

‘Do what you love, love what you do’. Such a simple motto, not so simple to put into practice. Life gets busy. We find ourselves on autopilot and before we know it another Christmas is looming. Another Birthday. Another year of not loving what we do.

I’m passionate about self-nourishment and have always loved sharing my passion with others. I’ve just never known how to turn it into a business, how to take that next step.

Last year I took the plunge and booked myself a ‘Discovery Session’ with Kate James, whilst I was in Melbourne for a conference. In this 3 hour session delving deep within my soul, Kate asked me to come up with one thing I could do to kick start ‘The Lilac Lounge’, having already started (and then stopped) blogging. A workshop, was my response and we set a timeframe. Four months (with Christmas in the middle). It seemed super exciting at the time, four months was ages away.

Back home, I mentioned my goal over a cuppa with my awesome friend, mentor (and prior business coach) Kylah Morrison from Zest e-Biz.

‘Let’s do it’ Kylah said, ‘Together’.

And so the journey began. We set a date. We found a location. We climbed hurdles, questioned our sanity and moved outside our comfort zone. At the end of February 2015 we held our first one day Retreat, ‘Manifesting Wellness and Direction in 2015’. The Retreat was a huge success; it was a sell out and we had a wait list.

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Numerous times along the way we thought of not doing it. Trying to fit in the extra work to make it happen, in our already busy lives was tough going. We held each other accountable and jumped each hurdle as it came up, some bigger than others.

‘What’s the worst thing that can happen?’ became our mantra.

Together, Kylah and I created a beautiful workbook and visual presentation. I created food to nourish the wonderful souls that attended the retreat, food full of deliciousness. Kylah organised the tech stuff and creative activities for the day. We turned up with everything we needed and with the help of fabulous friends and family, set the scene for a day of fun, laughter and self discovery.

I can’t put into words the feeling of euphoria we both had at the end of our first retreat. The feedback was fantastic.

The whole experience was liberating and a perfect reminder that following our passions will bring us joy, in bundles.

Because it was such a wonderful experience we’re about to do it all again, ‘Manifesting Wellness and Direction for the rest of 2015’ on June 27th. No doubt there’ll be more hurdles and we will question our sanity as we prepare for the day. But I know for a fact that moving outside our comfort zone really is where the magic happens. Try it for yourself, what’s the worst thing that can happen?!

To be a part of the June retreat email amanda@thelilaclounge.com saying ‘yes please’ and we’ll send you an invoice via Paypal to register.

Join us and find your awesome!

 

7 ways to overcome fear and anxiety before a big event

It doesn’t matter what the event is; a sporting event, a job interview, your own wedding, a public speaking engagement. Big events can be overwhelming, if we let them. There will always be anxiety in anticipation, that is normal. It’s how we manage that anxiety and fear that makes the difference. Lots of techniques are available to store in our toolbox of life and grab a hold of (for dear life) when we most need them.

1. Accept that you will feel fear and anxiety  

This is truly normal! Waking up in the morning and having to go to the loo more times than is usual is normal before a big event. Acceptance is the key.

2. Learn some pre-big event breathing techniques

When you feel that total overwhelm where the negative thoughts are all consuming and you feel like doing a runner, take a moment to focus on your breath and listen to the sounds around you. In, out – breathe very slowly without holding tension between the in and the out breath.

3. Meditation is really, really helpful

Meditation the night before and the morning of your big event can help calm your mind and body beyond your wildest dreams. It has a remarkable positive effect and is well worth mastering. You can read more about meditation here.

4. Visualise how you want things to go

If you haven’t quite got a handle on meditation yet (it’s not as scary as it sounds) find a quiet spot and close your eyes. Set your timer on your phone if you like, just for a minute or two. Visualise everything going perfectly at your event and embrace how you are feeling afterwards. Picture yourself going through the motions from arrival to the finish. Focus on having great body posture and remember to breathe.

5. Have trust and faith in your preparation

Big events don’t usually come before you overnight. Have faith and trust in your preparation. If it’s a sporting event, know that your training will help you. If it’s a speech or a job interview, be prepared. Preparation is the key. If you are prepared, be confident. If you haven’t prepared, what’s the worst that can happen? A reminder to prepare in advance next time.

6. What other people think is not your problem

We can never know what other people are thinking (unless they tell us) so worrying and predicting what it might be is fruitless. You can read more about not worrying about other people’s thoughts here. Comparing ourselves to others is fruitless too. We are all unique and accepting yourself for who you are has a remarkable outcome.

7. ‘Be confident’, ‘Be Confident’, ‘Be confident’!

Keep these two words at the very front of your mind, before and during your event. ‘Be confident’. Think positive thoughts. The negative thoughts will always be there but you can learn to manage them (more about managing negative thoughts here), push them aside and replace them with the good stuff.

Enjoy yourself. Moving outside your comfort zone really is where the magic happens.