Done Is Better Than Perfect

I want to be clear for a second here. 

Simply because I preach about the idea of being braver, doesn’t mean I have it all figured out. 

I preach what I am practicing myself. 

And being brave enough to move beyond perfection is one of those things I’m still working on. 

On Monday, it was #wethenorth day. Well over two million people attended the parade and the celebrations that ensued at our famous Nathan Phillips Square downtown Toronto in honour of the NBA Champions our amazing Raptors! (I still have FOMO as I write these words!) 

Instead of being a part of the festivities, I was at Starbucks working on my powerpoint presentation for a talk I’m giving in Las Vegas at the annual SHRM convention next week. 

Now the deck was almost complete, and yet I was making tweaks here and there, changing the sizes of fonts, switching some of the graphics. Really, I was fiddling unnecessarily.

Why? 


In that moment I allowed my inner recovering perfectionist to come out. I didn’t feel it was ‘perfect’ enough.

As a result, I missed out on a day to go down in history.

And ummm, I LOVE parades! 

Here’s the thing, I am STILL making changes to that presentation, and likely will up until the day before I present.

Is it going to get closer to being perfect the more I work on it?

What does perfection even mean, anyway?

Funny you should ask. 

Here is the definition:

per·fec·tion

/pərˈfekSH(ə)n/

Noun
the condition, state, or quality of being entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings

How is that even possible?!?

I don’t know about you, but it seems a pretty tall order to be entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings. Especially when it comes to something we want to create, the job we are hoping to land, the regular workout routine we want to stick to, the loving relationship we are striving for. How can anything when it comes to real people’s actions and behaviours be without any flaws… I mean we’re human after all, right?

And yet, unfortunately perfectionism is what prevents far too many women from starting the thing before they feel ready, going after the job they really want, doing the thing that really scares them. 

What’s more, far too many women take pride in being perfectionists! They wear it as a badge of honour. And if we’re talking about being braver, as I’ve written and spoken about before, perfectionism is one of the biggest bravery killers! 

Of course we are going to make mistakes every now and again. It’s how we learn. And quite frankly, life would be pretty boring if everyone had everything figured out all of the time!

And so, instead of aiming for perfection – which is an ideal that doesn’t even exist and therefore will inevitably evoke disappointment anyhow – let’s instead be okay with a little bit of imperfection.

Fellow speaker and friend Jessica Pettit is in town from California right now and staying with me. Her company is called ‘Good Enough Now’ (Now if perfection did exist, that name would be it!) Over the past few days we’ve had some very interesting conversations on this very subject. 

Maybe along our journey to be perfect we’ve forgotten to be real, to be human, and to recognise we are good enough now, exactly as we are. 

My presentation is good enough now.

The project you are working on right now is good enough now.

YOU are good enough now. 

Moreover, imperfect action is better than no action at all. 

And done is better than perfect!

Have you been putting off taking that first step for fear of it not being perfect, or you not being perfect?

Have you been procrastinating completing that project or thing in case it is not perfect? 

Have you been stuck in perfectionist paralysis instead of trying the something you’ve been thinking about and might end up really loving, or sharing the thing with the world that may really make a difference?

I just did a once over of my presentation, and I’ve decided I will not be making any more changes to it. 

It is good enough now.

And indeed done is better than perfect. 

What is something you are currently working on that is also good enough now? How are you going to apply ‘done is better than perfect’ to something this week? I want to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a FAB week!


Is it Time For a Little Cheerleadership in Your Life?

Happy Friday!

And, ummm, I only feel it apropos to say a HUGE congratulations to The Toronto Raptors for bringing home the NBA championship for the first time in history! YAHOO!!!

Wow… 

I can still hear the echoes of the honking and the screaming and the chanting and the cheering that took place well into the wee hours of the morning.

I did watch the exciting game, and had no choice but to venture out into the streets to make my way home… and ended up getting caught in the masses for longer than intended.

The streets were packed! And people were everywhere.

Although if I’m honest I didn’t really mind having to walk through the craziness. In fact, I quite enjoyed the energy, the buzz, the celebration. 

The whole city was coming together to cheer and to celebrate the hard work and the final win of Canada’s NBA team, our beloved Raptors. They were the true definition of a high performance team, and no one can argue they were truly deserving of the title.

Throughout the season, and especially during the playoffs, this city – and country at large – somehow came together, and we were cheering for a common cause. And it was powerful. 

Sometimes I think I missed my calling. 

Without wanting to brag or boast, I’m pretty sure I would’ve made a pretty amazing cheerleader! 

I wouldn’t have liked the outfits, but I do love me a good cheer (and luckily I find ample excuses to bring them out ~ especially my all time fave, the banana cheer!) 

Yet in all seriousness, there is something powerful about the idea of cheerleading, and what it represents. 

I’m even working on a concept called cheerleadership, as I think a very big and important part of leadership is lifting up and championing those around you. 

Yesterday I had the honour of attending the WNORTH conference in Toronto – for female leaders in the corporate world. As they described it, a global gathering of women on the rise. And it was an inspiring and impactful day. 

One of the panels was on sponsorship. They explored the differences between mentorship and sponsorship, and had a conversation around why sponsorship is so critical especially for women who want to advance in their careers. 

According to a Gallop survey, when you have someone at work who has your back, who you can trust, and who will support you – you are happier, more productive, and the organization also ultimately benefits. 

We all need champions and cheerleaders in our life. 

And we can all be champions and cheerleaders for each other, as well as for ourselves. And we need to be.

So I shall keep it short and sweet this week, and leave you with these three questions to ponder.

  1. Who do I know that I could be a cheerleader for?
  2. Do I need more cheerleaders in my life? And if so, who do I know that would make a good cheerleader for me?
  3. How can I be a better cheerleader for myself?

Perhaps it’s time to get your BRĀV on and start shaking those pom poms!

May you continue to celebrate the Raptors big win this weekend, and may you continue to find reasons and people to cheer on this week!

Carol 

Reflections on The Regrets of the Dying…

T

Do you know the most common regret of the dying?  “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Bronnie Ware spent years working in palliative care, caring for patients at the end of their lives. She wrote an incredibly moving article – which has now become a best-selling memoir – entitled ‘Regrets of The Dying.’ And her experiences and findings are moving, thought provoking, powerful.

If you haven’t already read this article, you need to. And even if you haven’t yet, I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve read or heard or thought about the shift in perspective that takes place when people are facing the end of their lives. (And if you really want to be moved, check out The Last Lecture with Randy Pausch, it’s also pretty darn powerful…)

Not to go all morbid on you or anything, but one day you and I will be in this exact situation, looking back on our life and reflecting on how we chose to spend it. 

And I really hope neither one of us will have any of the following most common regrets that came up:

  1. I wish I had lived a life true to myself, instead of one others expected of me.
  2. I wish I had worked less.
  3. I wish I had allowed myself to be fully self-expressed.
  4. I wish I had stayed better in touch with my friends. 
  5. I wish I had allowed myself to be happier.

Sharing vulnerably here, one of my own biggest challenges is living my life true to me. Not only because of others’ expectations, or others’ expectations I have chosen to take on, but also because of the expectations I have placed on myself. 

Yup, I thought I would be in a very different place in my life right now. 

I thought I’d be married. Have a couple of kids. A dog. Maybe even a house with a white picket fence. (Actually, I’ve never really wanted a white picket fence, but I did want a front porch with a swing… still do!) 

And yet, I have very few regrets with how I have chosen to live my life up to now. 

And I hope it remains that way for the rest of my life.

But in order for that to happen, I have to live my life my way. I have to be me, and attempt to be even more me every single day. 

I had a conversation with my female entrepreneurial mastermind recently, and one of the wise women shared with us her daily goal that sits on a sticky note on her bedside table:

To be authentically me in a world that is constantly wanting me to be something else. 

YES.

It may sound simple, but it’s definitely not easy. 

And yet, to me, that is what being brave is all about. 

Brave enough to be YOU.

To show up in the fullest expression of YOU. 

Boldly, bravely, unapologetically YOU.

Not trying to be anything other than you, for anyone. No pleasing. No pretending. No pretence. 

What would that look like?

What would you be doing that you’re not doing now?

What would you not be doing that you’re doing right now?

How would you be feeling?

How would you be spending your time?

Who would you be spending your time with?

What fears would you be facing?

What dreams would you be dreaming? 

What dreams would you be fulfilling?

What one action would you be taking today to move the dial forward in the direction of your dreams? 

And if you can identify that one piece of action – why are you not doing it now? Will you do it?

The harsh truth is, tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

And tomorrow never comes, anyhow.

All we have is today. 

And today is the first day of the rest of your life. 

How will you choose to be even more you, to live your life even truer to you, today? How will you be even braver today?

Big questions. Big life. 

Have a FAB week!

Carol

 

2 trains🚊 down, 2 flights ✈ to go, 1 epic experience awaits…

I’m pretty sure it hasn’t hit me yet. 

Luckily I have about 15 hours ahead of me between the two flights and a layover, and so it may begin to at some point in there!

It’s been a whirlwind the last little while to say the least. Many a tear shed, plenty of laughs shared, and lots of special memories both relived and created. 

We had a beautiful tribute for my stepmother and our dear Eveline in her family’s quaint home town in northern Germany, and now she is in her final resting place. 

And may she rest in peace. 

I’ve wanted to be in the moment, feeling all the feels, and so the fact I’m about to embark on what I’m pretty sure is going to be an epic experience of a lifetime hasn’t quite sunk in yet. 

It’s been in the works for well over a year. And conversations with my partners in crime for even longer than that. 

Women Living Big and UGO Travel For Change have joined forces, and 12 brave souls will all be arriving in Arusha, Tanzania over the next 24 hours where we’ll all finally meet in person as a group for the first time. 

We’ve been on the journey for the past few months together… meeting over zoom calls sharing dreams and fears and lots in between, exchanging equipment lists and packing woes and pictures of ‘she wees,’ and getting to know one another through hilarious what’s app conversations and way too many bitmojis!

We’re going to be volunteering with the Dare Women’s Association for a week, getting down and dirty and building a fence, and then we will make our way to Mt. Kilimanjaro, attempting to reach the summit. 

Kinda crazy if I think about it. 

Kinda crazy to think about all that has transpired over the last few weeks. 

Welcoming a new baby into the family, having to say goodbye to another member of the family, and a whole lotta miles being flown the process.

And so if I’m honest, no, I haven’t quite processed it all yet.

But then again, when life is happening so fast all around you, do you ever actually process in the moment?

Well, perhaps not. but I’m taking a small moment now to begin to think and reflect. 

Without getting too philosophical, what is it all about in the end anyhow?

Well, I’ve realised I couldn’t have gone through what I just did without so many special people in my life. Having my friends and family around for support and to experience it together has meant everything. And sharing special moments, both laughs and tears. And talking about special past experiences, as well as looking forward to more special experiences to come. 

People. Moments. Experiences. 

That’s really what makes the world go around. 

And so as you and I embark on all of the adventures that await us in 2019 – planned or unplanned – may they involve special people, special moments, and special experiences. 

They make the journey worthwhile, and give life meaning. 

Short and sweet this week, as I’m getting ready to board!

Have a FAB week!

May you enjoy a moment of awe and wonder…

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Happy Friday!

Awe and wonder.

That is exactly what I felt looking into the cutest, innocent, most precious eyes of baby Harris.

I’m a proud Auntie once again!

My Dad and I flew out to Calgary as soon as we caught word things were happening with my sister, landing an hour after the newest member of our family arrived into the world. 

And he is simply perfect. 

There is just something about holding and cuddling with a newborn baby…
The innocence. The softness. The scent.

I know babies are born every second in every corner in every part of the world, but that doesn’t take away from the miracle that is in each and every birth.

It is indeed magical and a miracle. 

And it got me thinking; that is exactly what this time of year is all about. 

So regardless of what you believe, what you celebrate (or not) I hope you take a moment or two to experience the magic and the miracle of the holiday season.

Amongst the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking, the baking;
the entertaining, the decorating and the holiday pie making…

May you experience a moment of awe and wonder. 

In fact, may you experience many special moments.

Adopting from a previous blog I shared around this time of year, instead of 12 days of Christmas, I wish you 12 moments of Christmas:

May you enjoy a moment of joy. 

Real joy… when your heart is smiling. When time stops.

May you enjoy a moment of laughter. 

Catch yourself next time mid-laughter. Milk it. Indulge in it. Laugh until your cheeks hurt. 

May you enjoy a moment of gratitude.

There is always something to be thankful for. Choose one thing you are especially grateful for. Inhale it in.

May you enjoy a moment of connection.

Allow yourself to be fully in somebody’s presence. Engage. Really see them, and let them see you.

May you enjoy a moment of peace.

Perhaps in silence, perhaps amidst the noise. Take a breath, and be still. If only for a moment.

May you enjoy a moment of love. 

Maybe in giving, maybe in receiving. Experience a moment where love exists. Allow it to make your heart sing.

May you enjoy a moment of fun.

Whether planned, or unplanned, ensure you bask in a moment of full-on fun. I dare you.  (perhaps you’ll need to borrow your friends’ or sisters’ kids like I did! Nothing is more fun than playtime with Auntie Carol!)

May you enjoy a moment of reflection. 

‘Tis also the time of year to look back on all that has transpired over this past year (or even this past week!) and look forward to all there is to come.

May you enjoy a moment of excitement.

Whether experiencing the season through the eyes of a curious child, or putting yourself back there (I still kick my legs under my sheets every Christmas morning in sheer excitement! You’re never too old!), invite yourself to feel what it’s like to get truly excited. 

May you enjoy a moment of giving.

It doesn’t have to be all about gifts at this time of year. You can give with your heart through your time, your words, your thoughtful acts, your presence.

May you enjoy a moment of presence.

Amidst all that’s going on, take a moment to just be. Notice the world around you, notice your feet planted firmly on the ground, notice your heart pumping. 

May you enjoy a moment of awe and wonder.

There really is so much to be in awe and wonder of at this time of year. Whether looking into the eyes of a newborn baby, watching the lights sparkle, or watching the world go by, take a moment to notice and appreciate just how wonderful a feeling awe and wonder is. 

No need to force any moments… I only encourage you to be open to invite some moments in, and indulge in how they make you feel.

Nothing to do, simply to be this holiday season. 

‘Tis the season for… moments. May you experience lots of special moments, enjoy lots of special moments, make the season count. 

(And then please share some of these moments in the comments below! I want to share in them with you.) 

Wishing you and yours an awe and wonder-filled season!

 

How do you say, and DO, thank you?

Perhaps I’m riding of the coattails of Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend, but I’ve definitely been aboard the thanks and gratitude train this week.

I’ve been feeling pretty grateful, expressing lots of thanks and gratitude, and also seem to have received a whole lot in return. 

And so, I felt it a good time to talk about the power of giving thanks.

Thank you. Merci. Gracias. Danke schön. Bedankt. Grazie. Hvala. Spasiba. Khup kun kah. Obrigado. Takk. Mahalo. Xie xie.

However you say it, thank you means thank you in every language. 

(**prize in store for anyone who can name each language above without looking any up!!! Simply COMMENT below!)

Whenever I have the opportunity to visit a new country, the first words and phrases I immediately learn are hello, goodbye, please and thank you (and then ‘cheers’ too!) And you can actually get a LONG way on these alone.

Although I’ve come to realize it’s not just about knowing how to say thank you, it’s about how you actually show it and express it. 

AND, finding some fun and unique ways to do it!

Watch this week’s video to learn not only WHY it’s so important to feel and express gratitude, but also get some unique ideas as to how to do it!

What are your ideas for some different and meaningful ways you’ve either sent or received a thank you?

And which one are you going to put into practice this week?

I’d love to hear from you below!

Bring On The B.I.G.GEST You! Here’s how.

Happy Friday!

And greetings from Chicago, where I’m still on an inspired high after speaking at Paylocity’s ELEVATE Conference.

I was fortunate to have been participating in the action over the last few days, connecting with delegates, Paylocity team members, and fellow speakers – not to mention busily prepping my presentation – hence the reason I’m a tad delayed in getting this blog out to you today!

Today’s session was entitled ‘Bring on the BIGGEST You: How to Step Into Your Power.’  And the room was a-buzzing!

You likely know I’m all about empowering people – female leaders and professionals especially – to step up, stand out, and bring all of themselves to the table.

Too many of us are playing smaller than we know we can.

And, at our core (as with every living organism) we are wired to grow as BIG as we can and live as LONG as we can.

So why aren’t we doing it?!?

Life. Responsibilities. Limited resources and competing demands. Expectations. FEAR. ALL kinds of fear… 

You and I both know there are as many fears out there as there are ice cream flavours (maybe even more) and at one point I had to stop the audience because hands were being raised left, right and centre sharing types of fear… we simply had too much juicy content to jump into!

Here’s the thing.

Because of our fears, we tend to overcompensate.

We read MORE books, 

We listen to MORE people. 

We get MORE certifications, qualifications, letters after our name.

We want to prove ourselves good enough, capable enough, successful enough ~ when we don’t already feel ourselves good enough, capable enough, successful enough.

YET,

Success doesn’t exist so long as you’re chasing it. 

Success exists the moment you realize you’re already there.

 

It’s not about getting a raise or a promotion,

it’s about putting your name in the mix.

 

It’s not about having more letters after your name,

it’s about continuing to learn and grow.

 

It’s not about crossing the finish line.

it’s about signing up for the race.

 

So it’s time to STOP.

  • It’s time to stop listening to the experts,
  • It’s time to stop reading Success Magazine,
  • It’s time to stop doing what everyone else is doing.

It’s time to stop chasing the carrot. 

It’s time to start chewing it. 

 

What do I mean by that? 

Whether you’re seeking success, happiness, or another rung on the corporate ladder, you’ll only arrive once you realise you’re already there.

You already have all that it takes to bring the BIGGEST you to all you do.

Fear ‘aint going anywhere any time soon.

And so we may as well invite it along for the ride, and learn how to play BIG in spite of fear.

Having had the privilege of speaking to and working with thousands of women over the years, it really comes down to three things.

The biggest part of you is the part of you that is:
(I’ll even share some slides from today!)

BRAVE

 INSPIRED

GETS INTO ACTION

And this is what today’s presentation was all about.

  • We looked at what it means to be BRAVE at work, and how to be braver.

  • We explored what it means to be INSPIRED at work, and how to be more inspired.

  • We discovered what it means to GET INTO ACTION at work, and how to get into more action, one step at a time.

 

When you bring the BIGGEST you to all you do everyone, and everything, becomes BIGGER. And you’ll be able to enjoy:

Bigger risks

Bigger ideas

Bigger action

Bigger results

Bigger connection

Bigger satisfaction

Bigger fulfilment

Bigger fun

Bigger growth

Bigger experiences

Bigger joy

Bigger insights

Bigger buy-in

Bigger opportunities

Bigger influence

Bigger impact…

The list goes on. 

Life becomes, well, BIGGER.

You start to play a bigger game of life, and in return create a bigger life for yourself and all those around you.

And who doesn’t want that?!?

If you want to learn more about the content and the ideas discussed during this presentation, simply reply to this email and I’ll be happy to share!

And if you’re ready to GET INTO ACTION now, I shall leave you with these questions:

  • How are you brave? How will you be BRAVER?

  • How are you inspired? How will you be MORE INSPIRED?

  • How are you getting into action? And how will you get into more action? 

Choose ONE action to take on. 

Commit to ONE action to take on.  

Take on that ONE action. 

And then SHARE your action in the comments below; I wanna hear from you!

Because it’s time for you too, to bring the BIGGEST you to all you do.

Have a FAB week!

P.S. For all of my fellow Canadians, happy gobble gobble weekend! Be sure to be extra thankful this weekend! Wanna learn more about the power of gratitude? Read my post HERE

Life will never be the same: An insider view at Unleashing the Power Within

Picture this. Over 9,000 people jumping and dancing and waving our arms in the air, while singing and screaming ‘Life will never be the same…’ at like, a level 50 on a scale of 10.

You forget you’re in an unbearably cold arena (it’s kept at a near freezing temperature on purpose… they even give out gloves as a bit of a joke in our welcome bag!) and the lights and lasers start flashing like you’re at a Lady Gaga concert. Except it’s Tony Robbins up there on stage, banging up a storm on his drum sticks to the beat like his life depended on it. His energy was palpable. 

‘MAKE YOUR MOVE!’ he’d scream, and the entire arena in unison would strike a power move. 

‘Say yes!’ ‘YES!’ We’d yell in reply while making a fist punch in the air. 

You really couldn’t help but get into it. 

Now I know people have mixed emotions when it comes to this giant (literally) of a man, but there is no denying he BRINGS it. And he truly is brilliant at what he does. 

Beyond the ridiculous amounts of jumping and dancing, the firewalk (yes, we walked on fire!), the surprise concert on the last night with Jennifer Hudson, there was also tons of valuable content and takeaways. 

We learned about the six human needs that drive all behavior. 

We explored the three ways we can immediately (and powerfully) change our state. 

And we went through a powerful transformational exercise that left the majority of us in tears, and our limiting beliefs behind us. 

Here were my biggest takeaways:

Throw on your dancing shoes!

I’ve taken on a new ritual of morning dance parties. 

And they actually are quite powerful!

First of all, you can’t help but get excited and bust out a smile when you’re shaking those hips. Even if it’s a small shimmy in your seat, you end up changing what he refers to as your ‘state.’ 

If you want to change your mood, your state, there are 1 of 3 ways you can do it. (Do all three and you’re golden.)

1   Change your physiology (strike a pose or move your body)

2   Change your focus (shift the thoughts in your mind)

3   Change your language (replace the words you’re using to talk        to yourself)

The quickest of the three is to change your physical state. Hence, the dance parties! You can also strike a power pose, run on the spot, or even shift your posture to a more open stance. 

Try it now and see what it does!

There’s a reason why he had us on our feet so often during the sometimes 14 hour long days! Somehow with the music going, your legs jumping and your arms waving, you can’t help but find the energy within.  

Stop thinking your fears make you special. 

Ever had a thought around the idea of ‘not being enough?’

Me too. 

Well, it turns out you and I are not unique or special at all!

There are two primary fears that ALL human beings share, even though there are numerous variations. 

I am not enough

I won’t be loved 

Once we realise fear has been hard wired in all human beings, we can surrender to the fact it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So, we need to learn how to dance with our fear. How to take it along for the ride. How to take massive action towards what we truly want to create in spite of this fear.

Fulfilment comes through progress.

There are two skills we need to master if we want to live an extraordinary life:

1   The Science of Achievement

2   The Art of Fulfilment 

With hard work and drive and dedication we can figure out the science of achievement. However mastering the art of fulfilment is a different ballgame.

No doubt you’ve had the experience where you finally reach your goal, you finally get the job, the raise, or the house. Or you run across the finish line of a race. And that feeling of elation and accomplishment lasts for how long? A few minutes? Longer if you’re lucky, but if it was just the goal you were after, chances are you’ll be off chasing the next one before you know it. 

The only way to experience happiness, to experience true fulfilment, is to experience progress. To stretch. To grow. To get out of your comfort zone and make moves towards your dreams each and every day. 

So start dancing. Stop letting your fears grab hold of you. And keep making progress towards your dreams.

The two most powerful exercises for me included envisioning what our life would look like 5, 10, and then 20 years from now if we held onto our limiting beliefs. It did not look pretty! And on the last day, we envisioned what our life would look like if we DID go after what we really wanted. Far more enticing!

Now I may have drunk the kool-aid, I may still be on a high, but I’m choosing to take on the idea that life will never be the same. Why not? It’s a choice we can all make today. What do we have to lose? 

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. 

Make it count!

Don’t Let These Bravery Killers Get You!

They (whoever ‘they’ are!) say confidence is one of the most attractive things you can wear. And it’s true. 

Some people just seem to have ‘it’ naturally. 

The X factor, the gravitas, the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes them stand out in any room. The thing that makes them unafraid to take risks and make things happen. 

It’s not competence, folks. It’s confidence. 

AND, even more than that, it’s about being BRAVE. And it’s available to all of us.

In preparation for my upcoming talk at SHRM next week (I’m delivering a mega session to 2000 people… EEK!) I’ve been doing more research recently about confidence and bravery ~ what it is, what it isn’t, what kills it, and what builds it. 

I came across an amazing book, The Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, who share some incredible insights. 

It turns out both nature AND nurture affect our confidence. 

Some fascinating research exists on the fact women and men’s brains are actually wired differently, we produce different hormones, and we each have an individual genetic make-up – and all of these play a role in terms of how confident we are naturally.

And, there are also thoughts and behaviours that are learned through our experiences, upbringing, and society. (Did you know that in a Harvard study looking at gender effects on performance, girls who had to write out their gender on a math test before completing it, performed more poorly than those who did not have to write it out?!? Crazy!)

There are also ‘bravery killers.’ And that’s where I want to dive into today. Because, as it turns out, I’m noticing some of my own bravery killers that I admittedly employ on perhaps too regular of a basis.

Perfectionism 


A study showed that women want to have approximately 85-95% of the qualifications on a job requirement before submitting an application. Versus men, who apply when they identify as having 15-25%!

We wait until there is very little likelihood of failure before taking action. 

We also tend to over-prepare, if anything… in wanting to ensure we get things right, we look good, and we avoid looking bad. 

We want to be perfect, appear perfect, and perform perfectly, all too often. And because it’s an ideal that doesn’t exist, we often feel bad about ourselves when we fall short.

Or, we live in perfectionist paralysis, and don’t put ourselves out there at all.

People-Pleasing

Ah-yes, people-pleasing. 

Yup, I still do that, too. 

Now in my defence, women have a more active hippocampus in our brains than men do, and so are more wired for connection and empathy. While this can be looked at as a good thing, we also have to be careful.  It’s a proven fact women are more interested in being liked than being respected, and as a result we often care too much about what people think.

At times our behaviours are more motivated by not wanting to ruffle any feathers, or by wanting to be liked, instead of doing what is right for us. 

Procrastination and/or P-a-u-s-i-n-g (and over-analysing!)  

Sometimes tied to perfectionism, the idea here is we tend to spend FAR too much time thinking and analysing. Waiting to feel ready or good enough or for the perfect moment to arrive before taking that first or next step. 

We hesitate. We pause. We ruminate. We procrastinate. 

And when we get too caught up in our heads, we tend to imagine worse-case scenarios, listen to the negative voices in our heads that tell us we can’t, we’re crazy, or our idea will never work. 

And as a result, we often don’t take any action at all. 

Okay, so how do we move past these bravery killers?

Awareness, Insight, Action. 

First, you need to identify what killer is coming up for you in the moment.

Gain awareness, and get real. Are you taking on a behaviour or an action because it feels right to YOU? Or because you are trying to get someone to like you? 

Are you finding an excuse as to why you’re not taking on a behaviour or an action because you’re stuck in your head? Are you listening to those negative voices? Are you wanting to be PERFECT before you even begin?

Notice what is happening. And examine why it may be happening for you. Look inside yourself. Insight brings clarity. 

And finally, it’s time to take ACTION! 

The only way to build bravery is through action. PERIOD. 

You’re not going to think your way into feeling more confident. Instead, you have to choose to get into actin before you feel ready. That’s what it means to be brave.

Action builds your bravery muscle, even if the action isn’t related to the area you may be lacking it.

And action is contagious. That first, small brave move is all you need to take!

If you were even braver than you are right now, if you were even more confident than you are right now, what one small action would you take? 

And WHEN are you going to take it?!?

Today seems like a pretty good day to me! Go ahead, I DARE you!

You don’t need to learn any more, get any more qualifications, do any more prep work.

I truly believe each and every one of us is here for a greater purpose. And when we are holding back or letting our confidence killers get the better of us, we’re not showing up in the biggest version of ourselves. And we’re not going to make the biggest impact we can make. 

Which bravery killer holds YOU back the most? And what is that one small action you are going to take (maybe even today?!?) to move you forward?

I want to hear from you in the comments below. 

Have a FAB day!