The myth of imperfect action

I'm perfectI wonder how often you’ve heard the advice, ‘Imperfect action is better than no action’. 
Certainly in the world of female entrepreneurs, this kind of statement is made all the time – by mentors and coaches, as part of e-courses and programs, I’ve even used these words myself (many times!)

It’s almost become a badge of honour, ‘Hey, I take action even though I know it’s imperfect!’

The idea of not waiting to take action is great, but recently I’ve noticed that the use of the word ‘imperfect’ really bothers me.

Words are so important in the work I do.

The words we use when we talk about ourselves, either out loud or in our minds, are hugely powerful.  Each one sends a message both to ourselves and out into the universe, saying ‘This is how I see myself’.

The definition of ‘imperfect’ is: not perfect; faulty or incomplete, faulty, flawed, defective, unsaleable, unfit, inferior, shoddy, below par.

So, when you use the word ‘imperfect’ about yourself and the action you’re taking, what kind of message are you sending out?

‘Hey universe, I’m starting before I’m ready (even though my creation is pretty shoddy!’)

‘I’m being brave and taking action, (but deep down I believe I’m inferior to everyone else out there.)’

‘I’m stepping up and putting myself out there, (even though I know I’m flawed in some way.)

Quite frankly, f**k that!

As soon as you get it into your head that you, or what you’re doing, is imperfect, you’ll feel restricted or limited in some way.

The fact is, if you decide to take action, if you decide to create something and put it out into the world, then it is PERFECT.  It can’t be imperfect, because it simply reflects where you are right now.

In this moment, you are perfect.  In this moment, whatever action you take is perfect.  In this moment, whatever you create is perfect.

You cannot be imperfect at being you!  You can’t get being you wrong.

Be you, take your action, create what you choose to.

You are perfect.  You are glorious.  You are perfect as you are in this moment.

So, from now on, how about you choose not to compare yourself, the action you take or whatever you create to anyone else’s idea of perfect?

How about choosing to tell yourself a different story?

How about choosing to see yourself and everything you do or create as perfect, as beautiful, as just right in this moment?

Let’s stop with all this talk of imperfection.  Choose to celebrate your uniqueness.

You are perfect.

What I learned from a group of middle-aged, corporate males

The 5 surprising lessons I learned fromWhen you think about money, what kind of memories come up for you?  Many of the stories you tell yourself about money will have been created by particular memories.

It might be that someone has directly said something to you in the past that you have taken as fact, or it could be more subtle.

Maybe you picked up on your parents’ attitudes towards money through your experiences as a child? Perhaps your mother always handed the responsibility for cash over to your father (or vice versa), which has taught you that this is the way it should be?

Perhaps one of your grandparents would sneak money to you and tell you not to let your parents know, leading you to believe that receiving money is something kinda naughty and secretive?

Maybe you saw your parents working really hard for money, struggling to make ends meet and you learned the lesson that earning money is damned hard work?

The memories don’t have to come from your childhood. I wonder if you’ve ever worked for an organisation where you feel your talents weren’t recognised financially and this has led to a ‘what’s the point?’ attitude and build-up of resentment?

Perhaps you’ve had relationships where your partner cheated you out of money and this has led you to be cautious of sharing your money with anyone else?

These are all possible memories that could be impacting the way you are with money now, either directly and consciously, or indirectly and subconsciously.

Let me give you an example of one of mine to demonstrate.

A memory I came to recently was one from when I was working in a firm of financial advisers back before I became a therapist.

All of the financial advisers in the company were men.  I had started there as a Personal Assistant and over the years had taken my financial planning exams. I had the qualifications to be a financial adviser (in fact, I had more qualifications than a lot of the guys there), but something was stopping me.

I’d started out with the intention of becoming an adviser – that was my goal. But once I qualified, fear set in.

Could I do it?

Would I be able to fit into that world?

Could I be ‘one of the guys’?

One of the directors had a chat with me and offered me the role of paraplanner – a new role for the company. This involved doing all the research for the advisers, preparing reports and recommendations for clients – basically a behind-the-scenes role.

I knew this wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to step into my brilliance and be all that I could be. I wanted to be out there, seeing clients, doing ‘the work’, but I didn’t. I accepted the role of paraplanner, as it seemed safe. It was a step up, but it wasn’t THE step up.

I bailed!

And do you know what, during the time I continued to work in finance and for a long time afterwards I felt resentful. I enjoyed my role to a point, but I knew I wasn’t reaching my full potential and I blamed it on the guys.

I moaned and complained about the old-school male attitudes, the old boys club, not letting me in. I blamed it on them.

When I came to work on this money memory, it was all about those ‘men’ who made the big bucks when I worked in finance. I started journalling about it and was angry about how many of them weren’t as bright as me, in fact some of them were downright dumb! It just wasn’t fair that they were out there seeing clients, making the sales, earning limitless income, when I was stuck in a background role.

The learning I’d taken from this, and held on to for many years, is that women get held back in business. I believed that men had an advantage and it was a struggle to move up the corporate ladder and earn more money.

So far, so negative! You might be asking what’s the point in raking over all these old, depressing money memories. Well my friend, the thing is once you start to unearth these memories, you can start to reframe them. You can start to find the true learning in them and that is a gift.

As an example, when I wrote about my memory of working in that particular finance company, I started to have a realisation. How amazing was it that these guys, many of whom weren’t the brightest in the box, were doing their stuff?  How amazing that they were just doing it? They weren’t letting anyone hold them back. They didn’t even think about whether they were good enough.

I may have imagined myself to be more intelligent and more charming than them, but suddenly I could see a lot that I admired in that middle-aged, bloated bunch of guys.  Here are the 5 important lessons I learned from them as I looked back.

1) They had stepped up. Each one had given himself permission to just do it.

2) They believed in themselves. Now maybe they lay in bed at night worrying about whether they were good enough, but I doubt it. They didn’t even question whether they could do it. They took it for granted that they could.

3) They connected. Most of these guys were great at networking, either formally or informally. They got to know the people who could make a difference, they put themselves forward and made sure everyone knew what they did.

4) They supported each other. Although there was a level of competition in the team, those guys did support each other. They listened, gave advice, made referrals.

5) They took action! They didn’t just sit around planning and preparing, they went out there and did stuff. They made it happen.

When I sat back and thought about it, I was amazed at the learning I could take from these guys! I could see things totally differently and I can realise that this learning is now a gift to me.

I completely reframed that negative memory into something useful and inspiring. I was starting to make that particular memory work for me, rather than seeing it as something that was holding me back and keeping me small.

Take action now: Start writing a list of all your money memories. Go right back to childhood and work from there. You’ll find that as you get started more and more memories come to you.

Once you have your list, go through each one and take some time to journal on it. Write down how you feel about each particular memory and begin to find the learning in it.

If you feel resentful towards someone or something, go deeper. Ask yourself, ‘Am I really feeling frustrated with myself? Am I stopping myself from being who I want to be or doing what I want to do?’

It’s important that you let out any anger, resentment, sadness, fear, frustration, anxiety – all of the emotion attached to each particular memory. Once you’ve done that, you can start to step into a position of power. You can begin to reframe the experience and make it work for you.

Kapow!  Make your memories work for you.

Your next step. If you want to receive powerful tips that will help you to create more abundance in your life right away, click here to join my free 7-day Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge.

How I surprisingly fell back in love with finance (with a twist).

How I surprisingly fell back in love withBefore I became a therapist, I used to work in financial planning.  To tell you the truth, when I decided to leave the corporate world and retrain, I never wanted to be involved with finance again.

I was pleased to leave behind talk of investments, pensions and savings.  I wanted to focus on personal development and helping people.

Naively I didn’t realise that I would actually have to devote much of my time and energy to running and building a business in order to help as many people as I wanted.

I tried to put my fingers in my ears and ignore all the money stuff because I wanted to be spiritual.

I associated money and wealth with my old, corporate life.  I saw it as somehow ‘bad’ and ‘seedy’.

No wonder I struggled to bring money into my business and my life!  I was sending a strong message to myself and the universe that I wasn’t interested in finance, it wasn’t part of my ‘new’ life.

So, I got frustrated that my business wasn’t taking off in the way I wanted.  I lived in a cycle of famine and feast (with much more famine than feast!)

What I didn’t realise is that the same sort of unconscious blocks and limiting beliefs I was helping my clients to move past, were preventing me from building my dream business.  My inner world, my thoughts and feelings, was limiting the income I was receiving.

I wonder if you’ve given much thought to how your inner world – your emotions, your self-worth, your self-belief – influence your cash-flow?

This was a big ‘No!’ for me up until a few years ago and as so often, we teach what we need to learn. It’s only when I started to specifically focus the powerful tools I’d been using with my clients on my own financial situation that I began to see results.

  • Whereas I was struggling at times before, I started to attract clients with ease.
  • Where I’d always felt like there wasn’t enough money left at the end of the month, I now felt in control and was actually growing my savings.
  • Where I had felt anxiety and panic, I started to feel calm and excited.

And do you know what?  Gradually I began to fall back in love with finance.  I began to see that money wasn’t just about figures and spreadsheets, bank accounts and investment returns.  I began to see that wealth was a truly holistic concept.

By looking after myself, by honouring my emotions, by clearing any limiting beliefs I had and by having more joy in my life, I could influence the amount of money I was receiving.  How empowering is that?

When I (finally!) recognised that I had the power to increase my wealth, I saw that I could combine the powerful inner work that I do with the more practical money management techniques I’d learned in my previous, corporate life.  I realised that I had the perfect combination at my finger tips!

So, this has now become the work that I love, blending money mindset mentoring with simple, financial tools and tips.

I want to share the secrets I have learned with you!  I don’t want you to have to take the long route to financial flow, struggling with obstacles and feeling stuck and restricted.

Let me show you the short-cuts.  Let me show you how to love your life and your bank balance.

The first step?  Well, I’ve created a free 7-day e-course for you – The Money Mastery 7-Day Kickstarter Challenge.  Spend a few minutes each day creating the perfect abundance mindset!  Simply click here for more details and to sign-up.