On Letting Go Of Perfectionism & Why We Should “Lean In” To Positive Change

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I say it all the time. Change is not an overnight miracle, people. I know there’s nothing like the neatly packaged narrative of the overnight success story, but honestly that’s just well, not that honest.

The truth is that long-lasting, sustainable personal growth is never instantaneous. It’s messy. Non-linear. Two steps backwards for every step in the right direction. It’s forged out of self-experimentation, research, discomfort, failure, courage, and all too often a lot of stumbling around in the dark.

The point? It’s not a clean line. We don’t have to hold on to this perfectionist ideal. In fact, it’s this ideal that generally hold us back. Paralyzes us. Or leads to self-defeatism when we fall short of idealized goals.

When I began the process of repairing my health, I made a million mistakes. Slipped up countless times. And when I committed to getting fit, Ultraman didn’t even qualify as a fantasy because I had never heard of it. I just wanted to be able to run a mile. Goals and success came later. I was able to get off the dime because I just started. Implicit in this was the permission I gave myself to fail.

Let go of perfection. Whether the change you seek is related to diet, fitness, career, finances, education or some specific skill set, the important thing is to allow yourself to just begin, and begin messy. You don’t have to know where anything is leading. You don’t have to change evertything overnight. And the steps you take don’t have to be plotted, overthought or even pretty. But you do have to start.

Or as today’s guest suggests, Lean In…

My friend Kathy Freston is a 4-time New York Times bestselling author of  The Lean, Veganist, Quantum Wellness  and  Quantum Wellness CleanseShe has appeared frequently on national television, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen, The Dr. Oz Show, The View, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, The Martha Stewart Show, and Extra. Her work has been featured notably in Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, W, and Fitness. In addition, she is a regular contributor to her pal Ariana Huffington’s publication, Huffington Post.

Back in 2011, it was Kathy’s appearance on Oprah that inspired the great Ms. Winfrey herself – and her entire staff of 378 — to go entirely vegan for 21 days.

In January 2014, Kathy famously launched a  Change.org  petition campaign urging McDonald’s to debut a vegetarian menu item, a petition that went viral with over 106,000 supporters and very well may lead to the desired outcome. This is a great example of Kathy’s approach of working with the system to catalyze change and disrupt status quo paradigms.

I met the delightful and beautiful Ms. Freston several years ago and always wanted to have her on the show. What I like about her is her very easy going, accessible approach to helping people make long-lasting sustainable shifts in their diet and lifestyle – everything about her style is very inviting, grounded and understanding of the stressors and limiters that envelop living a modern busy life. Hence her coined term, and the title of her most recent book,  The Lean.

Another way of saying progress, not perfection.

Today we sit down and hash out her personal journey, what led her to becoming one of the most visible, prominent and persuasive voices in the plant-based movement, and effective strategies we can all leverage to develop a healthier, happier, more plantpowered approach to diet and life.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this lean into the world of Kathy Freston. Let me know what you think of the conversation in the comments below.

Peace + Plants,

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SHOW NOTES

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