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Hi guys, and welcome to Anna’s BarBelles, I am back! This blog has been on my mind for quite some time now. In fact, I’ve been thinking about all sorts of so-called ‘content’ ideas for a long time, but not really done anything about it. And I don’t think I’m alone in this – have you ever had an idea bubbling up in your mind that you know would be so great, and so helpful for people, and yet something holds you back from actually taking action? 

If listening is more your thing, then you can hear this episode of The Fit & Happy Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

Well, I’m not really one for new year resolutions, I’m much more a goal-oriented kinda gal, but this January I decided that 2020 was going to be a year of imperfect action for me. Aaaaand now we are in April somehow and I am finally giving myself the kick up the butt to take that imperfect action. Because that’s exactly my problem: Hi I’m Anna and I am a chronic perfectionist. 

Perfectionism has always held me back. I don’t want to put myself out there unless I know I’m going to do it well. I’ve been like that all my life. I was the quiet kid in class who wouldn’t raise her hand in case she got the answer wrong. The athletic teenager who wouldn’t try out for sports teams in case she wasn’t good enough. Hell, I even have been known to not try a new exercise on my training programme just in case someone sees me doing it wrong in the gym, which is ridiculous…everyone starts somewhere. 

I really feel that my calling in life is to help people, especially women like me, build confidence and positivity through health and fitness. And to do that, I probably need to actually share my message no matter how messy it might be at first. So no more putting it off. I am super passionate about living a fit, healthy, happy life and I want to share that with you. It might be a little rough around the edges at times, but I promise you if you stick with me it’s only going to get better. 

So here we are in the name of doing rather than worrying, and I think the best way to kick things off the ground is just to let you know a little bit about me and what you can expect from my complete out of my comfort zone project. 

I come from a background of always being super active, I danced to a fairly high level right up until my late teens and I used to do competitive cross country and middle distance running at school. But I definitely lost my way with fitness when I went to university and developed some slightly concerning relationships with food and cardio. I lost my dancer’s physique thanks to partying and really believed that I had to starve and spend hours punishing myself for anything I did eat on the treadmill. I was really unhappy, with severe anxiety and terrible self-esteem which went on for years. Until, about 5 years ago, sick and tired of feeling that way, I discovered that the weights area of the gym was not just for men. And honestly, I haven’t looked back since. 

At the time I had no idea what I was doing. I spent hours researching how to lift weights, the perfect training programme, how to eat to fuel my goals because repeated juice fasts certainly weren’t cutting it. But most importantly, no matter how anxious I felt about it, I took action and got my flat butt into that weights room. And after a while I got better, I got stronger, my body really started to change and little by little my mindset changed too. 

This is the power of doing, rather than waiting for perfection. How many times have you put your goals on hold because you’ve felt not good enough, not worthy, not perfect? But this is exactly the thinking that we need to change. You’re never going to start out perfect, as much as I would like to! My imperfect action of walking into the weights room 5 years ago without a clue of what I was supposed to do has lead me on this amazing (excuse the cliche) journey to today, where I now actually work in the fitness industry as a coach and compete in fricking bikini bodybuilding. If you’d asked me where I was going to be in 5 years back in 2015 the answer most definitely would not have been doing a job I love with a hobby that lights a fire in me and a real passion for helping others feel like badasses too. 

So, more than anything from this first welcome back blog, I would like you to take away that done is better than perfect. And I’m going to set you some homework because I’m a geek and I love me some homework. Take imperfect action. Seriously. This week, set yourself a goal of actually getting something done. Not thinking about doing it. Doing it. No excuses about ‘perfect timing’, ‘perfect equipment’, ‘perfect you’. Sure, you don’t have to complete a whole fricking project in the week, but at least start taking those little steps that get you there. Say you want to re-kickstart your fitness routine, find a programme to follow as your first step and then get yourself in the gym at least once this week and follow it. Or maybe you want to start eating healthier; why not make a simple meal plan for the week with foods you like on there and then go out with a shopping list and buy those foods. Rinse and repeat, build up that confidence and the positive feeling I know you’re going to get from taking action (I know because I have it right now finally getting this up on my little corner of the internet) and use that to keep pushing yourself onwards, building up and accumulating those steps.

Because if we wait for everything to be perfect, then that’s all we do. We wait. So if I could take the leap out of my comfort zone with trying a different way of training way back in 2015 and now in 2020 with restarting the blog, launching a podcast, a youtube channel, a whole damn business, then you most definitely can do it with your goals too. Waiting for perfect does not get us anywhere. In fact, perfect is just an excuse that is holding you back from achieving. The life you want to live is most likely within your grasp if you’d only take action. So this week, no more excuses, no more waiting, done is better than perfect. 

Oh, and please keep me updated in that imperfect action that you take this week. I really want to follow your journey. You can message me on Instagram @annasbarbelles, or leave a comment below to let me know what steps you took to get something done.