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Do you feel stuck, but want to live your most fulfilling, best life? Has anyone ever asked you what you want in life? Or better, have you ever asked yourself?
In This Podcast
Welcome to Imperfect Thriving Podcast, for all of us women in midlife to discover our self-limiting beliefs, determine exactly what you want your life to look like, and the imperfect actions to get you there.
In this podcast episode, Kathryn shares an introduction of what to expect from the Imperfect Thriving Podcast, which includes the what, how and why.
I’ve named this podcast Imperfect Thriving for a reason because it’s all about taking daily imperfect action towards the lives we want so that we can live our best most fulfilling life. Trying to be perfect all the time slows this down and even keeps us stuck. Often we don’t take any action at all because wanting to be perfect sets us up with a fear of failure. I’ve seen it time and time again in my private practice and I lived it for the first four decades of my life.
We all know deep down that human beings aren’t perfect. And we don’t seem to hold anyone else up to the standard of perfection. But we do hold ourselves to that standard. And guess what? It sets us up for feeling like a failure every time because it’s an impossible standard to reach. We will naturally fall short of it all the time.
“I’m always doing that which I cannot do in order that I may learn to do it.”
He was so right. We learn by doing. It’s far better to do imperfect action than to be paralyzed. Throughout this podcast, we’ll be constantly learning to let go.
This podcast is really all about:
- Examining what you want in every aspect or domain in your life.
- Getting rid of the obstacles that are in your way.
- Taking daily imperfect action.
Also, I have a free 9-part Blueprint to Thrive email course. It’s a step-by-step guide to find what you want your life to look like, what’s holding you back, and how to get to that life you want. Head on over to Imperfect Thriving Course.
Has anyone ever asked you what you want? If not, get ready, we’re going to explore deeply what you want in each domain. The biggest obstacle is within yourself, it’s the negative talk you tell yourself like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it”. This is exactly what stands between what you want. The harder you are on yourself the more likely you are to not try something new.
I’ll be sharing solo shows and guest interviews covering all the domains of your life. My number one goal for this podcast is to have you actively exploring and asking yourself what do you want, while also taking imperfect action daily. I’ll be sharing information that will make your life easier, richer and fuller and more fulfilling to help you move toward the direction of your best life.
It really comes down to my dream of wanting to foster a community of women who, like me, are in midlife but are going after their dream lives together. I want a community that is supporting each other, cheering each other on, and living our fullest lives, free to pursue whatever it is that lights us up. Together, we can nudge each other in a positive way.
My Story For Imperfect Thriving Podcast
I’ve been there. On paper, my life was perfect. I was a lawyer, had a really great job, then had the opportunity to look after my children full time. I was constantly doing everything for my family and everything else. When my two kids went to college, everything went out the door and I suddenly had to ask myself, “Who am I?’. Going back to school to be a counselor led me to realize my anxiety and self-limiting beliefs that had held me back. The program was my guide, and I want to share it with as many women as possible.
Meet Kathryn Ely
I’m Kathryn Ely and in my second act at age 50, I’m enjoying my very best life. I spent years as a lawyer and then stay-at-home mom helping others go out into the world and live their best lives. While this was very important to me, I did not realize that I was losing myself in the process. I followed all of the “shoulds”. You know the ones that say “women should always care for others” or “taking time for yourself is just selfish”.
As two of my children were getting ready to go out into the world I realized I was lost, without my next purpose, and it was scary. So I went back to school and over the course of several years, I not only found myself, but I designed the formula for women in midlife to achieve their most fulfilling lives. It is my mission to equip as many women as possible with this design and the tools to make this chapter of their lives the best chapter.
I created this podcast so I could help you, women in mid-life gain the tools to examine what they really want, the hope to believe their lives can be better than ever, and the simple, imperfect actions to get them there.
Kathryn has enjoyed being married to Brenen for 25 years, even though she vowed she would never date anyone from law school. They share three strong-willed (and beautifully different from each other) children and two of the sweetest Labrador retrievers ever while living in Birmingham, Alabama. Kathryn is a purpose and productivity coach, and concerned with empowering women of all ages to be clear on what they want, and know what actions to take to get it.
Thanks for listening!
Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Imperfect Thriving Podcast on iTunes and subscribe!
Imperfect Thriving is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
[KATHRYN]: Imperfect Thriving is a part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Beta Male Revolution, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network. Welcome to the Imperfect Thriving podcast for all of us women in midlife to discover your self-limiting beliefs, determine exactly what you want your life to look like and the imperfect actions to get you there. Hi, welcome to the Imperfect Thriving podcast. I’m your host, Kathryn Ely. I’m so glad you are here with me today and if you enjoy the show today, please take the time to rate it, review and subscribe to the podcast. I know there are so many great podcasts out there and it really means a lot to me that you are sharing some of your time with me. So let me know you’re out there. Let me know what you like, let me know if there’s anything that I can do for you. So just reach out, rate, and review. If you get a chance, that would be awesome. So this is the very first episode of the podcast, so you better believe I am nervous, but this podcast is all about doing and thriving imperfectly. So let’s get started. Today’s episode is all about letting you know what you can expect to gain from listening every week. I’m going to fill you in on the What, the Why, the How of the Imperfect Thriving podcast. So let’s start with the What. Now, I’ve named this podcast Imperfect Thriving for a reason because it’s all about taking daily imperfect action for the lives that we want or best, most fulfilling lives. Now, trying to be perfect slows this down. It even keeps us stuck. It keeps us stuck in our heads worrying about every little detail before we feel like we are ready to take action. And oftentimes we don’t take any action at all because wanting to be perfect sets us up with a fear of failure. That’s pretty ironic, right? We want so badly to do things perfectly the first time that we’re afraid to ever actually try to do them. And I’ve seen it, time and time again in my private counseling and coaching practice, and I lived it for the first four and a half decades of my life. We all deep down that human beings aren’t perfect and we don’t seem to hold anyone else to the standard of being perfect anyway. But we do often hold ourselves to that standard and holding ourselves to that standard of perfection sets us up for feeling like a failure because it’s an impossible state to reach, and we necessarily will fall short of it every single time. Picasso said, “I’m always doing that, which I cannot do in order that I may learn to do it.” I’m going to repeat that. “I’m always doing that, which I cannot do in order that I may learn to do it.” He was so right. We learn by doing. It’s far better to take imperfect action and learn from it than to be paralyzed by perfect thinking, taking what we learn from the first try and apply it on the next go around. That’s what we do when we take action in an imperfect way. So on this podcast, we will be constantly working on letting go of holding ourselves to a standard of perfection and we will be fostering a willingness to treat life like the experiment that it is. So when we have a new idea, we really want to try something new. We no longer want to hear the voice in our heads saying, “I can’t do it. I must learn this and do that before I’m ready to try.” We instead want to say, “Yes, count me in. I want to learn something new. I want to try something new because I know when I try it, it will not be perfect, but whatever I’ll learn from doing it the first time, I can apply to doing it the second time and it will be even better.” There is such freedom and approaching life this way. If the first try does not have to be perfect, you are free to do, to learn, to grow, to enjoy the whole stinking process, not just the outcome, which is so extremely fulfilling. So that’s one thing we’re going to be all about on this podcast. And this podcast is all about three things, really. The first one is examining what you want in every aspect or domain of your life. The second is getting rid of the obstacles that are in your way, that negative self-talk, that critical voice that keeps you from taking action toward what you want, the voice that tells you you can’t do it, you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t young enough. And then the third thing which we’ve already begun talking about is taking daily imperfect action towards your best life. I have even created a free email course that will take you through these steps that I just told you about and it will take you through in great detail. You can start with your email course then follow along with the podcast. So head over to imperfectthriving.com/course and sign up for your free email course today. Now I call this email course that I created for you, your blueprint to thrive because it is literally a set of instructions that you can follow to live your best life. I take you through an assessment of all the areas or domains of your life. The domain is just a fancier word for area. So the eight domains cover every area of your life. There’s mental and physical wellbeing, intimate love relationship, friends and community, and so on and so on. And I’ll take you through step by step of each domain to determine where you are satisfied and what areas of your life you would like to see a change for the better. I cannot overly stress the importance of assessing every domain or area of your life. Now, you might be saying to yourself, right now, “I know what I want in my life.” Who is this chick? But do you really know? I want you to take a little bit closer look because in my experience and my counseling and coaching practice, I have seen female client after female client who felt lost and unsure of which directions you wanted to head. I’ve seen so many women in midlife who have been caring for children and parents and they’ve lost themselves along the way. They were lost because they didn’t know what they really wanted. They didn’t know what they wanted because either they had never asked themselves or they had become so busy doing everything for everyone else that they haven’t asked themselves in so long that they just didn’t know the answer to that. So they were not asking themselves, “What do I want?” They were living like I did for so long, by there shoulds, and I bet you are too, at least to a certain extent. We’re all conditioned from early childhood to live up to the expectations of others. Our parents, our teachers, society as a whole, the church, the opposite sex, all tell us who we should be. They set the standard for what we should want and what we should do in every situation. This is how we learn. This is how we know what is acceptable to do and what’s not acceptable to do. The problem is as we become adults and we have the opportunity then to do things the way we want to do them. We’re so programmed by expectations we forget to ask or we just get so busy in life, we think we don’t have time to ask and explore. So that’s not how we’re going to do things anymore. Has anybody ever even asked you what you want? Have you ever asked yourself what you want? If not, get ready because I’m not only going to be constantly asking what you want. I’m going to be asking you to explore deeply what you want. Over the course of this podcast, we’re going to be exploring every domain and what you want in each and when you start exploring, you’re going to have to go through several layers of shoulds before you unearth exactly truly what you want for your one life on this earth. It’s down there, but I can guarantee you it’s buried. It’s buried under what your mother and father wanted for you, buried under what society tells us a woman should be. But we’re going to get there though. We will peel back layer after layer of shoulds until we get to the beautiful truth of what it is you want and when we do, oh my goodness, it truly is a beautiful thing. It takes time and it takes energy, but we can do it. So we’re going to examine the domains and discover what you want your life to look like. We’re going to take daily imperfect action toward your best life. Well, what about the obstacles that pop up along the way? Well, that’s the third major focus of what we’re going to do in this podcast. And the biggest obstacles that are going to be blocking you that are going to be in between you and what you want your life to be about is your negative self-talk. That’s right. The biggest obstacle for you is within yourself. The negative self-talk that says, “I’m not good enough. I can’t do it.” This is what stands between you and what you really want and actually getting there and, on this podcast, will learn self-compassion and self-value because that is the way to stop the negative talk. Let’s think about it for a minute. How do you treat others when they make a mistake? Do you belittle or break them or do you say, “That’s okay, no big deal,” and move on. I’m pretty sure you say, “That’s okay, no big deal,” and you move on. But what do you say to yourself when you’re less than perfect or make a mistake? I bet you are so much harder on yourself than you are on anyone else. I know I am. I know I’m way harder on myself than I would be to even my worst enemy if I have one. The harder I am on myself and the harder you are on yourself, the more likely we are to not want to try something new. Well, I’ll give you an example. Think about a child in the classroom and a teacher asks a question and several children raised their hands and the teacher calls on a little girl in her classroom and the little girl answers the question and she answers it well, but she leaves something out or the answer is less than perfect. Now the teacher can go about this a couple of ways, right? The teacher can say, “Eh, wrong. You’re stupid, Sally.” And then go call on somebody else. The teacher could also say, “That’s wonderful, Sally. I really like how you applied what we’ve learned in class to that question. I have a couple of ideas, a way we can add to that answer.” And then she guides the child to a more thorough explanation while praising the child for applying what she has already learned. So what do you think the outcome of those different actions by the teacher? The first outcome, “Sally, you’re wrong, you’re stupid. Be quiet.” You know, call on somebody else. How is Sally going to feel? She’s going to feel terrible about herself, right? She’s going to be embarrassed. Okay, she got called out in front of the other kids and because of that she’s going to be much less likely to raise her hand and try again next time. That’s what negative self-talk does to us. It makes us not want to try next time because we belittle and berate ourselves. What we want to learn to be like is the teacher and the second equation when the teacher praises Sally and embellishes the answer and guides her to greater growth through praise and positive reinforcement. So that is another thing that we are all about in Imperfect Thriving. We are going to learn self-compassion, self-value, self-love, so that we treat ourselves in the best possible way, the way that we treat others that we care about. So now you’ve got the What. Now I’m going to tell you all about the How. I’m going to have solutions and guest interviews covering all of the different domains of your life, mental and physical, health and wellness, intimate love relationships, parenting and family and so on. And my number one goal for this podcast is to have you actively exploring and asking yourself, what do I want while also taking imperfect action to get yourself there daily. I will share information that makes your life easier, fuller, richer, and more fulfilling. I will provide you not only the information, but the imperfect actions to actually move yourself toward the direction that you want to go, your very best life. So now we’ve talked about the What and the How. I want to explain a little bit about the Why, why I’m doing this podcast called Imperfect Thriving. And it really comes down to my dream, vision of wanting to foster a community of women who like me are in midlife, but who are going after their dream lives together, supporting each other, cheering each other on, living our lives to the fullest unencumbered by our shoulds and our negative self-talk, free to pursue whatever it is that lights us up. And I’m taking imperfect action toward that today to begin building a community where we can nudge each other in a positive direction and in positive ways toward the lives that we want. And I’m there. I am right there. I’m excited to get out of bed every morning and do what I do. I know what I want, I know what’s important to me, and I spend my time moving myself toward that. And I don’t waste time anymore about things that I should do or what others tell me should be important in my life. Because of that, I’m more fulfilled than ever. I’m happier with myself, I’m happier in my relationships, and I so want to help you get there too. But I’ll tell you, I have not always been there and that’s why I know how wonderful it is now versus what it was like to live by the shoulds, because that’s what I did for so long in my life. So a little bit about my story. So like I said, I’ve lived by shoulds for the first four and a half decades of my life. I’m 50 years old now. And I could check every box, I was doing every should. But by the time my mid-forties rolled around, I was getting really restless and I couldn’t figure out why. I mean, my life, it was nearly perfect on paper. I had been a practicing attorney for years and had the opportunity to leave my job and take care of my three children full time. I have a loving and supportive husband who didn’t hold me back in any way. Three happy, healthy kids, plenty of food and a roof over my head. So what could be wrong? Well, I was spending all of my time and energy helping everyone else in my life get out the door and live their best lives and grow and change and thrive. And the more I did for others, the less I did for myself and I was losing myself along the way. Just kind of floating through life. I wasn’t thinking about what I wanted, I wasn’t thinking about what I needed, and I certainly wasn’t learning, growing, or thriving. And every day that my children got older, especially my two high school age children who were getting closer and closer by the day to going off to college, I was thinking, and I was terrified by the thought of what would become of me, what would I have left when I was essentially done raising my children? I had to find something for myself and it took me a while to do it but I finally decided with the help and input of my husband, that I wanted to go back to school to become a licensed counselor. Being a lawyer was never my thing. I was never confident in it, passionate about it, it just didn’t light me up. And I thought that, well, it’s my personality, my skills, my traits, my likes that counseling would be the way to go. Now, I was scared to death. I was going to have to go back to school full time in the age of computers and social media, when computers were not even a thing, at least personal computers were not even a thing when I went to college. So the technology scared me to death. But really in the end it was between feeling lost and devastated when my children left home or taking this giant leap and trying something new. When I made that leap, things really started changing. I began learning and growing. I was happier, more fulfilled, and so I was a better mother, a better wife, a better friend. Oh, it’s just happier. But so, you know, going back to school for counseling, I didn’t know this until I was in the program, but it’s as much about examining every aspect of my own life as it is about learning how to counsel and guide other people. And in doing so I realized that I’m not just a perfectionist. I’m not just a type A personality. I really have anxiety. And it came time for my internship. I was working in a clinic, counseling others, and I started to see a pattern, especially in my female clients. So many clients with anxiety didn’t know what they really wanted. They were living how others wanted them to live, not being treated the way they wanted to be treated. So, I not only wanted to do help these clients, I wanted to help myself and I wanted to find the best way to help clients with anxiety. Not just a way but the best way, the most effective way. So I did a lot of research and reading and I found Acceptance Commitment Therapy, which is well documented and scientifically proven to really help with anxiety. So to give you just a simple version of Acceptance Commitment Therapy, you uncover what you value the most and you put it between you and your anxiety. When I did this for myself and my clients, I began seeing success and their symptoms of anxiety became less and less until one day. Everything that I’ve learned so far was going to be put to the test. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was checking my email and I came upon an email from the professor who was the head of my clinic and in charge of my internship. The email said that I was going to be required to speak to an auditorium full of educators in two days about some counseling topic. Well, you don’t know this about me yet but speaking in front of anyone, small group, large group, whatever, at that time was my greatest anxiety, greatest fear. I had just about decided that I just wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to be able to complete the program because there was just no way I was going to speak to an auditorium full of people. But after more thoughts and reflecting on Acceptance Commitment therapy, I knew I had to do it. I had to put what I valued, which was finishing school, helping others with anxiety and direction in their lives who are stuck or lost and not thriving. That was right in front of me and I had to keep my focus on that and move forward with the presentation. And I will never forget that day as long as I live. I showed up and when I first walked in from the back of the auditorium, of course my nerves hit me for sure. But then I took a deep breath and focused on why I was there and what purpose I was serving. I got up on the stage with the microphone and the big projector and the PowerPoint presentation and I was able to look out into a crowd of strangers, look them in the eyes and speak to them. I wasn’t nervous, my palms weren’t sweating. I was simply acting on what I valued. And for the first time ever, it felt good to speak in front of others. And afterwards I had an amazing feeling of accomplishment and a competence I had never before experienced in my life. What I had been learning and preaching to myself and my clients had worked for me in the biggest way. I proved to myself that as long as I focus on what is important to me, helping others through counseling, coaching, and podcasting, that I will not be stopped by my anxious self-limiting thoughts. And sure, I have the anxious thoughts frequently still. Today as I’m about to record this podcast, there are thoughts of, you know, “Nobody’s going to listen, nobody’s going to think that this is important.” But that’s not what I keep right in front of me. What I keep right in front of me is the one person or you, right there in front of me that I could possibly help through this podcast. You are what I value and what I keep right in front of me that keeps me working through any self-limiting thoughts. So now you know the What, the How and the Why of the Imperfect Thriving podcast. I hope you make the choice to go on this most important journey with me, the journey of finding out exactly who you are and what you want so that you can take daily imperfect action toward that life. I’m so glad you were here today. If you enjoyed the podcast, tell a friend or a loved one about it. Let’s start building our community, a community that takes action. Find another beautiful imperfect woman to join us and go out and take imperfect action today. And I’ll be back here to talk to you again next week. If you love this podcast, will you rate and review it on iTunes or your favorite podcast player? Also, I have a free nine-part blueprint to thrive email course. It’s a step by step guide to find out what you want your life to look like, exactly what’s holding you back, and how to get to that life you want. Head on over to www.imperfectthriving.com/course to get the course today. This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.