In June, CarolAnn and I attended the IDEA World BlogFest. We were both thrilled to learn that our opening ceremonies speaker would be the amazing Petra Kolber. FiTOUR® began as a continuing education brand that toured the country by reaching into communities to educate instructors. Petra Kolber toured with FiTOUR® as a presenter back then and has been dear to the FiTOUR® family ever since. With 25 years of experience presenting and teaching in over 30 countries, Petra established herself as an expert in the fitness industry. I can only imagine her resume is long and lovely; at BlogFest this year, though, she shared a personal side of her incredible professional journey.
Petra’s new book The Perfection Detox: Tame Your Inner Critic, Live Bravely, and Unleash Your Joy is due out next month. She spoke about her own experience as an expert and presenter in the fitness industry. She shared her struggles with anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. The fitness industry is often a competitive field led by images of perfection; Petra shared her story of the challenges to keep up with the image. Much of what she said truly resonated with the room of BlogFest attendees; to me, though, there were 5 Key Takeaways that left me reflecting on my own roles today.
Melissa’s Top 5 Takeaways: Petra Kolber’s Opening Ceremony Talk at Blog Fest
- “We Don’t Meet in Perfect”: Humans connect over shared experience and quite honestly, most of those human experiences aren’t perfect. We connect with real and authentic people who are genuine, yet flawed. Do you know why we connect those people the most? Because we are all flawed. While there are days I wish I could live in the filtered lighting of my favorite Snapchat filter, that is not really me. People don’t actually connect with surface conversations because those are the cocktail party or elevator pitch versions of the truth. The truth is good enough: go with it.
- “Consider Excellence vs Perfection”: What is the difference between striving to be excellent and striving to be perfect? For starters, there is no such thing as perfect. I think it should be considered an impossibility. To strive for excellence is a real journey and it allows for humans to be unique individuals with varying interpretations of what it means to be excellent. Striving for excellence allows for the flaws and imperfections to be OK.
- It Can’t Be “Success at Any Cost”: The art of finding balance within success is a multimillion dollar industry; a quick Google search will lead to endless pages of tips, keys, habits, secrets, and tricks toward finding a balanced and successful life. But much like shoes, one size does not fit all. Determining the right balance for YOU requires purposeful living and reflection. To truly be successful, giving up bits of yourself to the point of sheer exhaustion is not worth it. You must remember this one simple truth: you cannot pour from an empty cup.
- “Comparison is the thief of joy” Theodore Roosevelt: As Steven Furtick says, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” In today’s world of constant digital communication it is easy to fall into a negative mental space. The images and stories we see on social media often look like a “perfect life”. Best practice here is simple: stop the comparison. Try to share your stories as they are, allow people to see your joys and your sorrows, be real. By doing so, you’ll encourage people to accept themselves as they are. You will be, according to Petra, a “confidence facilitator.”
- “Courage Doesn’t Roar, sometimes it is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher: Living bravely doesn’t always mean you literally climb mountains, make huge sales, or speak in front of thousands of people. Living bravely, with courage, equates to persistence: the ability to continue through the extraordinary and ordinary days alike. As Dory from Finding Nemo said, “Just keep swimming.”
Petra’s talk led me to a simple conclusion: by letting go of the need to be, look, or seem perfect I am stepping into each day with a little more courage and toward much more joy. When I am most myself, listening and speaking with my heart bravely letting myself be seen, I feel lighter and more joyful. I feel more like me.
Truly, I can’t wait to dive deeper into Petra’s new book. The book will be released on Amazon on August 14 Pre-orders for the book and the audible version are currently underway. Stay tuned to FiTOUR® social media for updates on the book and to connect with Petra in our upcoming online interview on Facebook LIVE.
Click here for the book pre-order
Click here for the audible pre-order