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7. Stopping procrastination in its tracks by using the Spark To Action framework with Patricia Leveque

Rizwan Javaid
Rizwan Javaid
33 min read
7. Stopping procrastination in its tracks by using the Spark To Action framework with Patricia Leveque

In this episode, I have a wonderful conversation with Patricia Leveque, a writer, educator, and procrastination coach.

I first met Patricia in the Ship 30-for-30 program, a writing program to help you build a consistent writing habit. Her wonderful essays about creativity and joy in ordinary moments helped me be more grateful and appreciate the time I spend with my family.

She also helped me understand how to be more focused and procrastinate less with her Spark To Action Framework which she explained in detail.

A few highlights from our conversation:

  • Change takes time and an important part of change is accomodating your needs by becoming more self-aware
  • We need to be mindful and make the choices that actually move us forward toward our goals
  • Reduce your to-do list to help you reduce your mental clutter to gain clarity
  • The Spark To Action Framework can help to make sure you are working on the tasks that align with your values and goals
  • Focus on growth over perfection

You can find Patricia on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/patricialeveq


Transcript

Machine Generated

Patricia Leveque 0:00
All of these things comparison worrying about what other people think these are shackles that we put upon ourselves, we won't we won't be nearly as creative or as bold or as inspired. If our minds are there trying to enter other people's minds worried about them. We need to be more concerned about how our expression is coming out what we're doing to facilitate our expression, use our gifts, and that will bring about satisfaction which will lead to our success.

Rizwan Javaid 0:45
Well, friends, welcome to another episode of low fidelity podcast. I'm your host Rizwan Javaid, in this show, we explored how we can get past our inner challenges to reach our full creative potential. You know, we face a lot of inner blocks at any moment in time, you know, those the usual culprits of fear, imposter syndrome, doubt, our inner critic. And those are just to name a few. So I want to help you build a strong mindset. So you can apply what you learn and achieve your true creative potential onto today's show. Today, I have a very special guest, Patricia L. Avec I met Patricia on the ship 3430 program and have been following her essays and messages. And she has some really inspirational messages for everybody. And she specifically talks about increasing our personal power, creative output and improving life satisfaction. She also has a framework called spark to action, in which she helps people overcome inaction and procrastination to take action, so that they can achieve the results that they want. And so welcome to the show. Patricia.

Patricia Leveque 2:11
Thank you Rizwan I'm, I'm so pleased to be here. It's great to be talking to you. And I have to tell you, you are such a wonderful shipmate during our ship 30 experience together, you were always so supportive and encouraging. And I appreciate that.

Rizwan Javaid 2:27
Thank you so much. I wish had finished the program. But that was that's a whole nother challenge.

Patricia Leveque 2:34
It's a challenge for everybody.

Rizwan Javaid 2:37
So you're actually on program again, are you

Patricia Leveque 2:41
Yeah, I actually have tuned into ship 30 for each and every cohort. For some part of it. I enjoy the energy so much. You know, of course, the first couple of cohorts. I think we I think we were in the same cohort when I started. And I did finish that one that was 30 days of writing straight. And so that was a fantastic challenge. After that, I tend to just tune in, you know, for the networking opportunities, get to know people for the energy and for some of the lessons.

Rizwan Javaid 3:17
Nice, yeah, they have a lot of energy. And each time it starts up, you can sense it and feel it. And it kind of even motivates you to get back into writing more. And yeah, I think that's Can you talk about how you came to your career up to this point?

Patricia Leveque 3:34
Yes, well, I am actually, between careers. I spent, I spent 20 years as a college lecturer I taught English as a second language at the university level. And I found myself back in the United States, and working more on my creative work, basically. So now I'm, I'm a writer, and procrastination coach. And I'm developing some educational material basically, to help people overcome procrastination. Oh, nice.

Rizwan Javaid 4:14
Yeah, that's something we can all use help with is procrastination. You know, that's, that's a topic we'll definitely discuss. So you're creating some material around that. Is that a course? Or is that a guide? Work? What format? Are you sharing that?

Patricia Leveque 4:31
That's a very good question. I am still building. And I think that it's going to be a course but a very short course and I may even introduce it in in the form of a workshop. I'm a big believer in people in lifelong learning and in people getting the information they need, quickly and then putting that into action quickly. So wouldn't wouldn't be very long course and in fact, I have thoughts about doing it over over a weekend, you know, like a weekend workshop, so people can understand the framework and then put that into action.

Rizwan Javaid 5:13
And so you said, quickly use that word few times is the challenges of not doing it quickly.

Patricia Leveque 5:22
Oh, yeah. Well, you know, that's something if, if, if you're looking to overcome procrastination, the word quickly should really feature in your vocabulary, because that is part of what, where we can find our energy and our motivation, when something pops into our mind, or into our sphere, an idea, an idea to act, it's really important to, to act right away. I am, I am a recovered chronic procrastinator. And so that has been an important feature of my recovery is when I have something in my hand to go ahead, just go for it.

Rizwan Javaid 6:04
Yeah. And is that something like you build that to build up your skill? How would you suggest, you know, we approach that, if we're starting to work towards that,

Patricia Leveque 6:16
well, that's, that's a matter of practice, and seeing the benefit in moving quickly. But it's a process, you know, and you kind of have to, at least with my coaching clients, you know, I try to meet them exactly where they are, because some of us need to work on our self compassion, a lot of us hold a lot of guilt regarding our procrastination, so we need to work on self compassion, forgiving ourselves, and, and understanding our self worth, so that we can move on into our creative fields and take action. And then, you know, other people are just kind of ready to hit the ground running because they just want to increase their productivity.

Rizwan Javaid 7:00
So what inspires you in this, in this field of work?

Patricia Leveque 7:04
What inspires me is personal transformation I love. I love hearing people's stories of personal transformation, whether it has to do with productivity or not, or personal things I, I'm in love with the idea that as human beings, beings, we have choice we have agency, we can change our lives, that that's what inspires me.

Rizwan Javaid 7:27
I like that word agency, can you share a little bit more of what what that specifically means?

Patricia Leveque 7:35
Well, we have the ability to make a decision to take action, when we want something in our lives, all we need to do is firmly make that decision. And our brains are amazing. Because we can put something in our brain, like a decision and our brain will work on it for us. And as long as we can overcome some of our fears, we can keep moving forward in the direction that, you know, where our brain is telling us to go. So that's just that's, you know, that takes self trust and overcoming certain fears in order to keep moving forward.

Rizwan Javaid 8:19
Yeah, it sounds like you have to be on that journey. So it is a process, it takes time. It's not something that you can, you know, jump into and expect results right away, you kind of have to go through specific steps and levels and then you change.

Patricia Leveque 8:38
Yes, absolutely. It does take time. An important part of change is also accommodating your needs. And in order to accommodate yourself, you do have to really get to know yourself, you have to know yourself quite quite well and and be willing to give that to yourself. Be willing to ask for what you need and give yourself what you need in order to meet your goals.

Rizwan Javaid 9:05
I've recently started doing journaling and mourning pages is that something that can help help you become more self aware and get to know yourself?

Patricia Leveque 9:16
Absolutely. That's one of the number one things to do. And as it relates to procrastination, that's an excellent thing to do. Because number one, it removes stimulation, we as a society, we are overstimulated with all of our devices and all of the noise in our minds. We have monkey brain, as they say, in meditation field. And so to to bring some quiet so that we can hear our inner directives is really important and you can achieve that through journaling.

Rizwan Javaid 9:53
about meditation, that's really helpful.

Patricia Leveque 9:57
Absolutely, yeah, meditation is another way to move away from the overstimulation, being able to tune into yourself, your desires, your true desires. And also tapping into that ability to be mindful during the day is very important because we do struggle with choosing between our creature comforts and the things we need to do. And we're used to gaining comfort and dopamine rushes whenever we want. But we know deep down that in order to achieve our goals, and to attain true life satisfaction, we need, you know, we need to put that aside and tune into ourselves and be mindful and make the choices that will actually move us forward.

Rizwan Javaid 10:51
Nice, yeah, one thing that I've realized and I started meditating, once COVID happened, and it really helped me kind of deal with some of the challenges that we all went through. One big thing that I've learned is how to separate myself from my thoughts, and not be consumed by them and not go into the stories that our minds create. Is that your experience as well? Oh, that's

Patricia Leveque 11:17
huge. What you just said, are the stories that our minds create. Yeah, that is very important, especially when it comes to dealing with things like fear of success, fear of failure, actually, fear of any kind, is firmly rooted in the stories that we're telling ourselves. So if we have an interest in moving past those fears, we have to we have to address the stories. So that's huge.

Rizwan Javaid 11:44
Yeah, it's a process that takes time, but you know, it can be done. And I think that's where all these things work together, you know, meditation, journaling, and self awareness, as you're on that journey of, of discovery of yourself, you know, all these things come into play at different points. But they all add up to increase your awareness. And it's pretty transformative, at least from my experience, you know, you can all lead to, like you said, agency, that, that you we have control of our own lives we have we have what we do and where we focus on energies. So it's definitely something that we can pay attention to or should pay attention to. Because our future is dependent on it.

Patricia Leveque 12:36
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And those practices can help bring us clarity. Clarity is an important feature in being able to, to make the moves that we want to make.

Rizwan Javaid 12:49
Yeah, I mean, clarity is a big thing. Because like you said, We're there's so much noise in our daily lives, like how do we sift through the noise? And how can we gain clarity? What are some ways that we can approach that?

Patricia Leveque 13:06
Wow, yeah, one of the thing that I recommend for people is taking a look at the to do list, what I find is, people who, procrastinate, usually have the longest and most cluttered to do list of all time. And that's, that's, you know, clutter, mental clutter, that getting rid of mental clutter is important and gaining clarity in your life in general. So one of the things to do is have a system systems are useful. You're probably familiar with the book, Getting Things Done by David Allen, that's a classic his system is number one, in my opinion. And in a nutshell, you're taking all of your to dues that are sometimes sitting in your brain, sometimes sitting on different pieces of paper, and you're gathering them all together, you're capturing everything, and you have a capture system, you know, you choose one way, maybe you put it into your notes in your phone, or maybe you actually write them down. When you put everything together, you know, you can categorize them. Yeah. But the point is to get everything off your brain so that you can have mind like water. Right? So oftentimes, we do need to look at our to do list, that part of our productivity system needs to be simplified. Yeah, you know, and then going through it and deciding, okay, well, what do I really, really need to do what is important to me? And that's, that's part of the inspiration for the spark framework. Okay, when we discuss it, you'll see that making that decision about what's really important to me what's supporting my goals, my dreams, my vision, Use is key in gaining that clarity, deciding what to do with your time, right, because we, we have to be self compassionate, we cannot do everything. But in order to gain the satisfaction we want in life, we need to make sure that we're doing the things that are most important to us.

Rizwan Javaid 15:20
That's perfect. And I'm actually going through a similar transformation is started using this app called Sun Sama, which is more intentional with your daily tasks. So you include the tasks that are really important and that are tied to objectives that you want to achieve. And so instead of doing everything on the, on the days to do list, you only focus on the things that you have to get done. And you can move things around. But be more intentional than just creating a to do list. I think that's where the challenge happens is we we've heard that we need to create a to do list, we create a to do list and it has, then it has everything and then we get overwhelmed and we stop. And so it's it's that intentional part and connecting it to our values, our goals and mission. And so that is like a guiding light for us in our daily organization. And at least for me, I just started using it a week ago. But I see the benefits of making progress towards my goals instead of just doing other things that I think are important, but I'm not.

Patricia Leveque 16:37
Well said. Absolutely. And that sounds like a wonderful app. I need to check that out.

Rizwan Javaid 16:42
Yeah. And I actually tried it a few months ago, but I just never clicked I was just wasn't in their right mind space. And my you know, the way it wasn't just it wasn't the right time. And I tried a couple of trials and nothing, nothing. It just didn't click and I still had challenges with my daily work and the tasks and but then one point when I guess I was in the right mind space, I started using it and all sudden it just clicked. And I feel like it's the timing was right. So I think the timing is also a big factors. Where's your headspace at? Are you open to doing this? Or are not? It's a theory,

Patricia Leveque 17:30
but that's true. That's true. Yeah, headspace. Is there it was there a particular event that inspired you to be able to get the most out of the app?

Rizwan Javaid 17:46
Well, it was this, you know, running this podcast and organizing all the different tasks and the day. And, and keeping track of what I'm doing each day to make progress towards the goals. So before it was just on paper, or my notebook, or in my head, and I tried the other apps Trello and even notion but is just, you know, they just didn't connect. And so I think having a separate app for just your tasks. And you know, okay, this is where I'm going to go to organize my day. And that's it. Nothing else. Yeah, I think that could be helpful.

Patricia Leveque 18:36
Love that. I love that.

Rizwan Javaid 18:38
I'd love to learn more about the spark to action framework that you've created. I think you tweeted about that the objective of life is to act. You know, why do we need this reminder? For ourselves?

Patricia Leveque 18:54
Yes, I do believe that the objective of life is to act because we can't plan or think or dream our way to success, or fulfillment, we must actually act I just believe that life and art are a feedback loop. You know, it's through taking action that we gained feedback on information and we have the next step to take. So that is what has inspired me to develop the spark to action framework. Because I was at a point in my life where I realized that I hadn't achieved everything I wanted to create creatively, or anything I wanted to creatively and I had to dig deep and understand why. And as an educator, it's, it's just in my blood to want to develop a system and then share that with other people. And so spark to action was born. And it's basically a framework you can use to, to dig a little deeper and to create that motivation to move. And the recommendation is to take the first step, and it can be a very small step, or what we call, you know, meant the minimum viable action. Or you might choose the highest leverage action, what whichever one works for you to start the movement. So spark to action. It's a, SP, a RK, and the S stands for support. So it's a series of questions, you got to ask yourself about the task in order to generate motivation. So does this task support my goals? Or my purpose? Or my core values? And that gets to the heart of the why? For doing the task? Right? The P stands for productive. So is this task productive? Will this task be productive? What tangible results will it produce or achieve toward my goals? We want to avoid busy work or unproductive activities. The A stands for adaptable, is it adaptable? What do I need to change or add to make it more doable for me, and this explores more of the how and where I accommodate my needs. So for instance, earlier, we talked about, you know, decluttering, our to do list. And one of the things I did to accommodate my needs is to actually have a huge wall calendar and add some of my absolute to dues on that calendar, in a place where I can see it all the time. It's also in my phone. But I know that I'm a very visual person, so I accommodate my needs by having a place where I can see it every day. The R, the R stands for realistic, can I realistically visualize completing the task? What does it look like? So it's kind of like if I can conceive it, I can achieve it. And the K stands for key, how is it key and moving me forward to the next step. And even if we're moving slowly, at least we're moving forward, we just don't want to go to go backward. Yeah. And so that's, that's the framework, and it takes practice to go through it. But what people will find is that after time, it just you do it automatically. And you may use one part of it and not another to decide if the task is worth doing. Because I believe it's not our fault, that we procrastinate. I feel like we should take the fault off of ourselves, and put it squarely on the task where it belongs. Because a lot of tasks just just inspire procrastination. Yeah. And so when we see something that we're procrastinating on, we just need to ask ourselves, well, what is it about this task? That makes me want to procrastinate on it? How can I change the task? How can I change my approach to the task?

Rizwan Javaid 23:46
Yeah, no, that's a great way to, to think about tasks. And instead of, you know, easily just procrastinating on it, or putting it off for some other time. You know, going through these, that each of these steps, you know, you kind of really realize, do I really want to be doing this? Is this something that is moving me towards my goal? Or is this just busy work or things that I feel like I'm doing but and I'm feeling happy, but it's not actually getting to where I need to, and I know I find myself in those situations where, you know, like, for example, optimizing and organizing feels like it's great work, like hey, this is gonna help me stay productive. And I spend an hour of just organizing my notes and you know, just like adding some details, but it almost becomes a type of procrastination as well.

Patricia Leveque 24:48
Absolutely. There are lots of those traps. Indeed, that feel productive but are not actually productive like Spending hours or weeks deciding on a P kms. personal knowledge management system. That's, that's a popular thing to do these days. Also, taking courses, taking courses is another way we procrastinate and put the responsibility of our progress onto other people. Because as long as we're in the course, we don't really need to move forward, we just need to learn, we're learning, right? We're student we're learning, believe me, asked me how I know all of this. I've done it all.

Rizwan Javaid 25:37
I want the same boat. It's good to buy that course that you exactly like is speaking to you. You need it. But then, you know, the next day, you're on to some other course that is God new ISIS, the shiny objects happening for for? I mean, I think it happens to us all. Because, you know, when you're on Twitter, you see, you know, all these new ideas coming through, and they're all great. They all have their space, and you want to jump on everything. Instead of absolutely, I am guilty of two is signing up, of course, and like to be honest, some some courses I haven't even opened, which, which is not good.

Patricia Leveque 26:20
In there, too.

Rizwan Javaid 26:22
But like, like you said, you know, knowing where you want to go and what you want to achieve, and really feeling that deep inside that that's where you need to be headed, kind of takes away some of these distractions from us.

Patricia Leveque 26:39
Yes, that's right. That's right. And I think, you know, I'm midlife. I'm a midlife creator. And this is a crucial age, because I think naturally, when you reach that age, you start to think about how you using that time, your time, and what results you're going to have. Because legacy is a big deal. life satisfaction is a big deal. And, you know, it's I mean, the younger, you are great, if you're thinking about this, we only have so many so many days on this earth. And at the end of it all, we're not going to think about, you know, how much of that video game we played, or you know, how great that was? You know, there are just some things that just are not as important as our self expression and our contribution to the world. And that is true life satisfaction knowing that the gifts that we have, we are using them for the benefit of other people. That's my that's my opinion. Yeah, putting that out there in the world and using our time. productively.

Rizwan Javaid 27:55
Yeah, I think, you know, the ideas have the ability to change people's lives, and, you know, having affected even one person to change their approach their perspective and to achieve their goals. You know, that's a big accomplishment, you know, you've helped other people do other than other than ourselves to, to make a positive impact in the life. And I think, you know, yeah, so I think that's a great opportunity to do that, you know, you'd like to see your, your plans. So your ideas up on the wall. I actually was thinking about this too, because, you know, sometimes we get lost in our apps with you know, we try to keep everything there. But if you're if you're a visual person, you need like a constant reminder of what you're made. Where you going. Can you talk about how that helps, helps you?

Patricia Leveque 28:59
Yes, yes, I'd love to because this is one of the most important things a person can do for themselves is decide how to accommodate their own needs to make it possible to move from A to B to C. Because sometimes we need things that are not common. And that may be something low tech, it may be something not so shiny or sexy, right? It might be as simple as putting something on that wall. Or you may realize that you have stronger auditory skills. And instead of sitting down to write you, you speak, maybe you should, you know, download otter.ai and start dictating your essays as opposed to sitting down to write them because maybe your best ideas or your best speech comes out when you're actually speaking. And so that takes some exploration and being honest, and being curious about what it is you actually need? What is it in the past that's helped you? What kind of learner Are you? What kind of intelligence Do you have? Meaning that we all have different strengths? It was Howard Gardner that proposed the theory of eight or nine intelligences, you know, we you can have a mathematical intelligence, visual, musical, and there's a whole list. So these are ideas that we can explore, the more we know about that, the more we can choose things, approaches tools, that will actually help us.

Rizwan Javaid 30:58
Yeah, I think that's a great point is look at what your needs are, instead of just get this is what other people are doing. Or this is the latest app, and you should be using this, but what really helps you in your own situation to to move forward, you know, kind of take everything away. And you know, maybe you need some time to discover that. And that's another area that I know, I found challenging was that. And I'm in midlife too. And I met that spot, similar to your journey where I didn't actually pay attention to what I needed, or what I wanted. I never put the lens on myself, it was always on, you know, other people or other things, and never on myself. So I think doing that, and maybe a lot of people are in that similar position where they just never thought about themselves, they never thought to inquire about themselves. Any ideas and thoughts on how people can begin that process?

Patricia Leveque 32:08
Yes, there are websites you can go to where you can take tests to see whether you are a visual learner or you're more auditory. That's one thing. If you suspect that you have ADHD, this might be the time to get formally diagnosed. If you don't choose to go through a formal diagnosis, it's worth it actually to look at some of the ADHD support material. I have found that my approach some of my approaches overlap with what's recommended for people who have ADHD and some of my work resonates. So I think in this day and age, adult onset ADHD is also a thing. So two things a lot of people are just have just gone through their whole lives undiagnosed, if they're our age, and all there is such a thing is or adult onset ADHD given our, our overstimulated lifestyles. So those are those are two big things I recommend look into learning styles and ADHD.

Rizwan Javaid 33:35
Yeah, I think the learning styles is really important because I'm a visual person and, and I've tried taking notes on my phone, just like speaking my thoughts, but it's really difficult to do to make that transition. But I know other people who are more auditory, they take, you know, a lot of notes on the phone as they're walking or wherever they are. So it's really understanding what your strengths are, how you learn, and use that to your advantage to, you know, to take action.

Patricia Leveque 34:14
Exactly.

Rizwan Javaid 34:15
So there's a lot of negative habits that we kind of, you know, taken on as life progresses and you know, whether it's because of us so because of our environment, can you talk about some of the challenges that we fall into

Patricia Leveque 34:30
lots of negative habits, but we can overcome each and every one of them. I think the number one negative habit is allowing ourselves to be overstimulated. Looking at our phone first thing in the morning, tuning into social media a little too often. I think it's important to to perform that experiment where you, you know, spend a day or two off of social media and see what that feels like. See how great It feels to be reaching for your work, and enjoying your work, because you're not diving into, you know, all the fun mind numbing things we like to do. That's one habit to overcome. The other habits have to do with how we see ourselves, you know, a lot of us are perfectionist, maybe that's because of what we see in social media. Also, we always see the highlight reel of someone else's life and achievements. And we think that everything we have to do has to be perfect. And that can hold us back. Because perfectionism can lead us to paralysis, and over analysis, that's one thing to get over, or to work on. Let's see, in addition to perfectionism,

Rizwan Javaid 35:51
for me, I know, I've have a challenge with comparison, like you mentioned, you know, we see the highlight reel of other people, or we see the successes of other people. And then we, at least I, you know, I always wonder, like, why not me? Or why am I not, you know, in that position, I know, that's, that's a really, that's not a good way to look at it. But you know, those thoughts, Before, they used to come to mind every time you know, whether you're on LinkedIn, or Twitter, and any thoughts on how to approach that or any Yes.

Patricia Leveque 36:30
And this is a very important issue, because it's difficult not to compare. But it's very important to start to start reducing that habit, because Comparison is the thief of joy. We are on this life journey together. But we're also alone. And if we're talking about having personal joy, and satisfaction, that's something that we need to do, alone, and compare ourselves only to our previous selves. That's all we can do. The other thing is to try to keep out of our minds, input from other people that we that we haven't asked for, that we just don't need. Or worrying about what other people think. Maybe they haven't even given you verbal input, or even a reason to think about what they're thinking. But still, sometimes we do that we're worried about what other people think that's another thing we need to put aside because all of these things comparison, worrying about what other people think these are shackles that we put upon ourselves, we won't we won't be nearly as creative or as bold or as inspired. If our minds are there trying to enter other people's minds worried about them, we need to be more concerned about how our expression is coming out what we're doing to facilitate our expression, use our gifts. And that will bring about satisfaction which will lead to our success. We all want success and there's nothing wrong with success, monetary success, social success. But honestly, I believe that it's the that personal satisfaction that precedes this outer success. Right. And another habit is negative self talk, you know, all of these go hand in hand that harsh inner critic. Yeah, we need to put that aside have a bit more self compassion, imposter syndrome. Right? Work on that, put that aside, there's, there's really no need for for all of that. I think the older you get, the more you feel that you're just tired of spending your time the energy, right? I mean, you have like a limited amount of energy. And that is just something you you, you realize you don't need. You don't have the energy to spend on anymore. So spend your energy on what's going to create the legacy What are you going to leave behind I find that to be very powerful. motivating force

Rizwan Javaid 39:17
is the there definitely things that pop up. But so it's good to know how you can address those instead of getting lost in those thoughts. And, you know, thinking and overthinking and, you know, coming up with scenarios, and you know, building your whole world, just in your head when nothing has happened, you know? So, I think that's a good way to think about is like you said, stop entering other people's minds, you know, or their lives and focus on what you're doing. And so, I think it's just catching yourself as soon as that thought comes to think about okay, what should I be doing that not unhealthy, I need to think of stop thinking and do something productive. And that will get me towards my goals. Those are definitely easy to trip over. But I think those are good things to think about.

Patricia Leveque 40:14
Absolutely. And this is our journey, we're all on a journey, we might be on a creator's journey. So it's a journey, but there's only one final destination, right? I mean, we tend to think of meeting our goals as destinations. And this idea of perfectionism, it's going to be perfect. That's a destination. But it's not. It's all a journey. So it's all about growth, focus on our growth, over perfection,

Rizwan Javaid 40:45
I think that yeah, that perspective is, is going to be so helpful. Because if you're trying something new, you're going to learn to make a lot of mistakes. And in my case, when I would do that, the mistakes after the mistakes, I would start worrying about, okay, what are the people thinking, perfectionism, and I'm not good at it, I'm not going to try. And you know, so I can see looking back, that that was my, you know, the pattern I would fall into. And now I'm in a different mind space and mindset and realize, after speaking to amazing people like you that you don't have to be stuck in the old thinking you can be, you know, you can make progress towards your goals. Yeah, no, it's, it's, it's definitely a realization and a journey that, you know, we all have to go through on our own. But knowing that there's people to help, that they were ready to help you like you, and the people out there that have done it, they can help you overcome your challenges.

Patricia Leveque 41:55
That's a good point. That's very good point. That's right, we do have each other, and we have communities. And it's wonderful to gain support from the communities that are out there. That's one of the advantages of being online and taking these courses is to Yes, to meet other people, and to have the chance to create those supportive groups.

Rizwan Javaid 42:18
Yeah. And I think like, just again, tying it back to knowing what you want to achieve, and staying with that, instead of being swept away with other people's ideas, ideals and goals, and their, what they doing, you know, knowing building a solid foundation for yourself, and then kind of branching out from there. So you so you recently shared in an essay that you had a conversation with your painting instructor, and I really liked that story, how it kind of changed your perspective. Can you share a little bit more about that?

Patricia Leveque 43:03
Yes, I studied fine arts when I was in college, and I had a painting instructor, who was a very big deal to me. At the time, she was a big deal. She, you know, she had exhibits in the city and was gaining some fame. And she told me, she was looking at a couple of paintings. And she looked at one and she told me, You betrayed yourself here, Patricia. And that frightened me to my core, I just I couldn't understand what she meant. And then she looked at the the other painting and she said, Well, in this painting, however, this painting convinces me that you are an artist. And so it was through that experience that I understood the idea of self betrayal and authenticity, as a creator. And that ties into what we were just talking about, in terms of keeping our eyes on what other people are doing and have that having that inform what we do, when in fact, what we have to author offer the world lies in being ourselves which is being tuned into our authenticity that will lead us to be the creator, that that we want to be

Rizwan Javaid 44:30
it's one of those things where you have to start that journey to understand you know, how you how, you know, what makes you you what is what are your strengths, weaknesses, what are your gifts that you can share and what is your goal and so, but but not hiding that from the world. This is almost like a therapy session for me so my stories, but, but you know, I Personally, what I used to hide things like, you know, because maybe it's, you know, perfectionism and now reaching this ideal of a, like, for example, this ideal of a designer that I have. And if because I'm not there, I don't want to share what I'm doing, because I may think people will think negatively of me, or they may think, Okay, I'm not a good designer, because I'm not at this ideal

Patricia Leveque 45:28
authenticity. And that has a lot to do with integrity. You know, at the end of the day, you're not going to be thinking about how your work compared with other people you're going to be thinking about, did I have the courage to, to put my work out there? Yeah. And just to go back to the concept of self compassion. You know, if you have a child or you You Love A Child, what would you tell that child? How would you support that child does it you know, as a child in you speak the same way to yourself, parent to yourself, sometimes we do need re parenting, a lot of us to give ourselves this the strength and the courage to pursue our goals and creative, creative careers. Especially, I mean, I did not grow up in a family that supported creative careers. It was you're going to get a proper career. That is, it's going to be very obvious how you're going to support yourself in life. And I was actually pushed in that direction. And even when I became old enough to make my own decisions, those voices were still in my head. And so I was still pushing myself in in that direction. But when you reach a level of self realization, you, you know, take take control, it's your life, you're responsible for your life and your joy and your happiness. And choose to do a little re parenting and say, It's okay, put your work out there. That reminds me of a book that I love. It's one of my favorite books. Show your work by Austin Kleon. Very inspiring book. Absolutely. If you have trouble finding the courage to, to put your work out there, definitely read that book.

Rizwan Javaid 47:34
Yeah, I think that's like the, the entryway into self awareness and confidence and trusting yourself and sharing with the world what you have, instead of being afraid and being worried about what other people are thinking. And, you know, like you shared your story, I also went through a similar experience where, you know, artistic expression is not, it's, it's a hobby, it's not something that you want to do as your career. So, you know, the and those types of that type of conditioning, you know, becomes layers and layers and layers that we have to now we have to kind of shed those layers and work hard to do that. But you know, there is a way you've shown that you can do it, you can get the support of people like you to coach you through getting those layers off of you so that you can be more authentic, being your true self out.

Patricia Leveque 48:36
Wonderfully said, I love the way you said that.

Rizwan Javaid 48:38
Because it's easy to fall into your old habits, the old thinking, but you need somebody there to check, check your thoughts and check your your actions that you're you're aligned with what you want to achieve. Yes,

Patricia Leveque 48:53
absolutely.

Rizwan Javaid 48:54
Is there something that you've read recently, or listened to recently that has inspired you

Patricia Leveque 48:59
honestly, show your work is the most amazing, amazing, most amazing book, I believe that it was in that it's in Austin clowns, show your work, but he talks about the concept of a cabinet of wonders. And I like this idea how it ties into leaving a legacy of your interests and your pursuits and your talents as a human being while you're on this earth. And I like that idea of being freed. You have the right this is your human right, to express yourself to put it out there and leave it leave it for the world for the benefit of the world. A cabinet of curiosities. I love that.

Rizwan Javaid 49:50
Nice. That's a that's a wonderful picture. I can imagine. You know, you're collecting all these things for yourself and then, you know, your, your children or your family members to remember you with and something that you brought you joy is gonna bring them joy as well.

Patricia Leveque 50:11
Yes, yes, that's amazing. Yeah, one thing that one thing Austin clans says. He says make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you'll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It's that simple. Makes it sound very simple on how to find and share your creative voice and to become inspired to be a brave and productive creator.

Rizwan Javaid 50:39
Yeah, I think that book, Austin Kleon spoke is, it's almost like a prerequisite for anybody getting entering the creative fields, you know, or even as a creator, you know, gaining confidence as the first book you should read, sets you straight in like, such a direction in the right way. Which is pretty neat. So at this point, I asked guests to share a challenge with the listeners and something for them to take action on. Because you know, like we had, you know, exactly like what we talked about, you can listen, you can gain knowledge. But until you apply that and take action, it's, it's not going to be really helpful. I'm really curious where you came up with, for this

Patricia Leveque 51:29
for your tasks for one week. For each task, ask yourself, How does this test support a goal of mine, or core value? Okay, so get used to evaluating your test. So the challenge for your listeners is to take one week where you evaluate your major tasks. So do the first part of the spark to action framework? S supportive? How does the task support your goal or one of your core values? So this is a practice in evaluating how much value the tasks bring to you. Right? So you want to do this for your major tasks. But I think also for maybe some of the things you do for fun. So if you find yourself, you know, spending an hour on social media, is that supporting your goal in some way? I mean, let's be honest with ourselves. Is it supporting core value, like, Okay, you might have friendship as a core core value, but you may also have creativity, you may also have prosperity, decide where your values set and practice evaluating everything you do for a week.

Rizwan Javaid 52:57
Nice. Yeah, I think that's a great challenge, because that will help us identify the tasks we really need to be working on instead of just creating tasks for the sake of creating tasks. And, you know, doing it for one week will help start help us change our mindset. And, you know, anytime we create a task, we can link it, link it to our objective or our goals. And so getting into the habit will help us quickly identify Okay, is this moving me forward? Or is this moving me sideways? Or even back? So I think that's a great challenge. Thank you so much.

Patricia Leveque 53:39
Wonderful. Yeah.

Rizwan Javaid 53:40
Good luck. So how can listeners learn more about you online? Or? Well,

Patricia Leveque 53:49
I'm on Twitter, and my handle is at Patricia Lovak, le V EQ. And that's where I live right now. On Twitter.

Rizwan Javaid 54:03
Nice. And you also do coaching.

Patricia Leveque 54:07
I do coaching as well. People can feel free to DM me with any of their questions.

Rizwan Javaid 54:13
Okay. Nice. Yeah, I'm really excited to, to, you know, to learn your core about your course or you know, when it comes out, because I know I will need it. And so please let me know when you have published it. First Student,

Patricia Leveque 54:36
thank you so much Rizwan. I appreciate that.

Rizwan Javaid 54:40
It's something that you know, we can all help get, get help with. Because, you know, life is challenging as it is, but the more support we have, the more guidance we have, the better and the more spark to action that we have in our lives, the better and so I think you're Doing a great job in helping us move towards action instead of just, you know, thinking because procrastination and all those other things that keep us back. So we need consistent reminders to take action, and not just settle in into our comfort zone, or thank you so much, Patricia. It was a great

Patricia Leveque 55:22
thank you Rizwan. It was absolutely my pleasure, I enjoyed our conversation. Thanks for having me on the show.

Rizwan Javaid 55:27
All right, don't go anywhere, we'll be right back after a short break.

Looking back, so it was great speaking with Patricia and to wrap things up from our conversation here some of the highlights. So we talked about change takes time. And an important part of change is accommodating your needs by becoming more self aware. We also talked about reducing your to do list and reducing your mental clutter, so you can gain clarity. Patricia also talked about the her spark to action framework, she explained what each letter in Spark stands for, and how it can help you align your tasks with your goals, your core values, so that you can take focused action instead of become distracted or, or procrastinate, because you know, you're working towards something that is meaningful. And that she also mentioned that we we need to focus on growth over perfection. Because there because there will be challenges, we will face ups and downs, we will get sidetracked. But focusing on growth, instead of being perfect in every step will be helped us get over those challenges, and it will help us achieve our goals. I'm also excited about the challenge Patricia shared with us it's an opportunity to connect our tasks with our core values and goals so we can move forward faster and confidently instead of allowing distractions, procrastination or doubt to creep in. So I hope you take part in the challenge and if you do, please let me know you can email me message me on LinkedIn or Twitter and I would love to hear how it goes for you. So before we go, I wanted to ask you if you're enjoying the low fidelity podcast, please rate it and review it on Apple podcasts as it helps other listeners find the show. That's it for today's episode of low fidelity. I'm your host Rizwan Javaid, and until next time, stay strong

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