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Last week, I talked about how to embody the gumption and courage required to decide on your dreams.

How to find the passion required for cultivating true grit.This week, I want to talk about exactly what is going to get you from where you are now, to realizing your dream and seeing it come to fruition.

People ask me all the time, “What is the secret to success?” As if there were just one thing that will get you there. But if I had to pick one thing that makes success possible, it’s definitely grit. That sounds simple, but developing grit is a process that requires you to look deep within yourself and decide which goal or dream is most meaningful to you, and why. As someone who has tried in the past to reach 20 mountaintops simultaneously, trust me, you need that clarity.

Join me on the podcast this week as I share what grit is and how you can cultivate it. I’m also sharing how to develop the growth mindset required for going after your big dreams, and what you can do to get really clear on your why, so that the how comes naturally.

If you need help finding clarity on exactly what your dreams or goals are, you’re in luck. I have reopened the Dream Atelier, which is the exact process I use to create my dreams 30 days at a time. If you’re looking for a proven framework to bring your ideas to life and make your dream a reality, let’s get started

What You Will Discover:

  • What grit is and why it will help you reach your meaningful goals.
  • Why a “no matter what” attitude makes achieving any goal possible.
  • What happens when, deep down, you don’t believe in your why.
  • The difference between perfectionism and striving for excellence.
  • How to approach your goals with a growth mindset.
  • What I’m doing and where I’m looking to develop the grit that I need to reach my own dream goal of reaching a million women.
  • How to find the passion required for cultivating true grit.


Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

Travis Bradbury said, “Grit is that extra something that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.

Bonjour, and welcome to The French Kiss Life Podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach and the hostess of this party, where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

What is happening, my beautiful friends? I don’t know about you all, but I am having the best day. And it’s really interesting. It’s such a simple day. It’s not like I’m out and about. Like so many of you I’m still at home. But the weather is absolutely beautiful. It’s one of those crisp and yet warm spring Colorado days; bright blue skies. I can still see snow on the mountaintops. It truly is a gorgeous day.

And one of the things that I love knowing is that I can enjoy the simplest of moments, that I don’t have to have all the pomp and circumstance. I don’t have to have all the luxury, even though I love it. It is not required in order for me to find joy in a day. And that’s what I’m experiencing today.

Dogs are running around like crazy. It’s really difficult to record a podcast because the fam is home. I literally have to tell them, “You’ve got to leave. I need some space so that I can record the podcast.” But even with all of the craziness, even with all of the chaos, even with people running around, I’m still so grateful and so happy.

And do you know what else I’m super-excited about? We have opened the doors to the Dream Atelier. In the past, I have only ran this program once a year, at the beginning of the year. But after women asking for it, we were like, “Let’s do it.” Because I think now is such a beautiful time to be working on our dreams.

So, in the Dream Atelier, I teach you the exact process that I use to turn my ideas into reality, to actually create a dream, 30 days at a time. And one of the things that women often say to me I that they come into the Dream Atelier feeling scattered and confused and overwhelmed and anxious. They know that they want to create. They know that they have goals. But they are just overwhelmed with the process.

And to see them get super-clear, to see them break it down and know where to focus and to take action and to actually follow through is the best part. One of the things that I tell them over and over again, the best part of creating a dream is who you become in the process. Because you have to let go of self-sabotage. You have to let go of confusion. You have to let go of all of these patterns that keep us feeling stuck in our lives.

And that’s what we do in the Dream Atelier. So, if you’re wanting to learn a proven framework and process to bring your ideas to life, to make your dreams a reality, head over to

It is time for a Community Spotlight. This is the part of the show where I get to highlight one of you who has benefitted from the French Kiss Lifestyle. And today’s spotlight is on Kelly Pruner. She is actually a Dream Atelier member.

And here’s what she said, “Before joining the Dream Atelier, I was feeling overwhelmed, scared, and nervous. Afterwards, I feel confident, excited, back on track and more like myself. I’ve done many, many, many programs, books, workshops, seminars, you name it. This is the first time I have been given a template that covers all of the bases, that I can see myself using over and over and over again. I loved the course. Best money I’ve ever spent.”

Well, Kelly, thank you so much. I love this course too. Honestly, I had to create this for myself because I, like so many of you, I knew I had dreams. I had goals. But I had such a hard time completing them. I had such a hard time following through.

I was constantly letting my emotions get in the way. I was constantly feeling scattered. And so, to know that this process has supported you and hundreds and hundreds of others just makes me so, so happy. Keep using this process, Kelly. Keep going after your dreams. Keep making them happen, 30 days at a time.

Last week, we had the first part of a three-part series that I’m doing on dream-making. And last week was all about gumption; the gumption to decide what it is that you want and the courage to go after it.

Now, this is often the easiest part. Granted, I work with a lot of women that, when we first start working together, they’re confused, they feel scattered, they’re stuck. And it’s only because they have a lot of limiting beliefs that doesn’t allow them to open themselves up to all of the possibilities.

But when we clear that up, they’re so excited. When they finally declare what it is that they want, they’re like, “Yes.” But then, we need another ingredient. And that ingredient is called grit. There’s a really great book out there by Angela Duckworth called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

And there’s a quote in that book that says, “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” It takes endurance to create our dreams. And so often, because we’re not getting results fast enough, things aren’t happening the way we thought they should, they’re not unfolding according to our plans, we give up way too easily. But when you have grit, you don’t give up, my friends. That’s when you get going.

You know, I can say I am so proud of myself and what I have created, especially when I consider where I started, how I grew up, how I have limited myself, because I no longer blame my childhood. It’s all on me now. But for years, I had my own self-limitations.

I told myself, “You’re a nurse. This is all you can ever expect to be. This is the life that has been planned for you. Just suck it up, buttercup, and live it.” But deep down, I knew I wanted more. And when I finally decided what it is that I wanted, and I went for it, oh boy, that’s when it started to get really fun.

No one told me how difficult it was going to be. And now people ask me, “What is the secret to success,” as if there’s one secret. But if I had to tell you one secret, it would be grit. It really, really would. Because when you have that no matter what attitude, like I am going to do this no matter what, giving up on myself and my dreams is not an option.

When the obstacles occur – and trust me, they will. You’ll have plenty of them – you’ll keep going. You keep showing up. You keep persevering. And so, I wanted to share with you some of the lessons that I’ve learned about grit, ways that you can cultivate it in your own life. Because again, no matter what it is that you want to create, you’re going to have to have grit.

So, what is grit? It is defined as the passion and perseverance for meaningful goals. Notice I said meaningful. A lot of you are going after goals that don’t mean that much to you, which no wonder it’s so hard. I see this a lot with my weight loss clients.

Their goal has been, for some of them for three decades, to lose weight. And when we tap into their why – because I think, in order to have grit, you need to have a big why, a why that will inspire you to wake up in the morning even if you don’t feel good, a why that will help you keep going even when it seems like all you’re encountering are challenges after challenges.

So, when I ask them, what is your why, they’ll dig down deep and they’ll come up with a why that is not meaningful. And they’ll realize that they’ve been pursuing weight loss for all of these years because they thought that’s what they were supposed to do.

But here’s the really fascinating thing, y’all; when they finally find that meaningful goal and dream and they focus on that, so many of them lose the weight without even trying because they’re not turning to food because they’re so miserable because they’re not being true to themselves.

Now, for some of my clients, weight loss is a meaningful goal because it’s hindering them from having the energy to play with their kids or climb the mountains that they want to climb, or to wear the clothes that they want to wear. When it comes to your why, the only thing that matters is that you like it.

Not that your husband likes your why or your momma or your cousins or your community. It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is you must like your why because, in order to have grit, you’ve got to have that passion. You’ve got to have that inner fire that you want to make this happen no matter what. So, you need to know your why. Is your goal meaningful to you?

Another thing that I want you to notice is that I’m talking in singular form. I’m talking about a goal or a dream; something that is long-term in the future. It’s so important that we decide what is most meaningful to us. I see this so often with clients. They’re so scattered.

They’re trying to reach 20 different mountaintops at the same time. It makes it really, really hard. Trust me, from someone who used to make that attempt, it’s impossible.

And there’s another really great quote in the book Grit, where Angela Duckworth says, “It soon became clear that doing one thing better and better might be more satisfying than staying amateur at many different things.” Really think about that, you all.

Imagine what your life would be like if you decided and you focused, you put all of your energy behind one aim, one goal, one dream. What would you be able to create? We work a lot on this in the Dream Atelier. Before the program even starts, I have a whole orientation week where I lead you through the exercises to hone in on what is your dream, what are you ready to commit to, what is your focus?

And I’m always so blown away by how these women create momentum when they finally decide, when they finally get clear, when they finally stop spinning in confusion and feeling scattered because they’re trying to do everything all at once. And it’s scary. It’s scary to decide because we don’t want to give up all the options. But do you know what’s even scarier? Spinning in circles for the rest of your life. So, what is your meaningful goal that you’re ready to go after?

The second thing I wrote down here is that you have to be willing to develop your talent. Let me tell you all, when I first started coaching, I was not the best coach in the world. And I still am hungry to be the best coach in the world.

Now, I do think I am an incredible coach. But I also know there’s always room to be better, to grow, to strive for excellence. Not perfectionism; big difference. But I want to be excellent in my craft. Which means I’m always wanting to develop my talent. It’s not something I was born with. Talent is something that you get to create. And so, when you think about your goal, your dream, I want you to be thinking about what talents do I need to be cultivating to help me reach it?

Personally, I am always learning. I am always a student. As much as I am a leader and a teacher and a coach, I am just as much of a student all the time. I am always studying topics that I feel like my clients could benefit from. I’m always studying things that will help me be a better coach, a better CEO, a better leader. Because those are my interests and those talents and skills will help me reach my big dream.

Which, by the way, for those of you who may be new to me, my big dream is to reach a million women in the next, it’s now less than four years, I think. So, I’ve got to get busy. But I love the message of French Kiss Life so much. I love what it’s done for my life. I love what it’s done for my clients’ lives. And I just want to get it out to as many women as possible.

So, that is my big goal, my big dream. And so, I’m constantly asking, what talents and skills to I need to cultivate? I need to probably be a better speaker. I probably need to be better at marketing. These are all things that I’m constantly focusing on. And that’s part of having grit, is developing your talent and knowing it’s okay to start at zero. We all do.

I think you all are way too hard on yourselves, especially when you’re first starting out. You’re a beginner. Be willing to be a beginner. We were all beginners at one time. And I still love going into things with a beginner’s mind.

I don’t like going into things thinking, “Well I know this already. This is dumb. Why am I wasting my time?” Everybody has something to teach me. And so, I use that to build my talent, to build my skills.

Okay, let’s see what’s next. This is a good one. Grit requires a growth mindset. There’s a really great book out there called Mindset by Carol Dweck where she talks about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

A fixed mindset is very against feedback. It doesn’t like to be challenged because it doesn’t want to look bad. And usually with a fixed mindset, when that person becomes frustrated, they give up. And they like to stick with what they know. They like to stay in the known and the comfortable.

But as you can see, that’s not really helpful when you’re trying to reach a dream; something in the future that you’ve never created before. Of course, it’s going to be uncomfortable. Of course, you’re going to be frustrated. And of course, trust me, you’re going to have so many challenges. Which is why a growth mindset is so important.

The way I like to think about a growth mindset is, if it could talk, it would say, “Bring it. I was made for this.” Big difference, right? Whereas the fixed mindset’s like, “Don’t bring it. I don’t know if I can handle it.” The growth mindset is like, “No, I want this because challenges grow me. Failure is an opportunity to grow. Feedback is constructive.”

A lot of you don’t want to put yourself out there into the world because you’re so afraid of the feedback. But every bit of feedback is there to grow you. Some of it is constructive and is there to help you figure out new ways of doing things, new ways of showing up. Other feedback is just mean and hateful and it’s there to grow you in the sense of you becoming bigger than that.

The growth mindset loves to try new things. It loves to experiment. It’s like a kid. Do you remember when you were a kid and you were like, “I just want to try all the things. I don’t care if I fall down on the playground or sprain my ankle on the monkey bars.” It’s just so fun to play. It’s so fun to learn and to grow. And that is what grit is all about. Grit is like, “Bring it. I was made for this.”

The other thing with grit is that it really does require that you let go of the how. I see so many of you not even get started because you don’t know how. Do you know when you’ll figure out the how? When you’ve done it and you’re looking back and you’re like, “Well, okay, now I know how I did it.”

But grit is all about, just take the next step that you know from where you are. Just try the next thing and see how it works out. Yes, you may fail. Yes, it may not work out. But that will be data as to what to try to do next. Even with my weight loss clients I see this.

They try something and they get on the scale, and maybe they’re three pounds heavier and they’re like, “This isn’t working. I might as well go back to eating all the things.” It’s what I used to do.

And the thing is – and I tell my clients this all of the time – weight loss, like permanent weight loss, is paved with failures. You’re going to make so many mistakes. You’re going to overeat. You will skip workouts. You will escape your life with food. But those moments are not the problem.

Do you want to know what the problem is? When you use those moments as an excuse to beat yourself up and to give up on yourself. But imagine if you had grit. Grit is not about not making mistakes, my friends. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about when those moments arise, you use them for you. You get curious about yourself.

You ask yourself, “Why did I just overeat? What’s going on? Why have I skipped my workouts for a week? Let me figure it out. Why am I escaping my life through food? What if I fix my life so I didn’t have a life that I needed to escape from?” That is grit.

And it requires that you give up the how because you’re going to figure the how out along the way. I think about when I started my business, I had no idea, none, how I was going to end up where I am today. I had no clue.

But you know what I had? I had grit. I kept sending out that newsletter every single week that my mom and dad read. Thank you, mom and dad. You’re amazing, by the way. I would just show up. I would try things. I would see what women were resonating with, what they weren’t resonating with.

I started to really honestly just be true to myself and share my love of France and personal development and style. Like, “Let me just see. It can’t hurt. And I love it, so at least I’ll have fun creating it.” And it turns out, women loved it. But I had to give up the how and just do the next thing.

I tell my clients all the time, I’m like, “Listen, when I look back over my life and how I’ve gotten to here, it was a series of projects. And one project after the next has led to where I am.” But now I’m thinking about a million women, I don’t know how I’m going to do it.

I have some ideas, but they may not work out. And that’s okay because, if they don’t work out, they will grow me. And they will not be an excuse for me to give up. If anything, they’re an excuse for me to keep going because I’m so excited to figure out the how. And I know that I will figure it out when it’s done.

So, you have to give up needing to know the how to get started. Just do what is next. Just do the next thing that you know to do and see how it works. The worst thing that can happen is it doesn’t work and you will know not to do that again.

Grit also requires the no matter what attitude. Like, no matter what, I’m going to do this thing. I’m not giving up. There are no guarantees that it will happen, but I can guarantee, it will not happen if you don’t even try. And I love the no matter what attitude because, for me, it’s like, no matter what, I’m going to get to the top of that mountain.
Now, I may have to change course along the way. I may have to stop for a while and rest and recoup and try to figure out a new plan. But I’m getting to the top of that mountain because my why is so strong. I have such a passion for it.

So, think about that thing that you want to create in your life. And imagine if you had that no matter what attitude. Would you give up the first time you put an offer out there and no one buys? No. You’d be like, “Okay, that didn’t work, but that’s not a reason to give up. This makes me want to figure it out even more.”

One of the things that I know for sure is that no matter what your dream is, you are going to have obstacles along the way. And this is a good thing. Can you imagine if it was just easy? It’s like people that win the lottery. They didn’t even have to work for it. They don’t appreciate it nearly as much as the people that worked for it.

But a lot of you are thinking that you want it to be easy. But the reality is, I don’t think you want to because I don’t think you would appreciate it as much. If you think back over your life, the things that you deeply appreciate, probably a lot of them are the things that you worked really hard for, that you had to overcome a lot of obstacles to achieve or to create it or to become it or to have it.

So, do you really want it to be easy? Because if it’s easy, it’s not going to grow you. You’re not going to have to change at all. It’s just going to fall into your lap. And we think we want that. But I’m like, I think we would be so super-bred. We’d be like… next.

And yet, so many of you are giving up because it’s not easy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all about ease. But ease is not easy. Ease, for me, is when I align my thoughts and my feelings and how I’m showing up with the result that I want, that I’m not fighting with my desires, that I’m not giving up on myself and feeling disappointed. That’s ease. That, to me, is being in flow. But it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy because there will be challenge along the way.

And that brings me to the last point about grit. One of the things that has been so useful for me, to help me keep going, to keep me from not giving up, to help me face obstacles and challenges with that bring-it attitude is I love to focus on the becoming, not the ending.

Here’s what I mean. I tell my clients all of the time, the best part of creating your dream is who you become in the process. If I’m always focused on getting over there, I’m always feeling the lack of it here. And that doesn’t feel good.

While I love to have that aim, while I love to know where I’m going, while I love having that dream, more than anything, I love bringing it back to today and focusing on who I get to be today, what this dream requires of me today, how it’s going to grow me today. What can I do today to have a positive impact on that future dream? How can I focus more on who I’m becoming than where I’m going? This is big.

One of the things that I’ve noticed with my clients is that they believe that there’s going to be this day when they magically arrive and life is going to be perfect and happy and joyful all of the time. And when we think that way, we’re setting ourselves up for success because that’s not life.

Life isn’t going to be perfect all of the time. It’s not going to be joyful all of the time. There are still going to be challenges even when you’ve reached your goals, even when you’ve reached your dreams. And if you like me, you’re going to be setting new ones.

And so, for me, I love to bring it back to the here and now. I love to know I’m never going to fully arrive and that is a good thing. As my good friend Julie says, “When you’re done, you’re dead.” And so, I love knowing that I’m never done, but I’m always becoming. I’m always growing when I’m in pursuit of my goals and my dreams.

And so, when you have this attitude of, you know, I know where I’m going, I’m practicing and believing in it, I’m practicing showing up for it, I’m going to let that go and I’m going to bring it back to today and have the grit to overcome whatever comes my way today and be proud of who I’m becoming because of that. It’s so much more fun to go after your dreams.

So, I want you to imagine how much more likely you would be to reach your dream if you cultivated grit. And grit is something that you can cultivate. It is available to us all. So, I want to leave you with another quote from the book Grit.

She says, “Yes, but the main thing is that greatness is doable. Greatness is many, many individual feats and each of them is doable.”

It is time for J’adore, the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And do you know, what I love is how much you love my loves. So many of you have been reaching out and asking, “Where can I find your J’adores? I remember you mentioning something and I can’t find it.”

Well, good news, my friends. We put together a whole page filled with my J’adores that you can go and look at. In fact, if you head to, you can head over there and see all of my past J’adores that I’ve shared on the podcast.

And today, I’m adding a new one. And this one is all about skincare. I am so honored that so many of you have reached out, you’ve sent me messages on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve even had my friends text me, “What are you doing to your skin?” And I’m truly honored because I have struggled with my skin for so long.

I have melasma. I often have breakouts around my jawline, which I hear is hormonal. And I never thought there would be a day when people were asking me for skincare advice. Honestly, it’s almost like when people ask me about style advice.

I still remember that young version of myself who so wanted to be stylish. But I just didn’t get it right most of the time. So, when people ask me style advice now, I’m like, “Really? Okay…”

But it’s something – it’s just like what I talked about in the podcast – it’s something I was curious about and I developed the skill, I developed the talent. Which means anyone can learn style and anyone can learn how to take better care of their skin.

So, today’s product I’m super excited about because I started using it probably six or seven months ago, maybe even longer, I can’t remember. But anyway, I’ve really seen phenomenal results. Now, I do a lot of things for my skin. It’s not just this one thing. And I think it’s been a combination of these things. I’ve seen such an improvement in my skin, in the texture, in my complexion. I have a glow about my skin that I didn’t have a year ago.

And there’s so many factors, again, involved. I drink tons of water. I take supplements. I eat a lot of good fat. So that’s one conversation. But this tool, I think, is helping. I can’t guarantee it, but it has been a part of my regimen. So, I have been using a microneedle device.

Now, again, anything I share on this podcast, you have to check in with yourself. You have to use it at your own discretion. But microneedling is a procedure that uses a bunch of tiny needles to puncture just the top layer of your skin. And it works because it rejuvenates your skin by boosting collagen production, and that, in return, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and the texture of your skin is better.

And the good thing is, what they say, is that when you use it, the products are so much more effective. If you can imagine a lot of tiny, tiny little holes, microscopic, you can’t even see them, but they’re there. And so, when you put product on, it really gets into your skin, which you want to be using good products too. You don’t want to be opening up your skin and then putting crap on it.

But the particular tool that I use is by BeautyBio. In fact, if you go to, you can see the GloPRO, which is the name of the one that I use.

I highly recommend that you go with a reputable company. Please do not go onto Amazon and but a cheap one because you are putting holes in your face. You want to make sure that it is a quality device.

But I really like this one. And what I like about it is that it also has an LED red light therapy and microcurrent stimulation within it. And they say it helps to stimulate cellular turnover and get better results.

I also like it because it’s not intense. Like, if you go into a dermatologist or an aesthetician’s office, they’re likely going to be using longer needles. And I’m just not about that. Not right now.

Is it painful? Not really. It’s a little uncomfortable. But the way I use it is like 15 seconds on each quadrant of my face. So, if you imagine your face having four quadrants, I just go over it 15 seconds and then I go up and down, and then I go side to side on each quadrant, and then I’m done. And I do this every night right before I put on my nightly serums.

And again, I can’t guarantee that this will work for you, but I can tell you, I really believe that it has worked for me. It’s really helping me improve my skin. My melasma is better. Again, my texture is better. My complexion is a lot clearer. And there are so many other factors involved, but maybe I can share my whole routine at some point.

But right now, I’m sharing my BeautyBio GloPRO microneedle. Needling? Needle? Whatever it’s called. Just go to and you can check it out. Have a beautiful week, everyone. Go out there and French Kiss Life. Cheers.

If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss Lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting Because, after all, mindset is the new black.

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