Not Our Best | Why 'Getting Better' is Often Better than 'Our Best', In Conversation with Julia Stern

Feb 14, 2020

We had the pleasure of chatting with Julia Stern, a leading voice in the fitness and wellness space given her work at Rumble and new podcast, Not My Best.

From lessons learned along her professional journey, to leading in a male-dominated space, to why aiming to "be better" is more productive than "being our best", we're breaking it all down.

From a math teacher, to an NBA dancer, to now a leading voice in the wellness space given your podcast, Not My Best, and the fitness world given your work with Rumble - you seemingly can do it all. In a world where change can be scary, especially professional ones, how did you overcome that fear?

My advice is to prepare, and then jump! Nerves will always be there, but I've found that they're substantially less when I'm prepared for an event or a class.

Take the time to learn the skills you need, do research in the field, then jump and learn the rest as you go. You'll never be fully ready.

You consider yourself a recovering perfectionist (which, I'm sure many of us can relate to). In your podcast, you focus not on living your BEST life, but rather a better one. In an extremist society, where it's all or nothing, we often don't pursue what we want in fear of failure or coming up short. What does living a better vs the best life look like for you on a daily basis?

My podcast, Not My Best, was an idea I had on a train when I was trying to juggle 10 things at once. We're not made to perform at our best 100% of the time. It's physically impossible.

I lost my mother-in-law to cancer this past year, and seeing my family suffer caused a shift in my priorities because there physically weren't enough hours in the day. I used to expect the best from myself, and then become paralyzed in fear when that wasn't attainable.

I found that if I try to do everything just a little bit better than last time, I'll actually get a lot more done.


In the world of fitness, a space that historically has been ruled by The Man - how do navigate a leadership role as a woman? Your balance of strength, grace, femininity and confidence is impressive!

There are so many unrealistic expectations put on females, and I think step 1 is to ignore them.

Step 2 is to have an honest conversation with yourself about who you are and what makes you happy. I love being feminine and wearing makeup, but I also love feeling strong. I don't normally conform to a trend if it doesn't feel authentic to me.

I've also learned to quiet the voices of people who don't take me seriously. Women can only lead if they believe in themselves before anyone else does.


As someone who notoriously kicks ass at the gym, and looks really great doing it, got any tips for those of us struggling to get our groove on - in the gym or the bedroom?

Haha - change is the biggest solution when you're lacking motivation! If I'm struggling with a workout, a change or scenery or a different class will help me focus.

And I definitely don't feel my sexiest when I've been sweating and teaching classes in gym clothes all day. A shower and a blow out goes a long way.


And we've got to ask, what's your favorite way to Seal The Deal?

In a latté. I got a milk froth-er last year and have been obsessed ever since!

Follow Julia @juliastern, listen to her podcast, Not My Best (it's an absolute delight) or go punch things with her at Rumble