Have you ever had days where you just can’t seem to get out of your own way? You’ve got a mile long to do list (one that you keep adding to each day, ugh), but everything else seems so much more important to get to instead of the things that actually need to get done for your business to grow.
Do you go through your week with your head down, blinders on, working like a mad woman, than when Friday hits you think, ‘Damn, I’ve been crazy busy…how could I have not chipped more off my to do list?’.
In talking with women, whether it be in my live workshops, my one-on-one coaching, or simply standing in line at the grocery store, procrastination is a theme that keeps popping up as a roadblock for many of them and stands in the way of their success.
One woman referred to it recently as ‘Squirrel Syndrome.’..which, may I say, hit close to home as my nickname used to be ‘The Squirrel’. No longer, phew!
Scurrying around throughout our days from one thing to another avoiding the calendar or our to-do list for our business; instead it’s “must do this, and now this, oh, can’t forget that . . .” and the next thing you know it’s the end of the day and the goals you came up with while you were brushing your teeth in the morning somehow never even made it out of the gate…another day is gone and you’re standing there wondering what happened, once again.
Sound familiar? Yes? You’re not alone. Procrastination is universal, and as such, is the “Universal Inhibitor” to reaching our goals AND our potential in business and life.
Webster’s defines procrastination as “to be slow or late about doing something that should be done.” Procrastination can show up to your party uninvited (with its party shoes on!) in a whole host of ways.
There are three main ways procrastination rears its ugly head:
The first, and perhaps most prevalent for us as women, is allowing our boundaries to be optional.
So often we have children, a spouse, or family members who are demanding of our time and often this can be especially difficult to maneuver. We’re raised in a culture where we’re taught to be caregivers; to put others needs ahead of our own.
For many of us, it’s second nature to take care of others…we often don’t even recognize when we back-burner our own needs. The fallout of this is: we then have no idea where our boundaries are, or where they went, so how can others know where they are, let alone that we may have any?
As business owners we have got to start putting our needs first or our business will not succeed, at least not at the rate we’d like (or need) it to.
If we do put ourselves first, or the needs of our business ahead of others, we’re often told we’re ‘selfish’, or a ‘bitch’…which tends to piss us off and then we very well may live into some of these descriptions because our boundaries are being stepped on or ignored (read more about boundaries here). This happens mainly because we haven’t been taught to confidently set boundaries around OUR TIME and OUR BUSINESS.
As business women, we need to set boundaries around our time and equally important, we need to be vigilant about keeping them, or we will be leaving our success to chance. And that rarely works out well.
The next procrastination rabbit hole is ‘this before that’, the belief that I have to have ‘THIS’: another degree or certification/class/credential, or a beautiful website …before I can have ‘THAT’: hanging out my shingle, feeling credible or smart enough, being able to charge my worth, feeling like real businesswoman, a real . . . (fill in the blank).
It can even be something a simple as, ‘I have to clean my desk before I can work’ or ‘I need to get a planner before I can start working.’ Does this pop-up for any of you? I know I’ve had to do get to the pile of laundry before I could sit down to do the work I needed to get to (really?). And I can almost always tie it back to needing to do work that I didn’t feel competent about, or when I feared putting myself out there…this is when procrastination really hits for me.
Trust me, you’re not alone! Many women fall into this trap because we often feel we’re not enough…not smart enough, old enough, young enough, skinny enough, strong enough, sexy enough, so we continually second guess our choices and decisions.
You are enough today. Brene Brown says, “What we know matters but who we are matters more.” Bravo Brene, you couldn’t be more spot-on.
The third way we often get tangled up in the procrastination loop is a big one, fear. Statistics show 85% of people allow the fear of failure get in the way of their success (and I bet it’s higher for women).
It can be fear of what others will think of us, fear of embarrassing ourselves, fear we really don’t know what the hell we’re doing (trust me, you do!). Or it can simply be the ‘unknown’ (well, not so simply if it’s what you fear..more on simple vs. easy here). Why is it that the pain of the know is so much more ‘comfortable’ than the pain of the unknown?
Fear can run rampant in our minds if we allow it to, and it stops us from taking action far too often.
Learning to name what our fear is can be incredibly helpful in moving beyond procrastination and towards action. Name your fear and look it in the face every morning as you give it the finger (literally).
So, how can you kick procrastination’s ass and start doing what it takes to move your business forward, consistently and confidently (and without *bleeping* apology!)?
For me, as an entrepreneur for the last 26 years, structure has been the backbone of my success. Knowing what my vision and goals are for my business has allowed me to create structure and strategy around the steps I need to take, each day, each week, each month and each year in order to move out of procrastination and achieve the success I desire.
For my clients as well, structure has been the key piece in the puzzle to creating the business AND lifestyle they want.
STRUCTURE = FREEDOM
Trust me on this!
If you start out each week knowing what each days entails, you’ll have the freedom to move and shift things when life throws you a curve ball…and let’s admit it ladies, life will wing an occasional curve ball at us.
If you go through your day with no plan, leaving business, and therefore successs, to chance, you’re more likely to flounder through your day…then you realize it’s already noon before you’ve even started on a project, and you have an hour or maybe two before you need to leave to pick up the kids.
Structure will help support you and keep your business moving in a forward direction.
To combat procrastination, know what your vision and your goals are for your business. Know that each step/choice you make is either moving you closer to your goal, or further away from it.
Take some time to think about your vision and goals for your business and for your life. What are your:
3 Year Goals
1 Year Goals
You can then start working on a strategy by backing out of your goals and defining what steps you need to take to move you closer to what your goals are.
Would some structures and strategies to your day help you avoid procrastination and grow your business? Give me a shout and let’s set up a Clarity Call to get clear on what may be getting in the way of your success. Click Here to schedule a call with me, let’s get you building the business of your dreams!
As we start a New Year, and reflect on the previous year, how has the past 12 months been for you, successful? Did you reach your goals? Did you fall short? Did you have goals, and did you write them down? As Benjamin Franklin said:
I agree 100% with ole Ben.
Many of the women I work with have wonderful, exciting, BIG and PASSIONATE ideas for their business…what they want to do, where they want to take their business and the abundant income they want to create.
Then life gets in the way. Chores need to get done, kids need to be shuttled from here to here, our time, and focus, is pulled in a dozen different directions…Every. Single. Day. We’re so damn busy getting stuff done, we don’t see what needs to be done. Can ya relate? I know I can.
I’ve written a lot about the importance of mindset in business. My belief is we need to shift our mindset so that we can create a clear vision of what’s possible AND believe we are capable.
And while I do believe mindset is the most important factor in creating a long term, thriving, profitable business, if you don’t have a strategy and plan in place to get you from where you are to where you want to be, statistics are, you won’t make it.
Here is 1 strategy to get you started in the direction of your dreams……it may seem super simple and oh so basic but it’s extremely important in your vision of what you want your lifestyle to be so that you can create the thriving lifestyle business you dream of.
Get super clear on the lifestyle you want as a business owner.
Be sure to set aside time to do this exercise when you don’t have any distractions or time restraints so you can fully focus, visualize and ‘feel’ the lifestyle you desire.
- How many days a week do you want to work?
- How many hours a day?
- What hours of the day do you want to work? 5AM-1PM? 10AM-3PM? 9:30AM-1:30PM?
- How many weeks off do you want per year?
- Which weeks do you want off?
- How much self-care and/or exercise do you need weekly to stay healthy? If it helps you stay focused and produce more with less effort, schedule it as a part of your work week.
Now grab your calendar…
- Mark off the weeks you want for vacation
- Mark the days per week you want to work
- Mark the hours of the day you want to work, and mark OFF the ones you don’t
- Mark down the self-care/exercise time
- Schedule your self-care in your calendar, because when we feel better we do better, PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, and FINANCIALLY
Be sure to stay tuned for my next blog post where we’ll dig deeper into defining the lifestyle we want and creating strategy around making it happen!
I’d love to hear your comments. Are you ready create the lifestyle you want as a busines owner, consistently, intentionally and without apology? Click Here to download an application for a free Clarity Consultation with me … let’s get you intentionally moving towards the life and business of your dreams, now.
Mindset and self-doubt impact our success in business and in life. We know this and yet, we allow self-doubt and other barriers to find their way into our thinking.
Do you ever get caught up with being overly concerned of what others think?
Do you alter who you are, what you’re doing, or even perhaps your goals because of what you think others will think of you?
I know I have and my clients have, too. A topic that consistently pops up in our conversations is their fear of what other people think of them.
Most of the fear we as women have about putting ourselves out there—about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone and Playing Big in life and in business—is around what others think of us:
- “People will be upset about what I have to say.”
- “I’ll lose credibility with my colleagues.”
- “My family or friends will disapprove.”
- “I’ll embarrass myself.”
Suddenly, what we only believe to be their thinking becomes our thinking. It’s as if we’ve handed over the reins of the stagecoach of our minds. We give over our power and stop investing our time and energy in what lights us up—all because of our fear of not being good enough … because of our own fabricated “story” of what someone may possibly be thinking. The thinking is imaginary but the fear is real.
This fear has the ability to stop us on our path to success … quickly and thoroughly.
If we truly want to create the life we dream of, we can no longer depend on positive feedback, someone’s approval, OR fear someone’s disapproval. We must create our own thoughts—our own mindset—and from that, our own reality.
We become so attached to praise, needing—almost craving—it, that when we don’t get it, we feel deflated. It’s like we’ve done something wrong because we didn’t receive recognition for our hard work.
When we get used to doing something with the payoff of praise, and that praise doesn’t come, we can feel like a failure, even if our work was Kickass!
And when we receive criticism, it can really trip us up. It can make us feel vulnerable or misunderstood. It can even make us feel like a fraud … as if our lack of knowledge or ability has been exposed.
It can distract us and make us question if we’re actually good at what we do or maybe whether we’ve chosen the wrong path or the wrong passion for our abilities.
This fear can create an amazing amount of stress for us as we build our business, our careers … making it difficult to do our work and put ourselves out there.
Over time, the fear of not being good enough and fearing criticism can grow so intense, we stop putting ourselves out there all together.
If we want to play big, if we want to build a business and create the lifestyle we want … if we want to push our boundaries and step out of our comfort zone, we’ve got to let go of what other people think … we’ve got to let go of the “high” praise gives us.
And, we’ve got to realize that when we’re exposing our work to a larger audience, it’s likely we’re going to receive criticism. It’s that simple … simple, yet not easy, to let go of. (Read more about simple vs easy here)
Take a moment to check out your favorite author or artist on Amazon.com (or any other books sellers) and look at the list of wonderful positive reviews people have written about their books … AND notice there are a few negative reviews in there as well.
Does this mean the book is no good or not worth reading? No! Not at all! It often means the person reading the book isn’t the author’s target market. The review doesn’t always tell us about the book, it tells us about the person giving the feedback.
Can you imagine your favorite author not writing because of receiving criticism about their work? And, just as you do, they, too, received a negative review or two along their way to success, right?
The same goes for praise. Receiving praise doesn’t always tell us about ourselves or our work, it tells about the person giving the feedback and what they like.
Now, I’m not suggesting we have to stop caring what other people think all together…we don’t need to stop wanting praise, lots of clients, plenty of likes on your Facebook posts … or having a positive, receptive audience … we all enjoy praise to some extent and turning our back to it entirely won’t be effective either.
And we don’t need to stop caring about negative feedback either.
We simply need to start looking inward for answers instead of outward for validation.
Instead, let’s look at whether we want to make choices in our life, business, or career through the lens of someone else’s ideals, values, desires, and perspectives or through our own.
When we make choices in our life according to what others think, we give away our power and, with it, our authenticity.
There are many reasons why we’re so concerned about what others think, positive or negative … especially as women.
We’ve been taught to be the good girl (Read more about the Good Girl here); to be sensitive; be aware of others feelings; to notice when someone is upset, bored, distracted, or angry. We readily take in the emotions of others, and this alone will impact the way we put ourselves out there.
Criticism can stop us in our tracks, especially if it’s a belief we have about our Self …it’s like we’ve been exposed, even if that belief is not true.
The next time you feel like you’re getting hooked by fear of what others think, get curious.
Is there a negative belief about myself that’s being triggered?
Where do I trip up the most in regard to criticism? To praise? Label and notice so you can be ready for it before getting hooked again.
What’s more important to you than receiving praise? Avoiding criticism? Get, and stay, in touch with your work and life goals and let them guide you fueled only by your own feedback and internal praise for success.
I’d love to hear what helps and hinders you as you strive toward goals. What’s been your experience with the role of mindset? Drop me a note here or set up a free complimentary Clarity Call if you’d like to explore this further. Let’s take back the reins and charge your goals together.
Anger. It’s a part of life. It’s a part of business. Yet, many of us seem to have difficulty with it. Acknowledging it. Expressing it. Even simply allowing ourselves to feel it.
We’ve been taught over the years that anger isn’t pretty. It isn’t feminine. That we’re ball-busters if we choose to express it. Some soften its reality by referring to it as “displeasure.” It won’t hurt us to name it and claim it. In fact, it will hurt us (and our business) if we don’t.
As a woman, I admit: it’s hard to fully embrace anger. We’re supposed to be the nurturers, the ones who take care of and soothe others—not the ones that speak up and ruffle feathers.
We all feel anger at times. Just like any other emotion, it’s a part of who we are. A piece of the whole woman.
Expressing anger can be perceived as aggressive and “cold”… extremely unappealing and totally unfeminine, so we tend to avoid it, at much cost to our Self.
We’ve not only been taught to avoid showing our anger, we’ve been discouraged to feel it, or even recognize it.
When we don’t allow ourselves to fully feel the emotion of anger, how on earth can we learn to express it in a healthy and productive way in any relationship?
And how can we live a truly authentic life if we’re not willing to show our dark not-so-pretty side?
Our anger scares us because we haven’t been taught how to effectively express and use it to create the change we need in order to work through our anger and let it go.
We’re fearful of going from one extreme (constantly suppressing) to the other (screaming lunatic).
So we avoid situations, discussions, people, our dreams, desires … life, because they put us in direct contact with our anger.
I invite you to think about this perspective: we need to walk through anger (and all emotions) from one end to the other to explore, feel it, own it, express it, in order to tame it. We need to know what all levels look and feel like to us so we can keep what supports us and let go of what doesn’t.
And ladies, let me be super clear on this: we’re entitled to feel, fully, each and every one of our emotions, and that includes anger. Everyone is entitled. That means others are entitled to their anger as well.
Not having been taught, or respectfully shown, how to express anger, we can be afraid of it … not only unsure of how to express it, but we fear how (and where) it might actually “come out”.
How many of you can name more than one or two women who own and confidently express their anger in a productive way that gets their point and their needs across? They own it, state it, use it to make change and move on, respectfully.
Anger affects us. It motivates us to do things or to avoid things. When we’ve been wronged but feel we don’t have the power, the words, or the right to speak up, we carry this into other areas of our lives. (Read about our Inner Good Girl here)
So we push it down, avoid looking at what it is we are actually angry about and then pick an argument about something totally unrelated to what set us off in the first place, and possibly not even with the same person that sparked our anger.
Not productive on any level.
Often we avoid anger because of the consequences it will bring. We feel we need to choose between expressing ourselves or staying in a relationship; be it romantic, family, friend, or business.
We question whether we’re “wrong” about our emotion … perhaps the other person is right and we are, in fact, the one who the anger should be directed towards. Read more about self-doubt here.
The more we turn away from and ignore our emotions—what our intuition is telling us—the more disconnected we become and we eventually lose the ability to recognize anger for what it is, an internal alarm letting us know something’s not right.
Ladies, this life of ours is not a dress rehearsal. None of us are getting out alive, so we may as well embrace who we are and enjoy it… Agree?
Where did you first get your messages/beliefs about anger?
What does it say about you when you’re angry?
Do you fear your anger? What is your biggest fear around it?
Where might you be keeping the emotion of anger safely tucked away?
Are you feeling ready to name and claim it? Perhaps I can help.
I’d love to hear your comments. Are you ready to explore the range of emotion anger can bring…feel it, own it, express it and tame it so you can create lasting change in your relationships? Click Here to download an application for a free Clarity Consultation with me and let’s get you confidently moving towards the life and business of your dreams, no!
Discipline, specifically self-discipline is a critical component to a successful and satisfying business. In fact, it was the underlying theme in response to a question I posed in a recent email asking women about their biggest challenge at the moment. Almost everyone identified self-discipline … disciplining ourselves to do the work “necessary” to advance our career, create a healthier lifestyle, improve relationships, keep ourselves organized and focused, and to create balance in our lives (read more about balance here).
Discipline has such a negative “feel” to it, doesn’t it?
To me, it brings up images of a teacher with a ruler ready to crack my knuckles if I “step out of line.” Not pleasant. Not inviting. And, certainly NOT motivating. How about you? What vision comes up for you when you think of discipline?
I’m guessing nothing pleasant, inviting, and motivating.
Why is it, then, that we feel the need to rely on discipline alone to be productive, make things happen, and motivate ourselves?
The concept that self-discipline will motivate us to do more and be better feels a bit heavy to me; sort of a ball and chain to drag around to ensure we don’t (easily) venture too far out into the wild.
I will agree: We do need discipline within our day to make things happen … to create that life we envision for ourselves. The one we’re reaching for.
Yet, when we phrase it as “self-discipline” it feels more like a “should” than something we want to do to design and create that which we desire.
Discipline will push us to do more (at times), but I invite you to think about what would feel better to you when looking at your mile long “to-do” list? Because, when we feel better, we do better—physically, emotionally, and financially.
Discipline also has the ability to keep us stuck. Let me explain….
When we come from a place of “needing to” and “should do,” it feels a bit heavy and takes away from our drive—our motivation to continue the “work” towards our goals.
Then, as things get difficult (and they inevitably do as we stretch, learn, and grow), and our to-do list looks like a three-headed monster, it becomes easy to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, agitated, and perhaps even lazy … which in turn makes it is easy for us to get tripped up in the mind chatter and fall behind on our daily, weekly, monthly to-do lists … and, eventually, feel like we don’t have the discipline it takes at all. And then we compromise on our dream, or let go of it all together.
Soon after, the voice of self-doubt starts to question our intentions, our abilities, and our “discipline” … and we question if we actually have what it takes. (Read more about self-doubt, the voice of our inner critic here).
Our definition—our “story”—of what self-discipline is, what it “should” look like in our lives and along our journey to success, has an amazing ability to wreak havoc with our success.
Our idea of discipline can get in the way of us noticing our successes as we move along our path. And let’s be honest here, we need to own and embrace our successes along the way (big AND small). Otherwise, what’s the point of it all?
It’s the journey that fills our buckets, not the end result.
It’s the feeling of driving that shiny red convertible, not the car itself.
Curiosity and compassion … two beautiful and oh-so-supportive words in the English language.
When we get curious about and connect to our WHY of what we want, this allows us compassion for our Self in our busy days (read more about our Why is our way to success here).
It shifts the focus and feel to more of a pull towards our dreams and goals, rather than a push.
Pushing has resistance. A pull has a magnetic feel to it, drawing you to what it is you want in this one big beautiful life.
Talent, strength, and passion are wonderful assets to get us moving in the direction of our dreams. But they aren’t always enough to keep us on track when things get bogged down in the not so sexy details of creating the life we want.
Shifting our mindset to think about our steps, our to-dos, our “shoulds,” as more of a gift to our Self instead of as a cost, will allow the grip of self-discipline to soften.
Motivate yourself not by fear or by what you don’t want, but by connecting to what each step along the path will ultimately give you.
Define what self-discipline means to you. Be specific.
Where did your beliefs around self-discipline originate? Are they serving you to be the best version of your Self?
What new beliefs around self-discipline would support you in being the woman, wife, mother, friend, business woman you intend to become?
What new beliefs would support you in going for your goals and attaining them?
What successes along the way have you failed to celebrate? Write them down and keep them where you can look at them whenever you need. Celebrate and motivate yourself to continue. Use discipline—self-discipline—to help, not hinder, the journey.
I’d love to hear your comments. Are you ready to stop relying on self-discipline alone and start leaning into your strengths to “pull” you towards your goals? Click Here to download an application for a free Clarity Consultation with me … let’s get you intentionally moving towards the life and business of your dreams, now!
Everyone knows that to grow a business, a strong marketing plan is so important and part of a strong marketing plan includes social media and that may mean live streaming on Facebook Live. Well, for me, this was a big pill to swallow … realizing I needed to take a bit of my own “medicine” and push myself out of my comfy zone.
My coach and colleagues have been nudging (ok, I admit it, pushing … envision a foot to the butt here) me to step out and start doing Facebook Live. It’s something I know I’ve needed to do to get myself and my message out there in front of the women I want to serve.
It really was quite simple, hit “live’ and talk about what I’m passionate about. It. Just. Wasn’t. That. Easy. (read more about simple vs easy here).
My fear had me by the ankles, but the funny thing was, I wasn’t even spending much time thinking about it … I was simply, unknowingly, being busy “over here” and ignoring what was going on “over there” in the live streaming world.
Moving through fear into action is rarely an easy thing. It can be a tad uncomfortable, and vulnerability hasn’t always been something I’m comfortable with.
Well, with some transparency here, I’ll admit, vulnerability is not something I’ve become comfortable with, it’s just that not allowing it space in my life (business AND personal) has become far more uncomfortable than avoiding it.
“You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.” ~ Brene Brown
I didn’t know what it was that was holding me back from jumping on Facebook Live, but I eventually became aware that I was busying myself with all sorts of other things that took my attention … and at the end of each day I hadn’t done it and it got put it on my list of things to get to tomorrow. Can any of you ladies relate?
And the fact that I can stand up and confidently speak to a room full of women made it even easier for me to look the other way and not own my “shit”—my fear. How could I be fearful of Facebook Live when I would happily stand on my soapbox and share my passion in front of a room full of a hundred women? Crazy, I wasn’t fearful. Ha. Then I looked in the mirror.
Ugh. I realized it was time to get a clear view of what the hell was going on.
Was it comfortable? Nope. Necessary? Oh, hell yeah.
And, “That which we resist, persists,” Damn—that Carl Jung was onto something….
I had reverted back to my old ways of being busy doing all sorts of things that appeared to be moving me in the direction of my goals, but were not. Well, to be totally truthful here, those “things” were moving me closer, just at a snail’s pace.
Moving at a pace that kept me within my comfort zone.
When I “saw” this it was waaay more uncomfortable to stay put then to push myself out of the king sized pillow topped feather bed comfort zone I was snuggled into.
We have to be willing to do something poorly in order to figure out how to do it well.
I had to be willing to fail in order to succeed. For more on our fear of failure click here…
And I certainly had to be willing to let go of my firm grip on perfectionism if this is something I guide the women I work with to do.
Did I fail on my first Facebook Live? I don’t think so. Did I crush it? Umm, no, definitely not. BUT, I moved through my fear, learned a beautiful lesson, and here I am today writing this blog, sharing my growth, and not a scratch on me. Huh, who woulda thunk. Check out my live stream video by clicking on the photo below and tell me what you think.
And that medicine that I needed to take … tasted more like a gummy vitamin.
- Where might you be unknowingly “hiding” in your business?
- What vulnerability may be keeping you from pushing beyond your comfort zone?
- And what one step are you willing to commit to, to move closer to your goals, your dreams?
I’d love to hear your comments. Are you ready to start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and pick up the speed on success? Click Here to download an application for a free Clarity Consultation with me … let’s get you intentionally moving towards the life and business of your dreams, now!