Fall is your listening season. It’s your time to listen to the feedback from those around you and more importantly to listen to your intuition so you can know how to come through for the next year!
It’s your time to show up for yourself and accomplish the things you set out to do this year.
Finishing the year strong means pushing yourself past the finish line even when other people are doubting you. And especially if YOU are doubting YOU! It means running that extra lap even when you know you’ve done the work. Whether you are an entrepreneur, work 9-5 or are someone who wants to have more flow in your life, there are things you can do to set yourself up for success.
With only a few months left in the year, prioritizing is the most impactful exercise you can do for yourself. You must be realistic. There’s a good chance you won’t get everything done. And that is okay! When you focus on the most important and impactful things, you will end the year feeling accomplished and energized.
Before you dive in and start prioritizing, it’s important to understand the 7 Reasons Why We Struggle to Prioritize:
We tend to suffer from FOMO (Fear of missing out). We think that if we’re not involved in everything that somehow, we are going to miss out on something. There is beauty in missing out! Missing out allows you to be more present on the things that matter most.
We don’t like to let people down. Remember, if you give away all your time, you won’t have any time left to pursue your goals. Letting people down from time-to-time is something that must happen! It is the price of entry for growing into who you’re meant to be.
We don’t have confidence in ourselves. We tend to struggle with prioritizing things that we could change the world with because we don’t believe in ourselves. Step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and prove to yourself that you can go beyond what you believe is possible. You are capable of more than you think!
We don’t have a clear WHY. Ever feel like you’re moving through your day like a robot? You’re productive and getting stuff done but you’re bored and doing it all half-hearted? When you understand WHY doing these things are important or not so important to YOU it naturally finds its place in your list of priorities, or not.
We don’t have clear goals. It’s not enough to say that you want to get better. Get specific! Articulate what “better” means so that you can create smaller goals to hit along the way.
We get stuck in the stuff of life. If we think that everything is important, then nothing is important. We must release ourselves from the things that aren’t aligned with our goals and who we are.
We don’t take a driver’s seat where our priorities are concerned. If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will. Their needs will fill your calendar at the expense of your self-care! Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Prioritize it. Be comfortable deciding that prioritizing yourself is more important than keeping everyone else happy!
How to Prioritize Over the Next 2-3 Months:
Focus on what matters to you. Don’t get caught up in other people’s priorities for you. Everyone else in your life believes they know what you need most. But what if they are wrong? Be clear on who you want to be on January 1, 2022. Your priorities might look different than what others think they should be.
Consider the trade-off. Before saying yes to anything, understand that saying yes comes at the expense of saying NO to something else that potentially matters more to you.
Evaluate the impact. Think about everything you are juggling as glass balls and plastic balls. Which of the things on your plate are glass and will shatter when dropped? Which ones are plastic and would bounce back if they fell? Prioritize the glass!
Ask yourself more questions. If I say yes, will I regret it later? Is this thing in line with my WHY? Make sure everything you say yes to acts as a catalyst to what you are trying to achieve in life. Otherwise, it is only going to set you back. Be clear on what you stand for!
Just say NO. No is a complete sentence. You don’t have to justify anything! If someone else doesn’t understand, most of the time that is their issue. Boundaries are important!
Listen to your gut. Give yourself a chance to pull away from the media, the obligations, and all the noise in your life so you can hear yourself clearly. Your intuition exists and is only ever compromised when you allow external things to drown it out.
Check and Re-Check your CAPACITY. You’re going to go through different things at different times of your life, each requiring you to establish a new or adjusted set of priorities. This could change month-by-month. It’s critical that you have grace for the circumstances happening in your life and that you can adapt accordingly!
CELEBRATE yourself. Certain days are going to be harder than others. If you are showing up for yourself, doing the work and trying as best as you can, that is worthy of celebration. You have chosen growth. Give yourself grace and don’t forget to celebrate yourself!
The number one thing that keeps us stuck is our thoughts. We spend so much time being all busy up in our heads.
You know what you want. You have the skills and the know-how to do it. But you’re not doing it. Ugh. If only you could get out of your head.
Free yourself from those icky, sticky thoughts once and for all.
Here are 3 mindset shifts you must make to get yourself into action.
Mindset Shift #1: Imposter Syndrome
This is so normal. It’s so easy to feel like an imposter, especially if you spend any time on social media.
You feel like you don’t deserve to have that job.
You feel like you don’t deserve to live in that beautiful home.
You believe you have no idea what you’re doing. You believe you only got where you are by sheer luck.
You live in fear that someone is going to call you out and expose you as being a fraud.
What a heavy weight to carry.
Here’s a little harsh secret. Sorry, not sorry. Nobody cares. Nobody is paying attention to you. People are so busy with their own stuff. It’s natural to feel like all eyes are on you, but they aren’t.
Make the shift:
Acknowledge your credibility and success.
Be aware of the stories you’re telling yourself. “Ask would Judge Judy or a court of law say these thoughts are fact?” Nope.
Get out of your head and into your heart. Let your why be bigger than your worry or fear. Why is this thing you want to do important to you? Find it, find several why’s. Play those why soundtracks over and over in your head to silence your worries and fears.
Keep showing up.
Mindset Shift #2: Dabbling instead of going all in because you’re scared.
Are you a learner? I am. I could take courses and research something to death all the while convincing myself that going down these rabbit holes is necessary. But it’s not. It’s called procrastination or info-crastination. Can you relate?
“Trying” to do something isn’t going all in. It’s dabbling. You can’t try to start a business. You have to start a business. You can’t hide behind having to learn everything before you can start.
You have to do whatever it is scared. It’s called courage.
Playing full-out makes you fully present.
Make the shift:
Go all in no matter how scared you are.
Playing small only delays your inevitable success.
Give the thing you want to do the attention and respect it deserves.
Mindset Shift #3: Perfectionism
This gets in the way of you making decisions. It’s the death of doing what you want to do.
Alyssa, a budding entrepreneur suffered from perfectionism.
“The problem was, I wanted my emails to look and sound perfect. I wanted my website to be perfect. I didn’t even know what perfect meant. I wasn’t finding it and I wasn’t getting my products out to people.”
I hear this over and over. You must be willing to be imperfect.
Make the shift:
Give yourself permission to do B+ work.
Putting yourself out there imperfectly is better than NOT putting yourself out there at all.
You can only learn how to do better by doing.
Go back to your why. What’s greater than your need to be perfect?
We need to break the comparison cycle because it’s a game we’ll never win. Comparison steals our joy, our paychecks and our sanity. If we don’t stop comparing ourselves to others, we will constantly spend money and mental energy just trying to keep up!
There’s actually a biological reason we’re prone to comparing ourselves to others. Our brain uses comparison to figure out how we measure up to other people.
Thomas Mussweiler, a professor of organizational behavior, describes comparison this way:
Most of the time, this calculation is made in a split second in the background, and we don’t even realize it. But when we dwell on the highlights of other people’s lives, it can quickly become toxic. We’re wired for connection and belonging, but if we constantly compare ourselves to others, we’re putting our happiness, confidence and mental health at risk.
Comparison costs us:
Causing us to lose focus and takes our eyes off our goals.
Makes us feel bad about how we’re doing. It diminishes our accomplishments.
Fuels emotions of depression and anxiety, draining us of our mental strength to do our best.
Stops us from taking action. We hide. We avoid.
Creates negative and anxious thoughts that are hard to come out of -AKA ruminations
Causes us to overspend in an effort to keep up with the Joneses
When we compare ourselves to others, we make bad decisions, or decisions that don’t necessarily serve us. We will never be able to stop comparing ourselves to other people. But we can decide if want to use these comparisons to better ourselves and move forward or bash ourselves and stay stuck.
Here are 6 Practical Ways to Get Out of the Comparison Trap.
1. Let Jealousy and envy GUIDE you.
They’re pointing you in the right direction.
Ever get jealous when you see someone else succeed? I know I do. It’s normal to have those feelings, but it’s what you do with them that can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
The next time you feel JEALOUS, do this: (This reframe is a game-changer)
Lean into the feeling. It’s your soul telling you, “This is the kind of success YOU want for yourself.” See it as a sign that IT’S POSSIBLE for you to experience the same success.
Don’t shrink when someone else does something similar to what you want to do. Instead RISE and figure it out!
Instead of comparing, start looking at people who have what you want and ADMIRE them. Be INSPIRED by them. Teach yourself how to use that as motivation and inspiration instead of a reason to bash yourself. Let it amplify your ability to see and admire your own accomplishments, traits, goals and dreams.
2. Ask yourself what you can learn
So the next time you’re tempted to think someone else is better than you, reframe the way you’re thinking about the situation. Ask yourself these questions:
What do I admire about this person or their work?
What information does that person have that could be helpful to me?
How can I make what they do better? Or How can put my own mark on this shared thing we both do?
What would I ask this person if I could talk to them?
Stay curious. Look for opportunities to learn and you’ll start to see that other people aren’t necessarily better than you.
3. Embrace an Infinite vs Finite Mindset
It took me a long time to truly embrace the idea that there is enough success for all of us. The world is an enormous place, and there is room for everyone to succeed, be happy, and pursue their dreams.
This is what we call an infinite mindset. It embraces abundance.
When you are jealous of others and see them as someone you have to be better than, you are using a finite mindset. This mindset tells you that there’s not enough room for everyone to be successful. It’s a mindset of scarcity, limiting our possibilities.
When you embrace an infinite mindset, you stop looking at everyone around you as competition. You know that just because they are successful it doesn’t mean you can’t be. Just because they are beautiful doesn’t mean you are not. Just because they have what you want doesn’t mean you can’t have it.
4. Cheer for other people (AKA shift from a finite to an infinite mindset)
I have seen first-hand that the more you cheer for other people, the faster that success and happiness will come to you. Constantly comparing ourselves to others leads to us not cheering on the people who are working hard to get somewhere. And it makes it hard to celebrate with the ones who’ve accomplished something!
So, here’s my challenge to you: When a friend tells you about her new job, be happy for her. If someone buys a new house, take part in their enthusiasm. If someone shares some great news with you, keep the focus on them instead of turning it back to yourself. Find big and small ways to celebrate other people’s accomplishments!
Their success has nothing to do with you, so celebrate their success sincerely while you keep working toward your own success.
5. Learn to compete with yourself instead of others.
The only person you should compare yourself with is the person you were yesterday.
You have so much self-doubt that you see other people as competition. The only competition is the one that you create in your mind. It is impossible to not compare yourself to other people.
Instead of focusing on where you are compared to others, focus on your own goals. Where are you compared to where you were at this time last year? Or five years ago?
In the past year, you’ve learned, stretched, improved, accomplished and created. Think about how much of that you’ve done in your lifetime!
6. Unlock the power of contentment.
Gratitude leads to contentment, which allows you to be in a state of joy and satisfaction no matter what your circumstances. Having a daily gratitude ritual through journaling, a gratitude jar, or something else will lead you to a place of knowing you are happy with where you are in life and aren’t worried about what other people are doing.
Contentment doesn’t mean you don’t have goals for the future or that you aren’t working toward being a better person tomorrow than you are today. And it definitely doesn’t mean that you’re stagnant or that you’re choosing to sit around and do nothing new, exciting and challenging with your life.
It just means that you develop a peace about your life and a sincere enjoyment about what you have today without basing all your happiness on what you hope to achieve tomorrow.
Your next step.
It’s easy to look at what everyone else is doing and achieving and think, “I’m not good enough, I should be doing more, I’m not ready, I don’t have enough, I’m failing.”
But you have no idea where other people’s starting lines were or where their finish line will be.
And you are not behind. You are exactly where you need to be. You’re not falling behind in life. There’s no one to be behind because there isn’t a race to begin with.
Decide that today is the day you start to put in the work, show up as yourself, have the courage to pursue the things that scare the crap out of you, and stop worrying about what others are doing.
I once heard a powerful line that always stuck with me:
There is NOTHING you can do to either increase OR decrease your worthiness as a human.
No amount of success, money in your account, or Instagram following will make you more worthy! AND no amount of failure, missed job promotions, or unprofitable ventures will take away from your value. You are good enough, you are valuable, and you are so worthy!
It’s BECAUSE you are worthy, you’re able to accomplish and enjoy wonderful things and shine your light into the world.
I see the sense of “unworthiness” play into so many people’s lives. We are taught to believe that we have to earn everything, and if we don’t get what we are truly after, it’s because we aren’t “enough.”
Can you relate? This is an insane, vicious cycle that ultimately leads us to self-loathing, depression, anxiety, perfectionism, apathy, and sadness.
The truth about unworthiness is that it simply isn’t real. There are no qualities or characteristics about you that exclude you from any said things that you desire in life. It’s simply a limited way of thinking, which excuses you from really putting both feet forward and going for what you want in life.
I believe we tend to fall into unworthiness as a way to bypass some of the major feelings that we have about ourselves, mostly our inability to really love ourselves. Think about it, if we loved ourselves in a full and complete way, we would always think that we could live the life and have the things that we deeply want, right?
Your ability to achieve your desires has nothing to do with your worthiness and everything to do with your thoughts, actions, and beliefs.
I encourage you to start the journey of banishing any unworthy sentiments you have about yourself. You were given this exact life for a reason. None of it has anything to do with whether you were worthy of it or not.
We all have the capability to do the things we want to do, to be the people we want to be, and to create the lives we wish to live. However, it starts with us, and cleaning up the way we think about ourselves.
There is NOTHING you can do to either increase OR decrease your worthiness as a human.
It’s time to sit down and list all the things that make you feel less than, or unworthy.
I am not unworthy because…
I hear others make more money than me,
I quit the thing that was no longer serving me,
I’m having tech issues
Someone says something mean to me
Someone gives me advice on how to do better
Keep this list on your phone or post it on your mirror or fridge to remind yourself that situations and outcomes do not determine your worthiness.
I hope this practice helps you release any of the feelings that might be holding you back from the things you truly desire in life. I want you to know that you are worthy of your authentic dreams, desires and goals, and that it is possible for you. Please remember this, always.
Overthinking is when what you think gets in the way of what you want.
It’s one of the most expensive things in the world because it wastes time, creativity, and productivity. It’s an epidemic of inaction.
Essentially, overthinking is when your brain spins on a thought or an idea for longer than you anticipated. Unfortunately, overthinking tends to lean toward the negative. Left to its own devices, it will naturally gravitate toward things you don’t want to dwell on.
I have to constantly ask myself things like, “Do I want to donate an afternoon of brain space to churn over something dumb I said to a friend three months ago?” What’s worse is if I don’t give it the space to process during the day, it finds a way of creeping into my brain at night and the cycle of insomnia continues.
Thoughts are something you have, not something you hone. We can’t control them, right? That’s why whenever we talk about thinking, we describe it as something outside of us that operates on its agenda:
“I got lost in my thoughts.”
“My thoughts got away from me.”
“She got carried away by her thoughts.”
We treat our thoughts as something we have no control over. If we don’t control our thoughts, then I guess our thoughts control us.
Our brain likes to believe the things it already believes. We’re magnets for information and experiences that confirm the things we already think about ourselves and the world.
If one of your beliefs is that you’re the most disorganized mom ever, then being three minutes late to the after-school pickup line will confirm that.
Even if that morning you got both kids to school on time, worked a full-time job, planned dinner, and scheduled the carpool for soccer this weekend, your brain will still convince you to ignore any new evidence that doesn’t agree with that engrained belief.
Now that you know your brain can be a real jerk, do you want to leave your thoughts to chance?
Think about all the opportunities and adventures you’ll miss out on if these sabatoging thoughts, AKA limiting beliefs are in charge of your actions.
How do you know which thoughts to listen to?
Ask yourself these 3 quick questions.
Question 1: Is it true?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming all your thoughts are true. We believe that if it’s in our head, it must be accurate. If I think it, it must be real.
I promise you’ll be shocked by how many lies you have cluttering up your head.
Question 2: Is it helpful?
The question “Is it true?” won’t be enough to smoke out the lies in your head. Asking yourself is this thought helpful? Does it move you forward or keep you stuck? Does it lead to a decision or limit a decision? Does it generate action or apathy?
A client of mine, let’s call her Sarah, told me she will never be able to get rid of the clutter in her house. She was raised in a cluttered house and she doesn’t know any other way of living.
Well, that is not entirely true. Yes, she grew up in a cluttered home. But what is not true is that she will NEVER be able to get rid of clutter in her adult home.
It is also not helpful. It stops her from taking action. She’s already made up her mind by listening to this thought.
She can choose another thought. “I can figure this out and ask someone to help me.”
She can make a choice to take one small action of cleaning out one drawer, one closet or one cabinet.
Question 3: Is it kind?
Is the thought you’re listening to kind to yourself? After listening to it a few times, do you feel better about yourself? Are you encouraged about your life and opportunities?
For Sarah, her thought of “I’ll never be able to get rid of the clutter in my home,” is not kind. It tells her she’s not capable.
Mike Peasley, PhD, asked ten thousand people how overthinking made them feel, 73 percent responded “inadequate.” When asked if overthinking left them feeling drained, 52 percent of people said yes.
Do you know why overthinking makes you feel inadequate and drained? Because you’ve been listening to unkind thoughts about yourself on repeat.
If you’re still stuck figuring out which thoughts to tune into ask this last question:
In my work as an ADHD coach, there is one common problem that all of my clients share: painful self-doubt. The ADHD brain is, unfortunately, fertile ground for the seeds of self-doubt.
It’s so easy for us ADHD or not, to get stuck up in our heads overthinking and ruminating about everything. Much of the advice around building confidence is about changing our mindset. That is one important piece of it. But for most of us, the mindset work is so hard and takes forever.
Studies have shown that the fastest way to change all the negative garbage in our heads is to take action that proves all those thoughts wrong.
How many times have you told yourself, “I never do what I say I’m going to do. I don’t know why I even keep trying.” You’re telling yourself that you can’t count on YOU. Sheesh, if you can’t count on YOU, who can you count on? I’m telling you, you can count on you.
The key to proving this limiting belief wrong is to start to build self-trust. When you learn you can count you to show up for you, it is the beginning of you building the skill of confidence.
Start building your self-trust by making one small promise to yourself. Do it for you, not anyone else.
Pick one of the following confidence building habits and commit to doing it every single day.
1. Make your bed every morning. This tells your brain rest is over and it’s a new day. It also makes you feel productive, because you just did something, you made your bed. Of course, it looks so much better than an unmade bed.
2. Drink 8 – 8 ounce glasses of water every day. Studies have shown that the number one reason we lose focus is because we are dehydrated. What a simple way to boost focus & productivity that then boosts our confidence.
3. Don’t look at social media for at least 1 hour after waking. I feel like garbage when I’m on social media, comparing myself to everyone else, feeling like I don’t measure up. When we look at this before even getting out of bed, we haven’t given ourselves the time to figure out how we feel today.
We look at the perfect Instagram pics and everyone’s fancy vacations and feel like our lives are boring or we don’t have enough. That’s a horrible way to start our day. Think of it like this. What if you woke up and there were 100 people standing in your bedroom. Imagine they are all talking at the same time telling you about their perfect lives. I don’t know about you, but I would tell them to get the heck out. When you look at your social media first thing before getting out of bed, you’ve invited people to wake up with you (kind of creepy), some of whom you haven’t ever met or haven’t talked to in years.
Set yourself up for success
Write down your promise to yourself and keep it in plain sight.
You can also share your promise with someone and get them to make a promise to themselves too and check in with each other daily.
If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. It’s not about perfection. It’s about showing up for yourself. Building the skill of confidence is within your reach. Get out of your head and get into action.
When you realize that you won’t die from letting go of things you thought you needed, you will be able to pursue things that are healthier for you. As you learn to let go, your self-esteem and self-confidence will grow.
Letting go is so hard because we allow our default thoughts to keep us stuck. The more we can simply watch our thoughts come and go without attaching our identity to them, the easier letting go becomes.
Thoughts are nothing more than thoughts. What we decide to do with them is what can either make us or break us.
Letting go requires you to release all doubt, worry, and fear about a situation, person or outcome.
Letting go is about accepting what is happening right now and not worrying about what will come up tomorrow.
Learning to let go is not as difficult as you might think. But it does take some courage and determination. Here are 5 Steps you can take to start letting go.
1. Stop Blaming Others
We often blame others for our misfortunes. We feel we’re the victim of others’ injustices. While this may be the case, we cannot waste our lives waiting for other people to repair the harm they did to us. They may be unwilling, or even unable.
2. Make a Decision to Let Go
Letting go is a choice to decide that you will no longer ruminate on things that are out of your control, and focus on what you can control, instead.
It would help if you put that decision in writing. Write a statement like, “I have decided to let go of ________. I realize that holding on to this is preventing me from growing and being happy.” You can expand on this by listing more of the benefits you’ll receive, and how you look forward to a new chapter in your life.
Once you’ve written your decision statement, print it and post it some place where you’ll see it every day. Also, copy it by hand in a notebook regularly, such as once a day until you are certain you won’t go back. This will ingrain it in your subconscious mind, and the new behavior will begin to manifest itself naturally.
3. Trust That You’ll Be Okay
One of the reasons we hold on to things is that we think we need them to survive. Remember, letting go is the release of our mental and emotional fixation on something. It is not a physical letting go.
Trust that you’ll be okay. If you have to, lean on a friend. Your experience isn’t unique. Chances are that many other people have gone through the same experience, and they’ve survived. You don’t have to go through a detachment by yourself. You are not alone.
To truly let go and move on, sometimes you have to forgive people who aren’t even sorry. Sometimes you have to accept an apology you’ll never receive. That takes so much strength and courage and humility. While it may seem unfair and backwards, sometimes, that’s how the chips will fall.
There’s nothing worse than holding onto resentment about someone or something for years, while they happily move on with life. And the reality is, doing this only hurts you. The most important thing is that we also have to learn to forgive ourselves.
This can be done by writing a letter to yourself, replacing self-loathing with self-compassion, and deciding to make better choices next time.
5. Learn the Lesson and Move On
Life is a series of experiences that are meant to teach us important lessons. When we refuse to let go of something, it is because we refuse to see what life is trying to teach us. As a result, we feel stuck.
When you’re having trouble letting go of something, ask yourself, “what can I learn from this experience?” The answer may not be revealed to you immediately. But when it is, you’ll be able to let go, and move on with your life.
Everyday we have a choice to keep holding on just a little bit longer, or choose that today is the day we will finally let go.