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Coach Carlene

Are you soooooo done with everything being so dang hard and stressful?

We make things unnecessarily hard for ourselves.

You don’t get a badge of honor for having so much “hard” in your life..

No, no, no!

The only thing you get is a pile of stress and a toxic mindset of “life is hard” that bleeds into everything you do.

The thought of “this is hard” is a sneaky one. It’s not accurate. What we really mean is that doing some things is uncomfortable. Ummm…. uncomfortable isn’t the same as hard. Hard is painful. Discomfort is something we can tolerate until we get comfortable.

Most people aren’t willing to experience discomfort. We are wired to avoid pain (or perceived pain) far more than gain pleasure.

What’s the worst that could happen if you put yourself on the line by doing something new, scary or intimidating? A feeling. A temporary bad feeling. It will not kill you or even hurt you.

Research reveals that human emotions last for a whopping 90 seconds before changing shape.

90 seconds! We have more than 1400 minutes in a day, so I think we could all withstand almost anything for one and a half of them.

All emotions are temporary. Good and bad.

A courageous person knows that the cost of going for it is therefore worth it. Because what’s the risk, really? Experiencing some temporary uncomfortable emotions is as bad as it gets.

What would you be doing if you were willing to experience a negative emotion? Asking someone out or asking for a raise at work?

First, be willing to be uncomfortable and then try these 3 simple ways to let things be easy.

#1 Change the conversation.

The reason why things are hard is because we tell ourselves it’s hard.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Don’t Say:

This is gonna be so hard.

Instead Say:

I remember when I did xxxx, and I thought that was gonna be hard, but it really wasn’t.

Don’t Say:

This is huge.

Instead Say:

It’s just a book, (just an instrument, just a talk, just a dish, just a class, just a test).
Now when you finish that book drop the word “just”. Celebrate your accomplishment. When someone congratulates you, accept that and say “Yes!, I finished my book!” Not, “Oh it’s just a book. Lots of people write them.”

Don’t Say:

I don’t even know where to start.

Instead Say:

Hmmmm. This is new. I don’t know exactly know what to do, but I’ll figure it out as I go.

The names you give your work matter, they have power. How you describe something impacts how you show up or don’t show up. Words can make things seem big, intimidating or scary.

#2 Start Before You Start

Starting is usually the hardest part of anything. Well, unless you’re the kind of person who starts tons of things but never finishes them. Wherever you are on the start-finish spectrum, starting before you start will make a huge difference in the perceived difficulty of any task.

What you do the evening before you start matters just as much as what you do each morning. In fact, what you do the night before makes it much more likely that you’ll accomplish what you’re aiming to get done on any given day.

First, set your intention for the day. End each day by writing the 3-5 most important things you want to get done tomorrow. Schedule those things on your calendar.

The worst thing is getting to your desk and scratching your head trying to decide what you should do first. Decide the night before.

I wear 20 different hats in my business. I can choose from creating digital products, to working on certification stuff, to administrative stuff, to networking, to writing blog posts, to personal stuff, and the list goes on. If I leave it up to how I feel in the morning, I guarantee you I will not be working on what is most important.

Finally, set up your workspace so all you need to do is sit or stand at your desk and start.

Let’s say I decide the first thing I’m going to do tomorrow is record a couple videos. Now I need to physically set myself up to start.

  • Tonight, I am going to set up and test all my equipment.
  • I’m going to make sure everything I need is charged.
  • I’ll also let my family know I’m going to be recording at a certain time, so they don’t bust up my recording unknowingly.
  • I’ll decide on what I’m going to wear and lay it all out.

# 3 Take Baby Steps

Don’t focus on going from 0 to 100. Focus on going from 0 to 1.

Gradual progression always double your efforts and it’s the only way anyone achieves a goal.

So stop worrying about where you’ll be 100 days from now. Put your head down and focus on what you can make progress on right now.

It’s the tiny steps you take every single day that will pave the way to achieving anything. You just need to develop the simple discipline to do it.

According to Mel Robbins, simple discipline is the practice of making and keeping promises to yourself. These promises are the foundation for your daily life, which is the foundation for achieving your goals.

The only way to change the big things in your life is to change the small things first – your daily habits, your morning routine, your evening routine and everything in between.

Start by making your bed every morning. Yes, I make my bed even when I’m at a hotel. When you make your bed in the morning it will automatically make you feel productive since you just completed something. And doesn’t it look nice?! You can throw your covers over the wrinkled sheets, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

One small task can make a huge difference in making you feel more confident to start your day.

Wrapping it Up: 3 Simple Ways to Make Things Easy

#1 Change the Conversation

#2 Start Before You Start

#3 Take Baby Steps

If you’re looking for more ways to confidently get through the scary and hard things in life hop on the waitlist for my on-line course opening this month

UNDAUNTED: The Art of Taking Action Even if You Doubt Yourself.

The trick to accomplishing anything is thinking you can do it. In other words, confidence is key. Many of the confidence killers we inflict on ourselves are thing we don’t even realize we’re doing.

But as with any behavior, these habits that slowly kill your spirit can be unlearned. The first step, of course, is recognizing them.

Check yourself to see if you have any of these 10 confidence-killing habits.

#1 People Pleasing – saying yes to everything

Saying “yes” to everyone stems from a desire to feel needed and liked. When you focus on pleasing others, you neglect yourself. Pleasing yourself is not selfish. It’s necessary. When you focus on your needs instead of everyone else’s, you reinforce that you matter. Stop linking your self-confidence to others’ approval. Instead show up for YOU!

#2 Using Always and Never

Your language is a reflection of how you feel about yourself and feeds your confidence, or not.

Using the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ is a common unconscious confidence-destroying habit that leaves you feeling like you have no ability to make changes, when that’s hardly the case.

Anytime you find yourself saying ‘always’ and ‘never’, you are destroying your confidence. Because of their seemingly absolute, black and white, all or nothing nature, you’re setting yourself up to feel hopeless, helpless and less confident.

#3 Maintaining toxic friendships

We truly are who we spend time with. If we are surrounded by people who are lazy, complain or have a victim mentality, then that is who we become.

If there are toxic people in your life who threaten your self-worth and significantly chip away at your self-esteem, it’s time to kick those relationships to the curb.

Seek out positive reinforcement, not haters.

Get a tighter rein on the positive influences. Hone your friend group and be intentional with who you surround yourself with. Make sure you’re surrounded by those who have your best interests at heart, and who love you and want to see you thrive.

#4 Bullying Yourself

You say things to yourself that you would never say to another person. These sound like, “I’m not good enough. I’m a loser. Or, I’m so stupid.” Constantly speaking to yourself this way will have the same effect as if someone else were saying those things to you, which can deal a serious blow to your self-confidence.

#5 Focusing on Your Weaknesses

The more we talk about our perceived negative traits, the more we will believe them. Not only that, but focusing on those flaws leads our subconscious mind to look for evidence that this belief is true and create new experiences to support it. At a certain point, these perceptions will turn into a self-created reality.

#6 Comparing Yourself to Others

When you compare yourself to someone who you perceive as better than you it diminishes your confidence. We have the tendency to tell ourselves that, compared to someone else, we aren’t qualified to do our job or lack the ability to be a good parent, partner, friend, or listener.

But by doing so, you’re likely to feel as if it isn’t even worth trying to live up to your expectations, thus enacting a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, only compare yourself to those you can learn from. What are they doing or what do they have that you want? How did they get there? What attributes to you admire about them? How can you use this new knowledge to move forward?

#7 Spending Time on Social Media

Social media can have damaging effects on self-esteem and self-image. If negative comments or a lack of likes and interaction are getting you down, it’s time for a social media hiatus. Try to remind yourself that social media, in the grand scheme of things, is a pretty superficial place. And remember, the only validation that matters is the kind you find inside yourself.

#8 Not Admitting When You’re Wrong

Confidence is crucial, but over-confidence is downright dangerous. Knowing when to admit you are wrong is an important step in maintaining your self-esteem, because confidence doesn’t mean being right all the time. It also means being self-aware. You’ll learn that even when you make mistakes the world doesn’t come to an end. Own it. Admit your mistake. Forgive yourself. And move on.

#9 Neglecting Yourself

One of the main ways you can damage your confidence is not engaging in self-care. Not scheduling doctor appointments, cancelling training sessions at the gym, or eating like garbage send subconscious messages to your brain that you are not worth the time, money and energy necessary to lead a healthy life.

#10 Playing the victim

Thinking people are out to get you, that you are always wrong, or that you have terrible luck, are all damaging to your self-confidence. These thoughts can lead you to think the world is against you and that no matter what you do, it’s never good enough. Begin by reframing your thoughts to “That didn’t go as I had hoped, but next time will be better because I’m smarter now.”

When you are confident you will:
  • feel happy, valuable, fulfilled
  • feel worthy of the good things in your life
  • easily cope with life’s challenges
  • be productive
  • trust yourself to show up for YOU
  • stop looking for external validation because loving yourself is where true confidence thrives.

The fastest way to change the way you think about yourself is to change your behavior.

Identify which habits above you want to change and take one small step to start today.

Don’t forget to download your free confidence building guide.

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

Are you constantly looking over your shoulder worrying about what others think of you? Is your default to assume they think the worst of you?

Ugh. It’s so frustrating isn’t it?

Here’s the thing. These critics only live in your head. Your brain takes those critics you’ve created and looks for proof that people are judging you.

But what if you stopped looking for your critics and looked for your fans instead?

Fans you say? Yes!

There are people you don’t even notice who are watching you and who think you are amazing. Oh yes, that is correct. You inspire others and don’t even know it.

You inspire others by simply “being.”

What you think is trivial is profound to other people.

You may not know who you are inspiring with your small, daily actions. But trust that everything you do may be an inspiration to someone.

  • It could be how you approach a stressful life event with calm and positivity.
  • It could be that you approach everything in the practical way.
  • Or, you show others that you can handle anything with the right attitude.
  • Maybe it’s your strong work ethic and the willingness to learn.

None of those are extraordinary talents, but the way you carry yourself through your life is both extraordinary and inspiring to others.

You don’t know you’re inspirational because you don’t know who is watching your progress. You’re not looking for your fans because you are too busy looking for your critics.

Maybe you won’t reach millions of people with your life. Maybe you’ll only reach one.

Maybe you’ll reach 10. If you can set an example for 10 people, they may not tell you you’re inspiring them, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re inspirational.

Imagine what you would learn about yourself when you look at the world through a different lens. What if people weren’t against you? What if you they were cheering you on? What if they were changing their lives based on how you are living yours?

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!

You are inspiring others simply by being you. Just by being you, just by being your unique beautiful self, you’re inspiring others to do the same for themselves.

When you be you, you give unconscious permission to everyone around you to be them and that is your greatest gift in the world.

The most powerful inspirations I know of aren’t the quotes, YouTube videos or articles guaranteeing “10 Steps to Success”.

My biggest inspiration is my Mom. She gets up every day and takes care of my Dad who has Alzheimers. I don’t how she has done it day after day for almost a decade. She does it with grace, patience, and always, always finds something to be grateful for on the worst of days. Her attitude and resilience inspire me beyond words.

Who inspires you?

Whoever it is, tell them.

These are ordinary people in your life who have inspired you and still do.

Next time you are touched by someone’s story, tweet, blog post, comment, photo, let them know how it made you feel, how it shaped your thinking, what thoughts it provoked, what it allowed you to experience, discover, understand.

Tell them the qualities they embody that touch you, such as resiliency, humility, grace, perseverance, and a can-do attitude.

Soon. you’ll realize the ripple effect that because of them, you inspire others too.

What would the world look like if we all stopped looking for our critics and noticed our fans?

What you pay attention to is a choice.

The only thing you need to remember is that inspiring people needs to come from a place of authenticity – the real “YOU”.

Stop giving the critics in your head all the airtime. Instead, look for those quiet souls who are watching you, inspired by you.

Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all of the big things that I want to do to make my dreams a reality.

Do you know what that feels like?

Your head is spinning. It can be hard to know what to do or where to start.

I’ve been playing around with this tool for awhile now and want to share it with you so you can beat the overwhelm, reduce stress and anxiety and move forward with clarity.

Let me introduce you to my version of The Mind Sweep.

What exactly is a Mind Sweep?

It’s an intentional methodical way for getting everything out of your head onto paper – or into a Google Doc, or wherever you’re capturing your thoughts in an organized meaningful way.

A Mind Sweep is different than a mind dump. A mind dump is also effective at getting things out, but it’s kind of like taking the mess of thoughts in your brain and creating a new mess on paper. And it can continue the train of overwhelm, because now you have to sort through all of the junk you just dumped out on paper.

Imagine pulling out the junk drawer in your kitchen and dumping it on the floor. That doesn’t really help much…the junk is just in a new spot.

On the flip side, a Mind Sweep is a lot more organized. We pictured dumping the junk drawer on the floor and making a mess. Now imagine yourself sweeping the floor in your kitchen.

When you sweep you’re not just randomly swishing the broom around to see what happens. No! When you sweep, you start at the edges and work in a certain direction. Every swish of the broom has a purpose, and you’ve got an end goal in mind.

That’s what happens when you do a mind sweep. You get everything out of your head in a deliberate and purposeful way so that you’re not dumping junk on a page. Your sweeping out the cobwebs so you can get more clarity and start fresh.

David Allen author of Getting Things Done, uses a Mind Sweep as part of his kind of complicated system GTD for capturing and processing information in your life and work so that you never miss a thing.

His version of a mind sweep is great, but I found it to be a bit much. I’ve played with it for a while, and this is what my mind sweep looks like now. I always tell my clients, their success lies in taking someone else system and tweaking it to make it your own.

HOW TO DO MY VERSION OF A MIND SWEEP

FIRST – Decide where you’ll capture your Mind Sweep thoughts. In a notebook? A journal? A Google Doc? Don’t overthink this. Pick something and start. I mind sweep the old-fashioned way with pen and paper.

SECOND – Decide when and how often you’ll capture your thoughts.

Will you do this in the morning or at night?

In the morning, the mind sweep can help improve focus by reducing distractions. At night, a mind sweep can help quiet racing thoughts and turn your brain “off” so you can sleep.

Doing a mind sweep takes muscle memory, just like any other habit. To start, promise yourself you’ll do a mindset sweep one time a week.

THIRD – Focus your sweep.

Organizing your thoughts into categories helps you manage them.

I sweep my thoughts into one of 3 categories; My To-Do’s, My Worries, and My Inner-Critic. Let’s talk about these from YOUR perspective.

CATEGORY #1: YOUR TO-DO THOUGHTS

This is the first category because I’ve found that these thoughts are at the forefront of my mind. When I do mind sweeps with clients, they also default to thinking about their to-do’s first.

To sweep your to-do thoughts, ask yourself; “What are the important things I need to accomplish today? Tomorrow? This week?

If it helps, think about your to-do’s in sub-categories like; work, home, kids, bills, parents, medical, vacations. You get the point.

Now that you got your To-Do Thoughts out of your head, it’s time to make a doable plan.

3 Steps to Make a Doable Plan

FIRST: Break out projects vs tasks.

Your list probably contains a mix of projects and tasks. A project is anything that has more than one step to complete.

Book a vacation is an example of a project. Choose 3 places to research is a task.

One of the most common reasons we end the day without crossing things off our to-do list is because our list is full of projects, instead of tasks. So we might spend hours working on a few tasks for one project, but not finish the whole project. So even though we made good progress – progress to be proud of – we still feel bad for not crossing it off the list.

When you identify something from your to-do mind sweep that’s a project, put the letter P next to it so you can come back to it later and map out the tasks within the project.

SECOND: Prioritize

With the tasks that are left, it’s time to prioritize. Remember, when everything is important, nothing is important.

Start with lightening the load. What on the list can you eliminate? Now that you see it on paper you may realize you’ve been hanging onto something that doesn’t need to be done at all.

The simplest way to prioritize is by using a ranking system. Go through the list and add numeric or word rankings like NOW, NEXT, and LATER. For more on prioritizing check out this blog post.

THIRD: Delegate and Schedule

Is there anything on the list that you can delegate? Maybe to a coworker, spouse, kids, a virtual assistant, an intern? What can you delegate and get off your plate?

For the remaining urgent things on the list, schedule them into your day and into the next week with time blocks. This helps you keep what you decide to tackle realistic. You can’t get a lot done if you’re in meetings all day. But you can get something done when you have an hour open between appointments. Schedule it and keep that appointment with yourself.

CATEGORY #2 YOUR WORRY THOUGHTS

Worrying causes a huge bottleneck in your productivity. When you worry, you’re all up in your head and not solving a darn thing.

Now sweep for your worry thoughts. Ask yourself;

  • What am I worrying about or dwelling on right now?
  • What am I overthinking?
  • What am I ruminating over?
  • What thoughts are keeping me up at night?
  • What thoughts are distracting me during the day?

Next, review all those thoughts an ask yourself; “What do I have control over? Is there anything I can do about this worry?”

If yes, move that action or task to Category #1: Your To-Do Thoughts. If no, choose to let it go. Worrying has never solved any problem. It simply keeps you spinning.

If you must worry, schedule a time to worry. Every time you catch yourself worrying, remind yourself that you have 30 minutes of worry time scheduled at say 7pm tonight. Maybe use that time to journal about your worries.

CATEGORY #3: YOUR INNER-CRITIC THOUGHTS

Oh, these thoughts keep you so stuck. They tell you that you aren’t enough. They tell you to play it safe. And the secret here, my friend, is that most of your thoughts are outright lies.

Now sweep for your inner-critic thoughts.

  1. What am I beating myself up for right now?
    It may be things like;
    I never do what I say I’m going to do.
    I’m always distracted.
    I never finish anything.

2. Finish this thought; I’ve never been good at _____________________. Or, it might come out of your head as “I’m a terrible writer, speaker, friend, parent, boss, leader.”

Review each thought and ask yourself if it is a fact or simply a thought.

Our thoughts are just that, thoughts. They are not facts. A fact is something that would hold up in a court of law. There is no emotion around facts. Thoughts are full of emotions. Also, notice words like, always, never, constantly, all the time, etc. Those are clues that the thought is a lie.

Now if it’s a lie, what else could you say to yourself? For example, “I keep putting off writing my resume because I’m a terrible writer.” That’s not a fact. So reframe the thought to:

“Now that I think about it, people have told me that I’m a great writer. I even got pretty good grades on my papers in school. I can tackle this resume.”

THAT’S IT! YOU’RE DONE WITH YOUR MIND SWEEP!

Enjoy the feeling that you have. You probably feel a little lighter now that your mind is de-cluttered and you have clarity like you’ve never had before.

Are you guilty of having an idea, or an intuitive hit on something and immediately saying “I’ll do it later.”? Or “I’ll get back to this when I have more time.”?

Now take a second to think about how much further along you would be if you started taking all that energy you use waiting and used it to start DOING?

Here’s the thing – that idea or tiny inspiration was a gift from the universe and what do we usually do with it? We throw it right into the “I’ll do it later black hole” where most ideas go to die.

You know you need to do it. For some reason, though, it feels impossible to muster the energy to simply get started.

Don’t worry, it’s not just in your head. Getting started is hard. The secret to building and maintaining momentum lies in the science.

Remember Newton’s Law Of Motion?

“An object at rest stays at rest. An object in motion stays in motion.”

Newtons Law Of Motion

In chemistry, you need a big burst of initial energy to start a chemical reaction. This explosion of energy is called “activation energy.” Your brain is looking for that chemical reaction, that explosion of energy.

That moment of inspiration you had? That was the spark the universe gave you to create that activation energy to get you started.

But out of habit you smothered it and now you are left with the excuses of no energy, no time, no confidence, no inspiration.

You see, after that moment of inspiration passes, you’ll never feel like it, you’ll never be ready, and there is no right time. Suck it up, give yourself a push, and get started.

If you do, you can tap into the principle of momentum.

Here are three strategies you can use to create and sustain momentum.

#1 DO SOMETHING TINY EVERY DAY

This idea comes for BJ Fogg, a Stanford University researcher. When you set the bar low, it’s easier to stick to your goals.

If you have just started trying to get back in shape, for example, forget the long workout. Instead, do five minutes on the treadmill and five pushups a day. I transformed my health by simply walking my dog every day. When you start with something easy, you’ll see yourself win and you’ll keep going.

#2 CELEBRATE SMALL WINS

Making progress in small ways doesn’t always feel like it’s making a big difference. But research from Harvard University Business School discovered that recognizing your small progress every day is the key to productivity and happiness.

To make the effect even greater, reward yourself – but only in ways that further your goals. Topping off a 5-mile run with a bowl of ice cream is different than rewarding yourself with a deep-tissue massage.

#3 FOCUS ON THE SMALLER NUMBER

You can measure progress by how much you’ve done or how much you still have left to do.

A study from the University of Chicago discovered that you’ll be way more motivated if you focus on the smaller of two numbers.

For example, focus on the 3 pounds you’ve already lost, not the 17 more to go. Each new action feels even more impactful when compared to a smaller number.

Did you notice what these three strategies have in common?

Think small when you think about taking action.

Take tiny doable steps, celebrate small wins, focus on the smaller number.

When we think big, we get overwhelmed and it all feels impossible.

I challenge you to think small today.

Remember, creating momentum doesn’t happen by thinking that you have to finish the entire project NOW.

But it does happen by taking action immediately and then scheduling out more time on the calendar to sustain momentum.

Do you struggle with planning your next steps?

Check out the Fail-Proof Planning System Mini-Course.

People- pleasing is rooted in self-doubt.

You want to be liked.

You don’t want anyone to be upset with you.

You fear if you say no, they will stop talking to you.

You don’t feel like you’re enough, so you keep doing more, thinking that adding one more thing won’t be too much trouble.

But what if you weren’t constantly looking for that external validation that you are enough?

What if you believed in yourself and truly knew that you are an amazing human?

What if you looked at setting boundaries around people-pleasing, AKA as saying no, as a way to be healthier and happier. And what if you showed up in all of your relationships healthier and happier as a result? That’s some powerful stuff all from learning how to say no. Wow!

Saying no is not the only way to set boundaries. It’s just a small part of the process. But before you can move on to other parts of boundaries, practice saying no first.

Like anything new, setting boundaries is uncomfortable. Maybe you…

  • fear being mean or rude.
  • are anxious about future interactions after setting a boundary.
  • feel powerless and not sure boundaries will help.
  • get your value from helping others.
  • have no clue where to start.
  • believe you can’t have boundaries is certain relationships.

If any of those resonated for you, you are not alone. People don’t have to agree with boundaries for you to execute them. Boundaries are meant to keep you safe. And they are meant to keep you comfortable. Your comfort may make others uncomfortable, and that’s okay.

3 Simple Steps to Set A Boundary

Step #1: Be clear, and focus on the solution, not the problem.

When we think about setting boundaries, we mostly talk about the problem. The boundary is the solution.

Ask yourself, “What would you like? What do you want to see next time? What would make you feel safe?”

Condense what you need into one or two sentences, max!

Do say, “I’m not able to take care of your plants while you’re on vacation.”

Don’t say, “I don’t know why you asked me to take care of your plants. You know I don’t have a green thumb. The last time you asked me, one plant died, and you haven’t stopped complaining out how incompetent I was. Why don’t you ask someone else who knows more about plants?”

Don’t say, “You should ask your sister to water your plants instead.”

Remember the boundary is the solution to your habit of people-pleasing. The boundary is not the solution to the other person’s issue. It’s up to the other person to make different arrangements.

If you overexplain, people can find your weakness. When you’re a newbie, people can talk you out of your boundaries because of your lack of confidence.

Step #2: State what you need and want, or say no.

Speak your truth using phrases like:

  • I want…
  • I need…
  • I expect…

Don’t just mention what you don’t like; ask for what you need or want. Identify your expectations, or say no.

Step #3: Manage your discomfort.

It’s normal to feel guilt, fear, sadness, remorse, awkwardness, indifference, or relief when setting boundaries.

Guilt is by far the most challenging, but it’s to be expected. Guilt shows that you are emotionally aware and are concerned about potentially hurting others. But don’t let your guilt stop you from doing what you need for your well-being.

You will likely be relieved after setting a boundary. The hard part is over. You did it!

And even when people aren’t happy with your boundaries, it feels good to have taken that first uncomfortable step.

The more you do this, the more confident you will feel in setting boundaries and taking care of yourself.

What is one thing you would like to start saying no to?

Don’t forget to grab your free confidence building guide:

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

You’re never going to feel ready to do something new.

Of course, it will be uncomfortable, even scary. That is normal. If you wait for the fear to go away, you’ll never do anything.

It’s NOT about making the fear disappear.

Is IS about not letting the fear run your life.

Here are 5 sneaky ways fear keeps you stuck and what you can do to take back control.

1. Fear, fears action. It’s terrified you’re going to take the next step and the next and the next. Fears job is to keep you paralyzed. Fear knows, once you act you will prove fear wrong and see it’s not so scary after all.

Action Item: Make a plan. List out all the things you need to do to accomplish your goal. Schedule a time you’re going to work on each step. Most importantly, execute one small step!

2. Fear always says forever. It says the thing you want to do will take an eternity. Fear can’t stand deadlines. It wants to be untethered by any semblance of time. Fear’s goal is to keep you stuck forever. Forever is a really loooonnng time.

Action item: Set 3 deadlines; daily weekly and monthly.

3. Fear grows best in isolation. Fear hates being shared. It knows you’re designed to grapple with it alone. You don’t tell anyone you’re afraid of failing or that you think you’re not enough. It knows you’ll hide.

Action Item: Get a coach or accountability partner. Talk to your family and friends. When you do this they tell your fear to shut up!

They’ll tell you, ” Hey, you got nothing to lose. Go for it. That’s a great idea. I can’t wait to see how that turns out for you. What do you need from me? I’d love to support you as you take on this new thing.”

Fear does not want you to bring in other people, especially people who are going to encourage you to act.

4. Fear is a magnifying glass and makes everything bigger and scarier than it really is. When you keep all those thoughts that scare you in your head, fear has access to your goal and feeds them with more fear.

Action Item: Write out your goals and exactly what is scary about them. This gets the fear out of your head. Then go back and write a counter statement to each fear.

Something like this:

Fear: I’m afraid I’ll fail.
Counter statement: I’m going to start, and I’ll learn something along the way.

Fear: I’m afraid people will judge me.
Counter statement: It really doesn’t matter what other people think of me. It only matters what I think, and I’ll always wonder what could’ve been if I had only tried.

5. Fear is blinding and all consuming. Its goal is to keep you so busy up in your head doubting yourself that you completely forget WHY this is so important to you. Don’t stare so long at your fear that you lose sight of your vision.

Action Item: Revisit your WHY. Why is this important to you? Before fear got a hold of you, what about this goal excited you?

When it comes to fear, always ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” You’ll find fear is nothing more than a bully.

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The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

I don’t have to tell you that healthy self-esteem matters.

It helps you make sound choices, live big and allows everything into your life that you really, really want.

And it’s not defined by a six-pack, a six figure career, or a feel-good buzz after six mimosas. It’s deeper. It’s how you feel about you. Sadly, many of us sabotage our self-esteem subconsciously and then wonder why we feel crumby at the end of the day.

Here are some new behaviors you can start practicing to boost your self-esteem wherever it is right now:
  1. Stop hanging out with people out of loyalty instead of intention.
    Are you hanging out with people because they would be offended if you didn’t? That’s one of the worst reasons to maintain a friendship. Your friends should inspire and uplift you and when you tell them your life goals, they should encourage you every step of the way.

  2. Start using your secret (or forgotten) talents.
    Gifts you stop using (writing, teaching, designing, the list goes on…) will make you miserable over time. Your skills exist to be used to bring joy to everyone who encounters you. They can even make a sweet side hustle.

  3. Put yourself first for once.
    Try saying *no* 3 times this week. Try it out!!! *No* is the magical word you’ve been looking for – and don’t waste a second feeling guilty about not pleasing someone else. If you have to disappoint yourself or someone else, let it be someone else.

  4. Stop procrastinating.
    Procrastination is directly related to our feelings of self-worth. Think how great you’ll feel to have the darn thing done. It won’t be nagging you when you’re trying to sleep or taking some much-deserved downtime.

    You choose to to free yourself from the burden when you just do it. Get busy and stop sabotaging yourself. What are you waiting for, exactly? It’s never the *right* time.

  5. Give yourself permission to walk away.
    Who or what situation do you need to leave? Change can be scary, yes – but nothing changes if nothing changes.

  6. Ask for more.
    People who ask, get. It’s that simple. But if you don’t feel deserving, you’re probably not asking enough. What can you test? Asking for a favor from a friend? Asking for an overdue raise? Asking for help at work? There’s strength and major results in asking.

  7. Don’t make excuses – make promises.
    What are your go-to excuses?
    “There isn’t enough time. I never finish anything. I already have so much to do. I’m not exactly sure what I need to do. I’ll wait until I feel ready.”

    Excuses keep you stuck. Making and keeping promises to yourself is the greatest form of self-love. If you can’t count on you, who can you count on? Excuses hold you back. Making and keeping promises to yourself moves you forward.

  8. Remember self-compassion.
    Self-compassion actually matters more than self-esteem. It’s about being kind and gentle with yourself no matter what. And that means being patient, loving and accepting of yourself… even if you know there is more work you’d like to do on yourself.

    Try approving of yourself a bit more. Remember what you like about yourself: “I’m good at things! I’m a decent cook! I do a strong 2 minute plank. I’m not a perfect friend, but I’m a loyal friend.”

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

Louise Hay

If you keep practicing these behaviors, your self-esteem will take care of itself.

Grab your free guide:
The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence.

Have you ever been trapped in a conversation where the other person is over explaining, with no end in sight? How does it make you feel?

You may feel annoyed or even like the person is over explaining because they think you are stupid.

Or are you the person who is always over explaining?

Over explaining creates the exact opposite of what we are trying to accomplish!

It leaves others in the conversation:

  • Annoyed
  • Thinking about something else
  • Planning their rebuttal or reply
  • Wondering how to stop you from going on and on and on….
  • With an impression that you lack self-confidence and strategic thinking.

If you suffer from low self-esteem or people-pleasing, you may have an almost compulsive need to over explain.

Over explaining means describing something to an excessive degree, whereas oversharing is the disclosure of an inappropriate amount of information and detail about your personal life.

Some reasons driving you to over explain:

One: You might be doing this to keep yourself safe.

Over explaining is a common response for those who were often made to feel at fault as a child. At one point, the desire to please people provided safety. Now it has turned in to you defending yourself at every turn, justified or not. It has affected your ability to trust yourself and feel confident.

Two: You’re trying to avoid conflict, keep the peace and control the other person’s response.

It’s uncomfortable to be around someone who is angry or hurt or disappointed. If you’re giving someone information you fear they won’t like, it’s tempting to pile on explanations.

You believe if you can give a compelling enough reason for your choice, you can ensure the other person will see things your way. If you have enough solid reasons for your choice, maybe they won’t take it personally and be hurt.

Maybe if you can make them understand, they will still like you.

Three: You’re looking for someone to validate your decision.

You may feel the need to justify yourself or your decisions to make someone accept who you are and how you think because you are insecure about your choices.

While it doesn’t feel great to have people disagree with you, if you are confident about your own choices, you’re less impacted when someone doesn’t agree with you.

On the other hand, if you are unsure about your decision, you often look to others for reassurance. You over explain in the hope that the other person will understand and come around to your point of view. Often, it’s not really about the other person changing their mind as much as it is about needing external validation for your own choices.

Four: You’re trying to ease your own feelings of guilt.

Choosing something another person might not like can prompt feelings of guilt. When you feel guilty about your decision, you often turn to explanations an excuses to convince the other person and yourself that you have a very good reason for choosing the way you did.

You may believe, whether you realize it or not, that other people’s wants, needs, and feelings are more important than your own. This is a clear people-pleasing behavior.

You believe saying no or declining an invitation is selfish or rude. You think that to be kind, generous, and likable you must be unfailingly agreeable and accommodating.

Explaining doesn’t come with a set of rules, but,

Here’s a 3-step formula I use for crafting responses that are simple, kind and to-the-point.

Step 1: Get Clear about your intentions.

Why do you really want to explain? Spoiler alert: If it’s any of the 4 reasons above, you do NOT want or need to over explain.

Who do you want to be in this situation? Do you want to make the other person feel stupid? Do you want them to be annoyed? Or, do you want to be respectful of their time?

Step 2: Keep it simple.

Longer explanations don’t necessarily bring greater understanding. What is the most important thing you want the other person to know?

Step 3: Be Kind

Lead with gratitude. Then state your decision in as few words as possible. Finally, wish them well.

Here’s an example of how to decline an invitation without over explaining:

“Thanks so much for thinking of me! I won’t be joining you this time, but I hope you have lots of fun.”

Here’s another example on cancelling a membership to a mastermind group:

“Thank you for having me as part of this group. I’ve decided to cancel my membership at this time. Wishing you and the group continued success.”

Isn’t that way simpler and kinder than a string of excuses or agreeing with resentment?

This takes practice. Our *explanation habits* won’t change overnight. Take the time you need to get clear on your intentions and think through how you really want to respond.

Remember, if someone doesn’t ask for more explanation, it’s a clear sign they don’t want one.

Don’t forget to grab your free confidence building guide.

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

“What do I want for lunch? Pasta or sushi?”

“When is the right time to have that difficult conversation?”

“Where can I go on vacation? Can I afford it?”

A typical adult makes more than 35,000 decisions per day – usually starting with whether to turn off the alarm or hit the snooze button.

We face hundreds of choices every day – from simple, “What should I wear to work?” to more complicated decisions that involve our emotional, financial, and physical well-being, “Should we pivot the business?”

The number of decisions you have to make in a day can get so overwhelming that by the time you get home, you can barely decide what to eat for dinner.

This is what’s known as decision fatigue – a term coined by social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister, as the emotional and mental strain resulting from a burden of choices.

This type of fatigue leads to one of two outcomes; risky decision-making or decision avoidance.

In other words, when your mental energy begins running low, you’re less able to override basic desires and more likely to go for whatever is easiest.

Fear not! That feeling when you’re overly stressed by the endless amount of decisions you’ve had to make throughout the day can be remedied.

How to Recognize It

Remember decision fatigue isn’t always easy to spot. Here are some tell-tale signs that might suggest you’re heading for burnout.

  • Procrastination – “I’ll tackle this later.”
  • Impulsivity – “A quick decision will give me relief.”
  • Avoidance – “I can’t deal with this right now.”
  • Indecision – “When in doubt, I just say no.”

ONE: Focus on self-care

Take time to rest by setting aside 10-minute breaks between tasks throughout the day.

Recovering also means making sure you’re getting enough sleep, making sure you’re eating healthy, and watching your alcohol intake.

TWO: Prioritize your decisions.

Cut down on needless decision-making by jotting down your top priorities for the day and ensuring you tackle those first. This way, your most important decisions get done when your energy is at its highest.

THREE: Save major decisions for when you’re rested and refreshed.

Ask yourself;

  • “How tired am I in the present moment?”
  • “Am I making a decision to simply solve the thing and get it off my plate?”
  • “How much impact on my life will this decision have?”

If the answer is that it’ll have a high impact, only allow yourself to make those decisions when you have to make them or when you feel refreshed.

That might mean setting aside a block of time each month to evaluate the pros and cons of those major decisions.

FOUR: Minimize low-stake decisions

Reduce decision drain by planning ahead and taking relatively minor decisions out of the equation. For example, take your lunch to work to avoid having to decide which restaurant to order from. Or, lay out your clothes the night before.

Yes, you are still making the decision but you are doing it at a time when you’re not rushed and stressed.

Remember, your morning is only as good as the night before.

We don’t realize that things that have very little impact on our lives can actually take a lot of decision energy.

FIVE: Create routines that will stick

Set up your day so that you have to make the fewest decisions possible. Have a morning and evening routine. Put as many things on auto-pilot as possible.

This means having strict and clear rules about certain things, such as;

  • when you’ll go to sleep
  • specific days you’ll hit the gym
  • going grocery shopping

SIX: Allow others to help

Sharing the mental load of decision-making can help prevent overwhelm.

Here are a few examples of what you can delegate:

  • If you’re having a hard time meal planning, allow your partner or roommate to come up with a menu. You can help out with the shopping.
  • Ask a close friend for a referral for a plumber.
  • Let a colleague choose which images to use on your next presentation.

SEVEN: Keep tabs on your mental and physical state

Everyone gets overwhelmed with decisions at times. Pay attention to your emotional and physical responses.

Are you repeatedly making poor choices because you feel overwhelmed? Do you find yourself making a habit of snacking on junk food to avoid making decisions about dinner?

Keeping track of your reactions can help you understand which habits need improvement.

EIGHT: Celebrate your good decisions.

You make so many small decisions during the day without even realizing it. And that’s on top of all the big, noticeable ones.

Celebrating the big and small decisions alike, boosts your confidence and sets you up for more confident decision-making tomorrow.

Mel Robbins created the High-Five Habit so we could all start celebrating ourselves. So, go high-five yourself in the mirror for showing up and making the best decisions you could today.

If you liked this, be sure to grab your free guide:

The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

Do you want to be perfect or excellent?

I had to ask myself this question as I was listening to a Jon Acuff podcast. As I was listening it became crystal clear to me the moments I’m pursuing excellence and the moments I’m letting perfectionism hold me back.

Following are the highlights and my spin on what I learned from him.

When we strive for excellence, we have high standards that encourage us to make improvements, solve problems and do quality work. It focuses on the process. 

Perfectionism is the belief we must be perfect to be acceptable. It focuses on the outcome. Anything other than perfect is failure. Perfectionism is an attitude, not necessarily a behavior.

Excellence, unlike perfectionism, does not demand a sacrifice of self-esteem as it tends to focus on the process of achievement rather than the outcome.

3 Differences between excellence and perfectionism

  1. Excellence Launches. Perfectionism lags.

    Excellence: You hit your deadlines, stick to the diet, publish the book, finished cleaning out the basement.
    Perfectionism: You half wrote the book, you quit the diet, you stopped cleaning out the basement because you couldn’t find the perfect containers.

  2. Excellence energizes. Perfectionism drains 

    Excellence can still be tiring but you’re exhausted and elated.
    Perfectionism leaves you feeling empty and hopeless.
     
  3. Excellence encourages others. Perfectionism discourages others

    Excellence: People who pursue excellence are admired for their drive for excellence. You give everything you’ve got.  You keep your eyes on what’s important. You don’t nit-pic everything.
    Perfectionism:  No one aspires to be like you or to work with you. You’re seen as difficult, holding up progress, micro-managing.

It can be difficult to tell if we are in the pursuit of excellence or trapped in perfectionism when we are all up in our heads thinking, thinking, thinking. 

Here are 8 ways to spot perfectionism.

If you answer yes to any of these, perfectionism is running the show. 

1. Are the expectations for any goal you want to accomplish unreasonable?
I expect to lose 10 lbs in a week.
I will run every day.
This will be easy. 

2. Is the timeframe to accomplish the goal impossible? 
This trips you up with the speed of your progress. You believe you should be making faster progress.  
I should implement this new system in a week. 
I should get healthy in 10 weeks.

If it took you 5 yrs to put on the weight, why are you only giving yourself 5 weeks to take it off?

“Never give the problem 10 years and the solution a week.”

Jon Acuff

3. Are you obsessed about the results other people are getting? 

Perfectionism amplifies comparison.

“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”

Jon Acuff

It’s normal to compare yourself to others. But instead of comparing yourself to who is on the top, the biggest and best in that field, industry, or endeavor, compare yourself to someone similar. Someone who is slightly ahead of and better than you. 

Use this comparison not to beat yourself down, but to learn. What can you learn from this person and their experience that will help you accomplish your goal?

4. Do you forget to celebrate your progress and move on to the next thing before celebrating what you just accomplished? 

Perfectionism, eliminates the possibility to celebrate. It says that no victory is ever big enough. 

Perfectionism moves the goal post. It never allows you to celebrate at the finish line because perfectionism keeps moving the finish line. For example, you think, “I got all 3 priorities done today, but it would have been better if I could’ve got 2 more things done too.” You never get to enjoy the reward of all that hard work.

5. Are you suffering from burn-out?

If perfectionism is the standard, it’ s an impossible standard. You’ll never be finished. You’ll never be good enough. Ugh.

6. Are you overthinking and over researching?

Acuff says perfectionism turns the starting line on the ground into a wall of indecision and procrastination.

Let’s say you want to get in shape. You tell yourself this time is different. If you’re going to do this, you’re going to do it right. So, you start asking yourself all the questions. 

How many times will I go to the gym? What kind of workout will I do? How many calories can I eat? Do I take the right supplements? Where am I going to buy my workout shoes? How will I work this into my busy schedule? What’s the best gym to join? 

The pile of questions has turned your starting line that was so easy to cross into a wall you have to climb. 

7. Do you make up fictional problems to fix?

Perfectionism makes you think you must fix fictional problems. It tells you to fix problems that haven’t even happened yet. 

If you’re thinking about starting a business, you wonder what you will do when you must fire someone? What if they have a family? It’ll be awful. So, you decide to play small and be a solopreneur or not start the business at all. Sheesh, you could be years away from ever having to worry about that. 

8. Do you think everyone else has it all figured out, except you? 

Perfectionism cripples’ community. You worry your progress is too messy, your life is too scattered, and your challenges are too big to bring anyone else in, so you hide, and you do it alone or not at all.

How many of these did you answer yes to?

Now you know. 

What is one change you’re going to make to move out of perfectionist thinking? 

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The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence

I often wonder who I would be if I weren’t so afraid of being judged.

Have you ever struggled with feeling like you’re being judged? It seems silly to even ask. Maybe you’re reading this right now because fear of being judged has you staring at your phone instead of doing what you’re meant to do.

Fear of judgment is one of the many ways you doubt yourself.

Self-doubt is fear. Fear of judgment. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of being rejected. Fear of not being enough. I could go on, but I won’t. 

While I haven’t found a permanent cure, self-storytelling has become a great treatment… helping to keep my fear of judgement in check so I can keep doing what I was born to do.

Here are three stories I tell myself whenever I feel the fear of judgement, aka self-doubt, creeping in — they might help you too!

It could be situational or a sustained state of being, but if you’ve ever wanted to get out of a fear of judgment or self-doubt funk, these three stories will help.

Story One:

A story about a time when you felt judged and then realized it was all in your head.

Oh yes, we all do this. You were convinced you could read someone’s mind and you told yourself they were bashing you and judging you for not being good enough. But then, this person started talking with you and they complimented you or asked questions because they thought what you were doing was so intriguing, interesting, or even impressive.

Mind reading is dangerous, and never do we think, “Oh, how nice. This person thinks I’m creative and smart.” Oh no, our habit is to think they are bashing us because that is what we do to ourselves. I’m telling you; no one judges you more harshly than YOU judge yourself! 

Story Two:

A story about a time when you realized the person’s opinion about you really didn’t matter anyway.

Tell yourself a story about a time when you placed so much importance on one person’s opinion and you were bold and acted against their advice anyway and you nailed it! Reminding yourself of your courageous, bold moments puts fear in its place and self-doubt will join her. Sometimes the simple reminder of when you nailed it is enough to pull you out of the self-doubt rut. And if your inner critic tries to tell you it was a fluke, don’t believe it.

This need for external validation, the need to not ruffle any feathers, to please others, stops you from believing in yourself. People pleasing has nothing to do with other people and everything to do with your insecurities. Learn to love and support yourself and you’ll stop worrying about pleasing everyone else. External validation is fleeting. Belief in yourself is enduring.

Story Three: 

A story about someone else who really doesn’t give a thought to what other people think of them.

They go all in – two feet in. They don’t half-ass anything or make themselves smaller to make others feel okay. We all know someone like this. We secretly envy their courage and confidence and wish that it would rub off on us.

What things do they do that you are in awe of? Have you ever told yourself, “I wish I could be bold and do things that others don’t agree with and not care about disappointing them?” What are those things? Go ahead. Be bold. Do it. 

Want to learn more about letting go of the fear and believing in yourself?

Grab your FREE Guide: The Habit of Self-Doubt: Crush It and Build Real Confidence