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Coach Carlene

To put it simply, imposter syndrome is the fear of being found out. 

You fear that if you are found out, that you’ll be labeled, judged and rejected. You fear you won’t be taken seriously. 

In response to this fear you do 1 of 3 things. 

#1 You strive.

You grind out your work out day after day to stay one step ahead of this jury that is going to find you out and cast judgment. You perform and hustle so that no one can tell you that you don’t belong. Striving is an exhausting way to live.

#2 You hide.

If you can’t strive and perform, you hide and pretend. You put more emphasis on your appearance than your performance.

You may use apathy to hide. Apathy is a shield. You tell yourself, you really don’t want it. It’s as if you’re running away from something you never wanted so bad. You use apathy to protect yourself from caring because if you care, you might be found out and you might get hurt. 

Some people use anger and sarcasm to hide. You make excuses why you’re not showing up. You blame others. You justify your lack of progress. 

#3 You quit.

If you can’t strive or hide, you simply quit.

What’s your response to imposter syndrome? Strive, hide, or quit?

Clearly, not one of those things is helping you one bit. So what should you do instead?

This is how to outsmart imposter syndrome.

#1 Instead of striving, check your expectations. 

Imposter syndrome sets wildly unrealistic expectations and when they aren’t met it proves you’re an imposter. 

Instead, aim high, but aim true. You should have high expectations. But be the best YOU, not the best somebody else.

Ask “What are my expectations?” 

It slows you down to check in on what is really going on. Maybe your expectations are unrealistic. Like, thinking you should have Instant expertise or a flawless performance, or get a standing ovation.

#2 Instead of hiding, show-up.

Show up with your mistakes, your failures. 

Remember when you show-up, it will either be a success or be a story.

When you share your failures, you remove imposter syndrome’s teeth. So share your story. Share what you learned. Your experiences, good and bad, are meant to be shared. The scars you share are a gift to others because you went first. 

What’s a challenge or struggle you need to share with someone? What’s something you need to share to prevent you from hiding?

#3 Instead of quitting, do the work.

This is the most effective way to beat imposter syndrome. 

The only difference between imposter and imposter syndrome is the work. It doesn’t mean you need to become an expert to stop feeling like an imposter. But you just have to be faithful to the work. 

  • Do you write? You’re a real writer.
  • Do you parent? You’re a real mom.
  • Do you run? You’re a real runner.
  • Do you sell a product or service? You’re a real entrepreneur.
  • Do you show houses? You’re a real real estate agent.
  • If you do the work, you tell imposter syndrome to shut up.

Spend 15 minutes doing your work.

You never want imposter syndrome to go away.Imposter syndrome is a sign you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone. 

Here’s the great thing.

When you grab onto those things that make you uncomfortable and do the work, you now have something to add to your comfort zone. 

Use imposter syndrome to verify and celebrate that you’re doing something new and scary. Recognize imposter syndrome, thank it and keep going.

Many of us are doing plenty of visualizations every day.

I’m sure you can remember a time when you worried so much about something that it actually happened.

The problem is that most of us are doing visualizations to create the life we don’t want; we are often using it to imagine the worst outcomes of things or worrying about the future.

Interestingly, research By Guang Yue, an Exercise Psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, has found that people who imagine themselves performing a task, improve their performance in that task without physically doing anything. 

Many athletes including Olympians use it to excel in their sports. Elite athletes use techniques like guided imagery and scripting in their training to do everything from simulate practice, to overcome fear, and even recover from an injury.

What is visualization?

Generally speaking, visualization means creating a mental image of a goal you would like to accomplish in the future. You use your thoughts to imagine a certain outcome, and what you will do to get it. 

Despite popular belief, visualizing isn’t about wishing and hoping something will happen. That’s fantasy. Effective visualization is future-oriented but grounded in reality.

There are huge benefits when you use visualization.

According to psychologists, visualization helps you:

  • Master a new skills.
  • Achieve difficult goals.
  • Improve confidence, courage and resilience. 
  • Improve memory & recall, focus, concentration & energy regulation. 

It also helps you to:

  • Calm down when you feel anxious or stressed.
  • Think creatively to brainstorm possible solutions and strategies.
  • Improve athletic performance and strength.

If you’re anything like me, you shied away from the practice or dismissed it as non-scientific. Well, here’s all the proof you need.

The science of visualization

It turns out that the mind can’t distinguish between imagination and reality.

When you have a thought, it triggers the same cascade of neurochemicals, regardless of whether you are thinking about the past, present, or future. Your brain is stimulated the same way whether you’re physically performing an action or simply visualizing it happening in your mind’s eye.

When you think about yourself nailing a presentation or feeling a wave of pride after finishing a big project, your body and brain perceive that as being real in the present moment, even though it’s a far-off goal.

The neurochemicals stimulated go on to affect your motor control, attention, and planning, which spur you into action. Because neurons that fire together wire together, this process of imagining future outcomes creates new neural networks in your brain that help you form new beliefs, take new actions, and adopt new perspectives. 

Take Control of Your RASS

In particular, visualization stimulates an area of the brain called the Reticular Activating System, which, put simply, scans your environment looking for new opportunities. That’s why when you start thinking about getting a new job or wanting to land a new client, suddenly new opportunities come your way. Your brain is scanning for them. Then, you take action on the newly available options and creative solutions you’re able to see.

Here’s another way of thinking of the Reticular Activating System RAS. Your brain is a gigantic detective. It is a filter. I just said your RAS is looking for new opportunities. Well, it is also constantly looking for evidence. It filters information. It lets certain information in, and blocks out other information. And guess who programmed that filter? You did and the people from your past. 

If you’re constantly feeling like you’re unlovable, then your reticular activating system is going through the day looking for proof of that. It will find every piece of evidence that confirms that limiting belief you have. 

If you think people don’t like you at work your RAS is constantly looking for evidence to confirm that belief all day long. It protects your brain from not letting everything in and only letting in stuff it agrees with.

This is why it’s so important to start reprogramming our RAS. You can reprogram your RAS to filter in meaningful, helpful information.

4-Step Visualization Method

According to science, you have to do visualization using this 4 step method. 

Think about a goal you have and move through the following steps.
Goal, Effort, Problem Solving, Emotions

For example, if your goal is to improve your self-worth I want you to visualize what your life looks like and how you’re going to feel about yourself when your self-worth has improved. 

Step 1. Visualize the goal.

Specifically, visualize the outcome of your goal. Close your eyes and in your mind have a specific picture of what it looks like in your life when your self-worth has improved. You may see yourself speaking up at work, you’ll see yourself talking more about your business, see yourself leaving a bad relationship, defining boundaries, going to the gym, taking care of yourself. 

Step 2. Visualize the effort

Visualize yourself doing the work to achieve your goal. For example, a writer can visualize sitting down to write for an hour every morning as a way of boosting their performance on that habit. Like a skier visualizing engaging her core, visualizing the work that goes into writing a book can be as important—or even more so—as holding the finished hardback in one’s hand.

Step 3. Visualize yourself problem solving

As you start to think about the future, worries will inevitably arise. All those “what-if’s”, fears, and anxieties will rise to the surface. When they do, use them as tools to make your vision more flexible. These are called “implementation intentions”. Think through the barriers that you might encounter, both internal(confidence, energy, etc.) and external (time, money, etc). Then, visualize how you’ll respond to each roadblock. 

Here’s an example: I’m horribly uncoordinated and fearful of tripping over myself when I speak. Instead of letting that thought hold me back, I visualize the absolute worst case scenario (falling on my face) and what I would actually do if that came to pass (pick myself up and make a joke about it). I mentally walk through exactly what I would say — even how I’d breath to lessen the panic.

You can use an “If-then” framework to work through these scenarios: “If I fall on my face, then I’ll pick myself up and make a joke about it.” or “If the phone rings during my writing hour, then I’ll ignore it and check for messages later.”

Step 4. Visualize your emotions

When you start to visualize, I want you to consciously think of the positive emotions you’re going to experience. I’m going to feel happy, proud, to stand taller, going to be so grateful that I made this change.

Marrying the specific image with the emotions lets you see, there I am, getting a promotion, signing a new client, going back to school, being happy not in that abusive relationship, there I am happy. When you do this, you are training your brain to have a totally different filter. 

Final Thoughts

You can try all the hacks out there, but if you keep picturing yourself failing, you will. Picture the goal, picture yourself doing the work and problem solving, and picture how you’re going to feel when you succeed. Watch how things turn around for you when you do.

I see loneliness all over.

  • For the 20 something year olds, just starting out in their jobs working remotely.
  • For the elderly lady who lost the love of her life after more than 50 years of marriage.
  • For the parents becoming empty-nesters.
  • For the recently divorced Mom.
  • For the over-booked busy people who can’t find time to grab a coffee with someone.
  • For the retired, relocating to a new community.
  • For the awkward but oh so lovable middle-schoolers who can’t find their place at the lunch table.
  • For the college students. wanting desperately to find their people.
  • Or anyone, for any reason who is suffering from loneliness.

Feeling lonely every now and then is normal. But sometimes that loneliness can grow until we feel it more often than not.

It’s normal to be alone. Loneliness, however, is a state of mind. It can leave people feeling unwanted, unloved and left out. 

When we’re lonely we still want human interaction, but sometimes our mental state can make it challenging to manage. 

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that feeling lonely blows, but this goes deeper.

Feeling lonely changes the chemistry of your brain, and according to research, it can make mental health issues feel worse.

Loneliness can put you more at risk for developing coronary heart disease and dementia and puts you at a higher risk of stroke.

The good news is that loneliness is something we can all take steps to manage. 

If you are naturally more introverted ( me too) simply pushing yourself out the door can feel surprisingly hard, but it makes a huge difference.

Consider this the push you need.

It’s time to start putting yourself out there again.

And don’t limit yourself to only meeting people your age. Everyone needs younger and older friends.

So how do you do it?

I asked my clients and friends how they meet new people and I learned so much.

We put together the top 10 tips for you here:

#1: Check out phone apps.

Some favorites are Bumble BFF (which helps you meet new friends) and Peanut (which connects moms). I have never heard of these, but I love that this kind of connection has evolved past the romantic dating apps. 

#2: Every community has a Facebook group. 

Join it so you know more about what’s going on. Even if you don’t like facebook, give it a shot.  

#3: Throw a party, start a group, or host a book club. 

Don’t know anyone? Post a flier at the library or your local coffee shop. 

#4: If your town has an events page, check it out. 

I get weekly emails from a mortgage broker that tells me what’s happening in Nashville TN. I don’t live there full-time but I bet he is getting his info from the town event page.

#5: Sign up for a class.

There must be something you’ve wanted to learn; cooking, quilting, sewing, pickle ball or heck if you’re up for something more academic go for it. The point is to be with like-minded people. It will help you boost your connections and stave off those feelings of loneliness. 

#6: Join a gym. 

Over time you start to see the same people. I did this more than a year ago. Not only did I make new friends, but I reconnected with people from my old gym before the pandemic. 

#7: Volunteer. 

It feels good AND you’ll meet people who have the same passions as you. 

#8 Develop existing relationships.

Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them you’ve been thinking about them and you miss them. Apologize for anything you need to (or heck, even just for letting life get too busy). Finally, suggest a time and date to get together and plan something to do. Don’t dump the planning on them. Follow-through, (make the reservation, order the tickets) it shows you’re serious about reconnecting. 

#9 Try therapy.

You may find that talking through your loneliness with a professional helps you uncover an underlying cause. You may find a way to combat any social anxiety and feelings of sadness. 

#10 Reach out to someone else who is lonely.

When you focus on making someone else feel better, it allows you to stop thinking about your loneliness. And you always feel better after helping someone out. 

Final Thoughts

Take it slow. Don’t expect to go from feeling lonely to suddenly having a jam-packed social calendar. You’ll risk burning yourself out and isolating yourself once more. Take small steps to increase your connections slowly.

Remember, loneliness is a sign that something needs to change. It’s not a sign that something is wrong with you. It’s a sign that you need to seek more connection, so banissh the self-criticism and get yourself out the door and spend meaningful time with others. 

It’s a strange thing because we are taught from childhood that we should apologize. “Say you’re sorry”, your parents told you.

But, what we didn’t learn is that apologies aren’t appropriate in every situation and can harm our sense of self-worth.

It’s a skill to use these powerful words when they’re necessary. And it’s a skill to be mindful when we’re misusing them and break the I’m sorry habit. When we do, our confidence and self-worth grows by leaps and bounds.

Here’s the truth off what happens when you misuse the words I’m sorry; it makes others feel you don’t feel good about yourself and actually reinforces your feelings of self-doubt.

Research described in the book You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation indicates that “excessive” apologizing — like apologizing when you really don’t need to — can make others feel you lack competence or confidence.

Here are the 4 Truths of the I’m Sorry Habit

Truth #1

Saying I’m sorry is your way of seeking reassurance.

I’m sorry if I talk too much.
I’m sorry by house is a mess.

This puts others on the spot to make you feel better. Notice how many times you say I’m sorry today. It’s exhausting and annoying for others to constantly reassure you.

If your messy house doesn’t bother YOU, that is all that matters. Love yourself enough to not need that validation from others.

Truth #2

Saying I’m sorry makes you and your needs smaller.

I’m sorry I’m so high maintenance.
I’m sorry I’m exhausted and can’t make it tonight.

When you apologize for your existence, you belittle your needs.

So, you were unable to meet up with a friend because you got sick and of course you said, “I’m sorry.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa!!!

As if being ill is some negative virtue.

Or maybe, when you’ve been overworked and just want to relax you apologized for needing your own space. In reality, your friends weren’t offended or disappointed with you at all.

Remember, you aren’t a mind-reader. So stop assuming you know what others are thinking.

And most likely, if a friend couldn’t hang out because of exhaustion, you would understand without an apology.

Truth #3

Saying I’m sorry is your way of people-pleasing.

I’m sorry I can’t make it.
I’m sorry I can’t donate to that cause.

When you apologize, you’re hoping someone says, “It’s okay.”

You don’t want to disappoint people. You want to help them. You want people to like you.

You don’t need to apologize when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do. You don’t need to apologize for things you don’t have time to do, or attend, or accomplish, when other people ask. And you definitely don’t need to explain yourself. You can simply say “No” or “No thanks.”

According to psychologist Marsha M. Lineman, apologizing hinders us from building mutual respect. On your end, it is unhealthy to apologize for simply not wanting to do something or having a different opinion. Practicing the art of the unapologetic “No” will help you instill self-respect.

Remember, turning yourself into a doormat doesn’t help you one bit. Other people don’t learn to respect your time or your words. After all, how assertive does a no sound when you throw a bunch of sorries around it?

Truth #4

Saying I’m sorry gives your power away.

I’m sorry but I have a question.
I’m sorry but I see it differently.

This makes you appear weak. Don’t be sorry for needing something more. Maybe the person offering the original explanation wasn’t really clear. When you apologize you make yourself small or wrong. It’s not about placing blame.

If you need clarity on something, ask with confidence. Don’t preface it with “I’ve got a question.” It sounds like you’re asking for permission to ask the question. Simply, ask the question.

Practice asserting your position and staying strong. Don’t apologize when you are rejecting a proposal, disagreeing with an idea or simply standing your ground in a conversation.

How Do You Stop Apologizing?

Start saying thank you instead of I’m sorry.

Instead of I’m sorry I’m late. Say, Thank you for your patience.
Instead of I’m sorry I’m gluten free, say, Thank you for accommodating my order.

Saying thank you is how you take your power back. You’re acknowledging that you have needs and you appreciate people seeing them and helping you fulfill them. Once you start doing this, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel about yourself.

When Should You Apologize?

Saying you’re sorry when you’ve done something wrong? That’s different.

We all make mistakes. We all do things we need to apologize for: words, actions, omissions, failing to step up, step in, or show support.

In fact, admitting you’re wrong takes confidence and shows leadership.

If you’ve done something wrong, the first thing you should say is “I’m sorry.” The last thing you should do is add a disclaimer, like “But I was really mad because…” or “But I did think you were…” or include any statement in any way placing even the smallest amount of blame back on the other person.

Be certain that your apology is about them. There’s a huge difference between saying “I’m sorry you’re so sensitive” and “I’m sorry I upset you by saying X, Y. and Z.”

When you do something wrong you need to apologize.

Wrapping It Up

A lot of your apologies are unnecessary. Apologizing for your humanity, for getting sick, for being exhausted isn’t healthy. Be mindful and ask yourself if you’d want someone else to apologize in the same situation.

Motivation is a weird thing. Most of us feel like we either have tons of motivation or other times motivation is nowhere to be found and we are trapped in a spiral of procrastination.

There are two reasons why you can’t find motivation.

REASON #1: You’re waiting for motivation to magically find you.

One of the most surprising things about motivation is that it often comes after starting a task or taking action, not before.

Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it.

Getting started even in very small ways, is a form of active inspiration that naturally produces motivation.

You’ve heard of Newton’s first law of Motion?

“Objets in motion stay in motion…”

Once a task has begun, it’s easier to continue moving it forward.

You don’t need much motivation one you’ve started a task. Nearly all of the friction in a task is at the beginning. After you start, you gain momentum and make progress. It is often easier to finish a task than it is to start it in the first place.

You don’t have to be motivated to get through the stuff you don’t feel like doing. You just need to start.

Stop thinking you have to be motivated to take any action. Pay the bills, send that email, go to the gym. You’re not going to be moved to do it. But, if you take one small step to start, the motivation will come.

At some point, it’s easier to change than to stay the same. It’s easier to take action and feel insecure working out than to sit on the couch disappointed in yourself. It’s easier to feel awkward doing that presentation than to get fired from your job.

Remember, every choice has a price. Somehow we cross a mental threshold – usually after weeks of procrastination and in the face of a deadline – and it becomes more painful to not do the work than to actually do it.

Bottom line:

Start. Take one small step and YOU create motivation. Stop waiting for motivation to magically appear.

And now, the second reason you can’t find motivation.

REASON #2: You look for external motivators.

Let’s look at the word motivation.

Mot – means to move.

What moves you to do what you do; to make sacrifices, to choose good over poor habits, to do it when it’s uncomfortable?

The foundation of YOUR motivation is understanding who you are and what you want.

Motivation is an inside job. You can only find it inside of yourself.

Don’t look externally for motivation. It won’t be there when you need it.

Looking at what someone else is doing may persuade you, may engage you, may get you going temporarily.

You can use what you see others doing to ask yourself, “How can I tap into that for myself?” This moves you to discover who you want to be and what you want.

Being inspired, encouraged and celebrated isn’t the same as sustaining internal motivation.

Looking outside of yourself, at others, for something that will sustain you and last is a set-up.

Constantly looking to other people to motivate you keeps you stuck in the cycle of disappointment. It’s now your job to figure out what you want, who you are and what it’s going to be that moves you ?

Bottom line:

You need to find your WHY.

Something has to move you to do the things you need and want to do. Ask yourself:

  • What does move me?
  • Why am I not moved to do this thing?
  • Do I believe that I’m not worthy of the thing I want?
  • Why is this important to me?
  • Who benefits from me doing this thing?
  • How will things be different once I do it?

When you do the work to discover your WHY or WHY’s, your motivation is always there for you. It’s internal and it’s yours to motivate you day after day.

So I leave you with this?

What moves you?

Where to Go From Here

If you’re looking for a way to move forward on something you’ve been putting of because you don’t feel ready, you’re afraid of failing or you doubt yourself at every turn, hop on the waitlist for my course so you can be the first to know when the doors open for enrollment.

UNDAUNTED: The Art of Taking Action Even If You Doubt Yourself

You think managing time is the struggle. But what if I told you that’s only one piece of the puzzle?

I know. You wan’t a quick time management trick.

But, there isn’t one.

I work with people who all too often think they have a time management problem… They say, ” Carlene, if I could just learn to block my time better then I would be a SUPERSTAR at what I do.”

And yes, that will probably work in the short term.

But life will happen and you will start to notice that you have another problem.

So what’s the answer????

You need to shift your focus from managing your time to expanding your capacity – in other words – your energy, be it physical, emotional, or mental energy.

This is the secret sauce to getting stuff done – focus on expanding your energy instead of managing your time.

Here are 4 Key Shifts to Make

Shift #1:

From: Time Management
What you plan to do within a certain amount to time.

To: Expanding Your Energy
The energy you use within a certain amount of time.

Shift #2:

From: Time Management
Deciding what priority requires your attention.

To: Expanding Your Energy
Choosing when each priority gets your attention based on your energy.

Shift #3:

From: Time Management
Using a structured process for completing tasks in controlled environment.

To: Expanding Your Energy
Being adaptable to complete tasks, even in unpredictable circumstances.

Shift #4:

From: Time Management
Working for efficiency.

To: Expanding Your Energy
Working for effectiveness.

If you want to expand your energy to be more productive with your time, you need to ask yourself:

Where do I have limited energy?
Where do I have a limited ability to handle situations?
Is it emotionally, physically, or mentally?

While time is a finite resource, energy works differently.

Every one of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors has an energy consequence.

Energy diminishes with both overuse and underuse, so it’s important to balance energy use with energy renewal.

Energy is a renewable resource, but only up to a certain point.

Scheduling every minute of free time to increase productivity may seem like a good use of time, but it doesn’t account for the need to replenish energy.

Some tasks also require more energy than others. High-energy tasks can’t be done productively when your energy is already eaten up by an already over scheduled day.

Have you ever had more than enough time to get your stuff done but because you lacked the energy to be effectively productive, you never finished?

That’s exactly why time management is not enough.

3 Specific Steps You Can Take to Expand Your Energy So You’re Performing at Your Best.

Step 1: Start by setting your boundaries

No one knows your energy limits better than you. By setting boundaries for yourself, you simultaneously protect your energy levels and motivate yourself to achieve your goals.

Create boundaries for how little or how much you want to accomplish in a specific day, depending on your priorities.

For example, let’s say you’re a therapist and your priority on a given day is to meet with patients. You get to decide how many therapy sessions to conduct in a single workday.

You may say it has to at least be one, but no more than six in a single workday.

Or, you could decide that you never hold sessions with patients on Fridays – you hold that day to get administrative work done.

Setting these boundaries for yourself can help you stay on-track while helping prevent burnout.

Keep in mind that you may need to adjust those boundaries over time.

For instance, you may find that only one or two therapy sessions a day is too little time to keep up with your patient-load, and you’ve found that you’re capable of increasing your maximum number of sessions per day without feeling burnt out.

On the other hand, if you set your boundary to eight sessions a day you may find it necessary to decrease your numbers.

Step 2: Include Rest and Recovery in Your Plans

When managing your energy, it’s important to thing about downtime. It shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, rest and recovery should be planned out so that they’re part of of your schedule.

While it’s true that recovery takes up valuable time that could be otherwise used to work, it’s an invaluable part of a routine for expanding your energy.

For example, I end my day with meditation. This is very new for me. But I’ve found that taking time to be still and intentional with my thoughts improves my sleep and gives me the energy I need to have a productive day tomorrow.

When you give yourself time to rest, you’ll renew your energy levels and become more productive when you’re back at work. You’ll also experience more positive emotions if you’re rested.

Be sure to add this rest and recovery time directly into your schedule. This is important if you tend to get distracted by work.

Treat your rest and recovery time just like you would a doctor’s appointment. Even if you’re running behind on other tasks, resist the temptation to work during your scheduled recovery time.

Step 3: Keep a journal of your energy levels.

Unlike time, energy isn’t a constant. Everyone has 24 hours in a singe day. But energy levels will vary from person to person and from day to dy. This true for emotional, physical and mental energy.

There are several factors that will influence how much energy you have. To help you better manage your energy and get more done, keep a journal of what energizes you and drains you. You can track the elements in your work and personal life. These can include:

  • How much sleep you get.
  • Your diet.
  • The frequency and length of your breaks
  • Who you spend your time with (some people suck the energy right out of us, others expand our energy)
  • Physical activity or lack thereof
  • Types of tasks you perform.
  • What gives you negative emotions. (managing negative emotions is a huge energy drain)

Keeping a journal will serve several purposes to help you manage your energy.

First, you’ll become more aware of what you can realistically accomplish, depending on what your day looks like.

Here’s an example. Let’s say teamwork takes up a lot of energy for you compared to working alone. After too long in a team meeting, you begin to have difficulty focusing.

If you have several tasks that require teamwork in your day, you’ll know that you need to schedule more breaks and take it easy for the rest of the day. This will make sure that you can be productive during your teamwork time.

Second, you can make lifestyle changes to maximize your energy levels. For example, if you find that doing exercise energizes you, then you can schedule more time to get a workout in every morning.

And if you discover that long. and infrequent breaks don’t work for you, you can take shorter, regular breaks instead.

Finally, keeping a journal can also help you keep a pulse on your core values. What do you really value and want to spend your energy on?

Wrapping it Up

When you start incorporating ways of expanding your energy into your day, you’ll be amazed at how well all those time management hacks that have had you so frustrated in the past will actually start working for you!

Is your planning system working for you? If not, check out my mini-course,

The Fail Proof Planning System

Whether you’re starting and growing a business, making a career change, starting a new relationship, writing a book, or any other goal, they all require risk, nerve and a lot of courage, before confidence ever shows up.

But you need more than the knowledge and the skills.

“Success in life is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics – what you do doesn’t matter if you aren’t in the right mindset.”

Tony Robbins

Remember your thoughts create feelings ➡️ feeling create actions ➡️ and actions create results.

You have to stop thinking about your past fears, failures, mistakes and embarrassments. And this is why it’s so hard to do that.

“You think 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts every day, and 90% of those thoughts are the same thoughts as the day before.”

Dr. Joe Dispenza

This statistic completely blew.my.mind because it really hones in on the fact that what you thought yesterday is what’s holding you back today.

The way we think is a habit. And we can change habits. We can change the way we think.

YOU have the power to change your trajectory simply by saying “stop” to the thousands of thoughts that come today that didn’t serve you yesterday.

Here are 3 mindset shifts to help you hit your goals.

#1. Move from “I’m a fraud and they’re gonna find me out, “ to “Feeling like an imposter is normal when I do something new. “

Imposter syndrome is a regular visitor. It never goes away. Use it as a way to remind yourself that you’re putting yourself out there – that you feel this way because you are acting courageously and doing something new even though you don’t have all the answers and you don’t feel ready. Don’t use it as an excuse to stop.

Stop believing everything you think. Here’s how:

Acknowledge your credibility and success.

What’s something you’ve accomplished in your life that makes you feel proud? Feel that, acknowledge that. You have a track record of success. When you acknowledge that it’s easier to NOT to believe everything you think.

Be aware of the stories you tell yourself.

If you’re stuck in the story that you’re not credible or you’re not that original or you’re not going to be successful, that’s exactly where you’ll stay.

If you look at the proof of your credibility and accomplishments, you can use that to reframe your story that you are in fact successful, credible, and unique. Then you’ll start to show up with confidence.

Get out of your head and into your heart.

It’s hard to think you’re a fraud if you believe in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

If you’ve lost your WHY, revisit it now.

What was important about this goal when you started it? What excited you about it? Who are you serving? How will your life be different once you accomplish your goal?

Tap back into the heart of the matter and make the decision to move forward based on your WHY instead of the garbage thoughts of fear and self-doubt.

#2 Move from “I’ll just test the waters,” to “I’m going ALL IN even though I’m scared.”

It isn’t about making your first million or having a New York Times Best Seller right out of the gate. In the beginning it’s about you actually showing up and committing to playing a bigger game.

Go all in no matter how scared you are.

Playing small looks like – I’ll just send out a few emails or I’ll take a course on how to write a book, is only delaying your success – success that’s inevitable if you show up, if you do the work, if you put yourself out there and don’t give up.

Create weekly content, collaborate with others in your industry, create a habit to write every morning, invite that person to dinner.

It’s too easy to just sit on the sidelines. You may be doing enough to get by. But you’re not working on the big thing that could really move the needle.

So, stop making excuses.

Stop dabbling in your dreams.

Play full out.

#3 Move from “I gotta get it perfect,” to “Good is good enough.”

Stop overthinking everything and giving in to perfectionism.

Perfectionism is nothing more than procrastination. Yes, there are a million decisions to make related to your goal. You put off making any decisions because it’s all so overwhelming.

But remember, not making a decision is making a decision. You’ve made the choice to NOT try. To NOT go all in. To NOT move forward.

Here’s the underlying truth; making the decision isn’t the hard part. It’s the fear of the outcome, the fear of getting it wrong, the fear of anything less than the perfect right decision.

Here are a couple ways to move to this mindset of “Good is Good Enough.”

Become a Learner

Successful people aren’t perfect and they don’t always get it right. But they are learners.

You aren’t perfect and you have permission to not always be great, not always get it right, as long as you commit to being a learner.

Coach Yourself Through the Doubt

Ask yourself, if you did know what to do, what would you do?

Answer it, and then do it.!

It’s time to give yourself permission to do B+ work and take perfectionism off the table.

WRAPPING IT UP

Keep showing up. Your confidence will build over time.

Think about your first day on the new job you had. You didn’t know the systems, the people, or even where the bathroom was. But 6 months later, you solved a complicated problem, and you got a “well-done” from your boss. Things started to take shape.

And the same thing happens when you’re taking action on your goals. Once you start doing the stuff, you start figuring it out because you keep showing up.

Action and consistency will help create more confidence in you and your abilities to hit your goals.

Focus on the future you want and commit to taking the necessary steps to get there.

Is your planning system working for you? If not, check out my mini-course,

The Fail Proof Planning System

Have you ever made a list of goals and thought to yourself, “Tomorrow is the day! I’m gonna wake up and get started right away!”

But tomorrow morning comes, and you hit that snooze button a few too many times. Then you go workout (good for you, friend!) and your friend asks you to go for coffee. Of course, you’re excited to catch up, so you go. Coffee turns into several hours. Heck, you’re ready for lunch by the time you head home!

You realize it’s already past noon and you haven’t started on any of those things you promised yourself you would tackle.

Your desire to start fresh “tomorrow” has come and gone and you wake up the next morning thinking – why can’t I just make myself do what I say I need to do, especially when I want to do better?

You are not alone.

Making and keeping promises to yourself is what accountability is all about.

But let’s look at accountability from a different angle. I think it will give you some clarity.

Let’s dive into what accountability is NOT!

#1. Accountability is NOT something someone does for you.

One of the most common reasons people come to coaching is because they struggle to hold themselves accountable. They think that having a coach is magically going to make them do the things they say they’re going to do.

But, accountability isn’t something someone does for you. YOU do it for yourself.

You can say you’re going to use all the accountability strategies but they won’t work unless YOU put them in place. Makes sense, right?

TRY THIS

It’s so important to make and keep promises to yourself. Come up with a few promises that embody the type of character you want to represent. For example,

  • I promise to try my best.
  • I promise to finish what I start.
  • I promise to start.
  • I promise to take care of myself.

You have to start acting like the person you want to be.

#2. Accountability is NOT the same as motivation.

You have to actually want to be accountable. You have to be motivated and accountability will follow.

In order to find motivation you need to have clarity and desire. Without them, you will find it almost impossible to keep your promises to yourself.

If you don’t know what your goal is and why it matters to you, what’s your motivation to do the work?

TRY THIS

Get clear on your goals.

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • Why is this important to you?
  • How is your life affected by not accomplishing these goals?
  • What is your first step in achieving your goal?
  • What potential obstacles do you anticipate and how do you think you can overcome them?

Now that you know your WHAT and your WHY you have the motivation to take action.

Remember, desire is created by the negative consequences or positive outcomes you’ll experience by holding or NOT holding yourself accountable.

You have to want to keep your job, get that promotion, show up for your friends and family or create that business.

Without clarity and desire accountability will always be an uphill battle.

#3. Accountability is NOT a one-time thing.

Accountability is a habit. And habits are not a one-time, sometime thing; They’re an all-time thing.

There are tiny daily habits that encourage and support accountability. And there are tiny daily habits that kill accountability.

Habits that Kill Accountability :

  • Hitting your snooze button.

Going in and out of sleep makes you more tired. It’s been found that you lose 2-4 hours of focused productivity each day you hit that snooze button.

  • Scrolling on social media.

I got a rude awakening when I started getting those notifications on my phone at the end of the week on the amount of time I spend looking at that screen every day and it was shocking. There is no reason I should spend 4-5 hours a day mindlessly scrolling. Honestly, what a waste of time.

Habits that Encourage Accountability

  • Making your bed every day.

Yes, I make my bed even when I’m traveling and staying in a hotel. It tells my brain it’s time to get up and start my day. it’s a small promise that I keep to myself. And doesn’t a made bed look pretty?

  • Planning your day the night before.

Do you get out of bed and just start your day without a plan? Even if you have a few anchor point to your routine, such as leaving the house at a particular time each morning, having a better map of your day can help you hold yourself accountable.

If you know you want to meditate, exercise, pay the bills, chances are they will not happen. Scheduling the tasks that are necessary to move you forward on your goals will help you hold yourself accountable.

TRY THIS

Track your habits in detail for a week. It will help you become aware of how you are spending your time.

Accountability starts with awareness and happens because of the tiny habits that support you keeping your promises to yourself. Once you know your habits, tweak them to encourage a mindset of accountability.

#4. Accountability is NOT about you feeling ready.

We do not live in an ideal world. There are rarely perfect circumstances, so many things are out of our control. But, you still have the ability to make the best decisions possible and focus on the things you can control.

TRY THIS

Begin by adjusting your mindset from an “I’m just so scared and uncertain” to an “It’s okay to do things and stumble along the way” mindset. To do this you have to acknowledge and accept the following:

  • Every choice has a consequence.
  • Long lasting change comes from long-term effort.
  • Stumbling and erring are part of the process, not an end to the work.
  • I need to be brave and face my truths, which sometimes means answering tough questions about who I am, what actions I take, and what I’m willing (and not willing) to sacrifice.
  • Investing in myself is important and worth the time, money and effort as needed.

#5 Accountability does NOT mean that you don’t get stuck.

If you’re doing anything new or challenging, you will get stuck! So it’s best to prepare for it.

TRY THIS

Take a moment to think of what stands in your way of making progress and come up with strategies to help you overcome or bypass these situations.

Here are some common ones:

Procrastination:

Identify your biggest distractions and come up with strategies to manage them. For example, if you’re distracted by your phone, keep it in another room and set your timer for one hour. When the alarms sounds, you can check your phone. Own up to what distracts you and figure out how to eliminate it.

Negative thoughts:

How you choose to think and frame things can make all the difference with your approach and commitment to working on your goals. Instead of thinking, “I can’t,” replace these words with, “I’ll try.” Instead of spending time at the end of your day focusing on the things that went wrong, focus on the things that went right. The words and perspectives you choose are in your control, so create a can-do mindset.

Are you ready now to take charge and hold yourself accountable?

The bottom line is, no matter how many motivational posts or self-help books you read, YOU have to do the work. You have to hold yourself accountable for the choices you make and the consequences they bring.

What is one thing you’re going to put in practice from this article? Tell me in the comments.

Looking for the best way to plan your goals and make room for everything going on in your life?

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

Busy, busy, busy – mindlessly doing whatever pops up next.

This is how so many of us move through our day. We are constantly in reaction mode, pleasing everyone but ourselves. It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can choose to run your day instead of letting your day run you.

Let’s face it. Left to its own devices, your day can run you into the ground leaving you feeling like a failure at the end of every day.

Here are a few things that I avoid to stay on top of my game, especially when I start to feel a little burnout.

These things help me stay organized, on task and also give me a little bit of time and space to just breathe. What a concept, right?

#1 Avoid ending the workday without a plan for the next day.

I preach this over and over because it’s that big of a deal.

To stay on top of my game, I end the workday with a plan for the next day, and it’s in my calendar.

If I’m going to plan for five tasks tomorrow, five things that I’m going to get done tomorrow, like record a podcast, get on a call with my ads team, troubleshoot my quiz, whatever it might be, then I actually have time slots on my calendar for each of those tasks.

It’s called scheduling it. Give every task a time slot.

Have you ever sat down and wrote a list of all the things you’re going to get done that day, and then you only get half of them done?

Oh yes, I’ve done that and I’d look at that list and realize I never had the time to do all of it. There weren’t enough hours in the day to get all of this stuff done. And I was sick of feeling defeated every day, that I had a list of ten things, and only five got done. I felt like a loser at the end of the day.

The lesson here is don’t set yourself up to feel like a failure.

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is a reality check of “What’s really possible today?”

It’s not about lowering our expectations, or going easy on ourselves. It’s about setting small, daily, attainable goals.

And when we accomplish these things every day it boosts our productivity, our confidence and our motivation. It creates momentum.

I always, always, always look at my calendar the day before. I’m never surprised in the morning about what’s to come. When I’m shutting things down at, let’s say 5p.m., I take time to look at tomorrow’s calendar and make sure I’m very clear about how the day is going to go. If anything isn’t sitting well, I’ll figure it out in advance, because I love to hit the ground running in the morning.

When you fiercely manage your calendar (and yourself), you win the day. When I’m done at the end of the day, I feel very accomplished and that hasn’t always been the case.

If you’re ending your workday feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, overworked, just mad that you didn’t get all the stuff done, try what I laid out for you here. You have to be really diligent and intentional, but you will win the day. I promise you that.

#2 Avoid hitting the snooze button.

How we set-up our day determines how we end our day.

It’s so common for many of us to hit the snooze button everyday. The amount of sleep you get never feels like enough, so you use your snooze button to tack on an extra 10,20, 30 minutes… whatever you can squeeze in.

Those stolen minutes – as delicious as they seem – aren’t worth it.

I’ve heard you should get up as soon as your alarm rings – but why is hitting that snooze button bad for your?

Turns our this habit is counterintuitive; instead of giving us a little more rest, it makes us more tired during the day.

The body needs some time to get you ready to wake up. When you let yourself go back to sleep, your body thinks, “False alarm! I guess I didn’t need to do anything, because we’re not getting up after all,” and settles in.

When that buzzer goes off a second time, your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in the groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia. The more you snooze, the more confused your body and brain get (“So are we going back to sleep or not?!”), so you’ll probably feel more out of it even though you spent extra time in bed.

What’s more, this groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling can persist for up to two to four hours.

This sleep inertia ads to difficulty getting our day started. It’s harder to get in the zone and focus. Our attention span is shorter throughout the day. We get cranky more easily and we give up on ourselves.

At day’s end, we feel like garbage because we didn’t get our stuff and then we repeat the snooze button habit all over agin.

The answer here is simple.

Set your alarm for the time you really want to get up. When your alarm goes off, GET UP!

#3 Avoid jamming your schedule so tight that you can’t breathe.

I have full days, like head down, 8:30 to 6p.m.

But I also have cushion built in my calendar.

You’ll see 15-30 minute or one-hour chunks of time with literally the name cushion on them. That means that between coaching sessions, meetings, recording podcasts or writing blogs, I give myself a buffer where I have space to breathe, go walk or cuddle with Kipp, refill my water bottle, grab some lunch, whatever it might be.

I always have a built-in cushion because I don’t want things to be so tight that one coaching session runs into the next or other tasks that take me longer than planned screw up my entire day. It’s like a domino effect everything falls apart.

If you can start to get into the practice of adding a little cushion to your calendar, I promise you, you will not feel so depleted and tired at the end of the day.

Wrapping It Up

Again, here’s the three things I avoid to stay on top of my day.

The first is that I avoid ending the work day without a plan for the next day.

Second, I avoid hitting the snooze button. Now that you know how it kills your focus during the day, I hope you avoid it too.

Third, I avoid packing my day so tight that I can’t breathe.

It’s one day at a time. Avoiding these three things helps me stay on top of my game and get a lot done throughout the day, throughout the weeks, throughout the months, throughout the quarters, and throughout the year.

I hope they help you too!

Looking for more support on taking charge of your days? Check out

THE FAIL PROOF PLANNING SYSTEM

Giving you all the coaching and tools you need to tackle every day with confidence.

You gotta be realistic. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re only human. You’re going to fail.

And yes, it can be frustrating seeing everyone around you succeed while you’re having setbacks.

So what do you do when the person that you’re disappointed in is you?

There are 3 unhealthy go-to responses to feeling disappointed in yourself.

#1 Punishing Yourself

When you’re experiencing frustration with your choices, you punish yourself by not allowing yourself to enjoy good things, rejecting others’ praise or engaging in negative self-talk. – to name a few.

#2 Avoidance

Sometimes when you’re disappointed in yourself, you choose denial as a response. You decide avoidance is best. It’s best to not talk about your failure, to pretend that it never happened.

Denying either that you ever set the goal in the first place or that you strayed from it will not help you improve or achieve future results. You must be honest with yourself (and others, where appropriate) if you want to grow.

#3 Giving Up

Giving up is so easy to do when you set goals for yourself and don’t complete them. When you’re faced with your own failures it’s sooooo easy to give up. You are harsh and judgmental with yourself.

It’s as if you’ve decided that only complete perfection is worth striving for. One mistake or failure is enough to disqualify the value of all your efforts. And that’s simply not true.

It’s normal to not always meet your own expectations, even when you’ve set realistic goals. But an “all or nothing” approach is not going to move you forward.

Here are 6 Healthy Ways to Bounce Back After Letting Yourself Down

#1 Accept What Happened

It’s part of grief, part of life, and yes, a part of disappointment.

The first step to getting over any shame or embarrassment is to simply accept what went wrong.

Avoiding or glossing over it won’t help you move on.

If you need a good long cry, go for it. (Been there.) If you want to wallow for a few hours, you’re entitled. (Been there, too.) But then it’s time to brush yourself off and figure out exactly where things went wrong.

Simply saying to yourself, “I’m disappointed because I didn’t meet the goal I set for myself,” might make you see that this big issue isn’t the overwhelming monster you believe it to be – it’s actually a series of events that you can learn from.

#2 Be Your Own Best Friend

It’s easy to judge yourself in these situations, but let’s take one or two steps to find a new perspective.

If your friend came to you with the same issue – she was disappointed in herself for not having a stellar quarterly review, or bombing open-mic night – what would you say to her?

Probably not, ‘I’m so disappointed in you. You can do better. “

Rather, you’d be supportive and kind and listen to exactly what went wrong.

Treating yourself and your disappointment like a close friend can help ease the blame and help you practice more self-compassion.

#3 Change the Soundtrack Playing In Your Head

If you’re feeling disappointed, it’s only natural that your thoughts run amuck to the land of self-doubt where every thought you have reinforces that feeling that you let yourself down again.

It’s so easy to believe everything you think. But, you have to know, thoughts are not facts. So, stop believing everything you think.

Here’s how:

  • Instead of thinking, “I’m a failure,” think, “I’m a work in progress.”
  • Instead of thinking, “It never works out for me,” think, “I’m getting closer every day.”
  • Instead of thinking, “I can’t handle this,” think, “It’s here to teach me something.”
  • Instead of thinking, “I can’t do it,” think, “I’ll never know until I try.”

Disappointment is only the enemy when you give it all the power through your thoughts and words. Make disappointment your friend and you’ll be amazed at what you learn.

#4 Do an Honest Review

To make positive changes, you most definitely need to spend some time reflecting on what went right, and what went wrong.

Ask yourself questions about why and how you disappointed yourself. How did the circumstances affect your choices? Do your goals or the implementation need to be reexamined?

Take this time to learn more about yourself, your tendencies and what you want to do.

There are so many lessons to learn from these huge or little blips of disappointment.

The first major lesson?

You know what NOT to do next time.

When you’ve passed the “acceptance” stage, start to figure out where things went wrong by asking yourself these questions:

  • Did you give yourself enough time?
  • Did you do the necessary prep work?
  • Did you set clear boundaries?
  • Did you ask for help?

Digging into these questions will expose any of the flaws in your plan. Instead of saying “Oh well, I guess it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to,” or beating yourself up, you’ll be armed with knowledge and be able to pivot.

#5 Use It

Understanding where your plan went sideways is crucial to plotting your next big endeavor.

We’ve all heard it, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over agin and expecting a different result.”

But see, now you’re not going to do the same thing over and over again! Look at all you’ve learned from reviewing the entire situation! Yes, you’ve learned from this disappointing experience.

So, now that you understand how you ended up in this situation, you can make a plan to get back on track and avoid disappointing yourself in the future.

Your plan should be realistic to the demands of your life and involve small, attainable steps for you to get there.

Think ahead of potential challenges that could derail your goals and how you will tackle them. Set yourself up for future success.

#6 Realize This Is All Just Because You Care

Ah, yes, the most important lesson of all:

The thing about being disappointed is that it reveals what you actually care about.

You wouldn’t be so upset if you weren’t invested in the outcome, and that in of itself is a great thing.

Disappointment can act like a radar system, pinpointing exactly where you are – and where you want to be.

While you might feel like shying away from it if things aren’t turning out your way, listen to your instincts. You’re disappointed because you care, and that passion is what will keep you moving forward.

Final Thoughts

When you take the time to learn from your disappointment, you’ll be more prepared the next time a challenge comes up.

If you are disappointed in your actions, use that disappointment as motivation to find a solution and try again. Use your disappointment as a catalyst to make good choices. What matters in this moment is how you choose to move forward.

When I was growing up I kept a pretty, pink diary hidden under my mattress. And of course, it had a lock on it. OMG, I would’ve died if anyone read my deepest thoughts, dreams, and worries. And I’m sure there were some secret crushes in there that absolutely had to remain secret.

Keeping that diary was so good for me and I wish I would have never stopped “paper-thinking” – or today it’s called journaling.

The last few years have taken its toll on me (and I’m sure you can relate) so I started journaling and it’s brought me so much clarity, and reduced my stress and anxiety.

So I want to share with you the 5 Step Technique that makes journaling easy – that won’t leave you staring at a blank page.

All of my fellow journalers already know this.

Getting your thoughts out of your brain and onto a piece of paper is often all the relief you need. Thinking about what you are thinking about on paper is sometimes just enough to allow you to stop the spinning thoughts in your head.

Now, you might think that journaling is just figuring out the garbage that you are thinking about during the day. Yes, that is one way to journal. But there’s more.

Journaling can basically be broken down into 7 categories.

  1. Your past
  2. Other people
  3. Things in the world
  4. Yourself
  5. Your future
  6. Gratitude
  7. Goals

All of these are things you can journal and write about.

So many of us sit around thinking all kinds of garbage about journaling. When you hear, “you need to journal,” do you think…

Ugh, journaling takes too long,

I don’t know what to write about,

This aint gonna help me do the darn thing,

I’m scared of what I might uncover,

I’m so ashamed of what I think so I’d rather not do it,

I don’t seem to go deep enough?

Here’s the problem. If you don’t change your attitude about journaling, you’ll be denying yourself major breakthroughs, a path to finally doing the things you’ve been too afraid to do.

We all got mental baggage that we can’t see throughout the day. But, the problem isn’t the baggage. The problem is leaving our baggage unchecked and unsupervised each day.

When you don’t see your default thinking on paper that means you get to see your default thinking coming true in your life in the form of self-sabotage, overthinking, or worrying.

And when I say paper, I mean actual paper that you write on with a pen or pencil. I don’t want you to type on your computer. I want you to write it with your hand. I mean, call me old school, but there is something powerful about sitting in a quiet room with a notebook on your lap and physically writing it down. Studies have shown your are having a deeper experience than when you’re just typing it. I’m not going to quote the studies, but I promise they’re out there.

So, here’s how I set up my routine. It’s very simple. I’m committed to ten minutes of journaling 3-4 days a week. I’m working up to 5 days. Yes, I absolutely could do longer than 10 minutes, and sometimes I do. But you have to set yourself up for success. So for me, 10 minutes is something I know I can do and a short-enough period of time that I will not let myself make any excuses not to do it.

Here’s the 5-Step Journaling Technique I use.

Step 1: Observe

The whole point of journaling is to just notice what you’re thinking about in any give situation. You want to ask questions that will get your brain willing to respond, like;

What problem am I trying to solve? What are the things I’m worried about today?

Another great way to get your thoughts going and get words on the page is to make a gratitude list because you want to explore some of the great things that are happening in your life, too.

You could also start with your to-do list for the day. Then ask yourself, “What are my thoughts about getting this done today? What are the easiest things to do? What are the most important things I could do from this list?

Remember, journaling for today can literally be three sentences about what you’re thinking. You just want to notice what’s coming up for you.

Step 2: Accept

A lot of people are judgmental of their thinking. I am one of them. When they observe their own thoughts, they start saying judgmental things to themselves like, “I’m ridiculous,” or “What’s wrong with me?” “Okay, listen. This is terrible. But I was thinking…”

Listen here. It’s not terrible.

Everyone has thoughts that don’t necessarily serve them. It’s not weird and it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Give yourself some grace. And when you do this, it takes the pressure off of journaling, meaning no thought is “bad”, anything goes, and it allows you to start taking some authority over this process of getting your thoughts and feelings onto paper.

Step 3: Neutralize

This is when you take all the inflammatory language out of your thoughts.

Instead of thinking and writing.

“Ill never be able to grow my business,” you instead want to write something like, “I’m in the process of trying to grow my business.”

You want to take everything down a notch. Take a look at the thoughts that you have that are highly charged with emotion and highly triggering.

I’ll go over my notes at the end. I’ll look for adjectives and adverbs and descriptors, and literally cross them out.

The goal is to strip your thinking down to a neutral place because it allows you to see more of the facts.

When the emotional charge is removed, you’re able to start thinking from a clean slate, which is way more productive and so much better for your mental health.

Step 4: Recalibrate

Ask yourself, “What’s my next best thought?

If you’re thinking something like, “I’ll never be able to build my business,” and then you neutralize that to “I’m building a business,” your next best thought might be, “I am doing all the things I need to do to build my business right now.” So your next best thought is, “I’m in it. I’m doing it. This is happening.”

Step 5: Activate

Ask yourself, “What’s the next move I can make?”

It could be, to just let it go and stop worrying about things you can’t control. Or it could be, I’m going to call that person I’ve always wanted to collaborate with for my business.

Answer it. No excuses. And do it!

Your Next Steps

That’s it, friend!

I don’t want you to get to the end of your journaling practice where you just feel bad. I’ve been there. It’s like I just literally threw up on the page and I’m journaling all the challenges I’m worried and frustrated about. I don’t feel like it was cathartic. I feel like I just complained for ten minutes.

That’s why I make sure I do this 5-Step Technique, especially when I’m having a really hard time, and I put a lot of negativity on the page. I know I’m going to gently massage these thoughts into something factual, honest, and actionable.

If journaling isn’t part of your daily practice right now, I want you to look at your calendar and schedule 10 minutes – that’s it – 10 minutes to work through the process.

It takes some time to get used to, and you don’t have to do it for every journaling session. But I really do believe that it makes a huge difference.

Now, there is one final thing I’d love for you to do, whether you’re new to journaling or not. Take out your journal and write down the 5 steps on the inside cover or somewhere so you’ll see them. (Observe, Accept, Neutralize, Recalibrate, and Activate)

Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to make it through your to-do list?

Me too.

The size difference between what I need to do and how much time I had in the day used to drive me bonkers.

But then I realized something helpful. I’ll always have more ideas, more projects, more tasks and more dreams than I can possibly accomplish on the to-do list.

That’s not failure.

That just means my imagination is bigger than my calendar. No puny calendar is a match for my ability to create new ideas and projects.
What freedom that is!

So, I thought I’d share 3 ways that I manage my huge imagination and encourage you to keep dreaming and imagining.

#1. Get your ideas out of your head.

Everything doesn’t have to go on your calendar. I know, I know. How many times have I preached about having a plan?

Here’s the truth. Not every idea is meant to come to life. Maybe it’s simply an idea that will lead to another, and another and finally another idea that you will bring to life.

Get a notebook or an app on your phone, and write down these creative ideas to get them out of your head. As long as an idea is in your head, it’s taking a little bit of your attention. Keep a rolling list, and trust yourself to look at the list later and take action.

Don’t overcomplicate it. The goal is to be able to capture ideas anytime, any place. The act of writing it down might also be enough to make it stick in your memory.

#2. Tap into your creative energy.

Decide which idea you will explore first.

  • Which idea gets your heart racing?
  • Which idea have you shared with someone because, well, it’s THAT good?
  • Which idea is screaming, “Pick me, pick me.”?

Don’t overthink it. Listen to your gut. Pick one and get started.

Here’s a little secret. You don’t need to schedule a time to work on the idea you choose – unless you really NEED to.

Instead, dive in when you’re feeling that creative energy. If you’re more creative at night, do it then. Pay attention to the times of day your creativity is at its’ peak.

Sometimes, you’ve got to let your energy guide you to where you want to be spending your time.

#3. Let it go.

It’s okay to flirt with multiple ideas. After all, flirting is harmless.

But if you find yourself starting a hundred things and never finishing, try this.

Before starting a new idea, ask yourself these questions about the idea you have already started.

  • Am I still interested in this?
  • Does this excite me?
  • Why is this important?
  • What have I learned since I started this, that has change my energy around it? For example, you discovered you don’t have the money, time, expertise or you’ve learned the results would be harmful or goes against your values.

If your answers are telling you that your heart isn’t in it anymore that’s okay.

Cross it off your idea list, and call it done.

When we don’t finish something we are too quick to say ” I failed”. Not motivating at all. Instead, you need to “call it” – GAME OVER! Move on to something else. Give yourself that closure and move on to your next big idea.

Remember, you are a creative being. Share your ideas with others. Think the craziest things. Let your imagination run wild.