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.
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.
This is gonna be so hard.
I remember when I did xxxx, and I thought that was gonna be hard, but it really wasn’t.
This is huge.
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.”
I don’t even know where to start.
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.
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.
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
We are busy people. Our clocks are thin and tired, our schedules full and bloated.
But somehow we find a way to give our time to a host of wonderful distractions.
Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to finish that on-line course and then tell me about all those yummy recipes you’re going to try after watching hours of cooking shows.
Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to write your novel and then give me intricate plot details about the six shows you’re watching.
Please don’t tell me you’re too busy to update your resume and then update your social media accounts constantly.
There is a reason the average 21-year-old has played 10,000 hours of video games.
There is a reason the average American watches 35 hours of TV a week according to Nielsen.
Our minds running on auto-pilot is the reason!
We make hundreds of mindless choices every day that don’t naturally gravitate to things that matter or work we really care about. Our brains are always looking for the easy way out.
It’s all a big lie. You can’t control or manage time.
But you can control your choices.
It’s about managing yourself in the space of time.
You can’t createmore minutes in an hour or more hours in a day.
But, you can find more minutes and hours when you make better choices.
Here’s a better choice:
Wait 15 minutes to turn on Netflix and do something that matters to you. Work on a skill. Take a tiny step to move forward on a goal. Check something small off your to-do list.
I don’t care how busy you are. You have 15 minutes hidden somewhere in your day.
Ready for the challenge?
I dare you to rescue that tiny amount of time each day and then watch what happens this summer. That first 15 minutes will grow to 30 and then 45 and then 60. By the end of the summer, you will have worked for 1.500 minutes. You will have 25, on purpose, goal-crushing hours under your belt.
If you’re with me, pick one skill or goal you want to give your 15 minutes to and then get going. It’s possible to find time. All it takes is making a better decision.
When was the last time you completed a projected that truly mattered to you? When was the last time you set an important goal and you made it happen?
I mean, doesn’t it feel GREAT to check something off your list or complete an important project or say that something is finally DONE?
To take charge and be the BOSS of yourself and your goals is incredibly motivating.
Yes, of course, it feels amazing. I want you to experience that feeling more often. And to make sure that you really master this ability to finish what you start, AKA follow-through, I’m sharing the steps I use every day in my life and business. These steps create a little acronym that spells boss. B – O – S – S. Because BOSS is who you need to be to follow-through.
Now once you’ve mastered these four steps, you’re going to be way more likely to finish what you start. Okay, lets get started on building that follow-through habit using the BOSS Formula.
STEP #1: B stands for: Be Focused & Specific
Right off the bat, there are two big problems that get in our way of following through. First, most of us are working on way too many things at once. We allow ourselves to be pulled in too many directions. Instead of making meaningful progress on a single project that really, really matters, we wind up feeling constantly overloaded and overwhelmed.
Now the second problem. Oftentimes we are fuzzy about our outcome. Meaning, most of the time, we’re just working hard and trying to keep our heads above water and we don’t have a clearly defined, achievable result that we’re working towards.
The good news here is, we have the power to fix both of these problems. And when we do, we gain some serious momentum and we train ourselves to become a master of follow-through.
The very first step is this; we must FOCUS. Meaning, focus on what’s truly most important. And to be clear – I’m not talking about several things here, I’m talking about choosing just ONE thing. One TOP priority. One single goal.
What is one thing you could focus on (a single project or goal) that, if you finished it, it would make a tremendous positive impact in your life?
If you’re having trouble committing to JUST one thing, I want you to remember this:
If you’re unwilling to commit to one thing, you’re going to likely be distracted by everything.
Now once you’ve decided on the goal you want to focus on, you’re ready to Be Specific. Which means, define what success will look like when you get this done. You have to define what finished looks like. Yes, your goal has to be specific, measurable, and achievable. You should be able to say without a doubt – “Yes, I am finished and I followed through!”
Let’s say your goal is to reboot your health and you say to yourself, “Yeah, I really do want to feel better by the summer.” That, my friend, is vague and a fairly useless goal because it’s not well defined.
On the other hand if you said to yourself “You know what, I really need to reset my health and here’s my goal: for the next 30 days I’m going to eliminate gluten and alcohol and dairy and caffeine.” That’s WAY better right? Of course it is – because it is specific and measurable and achievable.
Your action item right now is to decide on ONE SINGLE goal and to define it in specific, measurable and achievable terms.
You’ve gotten focused and specific about your MOST important goal and now you’ve got to organize your life around achieving it. And in order to do that, we have got to face down the biggest BS excuse we can all use for not following through. You know what that is?
“You know what, I just don’t have the time.”
C’mon now… I know we’ve all said this. And you know what? It’s a pretty sad excuse, because we’re all given the same 24 hours each and every day. It’s just that some people have learned to use their time a lot more wisely.
You and I both know that we always make time for the things that truly matter. So if you want to master your ability to follow-through, remember this.
Meaning, if you don’t decide in advance exactly when and where you’re going to do the work, and have that time specifically blocked out on your calendar, you gotta face it, you don’t care that much about it. It’s not going to happen.
This is not just my opinion. In study after study, researchers have found ONE thing to be true. According to Heidi Grant Halvorson, a professor at Columbia University,
Did you hear that? Double or triple your chance for success? Anyone?!
Open your calendar and decide exactly when and where you’re going to work to bring your top goal to life.
STEP #3: S Stands for “Set NO as Your Default Answer.”
Look, saying “no” to yourself and others is essential to follow-through. This isn’t about being an arrogant a-hole, this isn’t about saying no haphazardly. This is about saying no deliberately and strategically and, of course, compassionately.
You have GOT to give yourself permission to STOP trying to do it all. Stop saying yes to everyone and everything and every new idea. Because here’s the truth; everything you say YES to, means you’re saying NO to something else. In economic terms, that’s called “opportunity cost” and it’s a serious thing.
For example, you go to a bridal shower that honestly, you don’t want to go to, but you say yes out of a sense of guilt and drive hours to get there and spend the entire day regretting your choice. That’s time you can’t ever get back – time you could have spent working towards your goal, or just being with your family, or your kids, or doing something meaningful to move ahead.
Simply allow “no” to be your default response to all new projects, new requests, and new demands on your time.
You also need to say NO to spending hours watching TV or getting sucked into the comparison sinkhole of social media. You say NO to any and all time sucks and energy sucks and non-essentials.
Saying yes to too much only leaves you feeling frustrated, resentful and exhausted, right? It’s not a place from which you can do your best work.
When you train yourself to say yes to less, what you really get is more. More time and more space to do the deep and important work you were born to do. More breathing room. More white space. More freedom. More energy to devote to things that truly matter, like spending time with people you love.
One of the things that stop people from making their default answer “no”, is not knowing how to say no with grace and kindness.
No is a complete sentence. But c’mon now, I mean, let’s be real. If someone writes you an email asking for something and you just type back “no” and hit send, it’s not going to feel that good to you or them.
Here’s a simple and elegant way to say no.
“Thanks so much for thinking of me. While it’s not something I’d like to do, please know how honored I am to be asked.” or I’d rather not, but thank you SO MUCH for thinking of me.”
Elegant and honest, right? Just like you.
Your next action item is to re-examine your projects and your upcoming commitments. Is there anything on there that you can decline or get out of? Now of course, if you do, you’re gonna be classy and elegant about it – but honestly, from this moment forward, if it’s not a hell yes, let it be a hell no, because you and your goal matter.
STEP #4: S stands for “Start Before You’re Ready.”
The one mantra I use to start – especially when the goal or project that I’m working on is a little scary and outside my comfort zone. And that mantra is:
Start BEFORE You’re Ready.
Look. Most of us can talk about or think about an important project for months and sometimes even years before actually doing anything about it. But do not confuse activity with accomplishment.
You see, if you’ve had trouble following through, it’s not a lack of competence that’s holding you back. It is this nasty little fear-based lie that we tell ourselves called, “I’m not ready yet.” It is one of the deadliest, most insidious dream killer around. And if you’re honest, I’ll bet, “I’m not ready yet” has probably stopped you a few times in the past.
Well, my friend, here is the secret you need to know. The world’s happiest and most successful people never feel ready to make a bold move – they just GO! They understand that waiting to “feel ready” before taking action is the worst kind of procrastination.
That is why starting before you are ready is the key to executing like a champ and mastering follow-through. It’s helps you sidestep your fear and drive straight into action-based learning. Because when you stop thinking and you start executing, you literally create this energy that pulls you forward. All of the sudden there are appointments and deadlines and real life progress.
This last step is all about execution, once you get started, don’t stop.
When it comes to follow-through, tenacity matters more than tactics or technique. Be relentless about this, do not stop taking action until you can drop the mic and say, “You know what? This. Is. Done.”
Your last action item. Identify the single most important action you could take right now to execute on your goal – even if you don’t feel ready?
Is it making a phone call? Is it making an outside appointment with some kind of professional? Or perhaps it’s telling a few people you trust about your goal and your commitment to make it happen.
There is no right answer. But, I’ll bet you know it in your heart whatever it is what you have to do. Think about it, get moving, and start before you’re ready.
Let’s review our four key disciplines to being the BOSS and following through.
B: Be Focused and Specific: Choose ONE priority and define your outcome so it’s clear, specific and achievable, Set yourself up to win.
O: Organize Your Time & Schedule It: If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real.
S: Set NO as Your Default Answer: No is your default answer to all new requests, eliminate non-essentials, and say yes to less.
S: Start BEFORE You’re Ready: Be relentless and don’t stop taking action until you’ve reached your goal.
And that’s it! Be the BOSS you are and make these four personal disciplines a habit and trouble with follow-through will be a thing of the past.
How many projects have you started and then dropped because you got bored or something newer and shinier pulled your attention away?
Within weeks or months, you realize the idea wasn’t as brilliant in practice as it was in your head.
It’s enough to drive you crazy. And then you beat yourself up, telling yourself that you’re not capable of finishing anything.
So wait, what happened? Shiny object syndrome, friend. Shiny object syndrome is what happened.
First, let’s get this straight – we’ve all been there irrespective of the field we belong to. We see a shiny object and chase it without thinking it through.
To be clear, shiny object syndrome isn’t a medical syndrome as such. It’s a name given to a condition that’s pretty common among several entrepreneurs and creatives.
Shiny object syndrome results in you being easily distracted, impulsive and unable to focus on anything long enough to finish it.
It’s human nature. We all do it.
And, if you happen to have ADHD, your shiny object syndrome probably appears more frequently and more intensely than those who don’t have ADHD.
You can tame the impulsivity to mindlessly dive into new things.
Here are 4 Quick Fixes to Prevent Shiny Object Syndrome from Winning
#1 Sleep on it.
When an idea first steps through your brain’s front door, don’t welcome it with open arms. Instead, stare it down with suspicion at first – have a cuppa with the idea and scan it top to bottom before deciding if you should sit with it for dinner.
Some prefer to call this “sleeping on the idea” or giving yourself some “thinking time”. The fact is any idea that sticks with you past the 24-hour think period is usually worth considering further.
#2 Make a doable plan to achieve your goals
When you don’t have any goals set, you give yourself permission to act impulsively and mindlessly jump from one thing to another. Setting goals grounds you. It gives you a framework to make decisions from. Set goals that speak to your soul.
Take your annual goals and break them down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals.
I start every week identifying the three big things that are going to move me close to achieving my goals. These are three things that I’m getting done this week, no matter what. These three things drive the specific tasks I schedule in my daily planner.
#3 Identify the cost of the shiny object
Setting goals is so dang important because when those shiny objects come in, you’ve got to have the discipline to ask yourself, “Does this fit into the goals I’ve set for this year?”
That’s how I avoid getting distracted. If something comes into my world and I ask myself, “Does this fit into the goals I’ve set this year?” If the answer is no, then I ask myself, “Do I really need or want this? Is this something I’ve overlooked but is really important?”
The answer is often no. Then I go back to the goals I’ve set, head down, do the work.
Now, once in a while, the answer is yes. And that’s when I have to decide, “Okay. Am I going to sacrifice one thing for another?” We all now that every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else and might not realize it in the moment, but you are.
If I say yes to something, I go back to rearrange the goals I’ve already set because this shiny thing I’m saying yes to wasn’t really part of my plan.
#4 Talk about your goals
Another thing I’ve noticed is that when I talk about my goals often and out loud to others, it almost brings them to life and they become more a part of me.
Talk about your goals often, and it becomes your North Star. You know where you are going because it’s just part of your conversations. It’s just a part of you.
Speaking about goals holds me accountable to myself and others and it reminds me of my game plan.
When those shiny objects pop up then I can decide:
Do I want to do them and change around what I’ve already done?
Is this something that I can put on a wish list and come back to at a different time?
Is this an opportunity I’m willing to miss because I know that I’m really clear where I’m going and how I’m getting there?
Taking a moment to pause, reflect and make thoughtful decisions is the most effective way to not mindlessly fall prey to shiny object syndrome.
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.
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
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.
Excellence energizes. Perfectionism drains
Excellence can still be tiring but you’re exhausted and elated. Perfectionism leaves you feeling empty and hopeless.
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.”
3. Are you obsessed about the results other people are getting?
Perfectionism amplifies comparison.
“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”
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?
Fall is your listening season. It’s your time to listen to the feedback from those around you and more importantly to listen to your intuition so you can know how to come through for the next year!
It’s your time to show up for yourself and accomplish the things you set out to do this year.
Finishing the year strong means pushing yourself past the finish line even when other people are doubting you. And especially if YOU are doubting YOU! It means running that extra lap even when you know you’ve done the work. Whether you are an entrepreneur, work 9-5 or are someone who wants to have more flow in your life, there are things you can do to set yourself up for success.
With only a few months left in the year, prioritizing is the most impactful exercise you can do for yourself. You must be realistic. There’s a good chance you won’t get everything done. And that is okay! When you focus on the most important and impactful things, you will end the year feeling accomplished and energized.
Before you dive in and start prioritizing, it’s important to understand the 7 Reasons Why We Struggle to Prioritize:
We tend to suffer from FOMO (Fear of missing out). We think that if we’re not involved in everything that somehow, we are going to miss out on something. There is beauty in missing out! Missing out allows you to be more present on the things that matter most.
We don’t like to let people down. Remember, if you give away all your time, you won’t have any time left to pursue your goals. Letting people down from time-to-time is something that must happen! It is the price of entry for growing into who you’re meant to be.
We don’t have confidence in ourselves. We tend to struggle with prioritizing things that we could change the world with because we don’t believe in ourselves. Step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and prove to yourself that you can go beyond what you believe is possible. You are capable of more than you think!
We don’t have a clear WHY. Ever feel like you’re moving through your day like a robot? You’re productive and getting stuff done but you’re bored and doing it all half-hearted? When you understand WHY doing these things are important or not so important to YOU it naturally finds its place in your list of priorities, or not.
We don’t have clear goals. It’s not enough to say that you want to get better. Get specific! Articulate what “better” means so that you can create smaller goals to hit along the way.
We get stuck in the stuff of life. If we think that everything is important, then nothing is important. We must release ourselves from the things that aren’t aligned with our goals and who we are.
We don’t take a driver’s seat where our priorities are concerned. If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will. Their needs will fill your calendar at the expense of your self-care! Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Prioritize it. Be comfortable deciding that prioritizing yourself is more important than keeping everyone else happy!
How to Prioritize Over the Next 2-3 Months:
Focus on what matters to you. Don’t get caught up in other people’s priorities for you. Everyone else in your life believes they know what you need most. But what if they are wrong? Be clear on who you want to be on January 1, 2022. Your priorities might look different than what others think they should be.
Consider the trade-off. Before saying yes to anything, understand that saying yes comes at the expense of saying NO to something else that potentially matters more to you.
Evaluate the impact. Think about everything you are juggling as glass balls and plastic balls. Which of the things on your plate are glass and will shatter when dropped? Which ones are plastic and would bounce back if they fell? Prioritize the glass!
Ask yourself more questions. If I say yes, will I regret it later? Is this thing in line with my WHY? Make sure everything you say yes to acts as a catalyst to what you are trying to achieve in life. Otherwise, it is only going to set you back. Be clear on what you stand for!
Just say NO. No is a complete sentence. You don’t have to justify anything! If someone else doesn’t understand, most of the time that is their issue. Boundaries are important!
Listen to your gut. Give yourself a chance to pull away from the media, the obligations, and all the noise in your life so you can hear yourself clearly. Your intuition exists and is only ever compromised when you allow external things to drown it out.
Check and Re-Check your CAPACITY. You’re going to go through different things at different times of your life, each requiring you to establish a new or adjusted set of priorities. This could change month-by-month. It’s critical that you have grace for the circumstances happening in your life and that you can adapt accordingly!
CELEBRATE yourself. Certain days are going to be harder than others. If you are showing up for yourself, doing the work and trying as best as you can, that is worthy of celebration. You have chosen growth. Give yourself grace and don’t forget to celebrate yourself!
Oh, so many of us prioritize our tasks according to the needs of others. So often, there are underlying people-pleasing tendencies. At the end of the day, we think we’ve made everyone else happy, but they may not have even noticed.
Add to that the frustration of not getting the things done that we really needed to get done, it’s no wonder we beat ourselves up at the end of the day.
You started the day with the best of intentions and then life happens. Emails marked urgent (and they really are NOT urgent) flood your inbox. Someone calls or drops in your office to vent. Someone on your team didn’t follow-through on something so you tell yourself it’s easier if I do it myself.
Can you relate?
This doesn’t only happen at work, but it happens in our personal lives, too, with limited time spent on activities that are actually important and more energy spent being “busy.”
Sometimes, we fall into productive procrastination mode. This is when you convince yourself that because you’re busy doing something, it’s ok that you’re not doing the thing that is most critical at that time.
It is in these moments that it’s critical to have a system in place to help you decide what is the best use of your time.
By implementing a prioritization system, you can drastically change the arc of your workday to really make the most of your time at work and at home.
Step 1: Identify your to-do’s.
Step 2: Run each of the tasks through the 3 categories of questions or filters, Impact, Time, and Consequences
Why is this important?
What do I want the outcome to be?
What’s the impact if this task is completed?
What is the larger goal I’ll be making progress on by completing this task?
Is this a must-do or nice-to-do?
Do I have the capacity for this? (time, energy)
What’s the deadline?
Does this NEED to be done NOW?
Is this the best use of my time?
What won’t get done if I focus on this?
What’s the penalty or fall-out if I don’t do it?
Will anyone notice if it doesn’t get done?
Step 3: After you’ve put your tasks through these filters, put those tasks that need to be worked on this week into your planner. Schedule the day and time you’re going to do the task. YOU MUST SCHEDULE IT!
Step 4: For those tasks that did not make the cut, do not keep them on your current to-do list. Your to-do list get cluttered with the nice-to-do’s and tasks that are not important right now. Then you look at that long list and it looks like you got nothing done. From there, the self-doubt and self-bullying chatter in your head starts. Instead, add these tasks to a NOT NOW LIST. You don’t want to lose sight of these things.
Step 5: Tomorrow, or next week pull out your NOT NOW LIST and take them through the filters again. If they stay on your NOT NOW LIST week after week, ask yourself why this task is even on your list. If you can’t answer that, delete it.
Remember, the purpose of prioritization is to spend time working on the important tasks, those things that will make a difference in the long run and move you in the right direction. When prioritization is handled well, you’ll feel less reactive and more focused and intentional.
The aim is to complete work that signifies true progress, and let all the rest, all the “busyness” and “people-pleasing”, fall to the wayside.
If you like to know how to feel more confident, grab your free guide here.
We need to break the comparison cycle because it’s a game we’ll never win. Comparison steals our joy, our paychecks and our sanity. If we don’t stop comparing ourselves to others, we will constantly spend money and mental energy just trying to keep up!
There’s actually a biological reason we’re prone to comparing ourselves to others. Our brain uses comparison to figure out how we measure up to other people.
Thomas Mussweiler, a professor of organizational behavior, describes comparison this way:
Most of the time, this calculation is made in a split second in the background, and we don’t even realize it. But when we dwell on the highlights of other people’s lives, it can quickly become toxic. We’re wired for connection and belonging, but if we constantly compare ourselves to others, we’re putting our happiness, confidence and mental health at risk.
Comparison costs us:
Causing us to lose focus and takes our eyes off our goals.
Makes us feel bad about how we’re doing. It diminishes our accomplishments.
Fuels emotions of depression and anxiety, draining us of our mental strength to do our best.
Stops us from taking action. We hide. We avoid.
Creates negative and anxious thoughts that are hard to come out of -AKA ruminations
Causes us to overspend in an effort to keep up with the Joneses
When we compare ourselves to others, we make bad decisions, or decisions that don’t necessarily serve us. We will never be able to stop comparing ourselves to other people. But we can decide if want to use these comparisons to better ourselves and move forward or bash ourselves and stay stuck.
Here are 6 Practical Ways to Get Out of the Comparison Trap.
1. Let Jealousy and envy GUIDE you.
They’re pointing you in the right direction.
Ever get jealous when you see someone else succeed? I know I do. It’s normal to have those feelings, but it’s what you do with them that can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
The next time you feel JEALOUS, do this: (This reframe is a game-changer)
Lean into the feeling. It’s your soul telling you, “This is the kind of success YOU want for yourself.” See it as a sign that IT’S POSSIBLE for you to experience the same success.
Don’t shrink when someone else does something similar to what you want to do. Instead RISE and figure it out!
Instead of comparing, start looking at people who have what you want and ADMIRE them. Be INSPIRED by them. Teach yourself how to use that as motivation and inspiration instead of a reason to bash yourself. Let it amplify your ability to see and admire your own accomplishments, traits, goals and dreams.
2. Ask yourself what you can learn
So the next time you’re tempted to think someone else is better than you, reframe the way you’re thinking about the situation. Ask yourself these questions:
What do I admire about this person or their work?
What information does that person have that could be helpful to me?
How can I make what they do better? Or How can put my own mark on this shared thing we both do?
What would I ask this person if I could talk to them?
Stay curious. Look for opportunities to learn and you’ll start to see that other people aren’t necessarily better than you.
3. Embrace an Infinite vs Finite Mindset
It took me a long time to truly embrace the idea that there is enough success for all of us. The world is an enormous place, and there is room for everyone to succeed, be happy, and pursue their dreams.
This is what we call an infinite mindset. It embraces abundance.
When you are jealous of others and see them as someone you have to be better than, you are using a finite mindset. This mindset tells you that there’s not enough room for everyone to be successful. It’s a mindset of scarcity, limiting our possibilities.
When you embrace an infinite mindset, you stop looking at everyone around you as competition. You know that just because they are successful it doesn’t mean you can’t be. Just because they are beautiful doesn’t mean you are not. Just because they have what you want doesn’t mean you can’t have it.
4. Cheer for other people (AKA shift from a finite to an infinite mindset)
I have seen first-hand that the more you cheer for other people, the faster that success and happiness will come to you. Constantly comparing ourselves to others leads to us not cheering on the people who are working hard to get somewhere. And it makes it hard to celebrate with the ones who’ve accomplished something!
So, here’s my challenge to you: When a friend tells you about her new job, be happy for her. If someone buys a new house, take part in their enthusiasm. If someone shares some great news with you, keep the focus on them instead of turning it back to yourself. Find big and small ways to celebrate other people’s accomplishments!
Their success has nothing to do with you, so celebrate their success sincerely while you keep working toward your own success.
5. Learn to compete with yourself instead of others.
The only person you should compare yourself with is the person you were yesterday.
You have so much self-doubt that you see other people as competition. The only competition is the one that you create in your mind. It is impossible to not compare yourself to other people.
Instead of focusing on where you are compared to others, focus on your own goals. Where are you compared to where you were at this time last year? Or five years ago?
In the past year, you’ve learned, stretched, improved, accomplished and created. Think about how much of that you’ve done in your lifetime!
6. Unlock the power of contentment.
Gratitude leads to contentment, which allows you to be in a state of joy and satisfaction no matter what your circumstances. Having a daily gratitude ritual through journaling, a gratitude jar, or something else will lead you to a place of knowing you are happy with where you are in life and aren’t worried about what other people are doing.
Contentment doesn’t mean you don’t have goals for the future or that you aren’t working toward being a better person tomorrow than you are today. And it definitely doesn’t mean that you’re stagnant or that you’re choosing to sit around and do nothing new, exciting and challenging with your life.
It just means that you develop a peace about your life and a sincere enjoyment about what you have today without basing all your happiness on what you hope to achieve tomorrow.
Your next step.
It’s easy to look at what everyone else is doing and achieving and think, “I’m not good enough, I should be doing more, I’m not ready, I don’t have enough, I’m failing.”
But you have no idea where other people’s starting lines were or where their finish line will be.
And you are not behind. You are exactly where you need to be. You’re not falling behind in life. There’s no one to be behind because there isn’t a race to begin with.
Decide that today is the day you start to put in the work, show up as yourself, have the courage to pursue the things that scare the crap out of you, and stop worrying about what others are doing.
I once heard a powerful line that always stuck with me:
There is NOTHING you can do to either increase OR decrease your worthiness as a human.
No amount of success, money in your account, or Instagram following will make you more worthy! AND no amount of failure, missed job promotions, or unprofitable ventures will take away from your value. You are good enough, you are valuable, and you are so worthy!
It’s BECAUSE you are worthy, you’re able to accomplish and enjoy wonderful things and shine your light into the world.
I see the sense of “unworthiness” play into so many people’s lives. We are taught to believe that we have to earn everything, and if we don’t get what we are truly after, it’s because we aren’t “enough.”
Can you relate? This is an insane, vicious cycle that ultimately leads us to self-loathing, depression, anxiety, perfectionism, apathy, and sadness.
The truth about unworthiness is that it simply isn’t real. There are no qualities or characteristics about you that exclude you from any said things that you desire in life. It’s simply a limited way of thinking, which excuses you from really putting both feet forward and going for what you want in life.
I believe we tend to fall into unworthiness as a way to bypass some of the major feelings that we have about ourselves, mostly our inability to really love ourselves. Think about it, if we loved ourselves in a full and complete way, we would always think that we could live the life and have the things that we deeply want, right?
Your ability to achieve your desires has nothing to do with your worthiness and everything to do with your thoughts, actions, and beliefs.
I encourage you to start the journey of banishing any unworthy sentiments you have about yourself. You were given this exact life for a reason. None of it has anything to do with whether you were worthy of it or not.
We all have the capability to do the things we want to do, to be the people we want to be, and to create the lives we wish to live. However, it starts with us, and cleaning up the way we think about ourselves.
There is NOTHING you can do to either increase OR decrease your worthiness as a human.
It’s time to sit down and list all the things that make you feel less than, or unworthy.
I am not unworthy because…
I hear others make more money than me,
I quit the thing that was no longer serving me,
I’m having tech issues
Someone says something mean to me
Someone gives me advice on how to do better
Keep this list on your phone or post it on your mirror or fridge to remind yourself that situations and outcomes do not determine your worthiness.
I hope this practice helps you release any of the feelings that might be holding you back from the things you truly desire in life. I want you to know that you are worthy of your authentic dreams, desires and goals, and that it is possible for you. Please remember this, always.
The voices in our head ring so loudly. We hold on to the times when someone discounted our worth or criticized us. What would it be like to show up boldly instead of shrinking? How many opportunities, connections and moments of peace have passed us by because of our self-sabotaging thoughts?
Does this sound familiar?
“I’m not good enough.” “I’m never going to reach my goal.” “I am not enough.” “It’s not possible for me.”
These thoughts and beliefs are not based in fact; but fear, hurt or trauma. Sadly, we act on them as if they are true. Science has proven over and over again that what we think to be true will impact our actions.
What are we to do?
Here are 4 strategies I use to stop those self-sabotaging conversations.
First – journal & acknowledge where these thoughts are coming from. This is called root cause analysis.
Identify the self-sabotaging thought and then ask yourself at least 5 times:
Why am I thinking that? Answer Then….Why am I thinking that? Answer Then…Why am I thinking that? Answer Keep going until you get 5 answers deep. This will get you to the root of that thought.
As you get to that root thought, you dig it up. It’s ok. There’s going to be a big hole where that negative root thought or belief lived. It’s important to back fill that hole with truth. “I am talented. I am a good person. I am worthy of being loved. I am deserving of this promotion.”
Replace those negative thoughts with empowered thoughts that are actually true.
Second, stay in inspired action.
You’ve heard of the confidence competence loop. The more you do something, the better you become. When you first started riding a bike, you faltered and fell a few times. But you kept at it. The more you tried it, the better you got. And one day, you were able to ride successfully without falling, to the point that you now thoroughly enjoy riding the bike. This is the same competence confidence loop that you can employ in other areas of your life.
You need to start with one small step. Then you’ll say, “Ahhh, I actually can do this.” Repeat this and eventually you will be taking bigger steps.
Doing anything new is going to be uncomfortable, so stop thinking it’s supposed to feel different. Reframe being uncomfortable by telling yourself, “I’m uncomfortable because I’m growing. I’m doing something new and exciting.”
Third, write out & celebrate the small wins.
What I’m talking about here are the baby steps that happen one by one and day by day. The incremental victories that are so small we often overlook them.
It turns out that those little victories are a huge untapped source of motivation. Basically, it all comes down to something called “completion bias.” As humans, we are essentially hard-wired to get high off completion.
What happens is that when your brain recognizes a task as complete, it releases dopamine, which makes you feel pleasure, which makes you want to repeat that behavior again and again.
And what researchers have found is that this completion bias makes us predisposed to want to focus on quick, easy-to-finish tasks, as opposed to longer, more challenging, complex tasks. We like quick tasks because we like to get that little hit of completion, and we like to get it fast.
Let’s say your goal is to write a book, then your metric might be words written per day Or, if you’re doing customer service, you’d write down the name of each person that you helped today on a post-it and stick them all up on the wall behind your computer. Track your wins, ESPECIALLY the small ones.
Celebrate in a way that is meaningful and significant to you. Maybe use a win jar, where you keep thank you notes, write a compliment you got or a small win on a post it. Continue to remind yourself you are talented, worthy, skilled, and capable.
Fourth, get an accountability partner; someone you can share your wins with and who can hold you accountable to your goals and a healthy mindset.
Having a community to cheer you on is so valuable. The best way to create accountability is to take that promise you made to yourself about your goal and externalize it — so that you are not the only one invested in your success.
The fact of the matter is: humans are social animals. And the need to feel a connection to other people, and the need to feel a sense of belonging drives everything that we do.
We don’t like to let people down. This is why people are more likely to run regularly if they join a running group, it’s why they’re more likely to lose weight if they join Weight Watchers, and it’s why they’re more likely to quit drinking if they join AA.
It’s an incredibly powerful motivator for us when we feel like we will be celebrated when we achieve our goal. Or… let’s be honest, when we know we will feel guilty if we don’t achieve our goal. But we’re all driven by the desire to deliver on our promises to others.
Don’t simply accept those self-sabotaging thoughts. You have control over them and how you choose to move forward. I know this sounds dramatic, but it’s true. If you follow these 4 strategies, you will change your life one baby step at a time.
If left to simmer, fear turns to paralyzing self-doubt. There is the fear of not fitting in, of being ostracized, of disappointing others, of failure or even success.
I’m here to tell you that a life that is exciting, joyful and meaningful, is on the other side of that fear.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I mean it. Really take some time to answer that question.
And when you find your answers, go out and plan to do exactly what you are afraid of doing.
We allow ourselves to be caged in by fear, the tiger in our mind that keeps us within the boundaries of our comfort zone. But fear, like any other emotion is just a feeling. It’s not pleasant, but if you can lean into its discomfort, you will discover endless new possibilities for yourself.
Life is short. It truly is. This past year has been a painful reminder to all of us. You may think you have time. That there will be a day that you will not be scared, and then you’ll do it.
But here’s the thing, that day will not come. The only way you will stop being afraid and stop doubting yourself is by doing exactly what you are afraid of. Stop waiting.
Ask yourself, is what I’m scared of really that important? In the bigger picture of it all, does it really matter?
The answer is no. If you focus on “why” the thing you’re afraid to do is important, you get to choose.
Why is it important for you to ask for a promotion & get a raise?
To feed your family, to take vacations, to get out of debt?
Are those things more important than your fear of your boss saying no?
Remember it’s not about your fear. A mantra I use, when I’m stuck at this point of choice, is NAM – Not About Me. It’s not about me and my fears. It’s about taking care of my family.
It’s a heavy weight to carry around living your life dictated by the limitations of the imagined fears in your head.
It is not about the absence of fear, but a way of using the fear as a compass to guide you in the right direction, knowing that whatever comes your way, you’ll deal with it.
If you’re scared of something, then it very likely is the one thing that you should be doing. And each and every time you do this, you grow in ways you never thought possible.
If you really knew and understood your time here was limited, would that change your perspective on your fears? If you knew you only had another 5 years, would that change things? A year? A month? A week?
We allow ourselves to hide under the comfortable blanket of certainty. But in the end, it won’t matter. It won’t matter that you failed at something. Get real. We all do. It comes with being human. It won’t matter that it took you longer than expected or that you didn’t do the best job of it, or that you never even succeeded.
What matters is that you succeed in life. And with that I mean, that you tried, you learned, you grew, you lived, you loved, and in some way made a difference in someone’s day.
So what are you afraid of? And what step can you take to do exactly that? What challenge can you set for yourself, big or small?