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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.

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.

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.

No matter how much you love your work, how flexible its hours are, how much it allows you to balance work with life, eventually you’ll need to unplug and take a break to wash off the inevitable buildup of stress. On vacation you can relax in a way that a weekend simply doesn’t allow you to.

But all good things come to an end. It’s likely you’ll be dreading work toward the end of your vacation. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here’s what to do before, during and after you vacation to get yourself back in the saddle as quickly and stress free as possible.

Before You Leave

Set up an Out-of-the-Office Message

This one is obvious but has to be mentioned. No matter if you plan to check messages or ignore them while you’re gone, this at least lets your co-workers and clients know to expect less or no communication. An auto-responder message will immediately respond to any emails you’ve received with your message letting everyone know that you are on vacation and when they can expect to hear back from you.

Create a List of Your Ongoing Projects

While it’s fresh in your mind, make a list of what you have to prioritize when you return. It’s easier than trying to remember it later, and your future self will thank you for getting organized in advance.

For each project, detail it’s status, and note specifically where you are going to start when you return. Retracing your steps wastes time and causes unnecessary frustration.

Hand Over Some Work That Can’t Wait

You could need some help to keep work moving while you’re gone. Ongoing work projects or active clients may need help during your absence.

You may want to have someone send out emails, blog posts, and social media posts while you’re gone. Or consider scheduling these yourself before you leave.

Lastly, give your coworkers any outstanding deadlines. Make sure to leave clear instructions if you want to avoid any calls asking for help.

Clean up at Home and the Office

Any good vibes from a vacation can be ruined quickly when you return to a messy home. Do the dishes, de-clutter the rooms, and take out the trash.

The same thinking applies to your desk or office. De-clutter the desk, organizing or throwing away the mail. Go through any stray papers and file or get rid of them.

Clean up your email. Delete old messages and reply to those that can’t wait for your return.

It’s hard to think about everyday chores when you’re planning a vacation, but you’ll feel more at ease if you return to a clean home and workplace.

During Vacation

Capture Ideas

Vacations have the incredible ability to add a fresh perspective to aspects of your work. You might come back from vacation and realize that things you were doing a particular way previously could be done better another way. You may have a great idea for a new program or product. Be prepared to have a small journal or capture these fresh ideas on your phone. If a vacation gives you ideas to make you more productive or serve people better, don’t let them slide by.

After Vacation

Add a Buffer Day

Don’t take a trip to the other side of the world and fly a red eye back the day you’re supposed to start working. Unless it’s a stay-at-home vacay, place at least one day between when you come back from your trip and when you have to start work.

This isn’t just to deal with some terrible jet lag. It can be a day of the weekend or an extra vacation day, but schedule a break between vacation and work

Some people call it a “vacation after the vacation,” but it’s really a chance to get back to your normal routine with the least amount of stress. There’s more to catch-up on than work when you return. Laundry, grocery shopping even sleep is necessary before jumping back into a normal work week.

Regain a Sense of Control

This means going through your emails, documents, news, and other messages to understand what’s been going on.

Schedule time dedicated solely to replying to emails in advance. If you schedule this before you leave the office, you won’t be scrambling the first day back trying to balance everything you need to do.

While going through your emails you will inevitably come across things that need to get added to your to-do list. Once you’ve captured them, prioritize those tasks on another list. These two lists alone will help tame the chaos and give you a good ideas what you need to do first.

Avoid All Meetings Except This One

If you have the misfortune of working for a company that likes meetings where an email or Slack message could do, resist all attempts to schedule meetings from the moment you’re back.

On your first day back, schedule a meeting with your assistant, business partner, key team member, or an accountability buddy to go over new priorities that have popped up, set your goals for the week, and to create a plan for how you’re going to get it done.

Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

Take it easy at first. You’re allowed to pick up steam; few people will expect you to be fully productive from the second you start working. Write out the two lists mentioned above and going down the priority list, complete each task one by one. Avoid the temptation to multitask. Eventually, you’ll feel as if you’re back in the swing of things. Just don’t think you need to do everything immediately.

Plan Your Next Vacation

One way to alleviate the post-vacation blues is to plan your next vacation. It could be months away, but work is much easier when you’ve got something to look forward to. It doesn’t need to be a long vacation. It could just be an activity or long weekend. Plan something you’re excited about!

Wrapping It Up

What you do before, during and after your vacation all have a huge impact on your stress levels when you return. Implement these steps and the benefits of your vacation will linger longer!

There ‘s a huge difference between being “burnt out” and feeling “stuck”.

FEELING STUCK

Feeling stuck is a signal from your body, mind and spirit. The same way hunger or thirst is a signal. It means you need something.

When you’re stuck you need personal growth. Your life has gotten boring, stagnant, or predictable.

Feeling stuck comes from losing a connection with yourself because you are so bogged down with your day to day life.

You’re busy getting things done and you’re no longer learning anything new. That monotony makes you feel tired, complacent, and stuck.

BEING BURNT OUT

Burn out happens when you’ve had relentless demands or never-ending pressure put on you. Your nervous system is taxed and on edge.

You feel physically, cognitively, and emotionally exhausted, making it difficult to focus or feel good about yourself, your job, or even your personal life.

Being burnt out comes from chronic stress that hasn’t been managed correctly. This kind of continual stress leads to heightened cortisol levels and adrenal fatigue, furthering the cycle of making you feel tired and spread thin.

According to Psychology Today, one of the main signs of burnout is chronic fatigue. You feel physically and emotionally exhausted no matter how much sleep you get, how many breaks you take, or how much caffeine you consume… you just don’t feel like your regular self or get a boost of energy no matter what you do.

You feel disengaged and uninspired.

Instead of feeling invested, your feel detached which leads to losing your connection to yourself and the pride you used to have in your work.

You start to feel uninterested in things that normally bring you joy.

You feel like you might collapse if one more thing happens unexpectedly or gets added to your plate.

You find you’re more easily distracted or feel like you can’t get into the groove of work, even with tasks that you usually enjoy or love to do.

Solutions to feeling stuck:

  1. Get intentional about growing as a person.
    Pursue something NEW that interests you (sign up for a class, learn a second language, try a new hobby, or re-engage with a project that interests you).
  2. Spend time on things and with those that matter to you most.
  3. Celebrate every win!
    Small wins, my friend, small wins. They’re what keep you going. Do a happy dance, high-five yourself in the mirror. So what’s it going to be for you? Celebrate the the little stuff – because all those small wins will become a BIG sweet success.
  4. Keep moving forward!
    You must keep pushing on, even when you feel uninspired or down on yourself or just plain stuck.

    These are the moments that make or break you. Those “break” moments? That’s when I want you to cling a little tighter. Most people will quit when things get tough. Days will be filled with doubt and fear, questioning and exhaustion. But do you know that else they will be filled with? JOY! So much joy.

    Next time you feel uninspired, move through it anyway. Just a tiny bit of momentum can move you from uninspired to feeling ready to jump in again.

    There will be moments when you are digging in and it feels confusing. There will be days when you question if you are really cut out for this. Or maybe the ideas are just not flowing. Don’t quit! Keep moving forward.

    Progress not perfection, my friend. It doesn’t matter what pace you move at, just keep moving forward, okay? Forward is forward, that’s all that matters.
  5. Have some dang fun!
    When life gets too serious, your thoughts tend to get heavy. You are built to have fun. You are built to feel connected. So, if you’re in a “fun-drought”, plan something exciting to do this weekend. Not only will you get a burst of energy every time you think about it coming up, but you’ll get a second burst of energy from the experience itse.

Remember, you are a happy, passionate, and confident person at your core. Give yourself a break to reset or to start growing in new ways again. It’s the only way to get reconnected to yourself again.

Solutions to being burnt out:

  1. Talk to your family and friends for support.
  2. Self-care! Focus on getting sleep, good nutrition, exercise, social connection, meditating, journaling, and enjoying nature.
  3. Set boundaries with your colleagues, clients, and even family members for how much you’re willing to take on.
  4. Rest. This is different from getting sleep. This is about giving yourself a break.

    Studies show that rest can increase your productivity and efficiency. So if you need to lean on that fact to grant yourself the time and space, do it! If you can, take some intentional time away from work or at the very least create boundaries and get some accountability around holding strong to them.

    Maybe you can take a week, or a long weekend or an afternoon off. Maybe it’s as simple as shutting down email and getting off your screens.

    Rest takes work, especially if your tendency is to be working all the time. For me, resting takes conscious effort but it’s worth it. I have to remind myself to slow down, to not be productive and to do things for the sake of play.

THE BIG PICTURE

You can’t go on like this. Taking a break isn’t a reward. It’s your right. If there was ever a time to find the courage to ask for time off or to take it – it’s right now.

Whether you’re stuck or burnt out, you MUST tune into what you’re feeling and give yourself what you need.

It’s actually our thinking – not our doing – that keeps us stuck.

We have all these thoughts – and we use these thoughts as excuses for not achieving a goal, or handling a problem, or not making the most of the opportunities life throws our way.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I’m afraid of making a mistake.
  • I’m just not confident enough to do this.
  • I just don’t have enough time or money.
  • I’m afraid of what others might think.
  • It just isn’t the right time.

Dang, we all think and say these things, quite often.

Excuses keep you stuck in limbo. You want all these wonderful things, but you will never have them because the excuses you make prevent you from moving forward.

The trick is to turn your excuses into action.

Here’s how:

Excuse #1: I’m afraid of making mistakes… I’m hesitant because I’ll probably goof this up.

Turn it into action by accepting the fact that mistakes are a natural part of life. We all make mistakes. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t make mistakes. No matter how much experience you have, you are still going to make mistakes. They help you learn and grow from the experience.

In fact, making mistakes is a natural part of success. As long as you take time to learn from your mistakes, they can lead to huge growth opportunities and insights that will help you move forward in a better way. Now, go make some mistakes. You’ll learn soooo much!

Excuse #2: I’m just not good enough… I’m just not confident enough to do this and make this work.

Turn it into action by acknowledging that self-confidence comes with competence (practicing skills) and experience. It’s perfectly okay and normal to lack confidence when you’re doing something for the first time. The more you do something the less scary it becomes. Familiarity breeds confidence.

Taking action is the fastest way to prove your fear wrong. When you take action, you learn that you’re safe and nothing bad happens when you try new things. Go do something new right now!

Excuse #3: I don’t have enough time or money… I’m sooo busy and I can’t even tell you where all my money goes.

Turn it into action by committing yourself to improving your time and money management skills. Managing your time and money is all about effective prioritization.

You will always find the time and money for the things you prioritize. Figure out what’s most important and then let go of everything else. Also, be cutthroat when it comes to eliminating distractions and wasteful spending. Make your time and money plans now!

Excuse #4: I’m afraid of what people will think… People are going to judge and criticize me.

Turn it into action by knowing that the only opinion that truly matters is yours! No matter what you do, you will NEVER EVER satisfy absolutely everyone in your life.

Stop trying to please everyone else and please yourself instead. Yes, there will always be someone who will judge and criticize you. You decide if you give that someone the power to hold you back. Now, keep your head down and focus on doing what’s important to you.

Excuse #5: This is just not the right time… I’ve got soooo much going on.

Turn it into action by acknowledging the fact that there is never really a right or a perfect moment to do something. Waiting for the perfect moment might mean that you miss out on opportunities that may never pop up again. With this is mind, commit to getting started in a small way today. Go take one small step right now and start!

Remember, all of these excuses – that keep you stuck in a constant state of procrastination – stem from a lack of confidence. Catch yourself when you are making these excuses and make a conscious decision to take action instead. Your future self will thank you!

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 create more 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.