Today has been one of those days. I was so excited to have a day at home and work from my home office with the Wonder Dog at my feet and the radio on in the background. After a brisk walk around the block with the Wonder Dog the day started well with a list full of things to get done and a mind full of good intentions. After crossing some things off the list it all kind of went pear shaped. I couldn't concentrate. I kept getting distracted and I thought of several more things to add to my list (at least I wasn't just doing nothing right?). And I still had the remnants of conversations from last night echoing in the back of my mind. When a friend asked about biggest fears I confessed.....I have a book inside me (well, several really) that might never get written and if it does who would read it? It was that conversation running around my already hyperactive brain when I went to sleep. And this morning it was there again. I know what to do....block out time and just write. And still I haven't.
This week is also significant because my marriage, which ended five years ago, will be declared over in the family court on Friday. It's kind of a surreal time. New dreams are screaming to get out of me and old ones are being laid to rest. I also have an upcoming trip to the US in November, which I should be looking forward to but right now I'm kind of wondering if I have the time to go and yet I crave some new experiences, sights, smells and sounds to reinvigorate me. Maybe I'm just tired.
We all have these days from time to time. Days where the best laid plans go astray. And days when the things others say and their belief in your triggers your own inner demon who whispers in your ear about all the things on your list to do but haven't yet done, all the things you want to do in the future and what could go wrong and all the dreams you have and why should anyone else care about them. And the little voice that says maybe you don't deserve a holiday. You know what though? I do deserve a holiday. I do deserve joy. I do deserve to stand at the front of a room full of strangers and share the knowledge and experiences that have bought me here. Every single time I start a training I feel a little pang of that imposter.....maybe telling me that I'm not qualified, that people won't like me or that I'm fooling not only them but also myself by being there. And then my good twin steps up to remind me of all the great things that I have experienced. I'm reminded of all the amazing people I have had the honour to coach, teach and mentor. And then I go and look in my brag box which I keep in my office. It's full of letters, cards, messages and little gifts from those whose lives I have touched.
So....when your imposter rears her head (and her voice) tell her to get stuffed! You deserve this (whatever it is) and by golly you are going to relish it.
And now I'm off to take action on the rest of that list because I deserve the success that comes from crossing those things off. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your overwhelm is take a breath, write out all the stuff that is bothering you and get it out of your head.
I was on a call this morning with a gorgeous, talented business woman. Throughout our call I noticed her language. There was a lot of "I should', 'I have to' and 'I need to' language peppered throughout the conversation. I asked her to substitute the phrases with 'I choose' whenever she catches herself saying them. Let me tell you why.
When we use language that makes us feel guilt or anxiety we take our eyes and our focus on the things that will bring us the success we want. When you tell yourself what you 'should' do you feel guilt that you are not already doing it. When you say 'I have to' it's a message to your brain that you don't want to do this thing and it feels imposed on you, which can cause resentment. And when you say 'I need to..' it causes anxiety because most of us are already busy and when we have a need for something again our focus goes to that thing.
Let me give you an example. Let's say you are a start up business and are procrastinating because you feel overwhelmed by all the things you are learning and doing while you establish yourself in the marketplace. During a conversation with a friend you hear these words come out of your mouth....'I should do some marketing for my business because I have to make it work. I need to the money to come in so I can pay the bills.'
Now all of that may be true....but let me ask you this. While you are having the conversation are you taking any action? Does it make you feel good? Does it get your message, brand and product out to the world? NO, it doesn't. What it does is make you feel even more overwhelmed, anxious and stressed out about what you have not yet done. It also puts the message to your subconscious on the money rather than how your business will benefit your clients. While it's true that we live in a society that uses money as the exchange for the things we use in our own lives it is just that....currency to exchange. So, what do you choose to exchange for the money?
Let's try that conversation again with I choose in there instead.
'Today I will do some marketing for my business because I know how much my (product, service) will benefit people. I know that when I choose to put it out there that the clientele will come pay me well in exchange for what I have to offer.'
Every morning as you get ready to start your day say this or something like this to yourself. Use your words and make it personal. Please feel free to comment below.
Sherry is the principal coach and blogger at Inner Rhythm.