Do You Suffer From Imposter Syndrome?

A rather disturbing trend I’m seeing with clients lately is  that of imposter syndrome. If you’re not familiar with the term, it essentially means that one feels as if they are a fake or are just skating through, and they constantly worry that they will be ‘found out.’  More formally, it is self-doubt about one’s accomplishments and worry of being exposed as a fraud.

Low or lack of self-esteem is at the root of this syndrome. When one does not feel good about themselves, they will attach this negative view to their skills, abilities, and achievements despite being proficient in them, such as  an individual who is promoted to a supervisor role but doesn’t feel they should have the job or are being effective. This could lead them to hide in the background, allowing their peers to take more of a leader role, or to be hesitant when making decisions.

Imposter syndrome is a form of self-sabotage where one does not feel they deserve to have the things they want, either never going after them or, once having them, do something to mess it up (i.e. continually late for work, don’t finish projects, etc.). These negative feelings only lead to more negativity, along with stress and anxiety and a host of physical and emotional problems if left unattended.

Here are three quick tips to help you stop this cycle so you can live more authentically and successfully:

1. Be self-aware – the only way to create new habits (which is what you will be doing) is to be aware of your thoughts, feelings, actions, etc. Pay attention to your thoughts and body sensations when you start to have a negative thought about yourself or you have a physical feeling, such as a tightness in your chest of stomach, jittery, neck or back pain, and the like. This is when you want to…..

2. STOP – when you are aware of your thoughts and feelings,you can then slow them down so they don’t get out of control. Taking deep breaths is a great way to gain control over your head and body so you can now think more clearly. Deep breathing is a great brain refresher, also, which helps with focus and attention.

3. Own your ‘stuff’ – you must begin to recognize your greatness; write down daily any compliments you hear, actions people take, i.e. holding the door open for you or letting you into traffic, as people recognize you; also write down any actions you take towards others as well as any accomplishments you have during the day – no matter if big or small.  This helps with self-esteem and self-belief, both of which lead to being confident in all areas of your life.

By creating new positive habits, the imposter mask will fall off and you will be able to stand fully in your authenticity  and do your best work. You will feel confident in taking advantage of opportunities and be present with others. Using the above techniques daily will help you to be your own champion and stand fully in your  excellence.

If you want to stop the struggle  and get clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help –  contact me today to get started.

The Root Cause of Not Putting Yourself Out There and How to Break Free

I was in a Facebook group the other day and was quite surprised at answers that were given to a question, which related to marketing activities. Not only were there many similarities but what was surprising was how many had the same response, which related to not putting themselves out there to market themselves.

This is a common issue, one which I will admit I have struggled with myself. The worry about being visible and being a thought-leader scares many, both small business owners and those who work in an organization. This worry transcends across all genders and ages. If not caught early, the results can be detrimental to success.

Why does this occur and can anything be done to stop or reverse it? It really comes down to thoughts and emotions and imprinting that was done at an early age. Getting to the root cause will be easier to challenge the thoughts and stop the cycle. Irrational fears result from those early experiences.

If you think back to a time, say when you were six, and you got yelled at by a teacher or parent it may lead to worry about getting yelled at for other experiences. If you were compared to your sibling or classmates (the nuns in my grade school were good for this one), then your thoughts may turn to not being pretty enough.

The more we hold on to these thoughts, as if we’re replaying a movie, the more embedded they become in our unconscious mind waiting there to arise in the most inopportune  times, such as when you are going to ask the boss for a raise or promotion.  Our unconscious mind really controls our thoughts and resulting actions, as that is where 98% of those unconscious thoughts live.

The key to breaking free is to identify those thoughts and experiences you’ve lived through. They were in the past so it becomes about leaving them there or putting them in a place you can put them, i.e. think of a box. Mark Waldman, a neuroscience expert, says that you can write down all your worries, concerns, problems, etc. but not to hide them as the brain will  worry about them.

When we allow these negative thoughts and events to have life, they become bigger than we want and ultimately result in holding back from new experiences to avoid what occurred in the past. As you don’t know if any event will occur with absolute certainty, you are wasting a lot of time worrying about something you don’t know versus going forward on what you do want.

Say you want to ask for a promotion, you don’t know if the boss will say no; but, even if he does, it could open up the door to discussing future opportunities. Perhaps there is no budget for a new position or no opening; however, he could find a project to work on that would provide opportunity to enhance your skills and raise your profile for when an opening becomes available. It can feel like you’re up against a brick wall, with no way over or through.

The key to breaking free from these blockages is to release them. Identify the source, challenge any thoughts around them, then replace them with positive ones. I find this practice very helpful when I get blocked and know they work. It will take practice to get out this negative pattern but, with consistency and a positive mindset you will get there. Is today the day you decide to release your blocks?

If you want to stop the struggle  and get clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help –  contact me today to get started.

 

Routines and Discipline Are the Key to Get the Results You Want

Several years ago, a former business client of mine had been very frustrated that her online business was not going the way she had wanted.  When she sought out my services, she reported that she felt confused as to why her business was not going the way she wanted it to; she had some clients but found that her customers were not consistent in their spending and buying habits.  She wanted to gain more revenue and expand her online services.

However, as we assessed her business framework, it became apparent that a big part of the inconsistent results she was finding was due to her lack of self-discipline as a business owner.  While she wanted her business to grow, her activities were lacking, meaning that she did not have her own personal “system” in place that would keep her focused and motivated to build her business.   See if these “mistakes” you are guilty of and the solutions to get you on the right track:

  • No Written Focus – this can be your mission statement or the “why” of your business.  While my client had great ideas for her business, she did not have many of them written down.  Without a mission focus, you won’t know how or where you want your business to go. You will be aiming but not towards anything specific and it will take you twice as long to grow.
  • No Written Plan – without a written plan for your business, you are doomed to fail.  The business plan is your road-map that lays out all parts of your business and how you plan to market your services.
  • No Systems – everything you do is a system; how you gain leads to how you close the sale to how you develop your programs and services.  Knowing the steps you take in each area of your business will save you time and money as you take the same steps with each client.  A system also shows your clients that you are customer-service focused and a valid business entity.
  • No Personal Discipline – having all of the above is effective for your business but if you don’t take it seriously, you will see slow or poor results and become frustrated and disillusioned.  Self-discipline behaviors include:  waking at the same time in the morning; having clear daily task lists and staying focused until they are completed; setting financial goals and balancing the books; setting daily, weekly and monthly goals for the number of clients you want/need to contact and your results; not checking emails or iPhone until the most important tasks are done; taking rest breaks to ensure you are refreshed and recharged to do your best work.
  • No Commitment – like my client, you might have the best intentions and are taking action but your efforts are rather noncommital.  It’s like you are “half-in/half-out”, as some days you are full-on while at others times you feel ambivalent and willing to take the status-quo.  Being committed means that you fully believe in what you do and are willing to do what it takes.

Once my client recognized these negatives, she was willing and able to correct and overcome them.  We refined a new vision and mission for her business and wrote a simple plan that consisted of clear goals and activities that would help her accomplish them.  She recommitted to her business with renewed passion and excitement and mapped out how she was going to spend her days.  There was no ambivalence or questioning where her business was going.  A year later, she is doing well and her life and business are thriving; she developed the discipline habits that made it happen.  You can, too!

Your Weekly Action Plan

Begin this week to assess your commitment and self-discipline for all areas of your life, such as your business, your career, your finances, your eating or exercise habits, and your mindset.  See where you can commit to improve and implement at least one positive step.  Write those down and focus on them daily.  Monitor your progress at the end of each day and reaffirm your commitment.

 I hope you have a successful week – If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, or in developing your action plan, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started. I’d love to help you build the career and business of your dreams!

 

 

Choose Your Power Word(s) for 2020

Choose your words tiles

Welcome to 2020 and Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope have some plans to ring in the new year and that they include time with family and friends. How you end the year can determine how your year plays out. Starting with a good mindset is key to moving your forward and keeping the motivation high

As I’ve done in the past, it is time to choose a word to set the tone and direction for how I want my year to go; I have to admit that this year was a bit harder for some reason.

In the past, these are words I have had:

  • Determined – as opposed to intentions, I am determined to work on the goals I’ve set, both personally and professionally. Being determined is way more powerful than intending to do something so I want to send the ‘right’ message to my brain; this way, it will act on what I’ve chosen to focus on much more powerfully.
  •  Inspire – my mission is to inspire individuals to choose to be the best they can be; I see so many of my clients (and my students) who have no idea how awesome they are and that is why I want to bring their self-awareness into clarity so they can go after everything they want in their lives.
  • Believe – I’ve written on this before, which is the concept of self-efficacy; if you don’t truly believe that you can accomplish all that you say you want and desire then you have no chance of fully getting them done in the way you intended. Having full belief impels you taken action.

A few others include Carpe Diem and Do It Now! I actually have little whiteboard easels that I write on and have near my computer so I can be inspired while I work.

This year, as I mentioned, was a struggle but I’ve decided on the work ‘Emerge’ which, to me, means coming out from under any shadows I’ve hidden behind; this means doing videos (which scare me), starting a podcast, and upscaling my business.

Emerge means “to move of or away from something and come into view; to become apparent, important, or prominent” (Oxford Dictionary). I want to be all of those descriptions.

One other I would add is ‘Be a Disruptor,’ meaning to shake things up and do things differently. My desire is to reformulate how work is done  – moving away from the traditional ways and going more towards happier and higher performing workplaces. Considering engagement levels are still low, around 34% (Gallup, 2019), something needs to be done.

So those are my words for this year – now it’s time for you to set yours (if you haven’t done so). Doing this exercise will really ramp-up your motivation and effort so let’s get started!

Your Weekly Action Plan

If you haven’t, take time to sit and reflect on a word, several words, or a phrase that has deep meaning and that you would like to reflect how you live your days in this new year. Some examples include: “no excuses;’ ‘Carpe Diem (Seize the Day);” “Truth;” and “Monetize.” Once you determine your word(s) and direction write and post it where you can focus on it daily as a reminder. Keep focus on them by saying or writing them loudly every day – soon, you will have them embedded in your brain and they will become a positive habit you won’t have to think about. But your results will be extraordinary. In life, mindset matters. Be safe out there tonight!

If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, or in developing your action plan, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started. I’d love to help you build the career and business of your dreams!

 

The Art of Being Thankful

 

Being thankful for all that we possess is essential to opening our hearts and minds, as it takes the focus off of all that we believe we don’t have and shows us that we do. This practice alone has been rated as the #2 way to raise happiness, for when we focus on our negatives we can’t ‘see’ any positives; and we will attract more negative in our lives.

 

You can blame your left brain for this; isn’t it time to get into the right where positivity and optimism live?

 

This is why gratitude and giving thanks is crucial. But it needs to be done consistently so it will become a good habit.

 

When we take the focus off of the negatives, and put it to seeing the positives, this is where the magic happens.

 

Being positive and optimistic creates good feelings to emerge and your focus will go towards now seeing only the good; the negatives won’t seem so catastrophic and you will do what it takes to handle them.

 

The Solution

One solution is  cheap and easy to do:  create a “Gratitude Jar.”

 

You might be asking, what this is and how will it lead me to being more positive; well, because we often tend to focus on the things we don’t want or don’t have in our lives we are actually attracting them.

 

This can lead to having a ‘victim’ mentality, as if life is unkind or throwing you lemons and not lemonade.

 

Creating a Gratitude Jar, that you fill daily, will show you that there is good in your life; you will now be more appreciative of them and work to keep them and/or improve upon them. Your brain chemicals will alter, leading to enhanced feelings of appreciation, happiness, and optimism.

 

It doesn’t matter if you use a jar, a box (my preferred method), a basket or other vessel to capture your thoughts.  The important thing is that you do.

 

To create your gratitude jar, here are some steps to begin – it is actually a fun activity (your kids might love this):

 

  1. Get a jar  and decorate it by using paints, markers, pictures or stickers.  Label it, either “My Gratitude Jar”, “My Daily Thanks” or “My Thankful Life” as suggestions.

 

  1. Have small slips of paper – I use post-it notes – and a marker; these are where you can write down your daily thanks.  It is important to remember to give thanks for all that you have, no matter how big or small; it could be as simple that you have life or that you ate the salad instead of that piece of cake.  The little things help to make you more aware of all good in your life. Be sure to also write down what you are thankful for about you – compliments you hear, strengths, skills, or natural abilities, or positive actions you take towards others – these will lead to increase self-love and confidence.

 

  1. Put these in a place that is accessible and visual to see; this will help to get you in the mode of filling the jar as well as enhancing your awareness of your great life.

 

The only other step is to commit to taking action on this and being consistent; I recommend writing at least three things daily or as you are more aware.  One thing that is in my box – I am thankful for all of you and feel blessed to have you as a part of my life.

 

 Action Plan

 

Make this week your official “Gratitude Week.”  Make your jar and begin filling it on a daily basis.  Pay it forward by passing the idea on to those in your circle so their lives are equally enhanced.  Be sure to pay attention to how your attitude and your life changes.

As a client of mine, who has been practicing her gratitude says: ‘Gratitude makes everything turn into a gift.”

I hope you have a successful week – If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, or in developing your action plan, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started. I’d love to help you build the career and business of your dreams!