3 Things Not To Do When Procrastination Shows Up:
While getting ready “to get ready” to write a keynote address on how to motivate a sales team I had to deliver to a room of Las Vegas business owners in March, I cleaned my fridge, did laundry, made phone calls, and read a book on how to deliver a great TED talk. Useful things to do, but not priority, and as the day loomed closer to actually having to deliver my keynote, I became more anxious. The irony was not lost on me, and it is not a great place to come from as a coach and confident sales expert, yet I found myself with a huge amount of resistance I had not experienced for a long time.
Who hasn’t had had a similar experience of avoiding an important task?
Side note: I just sent a message to my accountant to file an extension for me … you get the picture, don’t you?
What do you think is the real problem when we avoid?
I noticed that what was in the way for me was a very real conversation in my head that was focused on all the things that might not work. I would fail to deliver – not a very inspiring place to operate from, and yet this is where I found myself. Frozen, this was fear. Sometimes (like when not doing my taxes), it is because I would prefer to be doing something more fun like riding my bike or dancing. This time it was absolute fear and it took me a while to realize this for myself. It was a great reminder of how powerful the resistance can be for an individual when I coach my clients. Sometimes it is truly like moving a mountain. The more at stake, the more resistance shows up. I thought I would share how I met my resistance and surrendered to allow it to pass through me.
What NOT to do:
Do not berate or punish yourself for not taking more action.
If you were coaching a young child to learn a new skill or do something challenging, how would you talk to them?
Imagine doing the same thing for yourself, be gentle and kind and acknowledge the concerns and respect them. I did this while I was sitting at my desk waiting for the right words or ideas to bubble up, I acknowledged that the fear was normal, that I wanted to do a great job and provide something valuable, and that it is OK to be uncertain. I felt a softening inside and then noticed something else that was in my way, I was focused on all the time I had wasted.
Do not focus on what you have not done.
When encouraging a friend, you wouldn’t you remind them of all they have done wrong, would you?
I thought not. Treat yourself as a friend and encourage yourself. I decided to make a list of all that I had accomplished so far with respect to this project and wrote a list of skills and resources I had available to me to accomplish my task. I acknowledged myself with the fact that I had created the opportunity to have a paid speaking engagement, and people believed in me through my work enough to hire me. I started to feel some confidence radiate through me.
Do not suffer.
I noticed that even though I was not accomplishing my task at hand, I seemed committed to suffering through it. I took a moment and asked myself, “Do I need to sit here pounding my head on the desk waiting for the words to flow, or could I allow myself to take some time to do something that would inspire me?” I realized spending an hour in the sunshine riding my bike would make me feel relaxed and happy rather than suffering for another hour at my desk. As I rode my bike, an idea came to me that I could incorporate my own procrastination and fear into my keynote address entitled, “Driving your team for more sales: the real gap to the growth of your company”. The gap often is procrastination. Suddenly I was full and bursting with ideas and felt joyful and delighted. Two hours later as I sat at my desk the words flowed and I was able to deliver a well-received keynote in Vegas two days later.
3 books I am reading:
For my personal growth and excellence:
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey
I have read this twice before and yet it is so rich that each time I read it, I find things I did not pick up on before. The CEO peer advisory board I facilitate each month are reading it as a group and I am inspired as they each share with me their own inspirations gleaned from the words on the pages.
For my purpose and legacy:
The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
Since joining the board of www.newearthlife.org and because I strongly believe that no matter what the circumstances, every person should have the equal opportunity to live a successful and inspiring life, it is imperative I read this book for a fuller understanding of what is happening in this country with regard to mass incarceration, particularly of our young minority men. As I delve deeper into this issue, my heart is completely committed to supporting all efforts to transform the opportunities of those caught in a broken justice system that keeps children as young as 13 in the cycle of detention centers and prisons. If you care about our youth and what the prison system is really up to, download your copy and take some action. If you would like to join me at the next New Earth mixer and get involved, contact me.
Save the date: May 23 – 5:30-7:30 p.m.
New Earth Mixer Santa Monica
For my spirituality:
The Science of Mind, Earnest Holmes
A philosophy, a faith, a way of life, I read daily and it brings me a sense of peace and joy.
CEO Story – Six Tips From a Seasoned Entrepreneur
One of the dictionary definitions of acknowledgement is,“The acceptance of the truth or existence of something.”
As I work with my clients, I notice how accomplished and driven they are and yet often how dissatisfied with themselves they are. They are more present to what is missing, they don’t notice how great and accomplished they truly are. I notice it in myself too. For example in the writing of this newsletter I was so focused that the last one I wrote was all the way back in September and that I was missing all of the months between, it was making me anxious and feeling less-than. I found I was making up stories that people would think I was lazy or not a true professional that I couldn’t get a news brief out on a regular basis. As I sat for a minute to think about what I would counsel my clients to do, I realized I should take a minute to acknowledge all I had been up to during this time, as I looked at the list, I smiled with satisfaction and I was suddenly inspired to write my April News Brief. Below are a few of the things I wrote that I have accomplished in between September and today, I invite you to stop for a moment and acknowledge all YOU have accomplished since September and notice the shift in perspective of yourself:
- Launched a Monthly CEO Peer Advisory Board. Learn More
- Brought on 18 new CEO/executive clients, 16 of which are still working with me.
- Celebrated my birthday in Prague, Vienna, and Warsaw.
- Created and conducted a sales workshop for the sales team of a National Company.
- Joined the board of directors for a non-profit and hosted my first event for them.
- Created a business face book page – please LIKE!