Archive for March, 2010
I am becoming more and more aware of all the waiting I do in my life.
At the beginning of last week I exchanged a few emails with Ed on the mentoring programme and felt confused as a result. Rather than check out what I understood by them I made assumptions that kept me stuck and waiting for Friday when I was anticipating the week’s webinar would clear things up.
I was right about the clarification but not in the way I’d imagined.
One of the key points of the webinar was to fail in the field rather than in your head. To stop trying to work everything out, in other words, and to stop waiting for perfection. But just to get on with it.
I realised then that what Ed had been saying earlier in the week was not, as I’d thought, to do more research but was instead, to just get on and use the research I’d already done. Because I was looking for perfection and trying hard to get it “right” I was failing in my head and not taking action as a result. So, feeling inspired after the webinar, I just got on with it and put up my new internet marketing coaching website, warts and all. And that got me to thinking how often we fail in our head instead of in the field of life.
When we don’t take action and get out there, all we’ve got are the thoughts in our heads and fears in our bodies. We have no idea if what we imagine would happen is true or not. Without testing our assumptions and taking action we are stuck. Waiting. But what are we waiting for – more money, more time, more motivation, more energy, more courage?
Sitting around waiting for those things, or thinking about them, is never going to attract them to us. We have to create them by taking action.
So, today, ask yourself what you are waiting for. Where are you failing in your head?
Then, make a decision to go for it anyway, despite your fears, despite not knowing how it will turn out and take immediate action towards it.
Please leave a comment and let us know how you get on.
This week I am noticing a certain low grade anxiety arising – sometimes when thinking about specific things and sometimes it’s just in the background. I am waking in the early hours of the morning, feeling fearful.
As I continue to take action on the Internet Marketing project I am aware of an inner unease. There is change afoot and it’s challenging the safety of how I have lived for a number of years.
It feels like I’ve been on an ice rink, surrounded by a perspex barrier and, for many years, I have wanted something on the other side. But whenever I skated towards it I was held back by something I couldn’t see.
Sometimes I felt frustrated, trapped and depressed and at others, I just got on with my life. But throughout I felt safe. It was familiar and comfortable.
Now I feel I have somehow skated through a gap. I am on the same rink but I am outside the barrier.
I having been skating forward, into new territory. But this week I feel like I’ve been holding onto the fence whilst eyeing up the gap. I’m not tempted to skate back through it but I’m loath to let go my handhold.
I’m practising being OK with that – to just take a breather. But I feel I am only delaying the moment when I will have to let go and skate free.
And right there lies the source of my discomfort. The phrase “have to”.
I am split. Part of me holding on to all that is familiar and part of me yearning for something else unseen. And with the unseen comes the feelings of danger but also the excitement of life.
How can I tap into the excitement and (not sure what verb to use here – overcome, ignore, conquer?) the fear?
. . . . . .
And . . . briefly I am there.
I am excited that change is afoot. I am aware of being in this place for the first time in my life and that the barrier isn’t perspex after all. It is ice and it is melting.
I had my first 1 : 1 mentoring session with Ed yesterday. After a tricky start with Ed trying to pin me down to a market and me fighting for ” freedom”, we finally found a way forward.
So, after the call, I settled down to the work and all was well for a couple of hours. Then the nay-sayers in my head started. But, I soldiered on with my work plan.
Then. this morning, the cacophony was so loud my eyes started to get a bit moist!
G I V E M E A B R E A K!
One day into the journey and I’m already questioning myself, doubting my choices, telling tales of failure and thinking about giving up.
Looking to the future holds endless imaginings of danger. Looking to the past reinforces the stories of why “this won’t work”. So I’m staying in the present today.
Doing the next thing.
One step at a time.
Phew. Another crisis averted.
“When you end a day with the feeling that you would have lived it the same if you had the chance to repeat it, you gain a sense of gratitude that helps you focus on what’s really important to you. When you end the day with a feeling of regret or loss, you gain the awareness to try a different approach the next day.”
Yesterday I spent coworking, which means I was pretty much sitting at a desk all day. By the time I left for home I was feeling frustrated with myself as I’d not produced much. My focus had been all over the place and I’d forgotten my own 45/15 rule for productive work. I’d dipped in and out of emails, written a blog post, checked stats, looked around some forums, messed around with a keyword tool, chatted on messenger, chatted to colleagues etc. etc.
By early afternoon my energy levels were dropping and I was feeling bored but I ignored my feelings and continued “messing” around.
So, as in the quote above, today I get to try a different approach. Here’s my intention for how it will go:
1. List what I want to get done today. (Completed)
2. Work with my 45/15 rule.
3. Focus on the next thing and the next thing only.
So, that’s me. I’m off . . .
Setting numerical goals can be both a prison and a liberation. Having numbers to aim for, such as pounds to loose, miles to run, dollars to earn, books to read, fruit to eat, phone calls to make or words to write, can either turn into a “should”, leading to resentment and often giving up, or can help to motivate us or help us to adjust our course, as we work towards achieving them.
What makes the difference is our attitude and how conscious we are of our choices.
Here’s an example. Yesterday, I found an old exercise in one of my journals. I’d listed the things I wanted to create in my life. Then I allocated an amount of money to each of them, so I could see how much I needed to earn, on a daily basis, in order to have them.
I’ve done this type of exercise on a number of different occasions but it has never been that useful to me. That’s because I know that much of the lifestyle I desired couldn’t simply be bought. So, despite my best intentions, I’ve always ended up feeling the exercise was a bit pointless.
Today, I decided to experiment with a different approach. Instead of just writing off this process as useless, I asked myself how this exercise might help me rather than if it would.
I know from past experience that setting a numerical goal in a numerical context can be a great motivator. For example, when I wanted to pay off my credit card debt I drew up a graph with 3 different coloured lines. Two represented the amount I owed on two different credit cards and the third represented the total debt. The lines went from the left hand side of the graph showing the amount I currently owed to zero at the point in the future by which I wanted it paid off. Every month, after receiving my credit card statements, I plotted the actual amount that I still owed.
Having a visual numerical representation of my progress inspired me to keep going and to beat the goals I’d set. The second month, which was one with a lot of family birthdays, was the only one when I didn’t meet or surpass my targets.
So, in this situation, where my goals were easily quantifiable, making them measurable was hugely successful.
However, not all goals are quantifiable and even when they are, the way in which they are achieved is critical as to whether they feel like a prison or a liberation.
Creating a desired future lifestyle is never going to keep you motivated if the journey to it’s creation is filled with stress, striving or struggle. So it’s important to remember that the numbers are a tool – something to aim for – but they are not the destination.
The destination is the process. It’s about the journey itself.
So, bearing that in mind – how might the exercise of monetising a lifestyle be helpful?
1. It gives me something concrete that I can measure my progress against.
2. It gives me something concrete that I can measure my results against, so I can adjust my course if I’m no longer on target.
And . . .
3. When I have the experience of working towards the results I can see if I enjoy the journey enough to make their pursuit worthwhile.