Category Archives: procrastination

What Letting Go Reveals…..

Has your vision for you life and business become clouded?

Do you sometimes feel that you are getting in the way of your own success?

What would happen if you just let go? 

Todays blog is about the surprising benefits of letting go and the freedom it can bring you in your business and your life.

Letting go has been the dominant theme for me this year and as we hit the full moon earlier this month I found myself releasing more than I had ever imagined I was holding on to.

Early this year I made the decision to sell the home I had shared with my late husband and to find a new home for both myself and my business. My home sold quickly and I was forced to acknowledge that a huge amount of physical clearing needed to occur before I could actually move. Knowing this process would take some weeks to complete and with a strong desire to begin my new life free from the weight of possessions that didn’t belong to me, I gave myself permission to step back from my business and to continue to serve my existing clients but to let go of all of the demands of marketing. promoting and growing my business.

I focused on the process of lovingly going through my late husbands tools and equipment and items that he had collected over his 45 years of life and finding new homes and new people who appreciated them to pass them onto.

What I learnt from the process of letting go of these possessions was that clearing the clutter on a physical level will reveal a layer of mental clutter, internal belongings, beliefs and patterns that are also waiting to be cleared.

There was an invitation to let go on another level. To let go of everything that is holding you back from being who you are.

Tied up with these physical possessions was a letting go of where I had thought my life “should” be and who “should” be in it. In letting go of “shoulds” came an acceptance of what is.

I have come face to face with my perfectionism, the need for a set of perfect circumstances to arise before I can act.

I was able to see with crystal clarity the patterns that led me away from myself and from where I most want to be.

The root of procrastination and resistance rose up to met me, revealing all the ways in which I sabotage myself and hold myself back.

So why do we have all these internal scripts and processes that we hold on to?

Why do we let this internal junk get in the way of or goals, dreams and deepest desires?

Your stuff, the things that hold you back, the limits you place on yourself are a hardwired protection mechanism shaped by your early experiences. Your young self unable to make sense of the world around you developed a highly specialised system of checks and brakes to save you from the pain of loss, failure, rejection and to set you up for the best chance of fitting in and receiving love.

Call this your ego or your monkey mind, your bad habits, this hand brake to success exists in all of us.

However, just as I have recently experienced we are able to let go of what no longer serves us on both a physical and an emotional level.

To do this we must acknowledge deeply these patterns and make peace with them. Understand how they have served us and thank them for their gifts before the process of letting go is truly complete. For me this was true even though my process was an unexpected side effect of letting go of physical belongings.

What I am left with is lightness and a freshness. I am seeing with new eyes and a new way of being is revealed to me. I have clarity.

The feeling of being weighed down and the desire to feel free of self-imposed limits is not unique to me. I see this in my clients, my friends, my wider networks.

We all have within us the ability to achieve the life we dream of, so ask yourself the question………. What’s getting in the way? What do I need to let go of?

Get curious, become an explorer of your own internal landscape.

The mountain may seem high but the view from the top is incomparable.

Its time to just let go………

I’d love to hear your experiences of letting go, feel free to share in the comments below. If you feel like you’d like some more support with what you need to let go of you can book a free clarity call with me here or visit my website here

 

 

 

Undo the overwhelm!

How often do you feel overwhelmed in your business or life in general?

Over the last few months from my own experience and from hearing stories of overwhelm from many of my clients I have come to realise that overwhelm is a very normal experience and it is possible to break it down and work your way through it. The biggest downside of staying in overwhelm is that it sucks the joy and meaning out of life and that can leave you questioning the very thing you believed to be your purpose. Being on purpose does not mean that you will never experience overwhelm.

In today’s blog I want to share the 3 major ways that overwhelm can keep us stuck and get in the way of what we want to achieve.

Feeling overwhelmed is really, really, common whether we are business owners or not. If I look back at the last 12 months (my business is 11months old) I would say that I felt overwhelm weekly and sometimes daily! When I get overwhelmed I suffer from what I call “deer in the headlights syndrome” I freeze. I can neither go forward nor back. The very thought of dissecting the overwhelm, overwhelms me!

Instead I polish up my procrastination skills…I watch daytime TV, I make snacks when I’m not hungry, I check the snail mail and the email and I hang out for hours on social media. All of these things fail in every way to alleviate overwhelm and in fact often serve to intensify it.

So how do we manage our feelings of overwhelm in our business and in our personal lives?The first step to dealing with any difficult experience is to gently allow yourself to feel it, acknowledge it and accept it. It’s time to stop avoiding the overwhelm!

In my experience the source of your overwhelm will likely be :

(1)time

(2)knowledge or

(3) the stretch.

If we can work out which of these 3 are at the source then we are more than halfway to resolving it.

(1) The most common source of overwhelm is time…and not enough of it! The first step in defusing the time problem is to have a really good look at where your time is going and what time you actually have available. Identify your time drains and look at how you can eliminate these. Are there ways in which you can re-order your routine to free up an extra half an hour a day? Can you shuffle your schedule to give you some bigger chunks of time to work with?

Once you have established your time limits then look at all of the things you need to complete. Make a list…yes I know that making a list in itself can feel overwhelming but believe me you will feel a lot better once you do it. Look at each of the items on your list and ask yourself how essential they are for you to complete. Put all the non-negotiables into your schedule first.

It is likely that the simple act of making a list has reduced your overwhelm but if not you can trust me that once you start to tick off some of the items on your list you will be able to breathe again. This is also a good time to re- evaluate the standards you are setting yourself…are you expecting and unrealistic level of perfection that results in things never being completed? Make your new Mantra “done is better than perfect” and make a start.

(2) The second source of overwhelm is knowledge. This is where we feel overwhelmed because we have reached our outer limits of knowledge on a particular subject or aspect of our business. Once again it’s important to be gentle with yourself and to be accepting that there will always be things that you need to learn.

For me starting out in a new business after 10 years in the corporate world I had to admit that my marketing skills from my previous businesses was completely outdated. Social media was my new learning curve and boy was that overwhelming! The great thing is that new knowledge is so readily available now. There is always someone who knows what you don’t so find a coach or a course or a mentor who can help you to get on track to gaining the skills you need.

(3) The third reason we feel overwhelm is when we are in the stretch. The stretch is that place where you are putting yourself out there, owning your genius and testing your new skills and abilities. It might be a new program you want to offer or a new way of working or a new product or service. It may even be a new way of communicating your needs in your relationship or a new aspect of yourself you are learning to share and embrace.

Personally I find the overwhelm associated with the stretch the most challenging. Recently I have been leaning into the stretch in my coaching business and owning my true nature as a business coach. I am acknowledging that what I do does not fit within a traditional model but is soul based. My clients have been quick to accept my new moniker of soul based business coach as it aligns with how they have experienced what I do, but owning this dimension of my work more publically has felt overwhelming because of the stretch.

When overwhelm is in the stretch it’s important to know that it will feel uncomfortable initially as you grow into this aspect of yourself or your work but the rewards are enormously satisfying. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the stretch the my best advice is to go slowly, dip your toes in and test the water and feel the expansion as you do. Nurture and celebrate your small steps as you would a child who is learning a new skill.

 It is my hope that some of my suggestions will help you to relax about your feelings of overwhelm and to let go of the battle you have with yourself. When we relax about what is occurring it allows us to drop our resistance and then the way forward begins to appear. Don’t be surprised if your desire to procrastinate is strong here its normal to feel a level of resistance to your growth.  After all overwhelms best friend is procrastination and that is another blog entirely that I look forward to sharing with you soon.

Paula xx

Joining the largest nation in the world!

Have you joined it? The largest nation in the world?

Procrasti-NATION!

What I am really enjoying about this 10 day blogging challenge is that it is asking me to step outside my writing comfort zone. Not so much in terms of topic but in terms of the environment and conditions in which I write. I have to admit that I have a writing routine that has become a little rigid in that I have felt unable to write unless the environment and conditions were “right” This in itself could be considered procrastination – today’s topic- more on that soon.

Today I am well and truly outside my writing comfort zone. I am sitting in an ice cream truck on a race course surrounded by hot rods and classic cars! A great example of the freedom lifestyle- to be able to do what you want to do you must learn to complete tasks and get work done in any environment.

So no blogging procrastination for me today but I am not unfamiliar to procrastination by any stretch of the imagination. I can be as crippled by inertia and inability to act as the next person. Procrastination is also one of the key reasons my clients come to me for coaching.

Why do we procrastinate?

In my experience, from the experience of my clients and also from a conversation I just had with my partner it seems to me that fear is generally the root cause of procrastination.  What this also means is that we can try any number of tips and trick to beat procrastination but until we address the underlying fear the procrastination will return.

What are we afraid of?

It can be many things and often its different for different people; fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not getting it perfect, fear that it or you are not worthy or deserving, fear of the uncertainty of the outcome…..

How do we ditch the fear?

I am a big believer that to really bust the fear for good we need to go deep. I have a great process that I walk my clients through which helps to not only identify and understand the fear but also to hear its message. Surprisingly fear brings its own gifts.

In the short term I would encourage you to make friends with your fear. Acknowledge its presence, where do you feel it in your body?  Can you name it? Feeling and knowing your fear can free up some energy to act. Can you feel it and take action, even if its just a start. Taking some small actions now that you have acknowledged your fear may help you to relax and get things moving.

Sometimes a little bit of logic applied at this point can also make a difference. Ask yourself these questions. Will it matter in 10 days? Will it matter in 10 weeks? Will it matter in 10 months?

Hopefully some of these tips have helped and instead of continuing to read my blog you are now off to complete whatever you have been putting off! If not it could be indicative of a deeper core fear and I would recommend seeking out a coach or counsellor to help you identify and work with it.

It also helps to know that procrastination is a perfectly normal part of the creative process and often occurs when we are attempting or creating something new. In fact right now I am procrastinating about beginning to write the content for a 7 day e-course on finding purpose. I have planned this e-course out but have yet to sit down and actually write it and record the videos. The key is to be really clear on when your procrastination is about readiness of an idea to be birthed and when its because you are afraid.When you are creating something new, the germination stage of the new idea may feel like procrastination but you might just not be ready. If this becomes a sustained lack of action or a stronger resistance that’s when you have a problem.

As I wrote at the beginning of this blog having the perfect conditions and circumstances around me to write is no longer an issue so beginning my e-course is the next task on my list today!

If you would like support to get clarity, bust through bloacks and take action book a freee clarity call with me here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

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Are you Bringing yourself to the table?

This time last week I spoke at a women’s business networking event about bringing more of yourself to the table in your business. I was surprised how much meaning my message held not just for the audience but for myself.

In the week that has passed I have reflected on where I too am holding myself back from my business and have found myself engaging more deeply with my fears and stepping forward into parts of my business that I had been holding back from. It has been easy and natural and I have enjoyed it more that I imagined I would. My fears have taken a back seat to what I really want to achieve and I have been riding the high of taking on new challenges and nailing them!

But it wasnt always this easy, some days even thinking about doing some of these things caused me pain and anxiety.

Today I want to share with you some of the steps I have taken to change this and how to recognise if you too are holding parts of yourself back from fully engaging with your business.

So what does it mean to bring more of yourself to the table in your business? and why is it something that we need to consider?

As a business owner you have stepped into a world that asks many different things of you. You are the face of your business, you are the accounts person, the debt recovery specialist, the advertising guru, the marketing expert. You are responsible for strategic planning, cashflow forecasts, recruitment and the training and running of your team. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? In addition to this you may also be a Mum, wife, partner, lover, sister, daughter, friend etc etc. Are you starting to get the picture?

All of the roles we perform in business and in life ask different things of us and often things we havent had to do before or that we know arent our areas of strength, sometime it can even be hard to do the thinsg we know we are good at because we are afraid to really put ourselves “out there”. Our ability to step up and engage is directly affected by our fears and our self belief

I suspect like me you likely got into business because there is something you are passionate about, something that you love doing and your business allows this. However there will be other things that scare the living daylights out of you. It’s the scary places that we hold ourselves back from because we don’t feel our power and our passion in those parts of the job.  We are afriad because we are holding on to old conditioning and beliefs that arent serving us.

For example when you pitch to a big client for a new contract you may come face to face with your fear of not being good enough and the part of you that doesn’t believe she can really pull it off.

When you have to sit down and get real about the numbers in the business or prepare your paper work for your accountant you may meet the part of you who is afraid she isn’t smart enough, who doesn’t believe she can do it and who carries the belief that she just isnt good at maths.

When things in your business start to really take off up comes your fear of success, or your belief that you don’t deserve it or that the higher you go the harder it will be when you fail.

When its your time to shine in your business you will feel your fear of rejection, your fear of being seen and your belief that you are not worthy.

This all translates into lost opportunities because you said no when you should have said yes. It puts the contract in your competitors hands because you really couldn’t bring yourself to the table. And it will see you procrastinate and procrastinate on jobs you know you need to get done because you just cant seem to make a start. It will have you watching others enjoying the success that you crave.

The good news is that you can change the effect your fears and negative beliefs have on your business and on your life. You can move forward and have what you want quickly and easily if you choose to and the rewards will be great. You will not only enjoy more success and growth in your business but you will feel more deeply satisfied, connected and engaged in what you are doing. You will have more joy, fun and freedom in what you do.

So how do you kick your fear to the kerb and up your self-belief? I’d love to tell you its easy but the truth is it will challenge you to do this. The good news is that over time it does get easier. A lot easier.

I woud encourage you, if it feels too hard to seek some support from a coach. Two heads are better than one and a good coach will be able to help you identify  what the issue is faster and hold your hand as you work through it.

In the meantime here’s 3 strategies to get you started.

(1) IDENTIFY: make a note of what you are avoiding and putting off doing in your business. What tasks and activities fill you with dread? When we know where we are holding back it becomes easier to take action

(2) FEEL: engage with the feeling you have when you think about doing these things. Let the feeling tell you its story. Where does it sit in your body? How big is it, what colour is it, if it had a name what would you call it. What other tasks and activities make you feel this way. When was the first time you remember having this feeling? When we become familiar with our feelings we can identify when they are impacting on what we are doing and we are in a stronger place to work through them.

(3) AFFIRM and attempt: now that you are really familiar with the feeling, acknowledge it when it comes up for you. Using an affirmation may help such as “even though I am feeling not good enough it is safe for me to start writing this pitch” Even though I am afraid of not getting it right it is safe for me to start my paperwork” Then make a start. it can help to have a timer and set it for 5 mins even though you are feeling your fear you are going to work on it for just 5 mins. Once you make a start you will find that you are able to work on it for longer than you think!

By engaging with what holds us back we are empowered to move forward. By engaging with our fears we begin the process of healing the parts of ourselves that are wounded, afraid and holding on to beliefs that no longer serve us. You can let your fears and lack of self belief dictate the level of success you experience in your business or you can at any moment take back your power and choose a different way. Its really up to YOU

So take a moment to reflect on your business…..where are you holding yourself back? where are you not bringing yourself to the table.

And then decide to step up and engage. You can do this. I know you can 🙂

I’d love to support you with this process and to answer any questions you have along the way. Feel free to share or ask questions in the comments below or to send me an email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz