5 Steps to Beat Procrastination

Procrastination is a slippery challenge that seems to perpetually lurk around in my life. I’ll be honest and share that I have an on-again, off-again battle with putting off taking action on important priorities or projects. We’ve all got dreams and goals we want to achieve in our day or in our life.  But when we procrastinate, we start to lose our focus, drain our energy and ultimately cause our self-esteem to plummet.

We can procrastinate about obvious things – starting the diet, preparing our tax returns, having the tough conversation with someone we love or cleaning up cluttered areas.  However, we also procrastinate in more subtle forms…. Continue reading

Leadership: The One Person You Absolutely MUST Lead

Being a brilliant entrepreneur, a brilliant mom or a brilliant partner requires one thing. To succeed we need to be able to calls forth the best of ourselves every day and in every way.

As the leader of your life, there are so many people who look to you to take their cues: your clients, your children, your partner, your colleagues, and your neighbors. Mompreneurs in particular are often caught trying to find that elusive balance between work and family, between joyful creation and stressful chaos.

But the true test of leadership is this – are you practicing your own internal leadership? Would you be inspired, motivated and decide to follow yourself?

One of my teachers used to say that the first person you must learn to lead is yourself. Attending management courses and reading the very finest leadership literature is good, but the greatest arena for learning about powerful and lasting leadership is … within yourself.

Having a strong and resilient emotional foundation is a key ingredient to one’s success and impact. So I believe we must always be willing to do our own emotional homework to ensure that this internal foundation is strong enough to hold the business we desire.

Here are some tips to help you diagnose and up-level your self-leadership!

1.  Do an Integrity Check

Do a scan of your life to see if there are areas where what you are doing is different than what you are saying. Are there places where things feel out of integrity? Are you tolerating things that are incomplete? Are you walking your talk? It might be finishing up a product, making a call you’ve been avoiding, or letting clutter overwhelm your office. This scan will tell you where you have the opportunity to recommit to the leadership of your life. Write them down and come up with a plan to tackle these areas that are energetically eroding your leadership.

2.  Get in the Driver’s Seat

It’s tough to lead your life, let alone a business, if you allow other people to be in the driver’s seat. Self-leadership requires you to take responsibility for your thoughts, words and actions. When you’re in the driver’s seat of your life, you get to decide where you’re going, the route you’re going to take, and how fast you want to drive to get there. Yet sometimes we subtly concede that driver’s seat position to others – a spouse, our children, a business partner, a demanding client, or a parent, to name a few examples.

3. Perfection is Not Required, Shifting is

Don’t forget that we’re all human, and we definitely make mistakes. So even if you see there are areas where your ability to lead yourself isn’t what you want it to be, don’t despair! Perfection is not required in order to move forward to unleash your brilliance. Self-awareness and a consistent choice to shift out of limiting behaviors or patterns is. Being able to see what’s not working and shift it quickly, and with confidence, is critical so your true brilliance can shine brightly in the world. Learning to lead yourself with confidence and ease is the goal.

© 2011-2012 Carolyn B. Ellis All Rights Reserved

Manifester’s Block: 4 Tips for Creative People

Have you ever felt totally inspired to create something, or see a fabulous way to solve a problem, but then you get bogged down when it comes to implementation? The initial burst of creativity gets buried in your mind under an avalanche of thoughts, questions, and fears that can ultimately block your progress, wear you out and zap your confidence. You’ve heard of writer’s block. But I think there’s a phenomenon I’m going to call “Manifester’s Block,” which is what happens in your mind that puts on the brake to your dreams.

Let me offer an image for what Manifester’s Block looks like. I remember the very first time I drove into Cairo, Egypt many years ago (I was in a cab, not driving myself, thank goodness!). Huge city, tons of traffic, many round-abouts and apparently little regard for the faint traffic lanes that were painted on the roadway. Imagine all sorts of roads coming into one central traffic circle, cars weaving from side-to-side, trying to go around the circle and exit at the appropriate turnoff. There were several near misses as my taxi driver navigated his way through this tangle of cars. Progress was painful, at times requiring us to circle around again because we couldn’t get off where we wanted to.

Now imagine that scene of traffic chaos taking place in your mind when you come down with a case of Manifester’s Block. There are roadways of creative thoughts and critical thoughts. There are roadways of execution, planning and communication. The thoughts come streaming in all at the same time like the biggest rush-hour commute you’ve ever seen, and in the resulting confusion you end up in procrastination or doubt.

Here are some tips that can act like a traffic cop when you want to breakthrough a case of Manifester’s Block!

1. Put Your Traffic Cop on Active Duty

As soon as you notice and feel yourself getting blocked. Stop and take some deep breaths as …. Continue reading

Big Costs of Tolerating the Small Stuff: Lessons from a Light Fixture

Warning. This is a true story and it ain’t a pretty one. It’s actually a bit embarrassing too because, as a teacher and trainer, I should “know” better not to get stuck unconscious behavior. By sharing this personal examples I hope to illuminate for you more clearly how tolerating those little distractions, clutter and incomplete “to dos” can siphon away your energy and hold you back.

Recently I took care of an annoying little problem that had been bugging me for a very, very long time. The wall sconces in my main bathroom had been on the fritz for a long time. The lights continued to flicker and go out. High-priced electricians were baffled. I ultimately decided the fixtures themselves needed to be replaced. So I bought new fixtures and … stuck them in a storage room. I finally got those new fixtures installed after they collected dust for about 18 months.

Sad but true! I had been tolerating having dim, unsatisfactory lighting in my bathroom for about 385 weeks. Not being able to see clearly when putting on my makeup in the morning. Feeling my energy drop when I entered the room and saw the 4 colorful wires sticking out of my mirror. Explaining to my kids that I … Continue reading