Tag Archives: antidote

Overcoming 3 Barriers to Success

4 Sep

Learn as you go - make progressIt’s hard to reach new levels of accomplishment both as an individual and as an entrepreneur. As we expand out of our self-imposed ‘comfort zone’ we can often find the greatest resistance in our minds. Recently, I took a challenge to record and post a video every day for 30 days.  I’m thrilled to have made several videos despite the following three barriers that threatened to hold me back. Any one of these can slow you down and, when stuck in all three, you become paralyzed.

  • Procrastination – putting off critical decisions until later
  • People pleasing – looking for the approval of others
  • Perfectionism – waiting until everything is perfect before taking another step

Procrastination

I immediately started researching and looking for the best practices of producing videos. I started asking others for advice and planning what I would put together. My form of procrastination is not about being unwilling to work because I can get incredibly busy with a flurry of unproductive activities. Instead, it’s in planning and talking about what I want to do. And that’s where it can stop with no forward progress.

Hope Antidote

I overcome my fear of making critical decisions by moving forward and not waiting. I learn as I go because I make good decisions. Confidence in taking the next step eliminates procrastination and encourages others to come along.

Pleasing People

It’s important to be aware of others. At the same time, it’s impossible to please everyone. In fact, if I’m not careful that can become my full-time job. When it came to recording the videos, I took the equipment that I had and started. The great part was I actually got great advice from others and most of it was positive.

Hope Antidote

I care about what others think, yet do not let their opinions paralyze me and keep me from moving forward. Feedback from others helps to guide me in the right direction but does not set my course.

Perfectionism

Perfection is overrated. It’s a fictional state of being that can never be found because you can always find another reason why the project is not perfect.

Hope Antidote

My satisfaction comes from progress and I learn as I go.

I posted seven videos on my 30-day video challenge. That’s seven more than I would have created before I started. I had fun! I met some wonderful people who inspired and encouraged me. I’m glad I set aside my pathological procrastination, people-pleasing perfectionism. It’s thrilling to make progress.

How about you? What project is laying on the side of the road due to this trilogy of barriers to your success? Go back and pick it up again. Dust it off and start heading in the right direction.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. She is a certified facilitator with Kauffman Foundation’sFastTrac. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching to accelerate your personal and professional growth.

3 Surefire Ways to Beat the Fear of Writing

24 Jun

3 Surefire Ways to Beat the Fear of Writing“Why does this business writing class have to be so long?” the man asked as he entered the classroom. I was welcoming him to a mandatory training to help supervisors/managers improve their documentation skills. As I began to ask questions, I listened carefully to his words and demeanor.  Before long he confessed that he was very nervous about his writing skills because this was one of his weak areas. Fortunately, by the end of the training session he was equipped with tools to overcome these barriers. For many people, the fear of writing ranks right up there with their fear of public speaking. Many of us experience writer’s block and postpone writing as long as possible. This blog explores three ways to face and beat the fear of writing.

Fear of failing.

For many of us, the fear of writing was instilled in school. I know I’ve cringed at all the red ink on the assignments I turned in. It made me want to just throw my hands up in despair. One of my daughters, spent the summer before going into high school writing stories and poems. It was a joy to see her give place to creative expression. Something happened early on in her English class. She had a teacher that was a harsh critic of every assignment she turned in. She came close to failing that class and I stepped in to help with the dreaded term paper so she wouldn’t fail the class. It was like the light had dimmed. She felt that there was no reason to even try because she could not succeed. There is something final about printed words and the way others can judge them.

HOPE Antidote

The best way to overcome past writing failures is to follow the old adage: “You have to get back on the horse that threw you.” Set aside the first few minutes of the day to write something. Turn off your inner critic and get it down on paper (or in the computer). There are many opportunities to start small by writing a blog or posting encouraging comments about what others have written. Join a writing club where others can give you feedback. Remember that writing is a skill not a dreaded assignment. When you run into those who criticize what you’ve written, check to see if there is merit to their advice. Adapt and move on. You’ll improve as you keep writing and learning.

Fear of making decisions.

I consider myself a creative person. That should make writing easier but it does not because my mind gets overloaded with the ways I could spin a topic. Have you ever noticed how much work goes into deciding what you are going to write about? It is the very nature of the way your mind works and all the connections you make as you begin to speculate on topics to write about. This decision-making process is what makes writing so challenging and tiring. Another term for this is decision fatigue.

HOPE Antidote

Mind-mapping is a wonderful tool to help you record your ideas on paper before making the commitment of writing the actual words. Our minds work in a broad, circular fashion as we freely associate seemingly unrelated thoughts. The writing process takes a more linear approach. Keep a running list of topics that relate to your blog theme. When inspiration strikes write it down.  Ideas for topics surround you. Also, here’s a link to a previous post that might help: Finding Topics.

Fear of making mistakes.

This hurdle is closely tied to both of the topics already mentioned in this blog. The technical mistakes can create major hurdles in setting up a blog. Ask for help if you need it and continue to keep writing because once you start, you will want to establish a consistent schedule. Everyone makes mistakes so set aside your perfectionism and get going.

HOPE Antidote

When you experience writer’s block, start typing something else to get the flow going. I like to start typing a quote about the topic I want to develop. Another tool I use is to look up key words in the Thesaurus. I write them down and that gets the creative juices going. The greatest hope antidote for the fear of making mistakes is to give yourself permission to make them and correct them as quickly as you can. In fact, I’ve made 7 mistakes already and so I know I’m making progress. Also, one of the wonderful things about a blog is that as soon as you spot that typo, you can go in and correct it immediately.

What other tips do you have for beating the fear of writing? What works for you?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching

Eliminating Excuses Caused by Perfectionism

24 Apr

Celebrate Progress rather than Perfection

“What’s wrong with perfectionism? Shouldn’t I set high standards,” you might be thinking. In my own experience, perfectionism has done me more harm than good. When facing new situations, I feel uncomfortable and unwilling to look like a fool or ask for help. Here are some of the ways where seeking to get it ‘perfect’ has hindered my success (along with the HOPE Antidote – of course):

Too hard

When facing a new challenge, it can seem like an insurmountable situation. Every time you try something new it will seem hard at first. If you are a perfectionist,  you  may resist moving forward when you are not sure of yourself.

Hope Antidote

My hope antidote for this excuse is to think back on other times when I felt like something was overwhelming. With time, I became comfortable with the new skill and encouraged others to try it. Why should this situation be any different? It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay if you’re unsure. The key is to move forward and take action.

Take too much of my time

This excuse can become a self-fulfilling prophecy because at times, when I’ve tackled a new project, I’ve lost sight of all the other things that I need to do. This ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking  is confining and holds me back.

Hope Antidote

The best way to eliminate this excuse is to schedule my time and move forward systematically and not compulsively. Darren Rowse in Problogger writes about how perfectionism itself is a ‘time drain.’ He’s right about that. Determine how much time you are willing to spend and reward yourself when you stick to it.

Too complicated

I have to face that, most often, I am the one making it complicated. This goes back to the saying, “If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing it right.” The flip side of that statement is that I’d rather not even start the project because it looks too daunting.

Hope Antidote

The battle is in my mind. What I believe becomes my reality. In other words, if I keep believing that it is too complicated, I will indeed be paralyzed by my perfectionism. On the other hand, I will move forwards if I create a mind map or a list of next steps and tackle each one consistently. It’s my choice. My new saying will be, “If it’s worth doing, I will take steps in that direction.”

Set a simple plan in place. Take a few steps. Laugh when you trip. Learn from your mistakes.  Cheer yourself on as you tackle big projects. If you do this on a consistent basis you will be much better off. Experience the joy of forward progress instead of beating yourself up because it’s not perfect.

What hope antidotes to perfectionism can you share? I would love to celebrate with you.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

Replacing Ten Negativity Traps That Can Sabotage Success

22 Feb

What’s standing in the way of your success? Often, our doubts and self-talk become our greatest hindrances. I have needed to overcome negative ways of thinking as an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, when we sit and think about the negative side of things, we begin to speak from that place and sabotage our own success. Negativity becomes a poison that drains our initiative and energy. If you are struggling with any of these thoughts, use these Hope Antidotes like a rope to climb out of the pit of despair.

What people think

  1. This looks too complicated (hard).

    Hope Antidote: The first time you start learning how to do anything, it may seem difficult, uncomfortable and overwhelming. To move forward, break it down into smaller steps and ease into it gradually. OR, be like me and jump in to the deep end. Whichever way you choose to move forward, the key is to do just that.
  2. What will people think?

    Hope Antidote: “We would worry less about what people think about us if we realized how seldom they do.” Ethel Barrett I love this saying because it makes me realize that I do not have to waste any valuable energy and time on what others will think. It’s been my experience that when I am moving forward the ones that really matter in my life are cheering me on.  
  3. I don’t have enough _______ (time, money, talent, etc.).

    Hope Antidote: Take stock in what you DO have and not what you lack. Ask those around you to help. Share what you have with others and create a hope chain of resources. That’s my vision for women entrepreneurs: helping each other to succeed and creating hope in future generations successful business owners.
  4. I hate change.

    Hope Antidote: First of all, cut the word ‘hate’ from your vocabulary. Most of us feel uncomfortable, uneasy or uncertain as we start something new. The amazing principle is that the more you stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone, the more quickly  you will get used to what I like to call the ‘new normal.’
  5. I can’t handle all the ___________ (pressure, work load, etc.).

    Hope Antidote: Take a look back at all the challenges you’ve faced in your life so far. When we look ahead and project the difficulties they can start to grow. Instead, move forward and deal with each issue (aka problem) as it arises. You have a great track record or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
  6. It’s not good enough.

    Hope Antidote: Who sets the standards? You do. Imperfect progress is better than perfect planning. I’m all for having a plan in place, yet you need to take some steps forward, adjust and learn as you go.
  7. I don’t want to leave others behind.

    Hope Antidote: Sometimes those closest to us do not support what we are doing. If you are passionate about making your ideas a reality, continue to move forward even if others do not follow immediately. Remember, they do not see the vision that you see. Sometimes the best way to get them on your side is to show them that you can carry out what you’ve set out to do.
  8. I could never do _________.

    Hope Antidote: Challenge your doubts. Set you fears aside. Go for it! The main reasons we don’t think we can do something is because of the limits we put on ourselves. What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t try it.
  9. Last time I tried something like this, it didn’t work.

    Hope Antidote: The difference between failure and success lies in the way you approach your obstacles and failures. Successful business owners use these as ways to learn, adjust and improve.
  10. If it’s supposed to happen, it will.

    Hope Antidote: Sometimes when we look at others who are where we want to be, we can believe they were just lucky. They worked hard to get where they are. You can do it too, if you just don’t give up.

Do you relate to any of these barriers? What are yours? What about the Hope Antidotes? Are there any that have pulled you out of a negativity trap?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to receive one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

Copyright (c) 2012 Picture Hope International, Inc.

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How can I overcome my fear and just go for success?

12 Dec

I recently asked a question on the HOPEpreneurs Facebook page about the biggest challenges women faced when starting a business. You get to add more options and someone entered fear. This started me thinking about what fears have prevented me from being successful in my business. Often these internal struggles become my biggest barrier to success. Now that I have HOPE – confidence in taking the next step – my fears are not paralyzing me.

Failure

A lot of times I would project what I wanted to see happen. I’m not talking here about a vision for the future because that is important to have. What I mean is the step-by-step play book where others would respond exactly like I anticipated and I would quickly reach my goals. I would get discouraged and consider myself a failure.

HOPE Antidote

I now tell myself that no matter what happens, I have not failed if I change as a result of the experience. When I take a step back and look at the chain of events, I can have a different perspective of what did not work and try different approaches. What did you change this week?

What others will think

I used to discuss my entrepreneurial ideas with anyone who would listen. I am an idea person and love brainstorming. Unfortunately, I did not choose my listeners wisely. As I would jump from one idea to the next their eyes would glaze over. When I asked, “What do you think?” I would get anywhere from a lukewarm, “Sounds interesting,” to a “I’m not following you.” I would feel deflated and wanted to give up on the seed of my idea even before it had a chance.

HOPE Antidote

Share selectively. Start the conversation with: “I’m in brainstorming mode about an idea for a business. Would you please be a sounding board?” When they give their comments consider that you asked for it. Ask clarifying questions and improve on your idea.

Success

As strange as it may sound, I have found that I have hesitated to fully commit to a new venture because of what it would take to make it successful. What can make this worse is when we receive negative feedback from significant people in our lives who have good intentions because they don’t want to see us get hurt by ‘getting our hopes up.’  Many women, in particular, fear being lonely if they are successful. Other times we see people who act like jerks because they let their success go to their heads. We promise ourselves that we will never be like that.

HOPE Antidote

Make steady progress toward your goal through small wins that get you going in the right direction. Take a look at what will happen as you succeed in your business venture. Keep in mind that success will not change you if you stay grounded and surround yourself with those who will speak truth into your life. In fact, you can do a lot of good with your success. Take others with you on your journey.

Let me know how it goes this week as you face your fear and make forward movement to overcome the barriers and obstacles that stand in your way. I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog. Let’s make forward progress this week as HOPEpreneurs!

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

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