We may be approaching the end of the year, lady, but 2020 isn't over yet, and neither are the things you can accomplish.
There are some things I need you to remember and one I really want you to take into consideration: God isn’t finished with you yet. There is so much that you can accomplish as we approach the new year, but it’s going to take you being honest and having hard conversations with yourself.
People usually come together at the end of the year to meditate on what they can start doing to better themselves and accomplish their goals. But, today I'm encouraging you not to start some things, but to stop some things. I'm covering three things you need to stop and leave behind in 2020.
1. Self Doubt, Bow Out
This year has been a difficult one for all of us in different areas of our lives. It’s relatively easy to focus on the bad because the vast majority of us have never experienced anything like this before. To add insult to injury, as if 2020 didn’t deliver enough doubt and bad news, adding your self-limiting thoughts will only further exacerbate the problem. Highlighting and harping on areas where you didn’t meet a goal or being hard on yourself for not measuring up to an unrealistic expectation can get in the way of you seeing and acknowledging your wins. It’s as if someone is in the background cheering for your downfall versus celebrating your talents and abilities. That person is you, or should I say the doubting you.
That self-doubt creeps in like a virus and spreads to every area of your life, but it’s time to leave her behind, or at least come up with a plan to kick her out when she comes knocking.
Pinpoint the doubting you
Your doubts are your fears manifested in order to protect you from loss. The irony, however, is that doubt makes you lose out on what you could’ve gained if you would’ve made the attempt. It creates stories in your mind based on fear of a false sense of who you are, what you’re capable of achieving and your worth. So, the next time you start doubting yourself, take a moment to challenge yourself and doubt your doubt. Ask yourself, “What if the opposite is actually true? What if I truly have what it takes?
Question the paralysis of doubt
It is said that “why” power is better than will power. Why should you bother speaking up? Why should you take the chance at rocking the boat or rejection? Why should you take the chance on that dream? When you’re clear on your “why,” you can find the courage you need to take that step of faith and risk the failure. When you take time to meditate, you’ll find out that failure isn’t a failure at all. Failure is education. The true failure is when you stay paralyzed because of your self-doubts.
Surround yourself with believers
In the absence of affirming words and actions, self-doubt can take up residence in your mind and cause you to box yourself into what appears to be a safe space. By surrounding yourself with a group of friends or peers that bring out the best in you, challenge your thinking, and encourage you to do more, you’ll be able to accomplish things you could’ve never done on your own. They will fuel your confidence, causing you to spread your wings and increase your impact. And more importantly, they will push you forward whenever self-doubt starts to creep back in.
2. Retaliation on Procrastination
You may not see this at first glance, but procrastination has a domino effect. It can restrict your potential, undermine your career, even lead to depression and job loss. Procrastination isn’t laziness. Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent and easier activities instead. Like any unproductive habit, you can take steps to create a healthy habit and kick out procrastination right along with self-doubt.
Recognize that you’re procrastinating
Delaying a task because you had to re-prioritize isn’t procrastination. However, once you start putting things off indefinitely, or switch your focus to avoid something you should be doing, you lady, are now procrastinating. Some flags of procrastination are filling your day with low-priority tasks, leaving an item on your to-do list for a long time, or waiting to be in the “right mood” or the “right time” to tackle a task.
Find out why you’re procrastinating
There is a root cause for every decision we make. In order to tackle procrastination, you have to understand why you’re doing it in the first place. Perhaps you’re avoiding a particular task because you find it unpleasant. Perhaps you have poor organization skills and it leaves you feeling deflated. Even if you’re organized, perhaps you just feel overwhelmed by a task and are worried about failing, so you put it off. Find out your "why" for your situation in order to cut it off by the root.
Apply a strategy
It’s not going to happen overnight, but by incorporating strategies that are customized to your personality and situation, you’ll be set for success. You’re replacing an unproductive habit with a productive one, so give yourself some grace. There is no need to think about what could’ve been done. It’s time to take action now.
You could set a reward goal for completing difficult tasks. You can recruit a great accountability partner to check on you. Perhaps you decide to go the route of checking off tasks as they come. Instead of telling yourself “I have to,” start sentences with “I choose to.” This is a great strategy to encourage you on your tasks. There are a myriad of strategies that you can implement. Once you find your "why," find your plan, and apply it.
3. Limiting the limits
You’ve trained. You’ve studied. You’ve researched. You've prepared. The only thing that is holding you back is your thinking. You, lady, are truly capable of playing at the next level. But, if you want to get above your average level of return on your hard work, you’ve got to break the habit of playing it safe and thinking small. Complacency and stagnation live within the box. If you allow your thoughts to also stay in the box, then you will find that your career, entrepreneurial aspirations and overall growth will also live amongst complacency and stagnation.
There is a saying that “if you’re the smartest person in your circle, then you need a new circle.” One way to expand your thoughts and explore next level opportunities is to surround yourself with people who have levels of knowledge that you don’t have; who have access to information and resources that has been beyond your immediate reach; and those who can inspire you and help push you to the next level. Seek their wise counsel and soak in their advanced experience and perspective.
Don’t box yourself in
It’s easy to compare yourself to everyone that wants to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. You may see modified versions of what already exists and be tempted to go that route as well. Don’t get lost in the river of the current. Look for inspiration outside your industry or field. Something that you may think is unrelated to your goals just may be the different approach you need to be a success and stand out from the rest. Remember, don’t keep your thoughts in the same box where complacency and stagnation live.
You have your circle of inspiration. You’re thinking outside the box. Now, it’s time to invite those friends that we don’t like to hear from: Mr. and Mrs. Critique. Instead of keeping your ideas and your plans to yourself, present them in front of people whose opinions you value, particularly those whose backgrounds and experiences are different from yours. The question that needs to be asked is, “How can I make this better?” However, brace yourself because you might receive some feedback you weren’t expecting to hear… like “your baby (idea) is ugly.” LOL. Hopefully Mr. and Mrs. Critique won’t be that harsh, but in expanding your thinking you might find that your thoughts and ideas could use a facelift. Recognize and absorb the value in the feedback rather than the sting of the words.
In this digital age, things move and change quickly. If you don’t move fast enough you will surely get left behind. Small thinking and limiting beliefs can be linked to self-doubt, which we’ve already discussed is the manifestation of fear.
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
When you focus on the exodus of your unhealthy habits, you’ll start walking in the genesis of the best season of your life. That requires you taking some intentional steps and surrounding yourself with like minded women who want to help you become the best version of you. This Thursday, December 17th, I would love for you to join us in The Conversation. It’s the last one of the year and we’re going to make sure we end it with a bang! In this safe space, we’ll be encouraging, empowering, and discussing purpose among other professional women. If you’re looking for a community of women that will help you leave these unproductive thought patterns and habits, I’ve got you covered. Click here to reserve your seat for The Conversation on December 17th, 2020 for FREE. I can’t wait to see you there!