That is a sentence that I’ve held dearly for so many years.
It helps you when you want to achieve.
It helps you when you face adversity.
It can even help you when you are rushed to A and E and are scared to death you are dying.
Whatever your life looks like or what you want it to look like this article could change your actions by the time you finish reading it, ready?
For those that aren’t into Star wars that phrase is said by tiny ancient Yoda (who looks like he couldn’t take on a toddler and beat them in a battle, although not sure who would want to do that!) it is as his prodigy is attempting to get his spaceship (bear with me non scifi lovers) out of the bog.
Luke the young prodigy proclaims, “I don’t believe it!” As tiny Yoda effortlessly lifts the ship not just free of the bog vines and mud but with just the gentle lifting of his hand lands it gracefully next him. Yoda turns to Luke and pretty much says “And that my dear boy is why you couldn’t do it.”
“Do or do not there is no try.”
Okay so what’s that got to do with your life and happiness?
Meet Sarah (Name changed because all clients are always confidential unless they go around shouting about working with me) Sarah had been working with me for a couple of months and was getting used to the fact that you can’t hide from yourself in our sessions. She flippantly said “Well I will give that go. I promise”
Give that a go?” I asked, “What do you think your chances are of success I asked?” and I added “What are you actually saying in your head about this plan of action?”
The deep sigh and “Wow I hate you look” (it’s good to get that look from your client because it means you’ve found what is really standing in the way of what they want. And it’s always handled with love and respect. Usually leading to clients coaching themselves in the middle of our sessions!) led to them saying “Well I suppose if I’m honest, it’s a great plan, it’s what I really want, but I’m not convinced that I can actually do it.”
Sarah was going to tackle her coaching plan of action with a “I will give it a go” attitude. When we analysed that viewpoint, she could see that;
The quickest way to fix this (as Sarah and I did) was to;
If she had gone with the I’ll give it go (try) attitude her results would not have been as epic as they were.
On the opposite side of this, I also work with a lot of business owners and managers who have long term health issues. It is very hard to be a dedicated passionate hard worker and find you have a body that won’t sustain all you want to get done that week. Learning that lesson is not easy, and it tends to lead to a lot of stress as we try to let no one down and achieve everything for everyone. For myself I have learnt that I will do or do not, not try.
A client who had recently been given a diagnosis of a long-term condition that could potentially greatly damage their business and their earning potential came to me for this reason. Attempting to be the before illness person was adding so much stress because they physically with all the will in the world could not get everything done. No amount of late-night working worked. If anything, it just exasperated their symptoms. Would they have to quit their business and give up?
No, through our time together (I only worked with that client 4 times) they learnt that it was their decision to decide what they spent their time.
It is not easy to say No to people (Heck there’s a whole chapter on it in my book Fight the fear because it can be so detrimental to our success.) So, learning what to allow into their life and what would be dropped was difficult but had a massively positive impact.
If you find yourself trying to please everyone and get everything done;
Thankfully the do or do not attitude has had far reaching results for myself my clients and their teams.
It led to me finding a solution to my 8 years of illness last May and now I’m well. Working full time and very grateful for my health. And thanks to the try or try not method, you can imagine how epic my time management and success rate has become?
It leads us finally to faith. Try or try not says. I have faith in what I do. I have no faith in what I can achieve. I have no faith in who I am.
So, ask yourself this. Do you have faith in what you will do? Who you are? And what you can achieve?
Get in touch anytime.
I love the phone ringing 01206 381482. Or if that feels to scary to phone in the first instant firstname.lastname@example.org I’m here to help.
A mental health tool kit is essential and not just for those that suffer from mental health illnesses or repeated low moods. Everyone on the planet should have one!
For myself because I have Lupus I experienced a bout of depression in 2018 that caused anxiety too (not as bad as I experienced 17 years ago, however I feared what could happen.) Therefore I created a list of the things that I know make me feel good.
Remember when you start doing the things you usually love but don’t seem to enjoy now, it won’t feel good, but keep going anyway. It will work!
Monitor how you feel. Give it a score out of 10. ie 1 means “I’m feeling very low and my depression feels really bad” and 10 means “I feel really happy and like life’s great!” which helps you to appreciate and understand what works and what’s not and what impacts on you too.
I’m currently mentally healthy, resilient and have strong emotional intelligence and it is in part down to this process and monitoring my mood, emotions and feelings to ensure I’m doing what I need to stay that way. Looking after everyone else and not you is not going to work.
Building your tool kit today ensures when life feels tough you can look at your own version of this infographic and think “Right, what am I going to do?”
Please note I’m not a qualified counsellor and do not directly deal with depression or other mental health illnesses, although I can support you along side working with a therapist. This works very well for some of my clients who need to keep a check on their mental health and emotional intelligence because they appreciate how it can impact on their personal and professional success too.
And if you benefited from this article a donation to this writer would be really appreciated, thank you. Just click the button on the right that says donate here and follow the instructions.
I’m so honoured to learn that my books are not only helping people achieve more and overcome lifelong fears , it’s helped people overcome anxiety, go back to work, overcome depression and negativity and genuinely make a difference. I get stories about the power of my books for mental health all the time, yet these beautiful messages remain confidential to respect my readers, I will just share one (that I’ve permission to share)
“Thanks to you and this book, I’m flying high like I never have before.“
(Yes that quote did make me cry!)
It was not my plan to wake up in September and upset a dentist, but upset a dentist I did!
The Dentists email started fabulously with Marcus telling me how much he was enjoying my book but quickly took a negative turn as he pointed out that I’d been rather mean to his industry on page 46. On that page I talked about how unpleasant arrogant people can be and I compared it to sitting in the dentist chair. You know, arrogant people are a bit like dentists, you know you’re not going to enjoy the experience but someone how you’ve just got to get through it.
At the time of writing I carried out some research on “What is the worse place you have to go?” and the replies varied from;
The dentist featured the highest and resonated with a lot of people so seemed the natural choice to select. It also resonated with me because 30 years ago I’d had such a severe phobia of the dentist that I had to be sedated to even have a check and clean! I would pass out in the chair. Not a nice experience and thus because it resounded with me too it went in the book.
My book – Fight the fear is about the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and I share how to get what you want in life and overcome the obstacles and fears to build confidence and success. I have a habit of having a laugh with my coaching clients because it helps them look at tough situations, feelings and obstacles in their life that are usually causing negative emotions, actions and results. So I wanted to bring that style to my book as well as the strategies that I know work.
What do you say to someone you’ve upset and upset his whole profession?
Well I was honest. I did start by asking for a review (since no one ever gets around to writing those!) and then I found that I spent a good few minutes thinking about it.
Did I really hate dentists? What should I say to Marcus?
Marcus had got me thinking!
My Dentist (Miss Rasheed) rocks! She’s so patient and thanks to my Lupus et al sometimes its’ near on impossible to open my mouth wide enough or for long enough and yet she patiently helps me and always checks that my medication is not impacting on my teeth, she’s always kind and when my teeth crumbled thanks to the meds I thought Miss Rasheed was going to cry too at the unfairness of it all!
Okay years ago I went 3 years without a checkup because I didn’t’ get my fear under control (ironic I fix people’s fears for a living now right?) and while visiting the dentist is not on my top 100 days out list, I love the clean feel you get from a dentists clean and I love having a catch up with Miss Rasheed. It’s almost like a review of the last 6 months. You come out grinning because you’ve had a chat and realised you’ve done some pretty awesome things since you last saw her!
So Marcus was right but I wasn’t wrong. How can that be?
Well, while Marcus was very right to point out that “modern confidence building dentistry is as far from this as possible!” because it is. It’s most definitely not a man yanking your teeth out with pliers while his foot gains leverage on your chest. However I was right because factually it had rated highly as somewhere, with someone many of us hate to be.
Would I use that analogy if I was writing Fight the fear now?
Probably, however I would have added that it is a perception of reality (that is not correct) that enables us to view dentists in this 18th century style instead of the 21st century carers they actually are. Which in all honesty is also something that happens with most fears – we create a version of reality that doesn’t serve us well and enables the fear (and thus damages our success) scary right? Possibly worded like this the analogy for dentists would have proved more powerful so I commend Marcus for emailing me.
So what do you do when you are faced with assumptions that damage your life, your results and even a profession?
The mistake that most people make is they “tell” the other party their own view and communicate in a way that says “If you don’t think the same as me then you are wrong.” The powerful communications happen when you enable someone to view something differently for themselves so first of all challenge them. Respectfully. Powerful communication is a hot topic throughout Gight the fear so I can see why it appealed to Marcus so much.
Where’s the facts?
Once you’ve challenged them ask them to give you evidence that has enabled them to think like that. In my case I took time to consider “How do I think about dentists?” And was able to see that my own viewpoint is very different to the one of the 15 year old Mandie Holgate. When I ask a client to give me the proof that they are useless, or it won’t work, or they are scared to do something, usually they are able to see it’s not true. And they have plenty of evidence to prove they are more than capable of succeeding, it’s just the rogue emotions trying to overpower the facts! As your coach I enable my clients to learn to notice how they think and talk to themselves. By enabling them to really understand this they have tools for life. Is the dentist really painful? How long are you really in the chair? Creating the right questions helps people look at things in a different way. WARNING word your viewpoint and question in the wrong way and you will lose any chance of getting your view across and respected.
Remove the stigma
You can’t always change people’s views or beliefs however you can help reduce the stigma thus eventually you can see it removed entirely. 11 years ago when I first spoke about trying to kill myself and my own depression people would tell me I was very brave to go on TV etc and talk so openly. I didn’t see it as brave, a firefighter running into a burning building is brave, talking about my past is not. For me it felt like the important thing to do. However now when I’m in the media and speaking up for mental health I rarely get that kind of comment. We are winning the war (all too slowly for my liking) on the barriers to discussing mental health and gaining mental health, and it’s the same for all stigmas.
Interestingly the book was originally aimed at people at work and we changed it to reflect WH Smith’s (the UK’s leading book stores) idea that we pitch the book to everyone. Every week I get messages from people telling me they have read my book and it’s helped them achieve more, overcome fears and their lack of confidence however closest to my heart is the messages that tell me that Fight the fear has helped people over come their phobias, mental health illnesses and emotional distress. I wish Mandie from 11 years ago had known going through hell would change thousands of peoples lives in the future, it may have helped her keep going!
So if you want to change people’s mind, talk about it. Get in the press, talk on social media, talk about it on your website, guest blog, blog, tell the world. As the saying goes “be part of the change you want to see in life.” That takes confidence so check your own confidence levels too.
Many people don’t know that your 21st century dentistry is not just helping you with your teeth and gums. They can spot Diabetes, Leukaemia, Oral cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Heart disease and Kidney disease (and that’s just a few things they can help detect!). My own dentist was the one to spot that the Lupus and meds were causing Osteopenia. If you can speak up about what a dentist really can do for you then you can help people to reframe how they think and thus how they act.
This is the same for most assumptions. When a client says something to me and I realise its something they’ve said repeatedly I raise their awareness to their assumption and break it down until it is gone, thus enabling a more powerful thought to take it’s place. Reframing works well for this. So instead of “I hate the dentist, it’s so painful” this could change to “It’s only 10 minutes for 6 months of healthy teeth, a good trade off!”
The fact is whether we like it or not like just as your car needs a service and your gutters need cleaning, your teeth need looking after too. It’s something we have to do if we want to keep our teeth, so the outdated inaccurate viewpoint of the dentist has to go doesn’t it?
As my readers and clients know most fears are hidden, (that’s is why they get to have power over you for so long because you can’t fix what you can’t see) and thanks to Marcus I’ve had a look at what I think and realised that if I allowed that negative viewpoint of dentists to stick around then my next visit could start to be like the ones of my teen years – horrific! Because ultimately our brains are big muscles that need exercising regularly to stay healthy.
Thank you Marcus, you are doing an awesome job of challenging these views, It begs the question “If you could change people’s beliefs around something what is it and how would you do it?
(If you are looking to change the world, grow a business or just change someones behaviour at work I’m happy to have a chat about the power of coaching to get what you want.)
Do you know that moment between asleep and awake when you are not sure if what is going on is real or a dream?
When if it’s good you’re desperately hanging on to it like a film’s hero hanging on to the edge of the mountain for dear life so they can save the world because you don’t want this massive pile of good feelings and excitement to disappear like smoke on a cloudless night?
Or it’s bad you are urgently trying to push yourself into reality to escape the monsters and nasty emotions you are facing in your nightmare?
You know that moment? Well I just had that moment. For me I leapt awake (quite literally) scaring the tiny made my Jim Henson dog who leapt out of the bed too with a look at me that said “Sorry I thought we were sleeping?”
Had their really being a spider up my nose?
I’d felt it’s wiggling legs with it’s little fibrous hairs on its legs irritating the cilia (posh word for nose hair) up my nose. For anyone that’s a dream that they’d wake fast from, but for me years ago it would have been enough to send me emigrating from my bedroom for weeks.
Because years ago I had a phobia so severe I tried to jump out of a moving car to escape a spider.
My phobia was that severe that it impacted on every waking hour of my life. It was confidence damaging, embarrassing and made me feel weak, worthless and literally depressed. It was a chicken or egg situation that nearly killed me.
Yet tonight’s spider up my nose has as much to do with you as it does me,
Because that fear that I had years ago had been so severe it had wrecked my life and with talking therapies and the skills I still use on my own clients I learnt to not just deal with my fear but to overcome it, and since then every comfort zone and every fear has been dealt with fast so I can get on with what ever I want to achieve.
Okay so I’m never going to be a lover or spiders I’m afraid (apart from the giant one (was it Aragog?) in Harry Potter that wasn’t overly desperate to eat Harry, not that this gave Harry’s side kcik Ron much comfort with his own fear of them!) I can control what I think and the same is true for us all.
Although I don’t’ mind admitting that as I write this 20 minutes ago I did for a brief spark of a moment feel some fear ripple through my body that reminded me of how fearful I’d been years ago, and that is a cautionary tale to us all.
You see you may have managed to achieve a massive personal goal, maybe you’ve stopped smoking, or lost weight, or taking up 5K runs. In your persona life you may have overcome your fear of public speaking or of standing up for what you believe. Scarily your successes can get washed away just like my ability to deal with the fear I had of spiders if you stop paying attention.
It’s a dangerous time for any human that feels fearless. Trust me I know. With fear you always want to treat fear like you treat the sea. Even if you love it, and now have so much fun doing this thing, still show it respect. Because as life boat man and my merchant navy grandad used to say “the day you disrespect the sea is the day you are in trouble.” The same is true with our fears.
Respect that you had them. Always always remind yourself of how you fixed that fear, how you fought that fear, and what enabled you to stay that way. And never be scared to go back and check that you have won your personal battle with that fear.
Fears (real, rational, bizarre, embarrassing) are all there to damage your success. When you respect the fear and know what it had meant to you, you can ensure it stays away for life.
I’ve seen too many people at times of stress, illness or when personally challenging times or adversity hits their life revert to fears that haven’t attacked them for years, because they had assumed it had gone and that it would stay gone. Just like the person that decides to get fit, if they take a year off from the gym, it could be like starting all over again with a body that had reverted to floppy arms and weak muscles.
Or the business owner that changes the structure of the working day only to revert to procrastination and unfinished to do lists because they fears were slowly sneaking back into their minds and impacting on their results and success levels.
So when I feel a spider up my nose, (real or imagined) for a split second my brain had forgotten what I’d taught it about spiders. Mandie (I reminded myself) We don’t look at every nook of wood and fear it’s a spider, we don’t steer clear or offers from friends who live in big rambling medieval farm houses (because have you seen the size of farm house spiders!)
For just a spark of a thought there had been that automatic pathway in my little grey matter that made me jump but then I remembered that spiders aren’t daft. As Bill Shear a biology professor at Hampden Sydney college in Virginia and former president of the American Arachnological Society said “spiders regard us much like they’d regard a big rock,” and “a sleeping person is not something a spider will willingly approach.” Apparently even asleep we vibrate and make noises and our noises aren’t dusty dark places full of potential lunch, so rest well in bed tonight and remember never turn your back on your fears.
Face them and fight them. The day you stop doing this, is the day it could creep back into your life!
And just like spiders up your nose, you don’t want that!
If you are interested to learn more about fears my book Fight the fear” looks at the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and so far to date I’ve been able to fix every clients fear, with public speaking fears being overcome in just 1 session, so I’d be happy to help you too. Fear in the right place can save our lives, in the wrong place, it can destroy it – learn to know the difference.
Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people to increase their confidence, not just because it’s a nice thing to do but because I’ve seen it have a massive impact on their personal and professional success and happiness.
Here’s just a few of the things I’ve seen people go on to achieve purely by increasing their confidence;
And yet rarely does a client come to me and say “Can you help me increase my confidence please?” It is only by exploring what that client brings to the table am I able to see that one of the underlying issues that needs to be fixed is their confidence levels. Often I have to redirect the client back and check that they really want to talk about the subject they walked in the door with or if they feel that there is an underlining issue impacting on their results in this area. By exploring this together we often find that whether they call it a lack of confidence or not that is, in fact, the real issue. (Don’t worry I will keep the techie stuff to a minimum, I just wanted to give you a little insight.)
Interestingly my books may be about building confidence, sales and success and yet the one I was asked to write by the UK’s leading non-fiction publisher was not worded as increasing confidence but about fighting fear. Whether you see it as an abundance of fear or a lack of confidence, put the two on a timeline and you will see that the opposite of fear is confidence. And so being able to build yours is critical to building your personal and professional success.
Here’s four signs your confidence levels need some loving;
Everything is fine
A sure sign that your success could be heightened is to look around you and find that everything is running along smoothly. What everything? There is not one area that could do with a tweak or that you are focusing on for future growth and development? Not one thing in your personal or professional life that you look at and think “I’d like to learn more” or “I’d like to reduce how much I do that in my life?” You see when we face fear (or try to ignore it like a dog being told off for raiding the rubbish bin!) we do our best to avoid making eye contact with the issue. The “If I don’t look over there I can’t see the problem” attitude. And that means there is a blind spot potentially hiding opportunities for you to learn and grow your confidence. So it’s also as a sign that you aren’t pushing yourself enough. And why don’t we push ourselves more? Because we fear the result we will get!
If you find yourself not as busy or productive as usual, look for the fear. Remember the fear is the opposite of your confidence and as such by noticing where you lack action you can start to pay attention to the areas that could need some support. A perfect example is when you realise you’ve not taken action on something you want or dealt with something that niggles at you. Or you’ve stopped bothering to do those nice little touches you used to do when you first started working for that company years ago. The lack of spark can point to the areas that need some assistance and where you could be lacking confidence and thus impacting on your results.
It may not be an area directly connected to your personal or professional success however I often hear clients say that connected to the area that they wish to change in their life, as we work on a deeper more subconscious level they share that they notice they’ve stopped reading or going out with friends or cooking nice meals. Things that may seem completely irrelevant to success can showcase a lack of love for your life. And when we find ourselves in a rut, feeling unappreciated or like we aren’t getting the results we want, that can impact on our confidence and it can often show up in this way. So are you loving your free time as much as your professional life? They have a knock on effect to each other. And so this process can work the other way too.
You believe everything.
Worse than fake news is some of the drivel we listen to in our heads. We have all heard of the Imposter Syndrome (I can shut that bad voice up in about 1 session and if you want to get started for free click here for my free eBook on How to Fix the Imposter Syndrome.) and we’ve heard of the shiny thing syndrome (where everything looks good so we go around in circles, creating no real results – Read more here) and best of all think of the rubbish you let your head say to you. The way you berate yourself for being rubbish at that, or never been able to do this, or have you noticed how many chins you’ve got recently. All that negative talk can only hold power if you let it. So if you notice the voice in your head has become a little bit too much like the evil stepmother, crossed with Simon Cowell and The Wicked Witch from the East (or was that West?) stop that voice, it is damaging your confidence, enabling fears to grow strong and stopping you from achieving what you really wish to.
If you want more, my course creating confidence has tons of 5 star reviews and for £95 is a fraction of what coaching would cost. You get 5 sessions working with me online, at you own pace using my results proven tools and techniques.
I’d love to see what it could do for you too!
I’m constantly inundated with messages from people who have read my latest book “Fight the Fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life” to tell me that this book has changed their lives. That is a real honor.
I love that Chapter 1 tends to throw a curve ball as you learn about who you are and why that is so important for achieving goals. And it’s great to hear that thanks to the layout of each chapter being in 4 parts;
F – Fear
E – Exercises
A – Actions
R – Results
It’s easy to read and just as importantly easy to action. And I’ve had reviews from the US, articles in digital magazines around the world as well as featuring in a lot of the UK’s press and now I have been contacted by a Twitter friend who wrote a whole article on their own blog about the book!
If you have not read this book yet then take a look at why Christopher Fry says that this book is guaranteed to make you a better person for reading it! Powerful words right?
“As personal development books go, there are few that really stand out amongst the pack and, in a very tangible way, change your life.
Fight the Fear’, by Mandie Holgate, is one such book.”
Not bought your copy yet? Here are 2 places you could get it. Or if you are in South Africa pop into the Tyger Valley Store!
I’m honoured to speak for anyone that asks me and will always deliver something unique to that audience. Even if it is a subject I’ve covered a thousands times I will always write something fresh for that audience. And only in that audience will be those delegates so you are guaranteed every event has its unique moment, because its very important to me that you and your delegates get to ask questions and get personalised solutions.
So it’s with great pleasure I announce that after being their first book of 2017 “Book of the month” I will be speaking for WH Smiths’ at their High Street Head Office and their Travel Head Office in May. It’s Learning at work week (LAWW) and I’m delivering two sessions. Orignially it was going to be one, however as is often the case they took a look at the topics I could cover and wanted more than one, and I’m happy to oblige!
Fight the Fears that impact on your success
Not all fears wake you at 1 in the morning in a pool of sweat. Some fears hide out in our personal and professional lives for years untouched and undiscovered damaging your success.
International Speakers and Authors have said that this is an “absolute must read” book for not only highlighting the fears but for giving you the tools and techniques to fight them and get rid of the obstacles to your success.
In this interactive sessions Mandie will hear from you. What are the fears that plague you? Do you fear asking for help? Taking time off? Public speaking? Setting goals? Speaking up? Do you lack confidence or worry that people will find out who you really are? What ever your fears (you might not even know what they are!) get personalised solutions in this 90 minute session aimed at you and your success.
Creative thinking, writing and your success.
Despite serious illness Mandie Holgate was asked to write a book by one of the UK’s leading nonfiction publishers. Learn how that happened. How Mandie uses her writing to gain new opportunities, win awards and get in the press. Learn how to think creatively and why it’s good for your personal and professional success. Whether you love creativity or loath it, learn tools and techniques to enable you to think more powerfully and work in a way that powers up your brain. Learn what stops the process and ask any questions you like. In this interactive session it’s less about Mandie’s’ journey its more about making yours the best one possible.
When I wrote a chapter in my book about the biggest fears that impact on success, the one chapter that my publishers were not sure that was right for the book, was this one. “Is it really that big a fear?” they asked. And that fear, is the fear to take time off.
And I bet there are many that read this article that think “I go on holiday, fearlessly, what are you talking about?!?”
The fact is over many years of working with people looking to achieve more, so many fear actually stepping away from work and being in the moment. But what is the big deal?
Why do you need to turn your phone off to succeed?
Why should you leave the laptop in a different time zone?
5 reasons to leave it all behind;
So do you still think its pointless to turn off that phone and disconnect from the work place?
Do you still question the benefits to your success of riding the bike, building the sandcastle or prodding a barbecue?
If I’ve got your attention and you know you should turn off your business for a few days, and then find yourself answering “Just this email honey, then I will be there, promise” then here are my top tips to actually being in the moment. Turning your back on your business and fully engaging in something else for a few days of R n R, relaxation, no results fun.
Top tips to dealing with the fear of taking time out;
Know your success. To be able to walk away, first of all need you to appreciate how awesome you are. In my book we use this tool in a different way to power up your success, but here by accepting that you do achieve. That you do win. That you do know how to get what you want, you are able to see and accept the successes you’ve had.
Now if your version of success turns out to mean you’ve worked 17 hour days, 7 days a week and will hand on heart tell me that “it’s the only way it could be done” 2 things – Firstly it’s a long term recipe for disaster, because you are not a robot and your body will make you rest at some stage. The old adage that there’s no rest for the wicked is not one you want applied to you. Or if you are one for the saying “rest is for when you are dead”. Reframe that one because too many people’s lives are cut short because stress, overwork and a lack of time for health and relaxation were not part of the game plan for success. If you really fear taking time out, think of a time when you failed astronomically. How did you get over it? The fact is if you take 2 weeks off and you came back to discover your worst case scenario had in actual fact happened, you have the facts that you could overcome that level of adversity and still be a success. (See below on how to ensure worst case scenario doesn’t happen!)
Trust you will get the results you want. And to do this you need to know what those results are. However you choose to do it you need to take the time to plan your success. Whether you love a vision board, a written plan, a mindmap or a diary with time scheduled to work on your success, you still need to know what your success looks like. What does success look like to you? What goals have you planned? By when? Knowing this helps you schedule in time for time out.
Your Success/Business is in good hand. When someone fears taking time out and I challenge them on that, they often realise that in their mind I’m suggesting they walk out of the office right now and stop work for 2 weeks without planning. As with all things connected to your success it needs to be planned. This not only ensures you come back rested and happy it ensures that those you work with don’t throw things at you on your return! Just as you would plan your holiday – plan what will happen while your way. Who is in charge? What protocol is to be adhered to? What constitutes an emergency to contact you? If you own a small business you can automate your social media so that people think you are still in the country at your desk. (The only downside I’ve found to this, and you are hearing from a holiday lover who had 42 days holiday last year and couldn’t even tell you where her phone was! Is that LinkedIn and Facebook have not yet set up a holiday message for messages. You can for your business page, but not (as yet) for your personal page.) So respect your team, customers and suppliers, talk about your plans well in advance so that everyone can ensure they have what they need from you. And they in turn will respect your time off. I read about a CEO who never checked anything on his phone after 7pm. Everyone in the company knew this and respected this. Why? I wouldn’t mind betting it’s because every single action that the CEO took every moment of every day was respectful to the staff, the board, the share holders, suppliers and the success of that company. Everyone agreed that he deserved that time to himself for whatever purpose he wanted.
Lastly ask yourself. What kind of a role model are you to your friends and family? You may love 24/7 work but it is not good for you whether you like it or not and what kind of ambassador are you for success?
Are you in effect saying that unless you work 24/7 you can’t be successful?
Have you ever considered that those around you could possibly be suffering trying to keep up with your insane working hours? Not everyone can work 24/7. What levels of guilt and inferiorty get created by someone at work who never seems to take time off?
Success can be made easier and faster with the right actions (trust me, it’s what I do for a living!) but by not taking time off you could be showcasing that the only way to success is back breaking, soul destroying hours. That’s a belief that says to achieve, it has to be really really hard work. Why not try a new belief that says, “I can easily plan for my success and get what I want and still nurture my mind, body and soul and respect the ones that I love.”
Your mind is powerful tool, and if you tell it that it needs to be very hard work and near on impossible to achieve success, your brain will go out its way to prove you right. Be a role model that the next generation can look to and think “Wow a great career, a happy life and people that love them, that’s awesome!” Too many people sacrifice marriages or relationships in the name of success and it doesn’t have to happen.
The fact is that if you plan, automate and cater for holidays then it truly can be an opportunity for your success. While my phone has been switched off I’ve won awards, had free PR in the national press, gained new clients, new sales and even speaking engagements! Now that is defining how you want success and getting it on those terms!
I hope this proves a useful guide to getting a guilt free time away from your career, however it is not time away from your success. Savvy people know that taking time out is a critical part of their success. Do you?
One of the things that clients often present to me is this illusion that “there isn’t any time to do anything else!” Remember someone far cleverer than me said that “time is an illusion”? Actually it was Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers guide and he added to that quote “Lunchtime doubly so” but is that really what the successful person has to look forward to? No time and no lunch?
Here I share 6 top tips to spending time where and how you want, so that you aren’t too busy to find time for the things that could change your life and bring you want you really want;
You choose where to spend your time
As scary as this is we have control over where we spend time. When someone says to me “But that has to be done!” I ask “says who?” and then when the client is able to work though well actually this is not on my agenda, this is what someone else has deemed important or I’m so used to doing this stuff first I just got into the habit of assuming this was the best use of my time. People are able to see how they choose to spend time. If every minute was a £1 or a $1 would you choose to use your time more wisely or differently?
In my book I look at our choice of using time. Remember that thing called Christmas Day? No matter what is going on, no matter how busy you are, you make time for it right? Why is that? Because in your head its important. It’s worth investing your time in. It’s something that is done. The whole world seems to stop for it right? Is that all coming from you or from your environment and society too? All these things should help you to see that if your goal was as important and all consuming in feelings and emotions as Christmas Day can be, you’d find a way to get it done!
Learn to say no
In my book I talk about Can you justers, the people that never respect your time and seem to get to success quicker than you. It’s because they know to ask for help (another fear that plagues many of us and features in my book that can be killing your success!) and Can you justers know that by getting other people in on what they consider is important they make time. Now I’m not suggesting you become a Can you justers, (I would suggest you learn to outsource, employ or automate though) although I am suggesting you appreciate that they prioritise themselves. And you need to do the same.This is not you showing a lack of respect for others, this is you showing a growth in respect for yourself.
Working from home can be fraught with can you justs that you create for yourself. “It won’t take 5 minutes to put the washing out, load the dishwasher, etc, etc” The point is every time you leave the task that will get you the results you want in your personal and professional life it takes between 15 and 25 minutes to get back into the flow of working. Just do 3 to 5 little jobs a day. (Or just check Facebook or your emails that many times) and bam you’ve lost over an hour!
Fear of your uses of time
Another reason we don’t use time wisely is because we fear the actions we need to take. Look at your attitude and beliefs about your ability to get the job done, to raise your game and get what you want. Do you believe you can do it? Do you believe it is going to be hard work and tough? If you do believe its going to be tough and beyond your capabilities what is the likely hood of success? Of believing you can achieve it? Of creating anything to do but that because you fear the outcome?
Get clear on what you really want
If you know what you are aiming for, what your long term goals look like and they are so clear you can already feel as if they have been achieved, there’s little that gets in the way. Create a powerful reason why that makes nothing more important than your goals, tasks and actions. Time is yours to command. learn that. Also check out the blog article on my website called The Catherine Wheel Effect. This looks at the impact of being thrown in any direction. You want to get back your lasered focus to get what you want. Be aware of what you want and time becomes a powerful commodity not a guilt ridden procrastination.
Do you forget to sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom?
Well even if you do eventually your body catches up on you! You are made of nature, you are not a robot. Instead of steam rolling through life working stupid hours thinking that is the smart way to success. What about a new approach, where you listen to your body? The day you feel tired, slow down a bit, “I can’t!” I hear you cry. “Really?” I say. Because a body not listened to or respected will prevent you from doing things at the most inopportune moment. Ever noticed how you get ill on holiday? Ever noticed how you have a big day and you feel awful? That’s your body saying “I really wished you listened about a week ago!” By learning to listen to your body more you can also start to tap into your mind more. And by doing this instead of your goals, ambitions and actions been in adversity to your human needs and the natural cycle of you, it will learn to be in-tune with it.
This may seem way out there wacky stuff, but the fact is the person that accepts that it doesn’t matter how powerful a golden hour at 5am is if you are a night owl and your circadian rhythm says “don’t function until after 9 and that still needs caffiene!”, it still won’t be the most powerful way for you to achieve. So start listening!
Ever have your Nan say this to you? I did, and my Mum “But I don’t have time to tidy my room!” “Make time!” was the reply. And its true, time is an illusion, we get to choose every day where we spend time. But be careful of the words you use. Notice the words connected to time? The words make it sound like a commodity that is leaking away all of the time. That is not necessarily so. In some cultures this is not even the real deal remember?
I read a great article in Psychologies by Eleanor Tucker (December 2016 issue) that talked about how in some cultures time is actually cyclical. Think of Spring, to Summer to Autumn to Winter, repeating year on year. (In actual fact I often see clients repeating the same patterns, the same stories, and the same mistakes – cyclical!) By becoming aware of this they are able to change their patterns and adapt a new more productive way of thinking and living. Thus seeing that “I’m not stuck with this, I can change it.” And I would say the same is true with time.
As someone who learnt to be successful in the car industry many years ago. Time was finitely measured. Every bolt that was removed from a bumper added up, mud caked over the wheel arches and rust obstructing the Panel Beaters task? Add .1 of an hour. Because of this I have been able to break down time into tiny bite size pieces every day. It means that I can make time for lunch, to stroke the dog, to hear the birds and still get my important money making, change my life for the better things done first. I can look at my daughter as she whizzes through the door with her mad speed and put my phone down because I know she won’t want a lot of my time, and since there are 1440 minutes in a day why would I begrudge time to the things that really matter? It really is time to know what those things you want are and make time for them isn’t it?
If you liked this my book looks at our choice of words associated with time, Can you Justers and the techniques, even the phrases to use with them, how to say No and how to ask for help, as well as how to understand your true values (Chapter 1 often throws a reader a curve ball!) Mandie Holgate Fight the fear book
Okay so I’m no expert on this, however since setting up my business many years ago I’ve come to the national attention of the right people and organisations (even the Home Office and most national newspapers!) in what I wanted to achieve. And so since its been asked (a lot!) in the last few months, here’s the answer to the question that everyone seems to want from me (accept the 2nd most asked question which is “when do you have availability I want to work with you!);
So this is just a few pointers to get you started, however having met many of the team at Pearson’s I know what they’ve said to me, and I know what has got my clients in the press and on the national stage, so I hope these prove useful to you too. Oh and just because I can and because its my blog, here is a link to buy the book I’m so awesomely proud of. Because fear really is one of the impactors stopping you from going for it. So let’s get rid of that right now shall we?