Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sinking the black

My 16-year-old step-son is a bit of a pool shark. That said, occasionally he sinks all the coloured balls in quick succession, only to push the black around the table fruitlessly while I try (in vain) to catch up.

Have you ever been gung-ho about a project - sinking your coloured balls easily and quickly - only to sabotage the completion of the project by pushing the black ball all over the pool table instead of just sinking the thing? Someone I know has her business website ready to go live. All the content is written - she just needs to push that button and publish the site. Instead, she's pushing the website all over the pool table, anywhere but in the pocket.

People fail to complete things for any number of reasons. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Perfectionism. Fear of not being good enough. Reluctance to 'let go'. Concern about what others will think when we 'go live' with something.

Start today

Make a list of all the black balls you're yet to sink. Projects you've almost finished that would take a relatively small amount of effort to complete. From this list, pick the easiest task or project first - the one that is closest to being finished or simplest to complete - and sink that black.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Are you faking it?

Do you secretly fear that it's only a matter of time before people work out you're not as competent as you pretend to be?

If you feel like you're just keeping your head above water - striving to look like a person who knows what you're doing, even when you don't - then join the club.

The fear of not being good enough, and of being found out, is almost universal.

Often, this fear is rooted in childhood, particularly in early school experiences. We get caught out in a spelling bee, or a teacher draws everyone's attention to our poor mark on the maths test (thanks for that, Mrs Van Leest!) and we decide, in that moment, that we're not good enough.

Must try harder. Could do better.

Start today

Drift back into your childhood. Ask yourself what happened, the first time you decided that you weren't good enough.

Have another look at this event, using your adult perspective. What meaning did you give the event as a child? Is this valid now?

Re-frame your fear. Not only is it normal to feel out of your depth every so often - it's great! Whenever you feel unsure of yourself, you're about to grow.

Learn to embrace these feelings and you'll find that - rather than feel anxious - you'll feel excited.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Got your pink umbrella?

A friend and I took our daughters to Sydney on the weekend for their first real pop concert. We'd been looking forward to it since Christmas - Sophie, who's nine, hadn't seen Sydney since she was a baby, and she really wanted to experience the gorgeousness of the harbour in summer.

We'd planned a ferry ride to Manly, then fish and chips and ice-creams on the beach.

Unfortunately, it bucketed with rain for the entire weekend. This meant no sparkling harbour views, ferry ride or beach. We could make out the bridge and Opera House when the rain eased slightly, but it was anything but spectacular.

Not that the girls cared. We'd purchased $10 pink umbrellas from a souvenir shop and they danced through the Quay, laughing, splashing and making up 'singing in the rain'-inspired dance routines.

Start today

When the weather closes in on you in the form of challenges in your life, do you feel like a victim of what's happened?

Or do you find your 'pink umbrella' and make something of the situation?

This week, find some new ways of looking at life 'bright side up'.

Start immediately, by asking yourself what frame of mind you are in for the very next task that you are about to do...