Building Self Confidence Blog

How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Motivated

I went to a business networking meeting recently where a business advisor gave a talk on how to overcome procrastination and get things done. The audience enjoyed his entrepreneurial  Just-Focus-and-Do-It spirit. I also like the phrase, 'Procrastinate later!'

If it's that simple, why do so many people procrastinate? Is it laziness? Is it that they don't know WHAT to do? Or are there other factors - mindset for instance?

If you look at people who enjoy a lot of personal, career and business success one thing they have in common is their determination to take action. Where others are waiting for the right time and the perfect action, the mindset of the people who get the most done tends to be, 'imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time'.  Richard Branson is a great example of this - he wrote a book called,  'Screw it, Let's Do it!' A trait of successful people is that they are prepared to fail hard as well as succeed spectacularly.

It's action that brings the feedback that makes their next attempt more likely to succeed - if they are willing to learn useful things from their experience.  A study of millionaires found that the average millionaire goes bankrupt three and a half times. Few people have the determination and tenacity to ride that roller coaster of failure and success. For the ones that do, it's their willingness to review what they did, measure their results, record the lessons learned and change what they are doing that helps them hone their success formula. Few people have been trained or brought up to have that objectivity and discipline. What most people learn after a 'failure' is something useless - don't try again.

A short cut to success is to get a personal, career or business coach to advise, mentor and train you. Someone who has the skills, experience and knowledge to help you reach your goals, the supportive objectivity to help you stand back and assess and who will help you stay motivated to take the next steps. A coach can help you sort out the 20% of action you need to take that will get you 80% of your results. One entrepreneur said, 'Life is too short for me to learn everything I need to know from my mistakes. That's why I have a coach.'

Many people give up when just one more try would bring them the results they are looking for. For instance, research shows that it often takes three to seven times before people are convinced that an idea will work or that a product or service is worth buying, yet many sales people, professionals, managaers, life partners, parents and friends lose the sale or opportunity to influence because they give up after the first or second try.  Even fewer people have the confidence to withstand the doubts and criticism of those around them and their own even louder inner critic, when it goes wrong.

This is where a life, career or business coach can help too. They help you take a step back and assess things objectively and help you remain courageous and motivated to keep going. They also have the skill to help you develop more ways to get what you want and the mindset to achieve it. For instancce, you can make more sales, convince people of your point of view and achieve your outcomes more often if you know more ways to communicate with different kinds of people and develop a flexible approach. A life, career or business coach can also help you silence your inner critic - especially an NLP trained coach - and get quality information from your intuition. This is where a life, career or business coach can give you more than someone who just tells you what to do.

Richard Branson and many other people we would consider successful also choose a good team to help them do the things they are not good at or interested in doing. To do that, you first need to know what you are good at. That is where a personality profile can give you shortcuts to the awareness you need. My clients find that the valuable and insightful feedback they get from the FACET5 personality profiling system I use accelerates their personal, career and business success. They get a clear understanding of their strengths and areas for development. They get great clues as to why they procrastinate and what they need to do to take action. One client realised why he procrastinated over people oriented tasks such as networking, presenting his business, meeting new friends and women and dealing with difficult team members. Another discovered why she was putting the wrong sized tasks on her 'To Do' lists. They also realised what kind of people they needed to have around them in their business and personal lives to succeed and experience the rewards they were looking for.

So some keys to getting your 'To Do' lists done are: find out WHAT to do, write lists, find the 20% of tasks that give you the 80% of your results and do them first, delegate to the right people, find out what your strengths are and play to them, measure your results, be flexible about how to achieve your goals, get a life, career or business coach to help you take shortcuts to success and learn positive and useful things from your experience.

I wish you every success in your personal, career and business life, Madeleine - download more success tips - download more confidence tips

Madeleine Morgan runs inspiring, motivating, thought provoking, practical and effective private and public career and business coaching and training programmes in Cambridge and in-house programmes in the UK. She coaches over the telephone, Skype and face-to-face.


How to Gain More Confidence – Who do you turn to for help?

Every one of us feels a lack of confidence at some point in our lives. For some of us it's in a particular area such as public speaking, selling ourselves in business or at a job interview, standing up to aggressive people, asking someone for a date. For some  it seems to affect every area of their lives. Before I learned how to be more confident and then became a confidence coach I used to find meeting new people really difficult - I often found myself stuck for what to say.

With all the helping professionals, advice from friends and family and self-help books out there it can be confusing to know who or what to turn to for the most effective help. So here are some ideas to get you started.

Excellent self-help books such as 'I Can Make You Confident' by Paul McKenna are useful for tips and for supporting you when you need a quick burst of inspiration. The limitation of books, CDs etc is that they have to be general and can't deal with your specific limiting beliefs and experience. Some people find that the tips take time, discipline and persistence to implement and that can be difficult to find when you are working on your own, especially if you are surrounded by difficult people who try to undermine you.

One way to deal with the people round you is to make sure that, where you have a choice, you mix with people who are encouraging, supportive and who give you quality feedback. I have some tips on training people to give you quality feedback which I will mention in a future blog entry. Friends, family and colleagues can be encouraging and helpful and these are definitely relationships to nurture. However, they can sometimes be too close to us to be objective. If you lack confidence it's easy to dismiss their encouragement as just 'being nice'. Their advice naturally come from what they would do in a situation which may not fit your personality and skill level. When you hear it you might find yourself saying, 'Yes, but...'

If you there are negative people in your life that, at least for the time being, are permanent fixtures then you may need some guidance as to how to get the best out of them. In fact a big part of gaining confidence is about discovering the skills you need to handle a certain situation such as how to sell effectively, deal with conflict, get the best out of your relationships, say 'No' gracefully and how to choose what you feel. Someone once said that all struggle is a sign of a need for more skill.

Then there are a whole raft of professionals - counsellors, coaches, therapists, NLP practitioners etc. The advantages of going to a good professional are that they are supportive and yet also objective. Your personal development can move faster than if you work on yourself alone. They can help you stay motivated to change, especially at times when you might want to give up. They can deal with you as an individual, with your specific concerns and needs. They can break things down into manageable bit sized chunks so that you get enough to move you on without it being overwhelming.  So who do you choose?

All  of these professional will have skills that can help you. So here are some things to consider when choosing.

Is this person supportive and yet also able to challenge me enough to move me out of my comfort zone and into the adventure zone?

Do they have the skills to help me clear past negative experiences that we all have and that are holding me back?

Do they have a lot of experience and success with clients with the areas of confidence I want to build?

Do they have recognised qualifications like being a NLP master practitioner accredited by the ABNLP and BBNLP?

Do they know skills that will help you use the confidence you gain effectively? It's no good having the confidence to jump in a plane and fly it if you haven't had flying lessons! So if you need confidence in business networking or meeting you new people, do they have the knowledge and skills to share with you? On the other hand do they have the ability to give you tips that suit your personality? Can they help you gain the confidence to use them (many general workshops and trainings work on skills but not limiting beliefs)

Do they give you a free consultation to help you find all this out and help you decide if you'd feel comfortable working together

Will they guarantee that if you get nothing useful, they will refund your money?

Check out as an example

I hope you've found this useful to help you get the most effective help

Have a confident day, Warm wishes from Madeleine Morgan



Quick Tip To Help You Build Self Esteem

It doesn't seem to matter how successful people are, everyone experiences crises of confidence or self-esteem at some time in their life and in some area of their lives.

Here's a quick and powerful tip to help you steadily build your self-esteem and confidence so that it's there for you when you need it most. Take a few moments every day to write down the things that went well that day because of what you said, did and thought. Now, I'm thinking about ordinary, everyday successes as well as the major ones.

How can this help? I hear some of you sceptics saying. Well, when we lack self-esteem or confidence it's often because our mind has got into the habbit of ignoring our successes and focussing on our mistakes. Or, it only counts major events. By keeping a success journal you train your mind to spot and appreciate your success and maintain a balanced view of yourself. You also build up lots of evidence to support your self-esteem that you can use to give yourself confidence in difficult times. Having these achievement fresh in your mind can help you when talking about yourself in appraisals, writing your CV, writing your internet dating entry and talking to friends, family, colleagues etc.

We tend to become our habits so give yourself  and the people whose lives you touch the gift of the habit of noticing your success. When you give yourself permission to shine, others feel it's okay for them to shine too.

Make your success journal even more colourful with photos of your successful moments. Choose a journal that's a pleasure to touch, such as moleskin.

Have fun! Warm wishes, Madeleine

Madeleine Morgan

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