Archive for Empowerment for Women

Jul
12

Perfection’s Hidden Cost

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Hidden Costs of Perfectionism

What happens when you are trying to get things perfect? What happens when you put off an important decision because you need to be sure it’s the right one?

I’ve been blogging about the Hidden Gifts of perfectionism and today I want to talk about the hidden costs. This “hidden” but truly expensive problem bugs me so much (and has haunted me personally) which is why I’m offering the 30 Days to Retrain Your Brain for Success challenge, which begins on Thursday the 16th.

There are both time and dollar costs, besides the unnecessary stress of extra work, trying to attain perfection or get it “just right”. You also undermine your own self-confidence because you are focused on what needs improvement, NOT on what’s already good, so you are in fault-finding mode. You don’t get to feel good about what you’re doing.

Endless tweaking or second guessing yourself can easily turn into procrastination. You can measure the cost of procrastination not only in terms of time but also money. When you keep rewriting or redesigning your program, or holding off on a key decision trying to “get it right”–these are all a way of saying “WAIT” to the Universe.

Guess what else “waits” on you? Your income! These patterns seriously slow down your incoming cash flow.

The truth is that “perfect” is an unattainable goal. You can perfect things and tweak them indefinitely. You can stay in indecision or procrastinate on hitting the send button, for a long time, weeks, months, even years. The cost is your time, but also lost income and growth opportunities.

The solution is simple and I call it a no-brainer (pun intended)–the Retrain Your Brain for Success 30 Day Challenge.

Join me on Thursday 7/16 AT 7:30 pm Eastern. We’ll be creating a new empowering set of habits called Motivation by Celebration…with support from me and an amazing group of like minded people. Registration information below.

Not quite sure? Test-drive the program with this EFT Meridian tapping session for Releasing Perfectionism. I give instructions so you can tap along with me! Listen here: http://bit.ly/1Nw0nt3

Ready to Retrain? Let’s get it started in here!

Give your Inner Critic a summer vacation and give yourself the gift of happy productivity! Total value is $450 and at $97 it truly is a no-brainer. \.

Sign up for Success Retraining below:




Ellen Anne Shapiro

What’s the secret recipe? It can be found in a magical success zone, called your x-spot. You know, X marks the spot! If you’re wondering what on earth the x-spot is, it’s a term from positive psychology.

Finding your X-spot can keep you motivated and help you reach goals faster, and according to Shawn Achor, happiness researcher, this is a success accelerant. It’s been proven that we actually get a burst of energy when we are near the end of a project, to finish it. This is only true though when we can see that we are close to the finish line.

This is a well-known phenomenon in marathon races….the runners speed up when they reach that point where they can see the finish line. Wouldn’t you think they’d be more tired at the end of such a long race?

Logically yes, but when they are in the x-spot they get a rush of adrenaline to get the goal accomplished. It’ s about perception—seeing that we are almost there, and realizing it is not only possible but almost surely going to happen.

Instead of focusing on how close they are to a goal, and getting in the x-spot, we do the opposite! We tend to focus on how much more work there is to do, or how much further we have to go–making the goal appear more distant. This is how we lose out on the benefit of the x-spot, and actually slow ourselves down and demoralize ourselves.

How can we use this principle to our advantage?

We need to retrain our brain to make goals seem closer. The easiest way to do that is to chunk down their task into smaller pieces. It’ s so practical–it makes your project less overwhelming and more manageable, and easier to fit into your schedule. It also creates regular opportunities to reach the x-spot, for each of the smaller goals, and so you get a boost of energy from feeling you are getting somewhere and making progress towards completion.

Like any habit, this retraining needs to be practiced regularly over time to make lasting change. Habit change is hard on your own and easier with support, which is why I offer 21 day group challenges like Motivation by Celebration: Retrain your Brain for more motivation and productivity.

Come join me at the x-spot café? (We’ll order decaf, since we surely won’t need caffeine with all of our X-spot adrenaline coursing through our bodies!)

Feb
06

Fire your Inner Slave Driver!

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The problem is, you can’t really fire your boss when you work for yourself! But what if you’re letting o your Inner Critic or even worse, your Inner Slave Driver, take the wheel? You could be making things much harder than they have to be.

Without realizing it, you may be de-motivating yourself by the way you talk to yourself when you are working on a project or a goal. Which one gives you more energy for getting things done and for getting your work out there:

“Oh well, I only got part of it done! So much more to do…why didn’t I get this done yesterday? versus
“Way to go! You rock!” (High five!) Look how much you got done.

This habit is Motivation by Self-Flagellation, and it’s probably well ingrained by now, starting back in school and maybe at home too. How do you know you have it?

Start noticing how you talk to yourself. Do you acknowledge or praise yourself ever?. When you check something off your list as done, do you just go on to the next thing. Do you focus not on what you have done, but on how much more there still is to do? Or maybe you appreciate that you did get it done. Still why did it take so long? And is it really good enough or do you need to make some improvements? Do you know enough to put this out there? Or maybe you should go get more training? Oy!

These are signs that you’ve been conditioned to drive yourself by being hard on yourself. It can show up as being perfectionistic, hesitation to put your work out there, overwork and burn-out.

I’d like to propose a new habit called Motivation by Celebration. It’s a simple habit change, or brain hack. It takes awareness and practice, but it can totally shift your mindset about work and even about yourself. And the effectiveness of this habit is proven in positive psychology research.

To start, just become aware of your inner self talk around goals and getting things done. Awareness is the first step—you can’t change it if you don’t know it’s there. I look forward to sharing more with you in the next few blog posts about how to change the old habit and create a new one. For today, what is one thing you appreciate and can celebrate about you? I’ll give you one—you read this blog post! Now apply it and let me know how it goes.

Words that work…at work!

Women tend to use words that weaken or devalue themselves, and handicap themselves by their language. I want to share this excerpt from a great article by Stacey Gordon. (credits and link at the end)

As you read, notice: which of these words or expressions do you use and which are you willing to cut out of your vocabulary?

“Recently, I interviewed a woman for a human resources job who was extremely qualified with excellent skills. While discussing where she would like to take her career, she mentioned that a friend asked her if she would consider a job with his company as Vice President and she said she didn’t think she was ready for the job. As she continued talking about her career direction, I stopped listening. I was stuck on the magnitude of what she had just done.

Too often, the words women use devalue their worth and can immediately categorize them as inferior, weak, unqualified and unworthy of the job being offered. (Click here to tweet this thought.) Ask a guy if he can do a specific job, and he will eagerly say yes. Ask a woman, and she’ll give any number of qualifying answers.

So let’s figure out how we can remove those qualifiers from our communication and substitute them with words and phrases that will help us to get ahead in our careers. Make room for the following in your vocabulary:

1. “YES!”

The first and most important word women can use to get ahead in their careers is “yes.” The woman in the example above should have said, “Yes, I would love to discuss how I could partner with you in human resources in your company.”

“Yes, I will apply for the job for which I am 95% qualified.” “Yes, I believe I can do the job.” “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Unless a huge case of nepotism is in play, most people do not offer opportunities to unqualified people. Therefore, when singled out for a project, to be team leader, for a promotion or a raise, anything other than an emphatic yes is unacceptable.

Obviously, if you really don’t want what’s being offered, decline politely, but don’t let the reason you say no be related to a lack of confidence in your abilities.

By not saying yes, you are automatically saying, “I’m unqualified, I’m unsure of myself, I’m not confident in my abilities, and I’m not the person for this job now (or probably ever).”

2. No Apologies
How many times do you say “I’m sorry” throughout the day?

“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get back to you sooner.” “I’m sorry, but we don’t have the information you need.” “I’m sorry, but we had to change the meeting time.” “I’m sorry; X wasn’t available so we had to substitute Y.”

I’m going to need you to stop apologizing. Things happen, work goes on and most of what you find yourself apologizing for isn’t even your fault. Stop being apologetic, because apologizing is a sign of weakness. Save the “I’m sorry” for your family members who will actually appreciate it.

The above sentences don’t change when you remove those three little words. What you’re really trying to do by apologizing is to show a little empathy, so do that by providing a reason rather than an apology.

3. “Let Me Research It”
Too often, we say “I don’t know” or “I can’t” as a quick way to extricate ourselves from a situation. However, these phrases close the door to future opportunity. They paint you as a person who not only is unable to do the task that was asked, but who’s unwilling to attempt to help.

If you really don’t know, offer to find out. Upon further research, you may find someone else who’s better suited for the task, or you may find there’s a really easy solution. If you can’t help because of a scheduling conflict, being out of the office or some other reason, again, offer a solution: “I’m unavailable to attend that meeting, but Sally is up to speed on this issue and can assist in my absence.”

4. There Is No Try
In the famous words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

There’s a reason we tell our children not to use the word “try” — it undermines what you’re saying and leaves room for the possibility you won’t accomplish the task at all. It’s an easy out.

Stop saying things like “I’ll take a stab at it” or “I’ll give it a go,” which raise doubt in the mind of the person asking. Instead, be confident and say, “I will have the project completed by X date.” Then DO IT!

5. “I Recommend…”
Women are already stereotyped as being the softer sex. So starting a sentence with “I feel,” “I believe” or “I think” is really not the best way to go. It qualifies what you’re saying and devalues the worth of anything that comes afterwards. “I feel” is an emotion, not a fact.

Rather than say “I think we should take this course of action” , which is weaker, back it up with something. “Based upon the market research, we should take this course of action.”

If you find your suggestions are being ignored, you’re not being considered for special projects, or you’re sabotaging yourself by not stepping up, think about the way you speak, the words you use and how you’re perceived in business.

A few small changes can begin to make a big difference in your career.

Do you believe women devalue themselves at work? Share your thoughts below!

Stacey Gordon-5 Words and Phrases Women Should Use to Get Ahead in Their Careers.
http://www.careerattraction.com/5-words-and-phrases-women-should-use-to-get-ahead-in-their-careers/ Connect with Stacey on LinkedIn and Twitter.