Why Are You Procrastinating? Positive Steps For Business People

Is procrastinating about things you have to do or must do, a good or a bad thing? Being negative about your delaying habits is not good for your self-esteem - you feel guilty about being lazy, feel unmotivated, and your list of to-do things gets longer and longer and you feel anxious and stressed. However sometimes procrastinators are very creative, and once they get to work on a project they can be more productive and create better results. If the consequence of this that other stuff doesn’t get done - dirty laundry and dishes, invoicing put off for another week – that can be OK.

What’s Going On When We Procrastinate?

When you delay doing a task that means your unconscious mind is working on the task and you are not ready to showcase your final project. So when finding other things to do such as cleaning the house, updating your social media profiles, or doing less important activities, you are letting your ideas percolate and giving your creativity and brain time to get a feel of the project. If you want to find a creative way to finish your project, procrastination happens when you are planning in your mind, letting the different pieces of information sink in and when you sit to start the job it synthesises it all in.

Daydreaming and procrastination also allow for your stress for the deadline to build and increases your motivation. There is an invisible relationship between your performance and the stress you feel and you can harness this together proactively. You can use this as your strategy to be more productive without allowing the feelings of overwhelming to build. Most people think that things need to be done a certain way but changing things up and letting your creativity flow is the smart thing to do. For example, if you had to start a report today, rushed to complete it but made lots of mistakes because you have not thought it through, you may find it surprising beneficial to spend some time procrastinating and then rework the project.

How To Procrastinate Proactively

Here are five steps that businesspeople can use to turn their procrastination into a positive force:

  1. Intentionally procrastinate: do this so you can percolate your ideas, giving yourself the time to be sure and think. Allow some time to procrastinate when setting yourself deadlines.
  2. Find out why you are procrastinating and what is the reason you are stalling from doing the job you need to. Maybe the reason you’re procrastinating is because you’re not actually ready to see through your ideas? Perhaps you don’t believe your plan is a good one, or that a product or service is really ready to launch. These uncertainties may be causing your subconscious to put the breaks on while you think things through. Or are you delaying because it's against your values and principles? Do you fear failure? If you can find out the answers to all these questions then you will be able to move on.
  3. Don't let your guilt about procrastinating stop you from moving forward with your business idea or product. If you start to have negative thoughts you will let your mind get into a negative spin of procrastination and be self-critical about your ideas. Don't beat yourself up about procrastinating, instead see it as a positive that can actually help you long term.
  4. Solving the problem that causes you to procrastinate. If you’re putting off doing something because it’s daunting, find a way to break it down into smaller chunks. You may think you’re procrastinating because of the ‘big challenge’ but you may find it’s actually because of a single element of the overall challenge. For example, perhaps you need to have a difficult conversation to push the project through, or there’s a task involved that you don’t enjoy doing. You may find that tackling these head on will release your productivity.
  5. Make your business colleague or a friend help you be accountable – team up with this friend in order to share deadlines, achieve your goals and share ideas or suggestions that will make sure you meet your deadlines. You can both help stay accountable and on track by collaborating and talking or planning together to figure how to best achieve your goal.

If you find that your productivity and success if hampered by procrastinating and you’re struggling to turn it from a negative into a positive, cognitive behaviour therapy can help. For a free consultation or chat about the challenges you’re facing, contact me to see whether CBT could help you focus on what’s important.

Call 07967 151790 or email info@formindssake.com


10 Mental Strategies For Weight Loss - Think Yourself Thin

One of the most common issues I help clients with is weight loss. Generally, when someone comes to see me it’s after several attempts to lose weight. They’ve tried various diets, exercise regimes and weight loss plans but haven’t been able to keep up with them and the weight has crept back.

The reason for this is often a combination of unrealistic expectations, unsustainable weight loss plans, and entrenched self-defeating habits and behaviours that make losing weight and keeping it off even harder.

In modern day society, people like to feel instantly gratified and tend to lose interest if losing weight takes too long. But most people lose weight slowly and keeping to a diet plan is a difficult and a lengthy process. Normally it is advisable to lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week and if we lose weight fast we lose lean tissue and water but not fat.

Keeping to a weight loss plan over time is hard. This is why it is really important to address what’s going on in your head, as much as what’s happening to the rest of your body. If you can change those self-defeating habits, how you view food and install some positive behaviours that will help you stick to your plan; you’ll have much better chance of losing the weight for good.

Weight Loss Strategies: Install Positive Habits And Behaviours

So here are 10 mental strategies for weight loss so you can achieve your weight loss goals and think yourself thin.

  1. Imagine yourself thin. Visualise yourself being thin 3 – 6 months in the future and how great you look wearing the clothes you want to wear. Find photos of you when you were your thinner self and this help motivate to achieve your ideal goal weight. Make a list of the different ways you can incorporate this into your life. Think or imagine you are eating less and not indulging in unhealthy foods.
  2. Break your old habits and see a positive image of yourself. Choose activities like a new yoga or Zumba class that will distract you and give you a new focus and a new you.
  3. Have realistic expectations. When setting your weight loss goals make sure they’re realistic and achievable. Losing a lot of weight quickly is not healthy and is often incompatible with daily life. If your exercise and diet plan does not fit in with your lifestyle, you’re more likely to fail. Of course, any weight loss plan involves making adjustments and compromises to your unhealthy lifestyle, but a balance needs to be achieved to ensure you can stick to it.
  4. Set small goals that are (SMART) specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Make a list of these smart and small goals that would improve your health and lifestyle and change your attitude to weight loss completely. Eating healthier meals with fruits and vegetables, getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, drinking less alcohol, eating healthy snacks, eating a salad instead of potato chips will help you to succeed in your goals.
  5. Accept support from your family and friends. Enlist friends and family to support your weight loss plan and help make you accountable. Even better lose weight with a friend so you can both motivate and support each other. Alternatively get an app that will send motivational messages and keep you on track when you have cravings. If you do have a day where you have indulged in a naughty treat then don't beat yourself up but think of it as an off day and start again. Make this your one splurge of the week.
  6. Setting your action plan in motion. Create a programme for your exercise regime and a weekly healthy meal plan and you will see results. Make this a priority so can start building healthy behaviours from the offset so these become second nature.
  7. Give yourself a reward. A massage, a day at the spa, movie with a dear friend, this will help you feel good and grow your confidence. Reward yourself for accomplishing your goals you will feel good about your weight and celebrate your healthier self.
  8. Get rid of old habits of eating junk food if you want to succeed in losing weight. Identify the times when you are most likely to eat unhealthy foods such as cakes, biscuits and crisps. Swap them for healthy alternatives like a glass of water, fruit or nuts. Clear out the unhealthy snacks and replace them with better choices so you have less temptation to reach for the things that will cause you to put on weight.
  9. Keep a record of meals and snacks. Make a note of when and what you eat so that you can see how well you’re doing and also spot any triggers that cause you to eat unhealthily. For example, you may notice that if you haven’t eaten a proper meal at lunchtime you end up snacking on unhealthy food later in the day. With this information, you can plan your meals better, and avoid those unhealthy habits. By keeping a record you will also stay accountable so you less likely to go off track.
  10. Visualise you have a magic pause button inside you that stops you from reaching for the junk foods. If you feel like indulging in naughty foods ‘Pause and Think’ for at least 5-10 minutes before you make that decision to eat the chocolate bar. By not immediately giving in to your cravings you will realise that you do have the willpower to take control of your diet and weight.

For more support with losing weight download my eBook 10 Simple Steps To Weight Loss Success.


The Biggest Barrier To Success Is Self-Limiting Belief

What you believe in reflects what you experience in your life. How strong your self-belief is measured in terms of your success.

Many people do not have a clear idea about what is that they want, and what it is that they don't want. Often we have made our goals a long time ago and never looked at them again or re-evaluated them. If you want to succeed it is time you set SMART (Simple Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely) goals and make them visible so they can be fresh and present in your mind and not hide in a drawer somewhere.

In this post, I will share some ways to overcome self-limiting beliefs that may be affecting your career or ability to make a success of your business.

How To Achieve Your Goals 

‘Building a successful business is not embracing someone else’s philosophy, but staying true to your own beliefs about the world and learning from the mistakes you make along the way.’ – Ben Parr

  • Being curious and learning as much as possible about how you can achieve your goal can be your first step in your journey. Start with researching online courses, reading books and listening to people who are successful - this will give you a benchmark about what you need to do to achieve your goals. Finding someone you respect and admire to mentor you is an excellent way to get the knowledge you desire, as well as support from someone who has ‘been there’. Don’t be afraid to approach someone about whether they would be prepared to help. Many successful business leaders want to contribute and help others succeed.

‘My beliefs will run through everything I do. My beliefs, and my values are my anchor when people try to drag me down, as I know they will, it is to that sense of right and wrong, that sense of whom I am and what I believe, to which I will always hold.’ - Ed Miliband

  • Use the different ideas you have learnt to create something unique and tailored to what you want to achieve is another step in your journey. Take risks, be brave and dare to be different. Concentrate on your end result and list all the things you need to do get the outcome you want. Try not to be distracted by what others are doing. When you try to be competitive you will focus on other people, so just try to succeed at your own pace but with determination. Believe in your mind that you can do it and you will use all your energy and commitment to achieve success.

‘People have a lot of different beliefs, and at the end of the day, we all have deeply held beliefs that probably don't make sense to anyone.’ – Trey Parker

  • Think positively about your goals, and do not look at obstacles before you even start. Being positive and believing in your ability to achieve your goals will get you where you need to be. If you tend to be influenced by negative people then you will find it difficult to succeed. Fuel your desire for success with strong positive affirmations, don't be afraid to fail as you will learn from your mistakes, face difficult challenges and view yourself without the self-limiting beliefs and negativity. Make a commitment to yourself to work hard and let nothing stand in your way to achieving the success you want.

Every business owner has to overcome their self-limiting beliefs before they grow and succeed in business. You might have buried these limiting beliefs or your fear of failure has stopped you from taking risks, but they will stop you from achieving your full potential.

The key to your success is growing, learning and development of a mindset that takes action and conquers doubt.

Here’s how to deal with five common self-limiting beliefs:

  1. Not feeling confident about what you say – it’s very common for business owners to question whether what they say about their business is good enough. The feedback that you receive from your prospective clients will tell if your content is good. Are emails that you have sent out being opened, have people been engaging on your social media posts, are people commenting on your blogs and visiting your website? Are you making sales? If you want to succeed don't second-guess yourself and think that your efforts aren't good enough. Look for evidence from other people about whether you're getting it right. Don’t let this become a belief that is self-limiting to your success.
  2. Pricing your services correctly – people find money a difficult topic especially when you ask for payment. If you charge a fair price, your clients will value your services and you will give them your best. As you are offering to help your clients with their biggest struggles, base your charges on the value you provide.
  3. Competition – even if there are a lot of people providing the same service, you are unique and embrace that. Most people try to follow influencers in their field and mimic them, blend in and they don't try to be different due to their self-limiting beliefs. Believe in yourself and infuse that in your business and you will be successful.
  4. Lack of confidence in your credentials – as a business entrepreneur your knowledge and confidence come from years of learning your subject and experience. While in some fields qualifications are essential, in others experience and natural ability are more important. Focus on building your credentials by delivering an excellent service to the clients you are helping.
  5. Not enough money and resources – most businesses require a financial contribution to get them off the ground, and without investment, it may hold them back. Don't let money become a self-limiting belief that prevents you from growing your business. There are a lot of free resources out there, so learn and build your business step-by-step.

Changing your negative mindset that tells you that ‘you can’t do it’ or that you're not good enough’ is vital if you want to succeed in business. Acknowledging that you have these thoughts is the first step; the next is to overcome them with more positive thoughts and beliefs. If you are struggling to overcome your limiting self-beliefs, you may find that cognitive behaviour therapy can help, providing you with the opportunity, to be frank with yourself, rationalise these thoughts, and change your attitudes and entrenched views.

From a business perspective getting help with this early could enable you to fast track your business success and achieve your goals sooner.

If you would like to chat about any of the issues explored in this post and find out more about my services and how I’ve to help business owners overcome their self-limiting beliefs, please get in touch. Call 0796 715 1790 or email info@formindssake.com


Frightened Of Spiders? How To Overcome Your Fear Phobia

 

It's the beginning of September and the spiders are out in force, coming indoors at this time of the year as the weather changes. Fear of spiders is called Arachnophobia and it is a very common phobia. So how to cope with your spider phobia?

I recently helped Wendy who had a long-term fear of spiders. With just one session of hypnotherapy, we were able to cure this phobia allowing her to deal with these eight-legged creatures in a much more controlled way.

How To Overcome Your Fear Of Spiders

As Wendy says, when faced with a spider her anxiety was so high that she once jumped on the dining table to wait for her husband to come home and deal with it. Her flight or fight response naturally kicked in to help her with her anxiety levels. Her heart rate, breathing rate and adrenaline levels increased.

If you have a similar response to spiders or other phobias you will know that someone telling you to calm down is not very helpful. Instead, a good method is to learn to control your breathing and stay calm, with the understanding that the spider or other fear will not actually hurt you.

Generally, when we are stressed our breathing quickens and when we are relaxed and calm we take deep slow breaths. By reversing your panic and anxiety symptoms when confronted by a spider, reducing hyperventilation and guiding your body towards being calmer, you will be in control. Also by mentally relaxing your mind and slowing your breathing rate, you will feel strong and in control of your fear.

Deep breathing techniques are powerful and can be used to:

  • To calm anxiety and panic attacks
  • Reduces your breathing when you hyperventilate
  • To calm your emotional arousal when you are in the presence of a spider
  • To relax and be in control of your mind and body

During her hypnotherapy session, I helped Wendy learn how to control her response when she sees a spider, giving her time to use relaxation techniques before her anxiety has a chance to escalate.

Here’s how to teach yourself deep breathing techniques that you can then use when confronted by your fears.

Deep Breathing For Fears And Phobias

Sit in a quiet place on your couch or lie on your bed and make your body comfortable (this might be difficult when you are anxious due to the presence of a spider but try to sit somewhere where you can relax).

Notice where you are tense and anxious and where you hold it in your body – tighten your muscles and relax them. Place both hands on your tummy and take deep long breaths – gently breath in and out, fill your lungs and then let go. You will feel your tummy inflating and falling with each in-breath and out-breath and not your chest. Notice how each in-breath feels and how it feels on the out-breath. Focus on your tummy as you breath out.

To get the best benefit in order to gain control over your overall breathing patterns always practice this at least 4 -5 times a day.

How to cope with your fear of spiders or other phobias: A practical technique:

  1. On a scale of 0 to 10 (with 10 the most scared) rate, your anxiety or nervousness with regards the fear you feel,
  2. Relax your mind and keep your eyes closed,
  3. Visualise the situation or imagine (first image) what it is like when you see a spider or experience your phobia. See what you see and hear what you would hear when you are in this situation and observe the tension, anxiety, panic and nervousness,
  4. Now imagine another image (second image) inside your first image, but this time virtualise yourself being calm and confident. Create a big image of yourself fighting this fear and winning, use previous experiences of being successful at something to help you recreate how this feels,
  5. Bring in the first image of that fearful situation, looking and hearing what you would when you are faced with seeing the spider, feeling scared and anxious,
  6. Quickly squash this fear your second image – calm and confident, breathing gently notice everything around you and the way you feel and behave,
  7. Focus on the calm image for about five seconds,
  8. Then open and quickly close your eyes,
  9. Now repeat your steps 4 till 8 for another 9 repetitions (repeating it for a total 10 times),
  10. Check if your nervousness and anxiety has come down between on a 0 to 10 scale
  11. If you still feel stressed repeat steps 4 to 8 for another 10 repetitions until you feel comfortable.

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) uses systematic desensitisation and exposure therapy involving restructuring the way you think about spiders.

CBT helps by restructuring the way you feel (fear) and think about spiders and your action or behaviour of avoiding spiders. CBT helps by challenging and replacing your automatic thoughts, for example by replacing “I am scared and spiders will hurt me” to “Spiders are ok and are just small animals that run away when approached”.

When you get overwhelmed with your fears and phobias and you consciously scan your environment constantly for possible threats; a way to feel better is to reduce your general anxiety and stress. Generally, if your anxiety is high, perhaps because of other issues such work-related stress, relationship difficulties and low self-confidence, you can start to obsess about certain things. Your underlying anxiety is down to these issues, but it manifests most strongly in your fear of spiders or another phobia.

The benefits of reducing your anxiety will quieten your mind so you don't obsess about things. By practicing deep breathing techniques, mindfulness, self-hypnosis, meditation and yoga you can achieve a calm and happier lifestyle.

If you have a spider phobia or any other fears that are making you unhappy, please contact me to discuss how cognitive behaviour therapy can help. Call 07967 151790 or email info@formindssake.com