How to Handle Criticism from Yourself & Others

This time of year can feel like a lot of pressure with some year end wrap up, new products, growth and renewed goals and aspirations. Unfortunately, when you have so very much going on, it can be easy to allow yourself to become vulnerable to other people’s opinions or criticisms.

Being vulnerable can also cause you to reflect back on your short-comings and compare yourself to others and their seemingly amazing accomplishments. It can be very common to carry around negative self talk and that weight can very easily drag you down into unhealthy thoughts and patterns.

It can be internal criticism within yourself or external criticism comparing yourself to others and both are equally as dangerous and damaging. This quote is a personal favorite of mine…

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Teddy Roosevelt

If you spend time comparing yourself to others, you are stealing your own joy. When we feel dragged down and engage in negative self talk, it can be very easy to slip into the habit of allowing ourselves to compare ourselves to others unrealistically.

Comparisons are really always unfair not in your favor, if you are in a negative mind space, you are looking through a filter of yourself that will always make you come up short. Don’t compare your worst self to someone else’s highlight reel on Facebook or Twitter. That is a skewed perception.

In this way, there is no way that you will ever be able to make a fair, unbiased comparison. And what do you have to gain from comparison? Making yourself feel bad will certainly not help you get the enthusiasm or energy to improve and get to where you want to be in your business or life goals.

We often compare certain metrics that don’t really, genuinely matter to us. You can’t allow yourself to compare yourself to others that don’t even align with your goals. Your priorities are different than others and comparing them to yourself to them will just drain your energy and foster negativity, unnecessarily.

When you are comparing yourself to someone else, one way to redirect that energy is to realize that you are focusing on the wrong person if you are spending time comparing yourself to others. The only person worth reflecting on and comparing yourself to is yourself. You will come out ahead if you only compare yourself to yourself.

You are always in the process of becoming, changing and growing. You are a product of your decisions. Ask yourself these questions:

What are you doing today that you could not have done 2 days, 2 months or 2 years ago? What ground have you covered? It fosters such positive energy and can only prove to push you forward!

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Oh Crap. Now What? I Hate This.

Sometimes, being an entrepreneur can be very trying and difficult on all of us and we will begin to feel like we have made a mess that we will never be able to fix. Have you ever felt a loss of control or disheartened and frustrated in your business? Have you felt like your business somewhere along the way just got away from you and your initial plans?

I hate to hear when someone I’m working with feels disenchanted with their work because something isn’t going the way they think it should be. They jumped in because they really believed in something and thought they could create a business around themselves and their families, but it hasn’t gone as smoothly as they were hoping. They were sick of being the “grunt worker” and wanted to start bringing home some of the lion’s share, some of the pride and acknowledgment as well as some of the profits.

These are all great reasons to start a business. But unfortunately, more often than not, I wind up talking to people who feel like things grow out of their control and don’t know where to go from here. In the beginning, they felt like they owned their business and now it feels like their business owns them.

Are you feeling hated on or bossed around by your business a little bit?

Now, honestly, all of us feel a little unmotivated some days. Sometimes you get up and your business just doesn’t fire you up like usual and you can’t put your finger on exactly why that may be. Sometimes, it just means other external or internal factors are in the way of your normal go-getter entrepreneurial spirit. It absolutely does not always that you need to be done with your business and wipe your hands of the process. It doesn’t always mean that your business has run it’s course and is done, sometimes it’s just a phase.

But what do you do when you really realize you are over it and don’t like the way that it is going? You decided that it’s not an attitude issue or a phase and you feel like your business has grown away from you? You find yourself considering a big change like going back to work, changing major business plans or finding new clients or a new niche. Whoa there, slow down!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is a normal cycle and a normal growth pattern for an entrepreneur. Sometimes your business will grow in a way that doesn’t necessarily align with you or your original plans or ideas and you will need to learn how to handle when this happens.

One of the first things to do when you are feeling miserable in your business is to take a step back. Look objectively at the situation and consider if there are things you dislike but are doing anyway out of a feeling of obligation? A first major step towards helping your situation is taking ownership of the fact that under no circumstances do you HAVE to do anything you do not want to do in your business. It feels like you HAVE to do things a lot in business, but it’s just untrue. you are making a choice.

You have to set very clear boundaries in your business or you can get lost on your vision. In the hustle and bustle of being an entrepreneur, you have forgotten about your initial boundaries when you started your business.

You slide into bad habits and you never feel strong and confident enough to be direct with clients to help them to realize and abide by those boundaries. Do not fear being perceived as rude. Your clients can’t abide by rules and boundaries that you never tell them are there. You can be direct and strong while also being careful, gentle and respectful. Simply telling your clients gently about your boundaries can help shift the dynamics back to what you do and why. Cut out the excess. Let your clients know that you value both their and your time and need to focus on the task at hand.

Are you feeling burnt out on your business? Chances are you need to check back in with your priorities and ensure they are setup to support you in your business. Could your priorities have possibly shifted? You may be experiencing this pain and difficulty because your priorities have evolved and you need to recognize. It’s important to consistently re-evaluate your business to ensure that as much as you work for it, it also works for you.

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Setting Goals for 2016 – What Do You Want to Get Done?

It’s here. The end of 2015. Is it just me or does it feel like it just got here?

Last week we talked about acknowledging and appreciating your ground covered and things accomplished this year. We also talked about taking the time necessary to reflect as to why you maybe didn’t accomplish some different things you had initially set out to do? Did you struggle to find the motivation or inspiration to push yourself just the little bit further? Did you learn something from your audience or market and decide to switch gears to some new, different goals?

The holiday season is usually the time that I sink in and slow down just a little. I don’t take on new crazy goal setting or new challenges. I slow down and enjoy family, food and some time to just breathe and reflect. So this week, we are just going to do an exercise with thinking, no pen or paper required.

Things to consider really thinking about:

  • Why you do your business?
  • What knowledge and skills you have acquired so far in your career?
  • How is that going to affect your life and business next year?
  • How is your life going to change next year?
  • Is it going to be the same?
  • Are you expecting a new baby?
  • Have kids leaving for college?
  • Are you going through separation or divorce?
  • Moving states or cities?
  • Job change for your partner or spouse?

Your lifestyle is absolutely going to impact your business and the goals that you set for yourself. Help yourself by consider your life and the changes you will experience before setting any goals for 2016. Considering your life and any changes can help you make your goals more realistic and achievable.

Are you hoping / planning for growth in your business in 2016? In what manner? Is this finally your year for scaling up? Considering some new employees or a new partner? How about a new passive income stream or branching out your services by offer a new live event or presentation? Could you benefit from a new marketing strategy?

This is not putting pen to paper. This is just about really thinking on your goals and hopes for 2016. Time for reflection on 2015 and projection for 2016. What most fires you up and gets you most excited? These are what will help you bring new business and profits. It feels great to acknowledge yourself and the work you put in to yield your results. Productivity makes us feel powerful and good. Stressed out and overwhelmed happens when we are stretched too thin.

Think about what you want your life to be like in 2016. Not goals. Separate. Just what you want your life to be like in 2016. Is your business too demanding for you right now? Is it taking over your home life? Your marriage and time with your children? Are you taking care of yourself and your mind, body and spirit? Taking care of family and life and business can be too much sometimes. Acknowledging when it’s too much is a powerful thing.

How do you want to FEEL at the end of 2016?

We will talk in January about how to make that happen for you and your business. We will discuss how to create an action plan to get you there. But for now, Happy Holidays and thank you so much for listening / reading along with me in 2015!

When I resume podcasting in January, I will officially have been podcasting for 7 years. Holy cow! I think that is a huge accomplishment and maybe deserves a celebration! I am bad at thinking of that stuff though, so please let me a comment with any ideas you may have!

And also, if you have any questions or have a big decision to make this year, I’d love to help you. Find out more about working with me.

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How to Acknowledge Your Accomplishments

This is a notoriously busy and crazy time of year for everyone, myself included. Between business, personal and family engagements it can be hard to keep up. Today’s blog is about taking the time needed to really step back and reward yourself for the past year and set yourself up for success in the coming New Year.

Shift Your Focus

We are going to go over an end-of-year / closure exercise that I did with one of my coaching clients who is a psychic and tarot card reader. She is somewhat on the “fringe” of society and convention with what she does, so to speak. We were first got together she struggled with accepting what she does, the value she possesses and presenting herself to others with confidence.

We were speaking and she was going over in her mind all of the things she had said she would accomplish and hasn’t yet and was beating herself up about it. I had to ask her to stop and take the time to really acknowledge the ground that she has covered since we started working together. She has developed the confidence and ability to articulate to other what she does and place herself in front of her audience and that is huge ground to have covered.

Share Your Wins

There is so much power in sharing your successes with a group who really supports and encourages you. It’s a great feeling to share your accomplishments and allow yourself to be celebrated. If you don’t have that environment yet, find a group or individual that aligns with you, understands what you are up against and can genuinely support you and celebrate your “wins” with you.

Recognize the Importance

My psychic client was not accustomed to celebrating herself, acknowledging her successes, being proud of and rewarding herself. Feeling accomplished and successful will make you feel good, as helping celebrate others will feel amazing for you.

When you have to hunker down and push through being not motivated, knock downs in business and in your personal life, you need some padding. Some “emotional money in the bank”, as I like to call it. Being acknowledged is banking some of that emotional currency that you can “withdraw” when you need a little push, a little spark and a reminder that is is all worth it in the end to accomplish your goals.

Develop a Reward System

Consider developing a reward system for yourself when you accomplish tasks that you find you tend to procrastinate or let fall through the cracks. A different reward for the size (and pain) of the task you completed. It may look something like this:

Small reward for finally sitting down and writing a letter or email to someone that you have been putting off (like a customer service issue, for instance). Maybe go for a walk or a run, listen to some favorite music.

Medium reward for entering a couple months worth of receipts that have been piling up into your bookkeeping software. Consider possibly lunch or dinner with a friend or a treat just for yourself.

Large reward – get good at knowing where your profits are (net income vs net expenses) goal to be more profitable and completing your books for months. Large rewards can be subjective for all of us but maybe consider a small road trip to a nice dinner or show?

The type, size and kind of rewards will be different for all of us, but they are important to have in place ahead of time to give you just that little extra incentive that we all sometimes need to get things accomplished. Recognize how much ground you have covered this year instead of focusing on things you wish you had done. Celebrate your accomplishments and put some rewards in place to help you knock out some more of your goals.

Let’s jump into 2016 with some power!

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