What Gets Me Up in the Morning is….
I am a doer. I love achieving, even if it is only to get in my run or cycle before the rain, or get my accounts done so I can do something more exciting!
As a self-employed business woman for over 20 years, being a self-starter is important to survival. Self-employment is great, but it means that you have to motivate yourself every day, to get up and start, even if you have no clients or work today or this week. How can you do this? And does it work?
Who is judging you?
The key to staying focused and motivated is to set goals for yourself – even little tiny ones – every day, and not be too hard on yourself if you do not ‘measure up’. After all, what is life all about? Who is judging you, other than yourself? As a business and career coach, I find that the biggest thing holding people, especially women, back is lack of self-belief and self-confidence. There is the syndrome of: Who do I think I am? What will others think of me? Maybe I am just a fraud? Is there a little voice in your head saying these things? I call him the Gremlin, and I get people to address him and not try and ignore him or block him out. He is the voice of your own criticism, nothing else.
Talk to your Gremlin
When you hear that inner voice whispering: You can’t do that! Do not ignore it. Imagine instead that the Gremlin is a little person sitting on your shoulder. Take him off and set him in front of you. Tell him that you hear him. But, that you are busy now and do not have time to listen to him. Tell him that you will talk to him later and for now he must go away and keep quiet. Some people even make him more real by creating a toy, or clothes peg, or something to symbolise him, so that they can address him more clearly. Remember, he is only your inner voice. He is not real and he is not true either. He is out to sabotage you. But, he does not exist! You can learn to silence him by acknowledging your fear, but doing it anyway.
Banish the word Should!
So many people say to me ‘I should be doing this’, ‘I should be doing that’. ‘I should be more organised, work harder, earn more, be tidier, take exercise’ etc. My answer to that is: Do you want to do that? Is it something you are passionate about? What will happen, how will you feel if you do those things? If doing those things will make you feel happier, more secure, will achieve your goals, then do them. If not, why should you?
Not a dress rehearsal
Remember, this is your life. It is not a dress rehearsal. You have to decide how you wish to live it. You can put off doing the things you love… until you earn this much money, until you get this car, this house, this promotion, until you retire. But, by then, those things may not happen, or it may be too late. What are you waiting for? If you want to achieve those things, then why not start now, today? How?
Make a list
List all the things you would like to achieve – big and small, personal and professional. Writing them down make them more real. It also allows you to revisit them. Ask yourself: is that what I really want? Why do I want that? Sometimes writing it down makes you realise that you do not actually want that, maybe you just thought you should want it. There is that ‘should’ again!
What gets me up in the morning is that I do what I love, I am using the skills that I have to earn, to add value not just to my own life but to others’ as well. I make time for me, for family and friends, to cook good food, to talk to the fox in my garden, to read books, to get out on my bike, to volunteer in interesting projects. Will you join me? www.claraclark.ie