Strength-Based To-Do Lists

Do you ever wonder why you aren’t getting stuff done? If you do, please read on and see if you identify with this…

My to-do lists are more like delusional wish lists. Lately there has been an added element to that, too:

My delusional wish lists are ruining my morale.

I write down tasks and then immediately feel the desire to flee far, far away. This impulse quite understandably curbs progress.

This time, however, I have a plan, and it’s based on my strengths.

For me to even begin this plan, I had to spend time recognizing my strengths and weaknesses. Once I did that, I saw why certain tasks were remaining on my list for an embarrassing amount of time. I’ve illustrated this exercise below. (more…)

Procrastination Soup

Procrastination Soup: When Putting Stuff Off Feels Like a Virtue

The aroma of homemade vegetable soup wafts from the kitchen to the office as I sit here and write. It’s a cold winter day, and I set time aside this morning to make something nutritious and wholesome. Good of me, wasn’t it? Not really.

Procrastination can take many forms, and it’s important to watch for that.

When you say yes to something, you automatically say no to something else. This morning, as I chopped all the vegetables to make this wonderful soup, I chose not to do other work that is admittedly much more pressing.

Virtuous procrastination has taken a very strange form for me lately. (more…)

On Getting Out of Your Own Way

Have you ever started working on a project that was really important to you, but then suddenly you just stopped?

Do you work on your ideas and then abandon them before completion, or do you finish them only after a Herculean effort at the end?

Examine your stories. You may find roadblocks there.

Stories are the collection of things you tell about yourself. Your stories involve how you look, how you feel around certain people, and what kinds of things you think you need to make your life complete.

Stories also include your perception of your abilities: things you do very well, and the things you might not even want to try because “you’re bad at that.” Your stories started a long time ago, and they have since become part of your identity. (more…)

The Undercurrent: Dealing with Sneaky & Mean Inner Critics

What drags you down?

My negative thoughts can attack me on even the best of days. They are so persistent and so effective that I have come to call them The Undercurrent.

The Undercurrent is a quiet, unseen, and vicious tug that is always running just beneath the surface of seemingly tranquil waters. It has a nightmarish component: In the river of my thoughts, there is a monstrous force that reaches up from underneath to grab my neck and drown me.

Whenever I want to do something I deem noteworthy, this negative “stop her now” energy lurks about, waiting to spiral me downwards to my untimely death.

There’s hope, however!

I’ve identified this B Horror movie drama as the scalding disapproval that comes from my inner critics. I have a whole bunch of them, and they are like guerrilla warriors, ready to ambush me when I least expect it!

That’s why I have to pay attention. It’s either that, or have my hopes and dreams slain by those tricky little soldiers.

Today, I won. I followed my dreams despite The Undercurrent. I didn’t drown; in fact, I’ve made small steps towards accomplishing my goals. Lately, I’ve been winning more often. I’ll share how. (more…)

On Blasting Through the Wall of Criticism

Real and imaginary critics abound.

If you’re trying to reach a challenging goal, you’re likely to hear a few voices in your head telling you that you can’t do it. Depending on how much attention you give those voices, the resounding echoes of their negativity can be overwhelming.

One of my clients described the criticism she hears while writing to be an enormous wall of criticism that simply will not allow progress to occur. Instead, she suffers, and thinks a lot about the criticism. Any words she writes appear to be pale echoes of what could be.

We’re working on blasting through that wall. Here are a couple of techniques we’ve found that actually work. Try them! (more…)