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Go On, Be A Perfectionist – And Undermine Your Confidence!

Striving for perfection is often thought of as ‘a good thing’. Surely perfectionists have high standards, they keep themselves and everyone else on their toes? They demand the best, which must raise the bar for everyone’s performance.

Sound good, doesn’t it? We need more of these people.

Actually, no, we don’t.

Perfectionists are a pain.

They’re awful to work for, because they’re never satisfied. However much you do, they’ll always expect more. If they do drive up performance, it comes at a price – for themselves and the people around them. They can put people under intolerable pressure and make them feel constantly inadequate.

In fact, perfectionists can actually be very unproductive. They spend far too long on certain tasks and often never complete them because, of course, they’re never satisfied with the result. They’re constantly tinkering with things. So reports or projects never get finished or, if they do, they take much longer than they should.

The quest for perfection is also a great way to undermine confidence, your own and other people’s, because perfectionism has failure built into it. I’ve worked with a lot of people who have lacked self-confidence and it has often stemmed from their own brand of perfectionism.

People who lack confidence find ways to give themselves a hard time. One way of doing this is to measure themselves against impossible standards and then beat themselves up for falling short. They’re what I call pessimistic perfectionists, always demanding perfection from themselves but never really expecting to achieve it.

They only have two standards to judge their own performance – ‘perfect’ or ‘rubbish’. They often think they’ve done something really badly just because they haven’t done it perfectly. Then they keep telling themselves how ‘rubbish’ they are because they can’t achieve the perfection they’re looking for.

Shall I tell you who does achieve perfection? No-one.

That’s right. Shocking, isn’t it? No-one is perfect. No-one gets it absolutely right every time.

In fact, here’s another shocking fact. Perfection doesn’t exist.

Recognising that perfection doesn’t exist doesn’t mean you have to accept mediocrity. You can aim for excellence. You can set yourself high standards and always try to improve your performance in anything you do.

But have a measure of realism. If you’re new to something, you’re not going to be World Champion at your first attempt. If you have to speak in public, for example, and it’s not something you do very often, then don’t judge your efforts by comparing yourself with a professional speaker.  Set some realistic goals and try to make a fair assessment of your performance afterwards.

Look for what you did well and build on that. Accept if something could have been better and plan to improve that next time.

But judging yourself against some idea of perfection is a recipe for constant failure, constant disappointment and constant lack of self-belief.

What Stories Are You Telling Yourself To Keep You Where You Are?

You know that voice in your head? Yes, you know the one I’m talking about, it’s not just me, everyone hears it. The one that gives a running commentary on everything you do during the day. What is it saying to you?

We all talk to ourselves. Really, it’s quite normal. Most of us don’t do it out loud, that’s not so normal. But we do it.

And what we say to ourselves makes a huge difference to what we achieve. In terms of your career, for instance, what you tell yourself will largely determine how far you can go.

I know from the coaching I do that people tell themselves stories. Stories about themselves, about what they’re like, about what they deserve, about their place in the world. And, often, these stories are used as a reason to stop them moving forwards.

For example, I hear people saying, “I’m not the sort of person to be wealthy/to run a business/to be a leader…”

They say, “I’m unlucky/I’m lazy/I’m disorganised/I’m too young/I’m too old/I’m not ready/I come from a poor background/I’m just an ordinary person (whatever that means)…”

I think it was Tony Robbins, the self-development guru, who once put it very plainly and said something like, “There are two types of people – there are winners and there are losers with a great story.”

In other words, people who don’t achieve what they want to always have a good story to tell as to why it never happened for them. That may seem unfair but there’s some truth in it.

Of course external factors will have an impact on what you achieve. Bad things may happen to you. Other people may treat you badly. There may be circumstances outside your control. But how you react to those things will determine your level of success – and how you react will partly depend on the stories you tell yourself.

If you see yourself as unlucky, as a victim, or as someone who doesn’t deserve to be successful, you’re preparing the way for failure right from the start. As soon as you hit an obstacle, you’ll say, ”There, I was right!” Where someone else might find a way round that obstacle, you’ll use it as justification for giving up.

So think carefully about the stories you tell yourself. When you hear that voice in your head offering some excuse for not trying or for not achieving something, ask yourself, “Is that true? Is that really why I haven’t achieved what I want yet? Is this story helping me or is it holding me back?”

Because, if you can change some of the stories you tell yourself, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

How To Manage your Career Successfully

A subject that often comes up when I’m talking to people I’m training (often in informal conversations as it’s not usually the focus of the training) is how best to manage your career.

Sometimes people ask because they feel their careers have stalled in some way, sometimes it’s just that they’re starting out and want to know what to do to get on as quickly as they can.

Thinking back over my own experience and from watching other people progress in the various organisations I’ve worked in, I’ve come up with these points.

I have to admit, I didn’t do all these things myself. To be honest, even at the time I knew I should do some of these things but decided, for various reasons, not to. I can look back now and see that not doing them actually held me back in my own career.

But, to some extent, that was my own choice. And it’s your choice as well. Being aware of these factors will help you, but it’s up to you whether you want to act on them.

1. Ask for feedback.

Most people avoid feedback because they see it as criticism. See feedback as a guidance system, it tells you if you’re on track. If you’re not, it’s best to know so you can do something about it.

If you’re looking to get promoted at some point, why not be open and ask someone, “What do I need to be good at to get that job? Where am I falling short at the moment and what do I need to do?”

Simply showing this openness and willingness to listen and learn will make you stand out.

2. Show a willingness to take on new work.

Be the first one to put your hand up when new work comes in. Look for opportunities to learn and develop and to expand your experience.

3. Get a name for being good at something.

Make yourself stand out in some way – be really good at something and get known for it. If someone asks what you value you add to the organisation, it should be really easy for them to see the answer.

4. Strive for excellence.

Don’t be satisfied with doing an OK job, aim to be outstanding. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability. Plenty of people are happy to be mediocre and to make a moderate amount of effort, being just good enough. Get a name as someone who produces excellent work every time.

5. Be accountable.

Do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it. Be reliable and hold yourself accountable for producing the results you say you’ll produce. Don’t give yourself excuses for not delivering, don’t blame other people, take responsibility for your own performance.

6. Be adaptable and embrace change.

Nothing stays the same, things always change. That’s a fact of life in any organisation. The skills you learned years ago won’t be enough now. The things you used to be good at won’t get you much further. You need to constantly adapt and learn. Keep moving, don’t expect to stand still (or your career certainly will).

7. Have a positive attitude, don’t be a complainer.

Workplaces are full of moaners and whiners. I’m not being cruel, it’s just true. There are always people you can find who spend their time criticising and complaining. Don’t be one of them.

Of course, you live in the real world, there will be things you’re not happy about and there will be people who drive you mad. But keep your criticisms to yourself and try to maintain a positive attitude, whatever the temptation.

8. Build relationships with people who can support you.

Get to know, and be known by, people who can support you in your aim to progress.

This doesn’t mean you have to be manipulative or go around sucking up to the boss. But, at some point, someone will have to make a decision about your future, whether to keep you on or let you go, whether to promote you or leave you where you are. At that point, you need people on your side who will stand up for you because they know what you bring to the organisation.

9. Find a mentor.

Find someone you trust and respect and ask their advice. It may not be your direct line manager (in fact, it’s probably best if it isn’t), but someone who knows their way around the organisation and whose opinion you value. Someone you can be open and honest with.

10. Take responsibility for your own career.

Accept that it’s up to you to look after your own career. Progress in any organisation isn’t like an escalator, where you just step on and get carried along until you get to where you want to go. It’s like several flights of stairs. You can use them to get where you want, but you have to decide where you want to go and then you have to make the effort to get yourself there.

I’ve never worked in any organisation, in the public or private sector, where senior people came round the office looking for people who did good work, sought them out and said, “Hey, I’m sure you’re doing a really good job here, how would you like to be promoted?”

It’s up to you to make things happen, don’t rely on others. Everyone else is busy with their own work and their own plans, they can’t be looking out for you as well. You need to put yourself in front of them, bring yourself to their attention by doing the things I’ve listed above.

I’m sure this isn’t a comprehensive list, but I do know that all of these things will help you to get where you want to go. Where that might be is up to you.

4 Things That New Managers Need (And Fail) To Grasp

I’ve trained and coached hundreds of managers over the years and I have to say I see the same issues arising again and again.

A lot of problems come about, not because managers aren’t working hard or because they lack skills, but because they haven’t made the mental shift necessary to step into the role of a manager.

What do I mean by that?

Well, there are a number of things which new managers need to grasp about the role. Unfortunately, many don’t. In fact, many still don’t grasp these things even after years of being managers. And this makes their lives much harder. It also has an impact on the people around them.

Here are 4 things I suggest that managers need to realise, and the sooner the better!

 

1. You’re no longer “one of the team”.

Yes, you would like to be, and you want to be liked and accepted just as you used to be before you were promoted – but it doesn’t work like that. You cross a line when you become a manager and you’d better get used to that fact. People look at you, and treat you, differently, even people you’ve known for years. And, in a way, they should. Your role has changed now and you have some power and responsibility that you didn’t have before. The rest of the team know that, even if you don’t. Pretending nothing has changed only makes you seem weak as a manager.

 

2. You can’t, and shouldn’t do everything yourself.

Before you became a manager, you were probably used to just doing your own job. Someone else told you what to do and you could concentrate on doing it as well as you could. And you were good at it. That’s probably how you became a manager in the first place.

But that’s not your job any more. Your job now is to get things done, not to do everything yourself. So you need to use your team – you know, those people who are sitting around without enough work to do because you’re still doing it all yourself.

In a word – DELEGATE! If you don’t, you’ll have too much to do, other people won’t have enough and they’ll get frustrated, the work will be done at the wrong level and it will be more expensive for the organisation.

 

3. You’re responsible for other people’s performances.

Linked to point 2, you’re now responsible for getting results by helping other people to perform as well as they can. You’re not just responsible for your own results any more, you’ll be judged by how well your team, your group, your department performs.

So it’s no use just thinking about doing your own work well, you need to think about how to get the best out of others. All that “management” stuff, like delegation, giving feedback, training, coaching, motivating and developing other people.

I realise that your previous role may not have prepared you to be able to do all these things. Few managers arrive in their new role with all the necessary skills in place. But the first step is realising that it’s your job to do them. Then you need to develop the skills – that’s why organisations hire people like me to do management training (and my sincere thanks to all of them).

 

4. You’ve just become a role model.

Yes, like it or not, you’re now a role model for the people around you.

What, you mean you didn’t realise it? Well, earlier in your career, didn’t you ever look at the person who was your manager then and make judgements about the way he or she behaved? Did you never think, “Well, if I was a manager, I wouldn’t do that.”? Or, “Wow, this person’s great. If I ever become a manager, I want to be just like that.”

People will look at you now and, based on your behaviour, they’ll make adjustments to the way they behave themselves. They’ll look to you to set the standard for what’s acceptable and what’s expected. If you set the bar low, don’t expect them to raise it.

 

These are just 4 of the things that I see managers struggling with, 4 of the mental shifts that you need to make if you’re going to be successful. Sorry if no-one told you when they gave you the job but at least I’ve told you now.

No need to thank me.

Top Down Or Bottom Up – Who Creates The Culture In Your Organisation?

A common complaint I hear when I’m training is, “Well, that’s all very well but it won’t work here, it’s not part of the culture in our organisation.”  Sometimes it’s not actually spoken, it’s more of an underlying attitude amongst the participants.

This can come up with all sorts of topics, from coaching to running meetings to using PowerPoint in presentations. In fact, since all training is really about changing behaviour, it’s always a relevant issue.

But is it a valid point? Or is it an excuse for not making changes?

It depends what you mean by “culture”. That word can mean a number of things. It can include values, expectations, beliefs, behaviours. It can cover all manner of things from dress codes to language to management styles.

When people say, “that’s not the culture round here” what they usually mean is just, “that’s not the way we normally do things here.”

All organisations tend to develop norms of behaviour, a style of operating which its members will tend to reproduce. For example, I mentioned dress codes. If you go to any organisation, I suspect you’ll see people wearing a similar form of clothing for work. It may vary, of course, depending on people’s roles, so you wouldn’t expect to see someone in maintenance wearing a suit and tie, but often there’s a general norm. Broadly speaking, it will be more or less “formal”.

Often, this dress code is never actually stated. New people aren’t necessarily taken aside and given a list of acceptable clothing (yes, I know there are exceptions – in some cases, people might specify about things like piercings, for instance). Generally, people just pick it up by seeing what everyone else is wearing and, by and large, they fall in with the rest.

In other instances, the norms are actually set out. For example, I remember when I was a consultant being told I had to use specific types of PowerPoint slides if I was speaking to clients because I had to follow the “brand” of the firm I worked for. There was a handbook setting out the requirements for slides and other media because the firm wanted everyone who represented it to present the same image.

But no-one ever gave me a handbook telling me what management style I had to use. No-one told me there was only one way of running meetings. Of course, I did get some messages about how these things might be done through various means, e.g. training courses I attended, performance reviews, feedback from people around me.

But there were no “rules” sent down from senior levels of the organisation.

What I’m saying is that the “culture” of an organisation may or may not be set out explicitly. Some aspects of it will just be norms of behaviour which have developed over time. No-one may ever have actually said, “This is the way we do things”.

Some of these norms stick because they work, others continue simply out of habit because that’s how it’s always been done. And some of these may be bad habits, which continue to be used even though they’re not the most effective way of doing things. And that may simply be because the people doing them haven’t thought of a better way, not because someone has told them that’s how it has to be done.

So how is the “culture” changed?

Sometimes change comes from the top down. Someone in a leadership position introduces a new practice and encourages others to take it on and develop it. Sometimes people are brought into organisations specifically to find new ways of doing things, to shake things up.

Sometimes it comes from the bottom up. Sometimes it just happens that someone comes up with a better way, a new idea, and others begin to copy that so new practices come into use and spread.

Change can come from either direction. And I know that some organisations are better than others at encouraging people to come up with new methods, at rewarding contributions and at adopting change. I know that some managers and leaders don’t exactly welcome bright ideas from their teams, especially if it implies a criticism of their old way of doing things.

But changing the culture isn’t just about waiting for someone “on high” to make a decision and then everything will be different, it’s also about taking responsibility and trying to introduce new practices in your own work, your own team, your own part of the organisation.

So, if people say to me,” That’s not the culture here “, I don’t think they should use that statement as a way of saying, “I know there are better ways of doing things but I’m not prepared to do them until someone in a senior position says it’s OK “.

My response to that statement is, ” So… what are you going to do to change that? ”

 

8 Tips For Dealing With Change

How well do you deal with major changes in your life or work?

For some people, change is exciting. It’s a chance to do something new, to try things out, to learn about themselves, to develop new skills.

But, for many people, change tends to be a bit scary. It’s threatening, uncomfortable, stressful.

Whichever camp you’re in, the one thing you can be certain of is that change is going to happen, whether you choose it or not, whether you like it or not.

Of course, your own attitude will determine just how difficult you find any change that happens to you and how well you handle it. The problem is, it’s easy to talk about seeing change as an opportunity, having a positive attitude, etc. but it’s much harder to do this in practice.

Think of some major changes which have happened in your life. They may include:

  • moving house
  • changing schools
  • going to College or University
  • leaving home
  • starting, or ending, a relationship
  • the loss of a loved one
  • changing jobs
  • being made redundant
  • starting your own business
  • moving to another country
  • your children growing up and leaving home

I’m sure there are lots of others you could include.

If any of these things have happened to you, how well did you handle them? And what affected your attitude to the changes and your ability to deal with them?

I suspect some of the following factors would have had an impact:

  • Whether or not the change was your own choice or something which you felt just happened to you or was forced upon you
  • Your feeling of involvement in the process of change and how much control you felt you had over what was happening
  • Your emotional commitment to how things were before the change happened
  • Your confidence and trust in the other people who were involved in the change
  • Your understanding of the reasons for the change
  • Your confidence about your ability to deal with the situation after the change happened
  • How wide an impact the change had, i.e. did it just affect a small part of your life or did it seem to change everything?
  • Your degree of certainty, or uncertainty, about how things would work out in the end

In terms of change at work, many organisations fail to handle the situation well. They don’t always recognise that change is extremely stressful for people and that they could ease this stress by attending to some of the factors I’ve listed above, e.g. by giving people information, involving them in the process, explaining the reasons for change.

So here are 8 tips to help you handle any change effectively, especially change at work, especially in situations where the change has been imposed on you ( which is most often the case ).

  1. Recognise that change is inevitable, nothing is going to stay the same forever. In fact, you would probably get very bored if it did.
  2. Communicate with others. Seek out information from people who know what’s going on. Get clarity about your position and what’s going to happen. But don’t pay attention to rumours and gossip.
  3. Be flexible. Give yourself options, work out a plan. Move from thinking, “If only things wouldn’t change…” to “Given that things are changing, what are my options, how can I make the best of it?”
  4. Continue to do your work to the best of your ability and try not to be distracted.
  5. Be positive in your actions and attitude. Make a conscious effort to look for positive aspects of the change.
  6. Avoid people who are constantly moaning and complaining about it and resist the temptation to spend time complaining about it yourself.
  7. Focus on areas of your life and work which are not changing. It may seem as if your whole life is being turned upside down but this probably isn’t true. Focus on the constants, the areas of stability.
  8. Get involved – do something. Don’t sit back feeling like a victim, take some control, make some decisions.

A lot of stress tends to come from feeling that you’re not in control of things, that you’re getting overwhelmed by events. Taking these actions will help you to take back control and to feel more in charge of your own destiny.

The Essential First Step Towards Success

Through my coaching and training, I’ve worked with hundreds of people at all levels in many different kinds of organisations.

I’ve seen people who I could see were going to be successful in whatever they chose to do and others who I could tell would take little action to make any real change in their lives or work.

There are several reasons why someone may or may not succeed, and one clue is in that  word “action”. People who are successful tend to be action-takers.Many other people, who wish they could be successful or wish that their lives were different, often don’t take any real action to change things. They just talk about it or dream about it.

And that, I believe, is due to a difference in attitude between achievers and non-achievers. People who are successful have taken the essential first step by making a crucial decision. They have decided to take responsibility.

I hear lots of people who haven’t achieved what they want coming out with the same two words to explain why not. Those two words are “other people”.

“Other people” waste my time.

“Other people” make unreasonable demands on me.

“Other people” don’t recognise my talents and my potential.

“Other people” are lousy managers, leaders, coleagues, clients…if only they behaved differently, I could have a chance.

Whatever is holding them back, it’s always “other people’s” fault.

And so they spend their time waiting for the world around them to change instead of taking the first step towards changing it for themselves, which is to take responsibility.

If people around you are treating you in a way you don’t like, why is that? There must be something you’re doing yourself which encourages them and gives them permission to treat you that way. What are you going to do about it?

If your current job doesn’t offer you the future you want, if the people there don’t recognise your potential or encourage and develop you, what are you going to do about it?

Blaming other people, or fate, or bad luck for holding you back is not going to help. That sort of thinking disempowers you. It’s saying you’ve no control over what happens to you. And, if you’ve no control, what can you do to make a difference? What happens to you is all just down to luck or it’s all dependent on other
people making the first move.

That sort of thinking will leave you exactly where you are now. It will paralyse you and stop you seeing opportunities to change things.

This may sound a little harsh but it’s true. And, as a coach, I think I would be doing people a disservice if I didn’t point it out to them when we’re working together. Because nothing is going to change until people take responsibility.

So, whatever there is in your own life or work which is blocking your progress right now, wherever you see something which you want to change, ask yourself what you’re doing to let it keep happening and what you’re going to do to change it. Take responsibility and take action!

If you would like more information about how coaching could help you achieve success in your life or your work, please have a look at Coaching for Success on this website.

Imposter Syndrome – How Limiting Beliefs Might Be Holding You Back

I once ran a workshop for women entrepeneurs and I asked the question, ” Which of you secretly feels like you’re an imposter? You feel as if you don’t really know what you’re doing, you’re amazed that no-one has noticed yet and you’re worried that, one day, you’ll be found out. ”

Every person in the room put her hand up.

I’ve mentioned this to quite a lot of people I’ve worked with since then and most of them have said, ” Oh, do other people feel like that as well? I thought it was just me!

Yes, “imposter syndrome” is very common. It affects both men and women and it can affect people who would appear to others to be successful and confident .

If you suffer from it, you’re carrying around some every negative thoughts about yourself – or limiting beliefs. These may be something like:

  • I can’t do this job very well
  • other people are better/cleverer than me
  • my opinion is worth less than other people’s
  • other people find things easier than I do
  • other people are more confident than I am
  • I’m not the sort of person to be really successful
  • I’m only fooling people into thinking I can do this

As well as thinking negative things about yourself, you’re also making a lot of assumptions about other people. For example, you probably don’t know whether other people are confident or find things easy. They just give you that impression. You don’t know how they feel inside, any more than they know how you really feel.

How can you break free from this?

The first thing is to realise that you’re doing it. Do you recognise any of the beliefs I’ve listed above? If so, then at least you’ve got them out in the open.

The next thing is to accept that these are just thoughts, they’re not facts. They’re just notions you have. Who knows where you got them from?

A lot of our negative thoughts come from childhood, when someone told us we were no good at something. For example, a teacher may have told you that you couldn’t draw or sing or a parent told you that you were clumsy and and you’ve carried that with you ever since.

How can you change a negative thought?

Here’s one exercise you can try.

Take one negative thought, such as one from the list above, and write it down. Then ask yourself:

  • Do I really believe this?
  • Is it true? Can I absolutely say that it’s true?
  • Could I be wrong about it?
  • What evidence do I have for this thought?
  • How does thinking this make me feel?
  • How would I feel if I didn’t have this thought? How would I act differently

Just going this far will help you to see that some of these beliefs don’t stand up to close scrutiny.

You can then go further and write down some positive beliefs or thoughts, the reverse of the negative ones, such as:

  • I am very capable and good at this job
  • I can learn and develop new skills whenever I need to
  • I have achieved a lot and can achieve even more
  • My opinion is worth as much as anyone else’s
  • Ask yourself whether these new beliefs could be just as true as the old ones. Look for evidence that supports them, begin to act on them and strengthen them ( just as you did with the old ones )

Try to catch yourself thinking the old thoughts and stop it. Work on replacing them with some new, more positive beliefs. This isn’t about deluding yourself or trying to ignore reality. Your old thoughts weren’t reality either, they were just one view of how things are.

Another thing you can do is to get feedback from other people you respect. You’ll probably be surprised that their view is actually more positive than your own! And, if they do point out some areas where you could improve, then you’ve got something concrete to work on, instead of just having some vague idea in your head that you’re somehow “not good enough”.

Setting Goals At Work – Is BIG Better Than SMART?

Have you set yourself goals at work for this year? If you haven’t, go away and set some and then come back and read this.

Done it? Good. Now read on to see whether you’ve set the right sort of goals or whether you might be selling yourself short…

What’s the point of setting goals at work? Well, it helps you to focus, to plan and to motivate yourself. If you’re clear about what you want to achieve, you can work out a strategy to make it happen. If you leave things vague, you’re far less likely to take the actions necessary to succeed.

Also, if you set clear goals, you can measure your progress and see if you’re on track.

This is why many books about setting goals at work talk about SMART goals. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

So a SMART goal might be, ” I will speak to 20 new prospects by the end of this month ” or, ” I will make get promoted to ( X grade ) within two years. ”

SMART goals are generally thought to be a good thing because they are clear, definite, measurable. You set yourself a deadline and this helps you to focus and motivates you. These goals are much more helpful than ones such as, ” I want to get more clients ” or, ” I will make more money this year “.

The point about them being Achievable and Realistic is supposed to be that it stops you setting ridiculous goals that you can never  achieve

BUT…this is what worries me a bit about SMART goals. Because who says what is achievable and realistic? If it’s you, then what happens if you’re not very confident, not too sure about what you can do? The temptation then is to set goals which are limited by your existing beliefs about what you can do. In other words, you set wimpy goals – ones which don’t challenge you too much or make you feel uncomfortable.

A really good goal ( one that’s worth achieving ) SHOULD make you feel a bit uncomfortable. It should stretch you and make you catch your breath and think, ” Wow, what if I could really do that? That would be amazing! ” Because those goals will really get your blood racing and motivate you. Those goals will really make a difference in your life.

For example, if you’ve set yourself a goal of making a certain amount of money or getting a certain number of new clients this year because you think that’s SMART, why not increase that by 10%, or however much it takes to make you take a breath and think, ” Wow, just think if I could do that! ”

Someone once said ( and I’m sorry I can’t remember who it was ) that the point about a goal is not what you get by achieving it but who you become by achieving it. A really good goal changes you when you achieve it. Even if you don’t achieve it in the time you set, believing it is possible and pushing yourself to get there will change you anyway.

So, when you’re setting goals at work, don’t just settle for SMART goals, set yourself a BIG one – a Breathtaking Inspiring Goal!

Good luck!

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Your Comfort Zone – A Dangerous Place To Be!

” In bullfighting there is a term called querencia. The querencia is the spot in the ring to which the bull returns. Each bull has a different querencia but, as the bullfight continues and the animal becomes more threatened, it returns more and more often to this spot.

As he returns to his querencia, he becomes more predictable. And so, in the end, the matador is able to kill the bull because, instead of trying to do something new, the bull returns to what is familiar – his comfort zone. ” Carly Fiorina

An unpleasant image, perhaps, but relevant. How much harm is your comfort zone doing to you?

Feeling uncomfortable is a natural part of life. It’s how we progress, change and develop. It’s how we learn and grow.

Think of any skill you have acquired over the years, whether it’s riding a bike, learning to use a computer, playing a sport or an instrument, baking a cake or understanding how to use the DVD!  There was a time when you couldn’t do things which you now take for granted. The only way you learned them was to be uncomfortable for the time it took to develop your new skills.

Of course, once you learned them, they in turn became part of your ( now extended ) comfort zone.

As you develop, you keep stepping out of your comfort zone and, by doing so, you extend it.

But there are times when, like the bull, you feel threatened. Things seem uncertain, difficult, perhaps even dangerous. For example, you’re running your own business and there seem to be so many things to learn, so many challenges. And it’s so important to get it right – you need to make money, you need to be successful. But times are hard, it’s not easy. It’s tempting at this point to crawl back under the covers, to stick with what you know instead of boldly going forward into what may seem like the unknown.

But that’s where the success lies – in going forward, not in retreating. The people who are successful know that feeling uncomfortable is a good sign, it means you’re alive! If everything is cosy and safe, you’re probably not doing what you should be doing. You’re probably not making progress.

You don’t need to be rash or do things that make you terrified. You don’t have to become an ” adrenalin junkie ” and throw yourself off cliffs ( literally or metaphorically ). Take small steps if you like – but keep moving. Keep learning new skills and new information to help you grow and develop. Pick one thing a day to learn that you can’t do now or do one thing that makes you feel a bit nervous ( like ringing that client you know you should have followed up with by now ).

Then, at the end of the day, you can proudly tell yourself that your comfort zone is now that little bit bigger!

Site by: Dawud Miracle, Business Coach & WordPress Websites