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What Derails You?


Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Accountability Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

We all have days when we want to pull out our hair or just curl up in a ball and check out for a while. It’s part of doing business, it’s part of life. Often what separates more successful people from everyone else is their ability to quickly handle the things that tend to derail them from their purpose and to get back on track.

What derails you?

Is it thinking that you’re not good enough? Is it the fear of taking on something new? Is it resistance to change? Is it something someone close to you says that triggers all that negative self-talk? Is it analysis paralysis? Is it procrastination? Is it disappointment? Is it saying yes to everything without taking anything off your plate? Is it taking a two minute project and turning it into a two day mental meltdown?

The list of things that derail us is long. But it is definitely not insurmountable.

Regardless of the thing that ultimately knocks you off track, the trick is to figure out ways to shorten the amount of time you spend checked out. It’s critical to learn how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to business quickly!

One of my favorite ways to get back on track is simply to do something productive. I always pick something short and easy. And I make sure it is something that requires just a bit of thought and concentration. Then I do it.

You might do a small task that is related to your business. File a few papers, make an easy call, pay a bill. You might do something physical like riding a bike, taking a run or a walk or just going outside and breathing some fresh air. You might do something fun like playing with your kids or grabbing your favorite markers and coloring for a while.

The effect of intentionally doing something productive, no matter how small, is that it shifts your attention away from the thing that derailed you and, instead, focuses it on a productive bit of activity. Plus, when you’re done, you get that yummy feeling of satisfaction when you cross something off the To Do list.

When you intentionally shift your attention, the habitual negative self-talk that usually happens when you derail never gets a chance to start. If you manage to switch your attention right away, you avoid going down that neural pathway altogether. In addition, when you shift your attention elsewhere, you make the choice to create a new neural pathway, a new response to that thing that used to derail you. As time passes, and you continue to choose the new neural pathway, it becomes the preferred response. Think about how much mental energy you’ll save!

Now multiply the things crossed off the To Do list and the amount of personal energy saved by the number of times you want to pull your hair out in a quarter. Get the picture? This small shift could have a tremendous impact on your world.

So the next time you’re on the brink, pick something productive, that’s short and easy, that requires just a bit of thought and concentration… and go do it!

Cass Mullane is an artist with an MBA. Cass’ calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, textile and mixed media artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ coaching program. You can also visit Cass on Facebook!

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