The easy way to become your own productivity coach
Coaches can be powerful resources for helping you get past roadblocks! But even if you have a coach, you probably don't have access all the time. In the meantime, you need to consistently coach and encourage yourself! This post is all about becoming your own productivity coach.
Hey there friend – if you’re reading this, you may struggle with productivity and motivating yourself to take action. You may even feel discouraged when you compare where you are with where you want to be.
As a result, you may feel totally stuck in your current situation.
If that’s you, I SO feel your pain. Trust me. I want you to know, first of all, that you are not alone.
For a long time, I struggled hard with feeling unhappy in my career. I hit my five-year anniversary at my job. The work was engaging and rewarding, but it was just so, so far away from the hopes and dreams I had for my career.
I needed to take steps in a new direction, and I knew generally what I needed to do, but the road seemed so long and difficult. I couldn’t even make myself start.
I was stuck in a loop of negative self-talk.
my negative self-talk
My inner dialogue sounded like this: “I need to work towards the career I want, or I’ll never have it. But I can’t find the motivation or confidence to make it happen. If I try, I’ll probably fail and that will be disappointing and even embarrassing.”
Does this sound familiar?
That inner critic was so loud and so effective at tearing me down that I couldn’t ever make any real progress. If I did muster up any motivation, self-doubt would flood in and kill the party.
I felt Charlie Brown getting ready to kick the ball, but Lucy (my inner critic) would yank the ball away from my own foot.
Not so long after that, everything changed. It was like uncovering a nuclear reactor of productivity.
I’m not advocating working a million hours – that’s the ticket to burnout, not success in pursuing your dreams. But if you struggle with motivation, turning it around is easier than you might think.
my secret weapon
Here is the one biggest change I made that totally transformed my outlook, and my life.
Think about this. Who is the person you talk to the most, more than anyone else in the world? Hint: It’s not your best friend, your spouse, your mom, or your dog.
Answer: The person you talk to the most is…..you! Every waking minute of your day, you are thinking thoughts and listening to your own internal dialogue. “I’m hungry. It’s sunny outside. I wonder what time it is. My head itches and I need to scratch it but I want to finish typing this sentence first.”
When you get the idea to work on something that matters to you, your self-talk may sound like this: “What’s the point,” or “It’s going to be so much work, it’s not worth it,” or “I’ll just fail and disappoint myself.”
Even with kind and supportive people in your life, cheering you on, they can't compete with your own inner dialogue.
It’s time to change your self-talk.
how I changed my self-talk
How did I change my self-talk to be more encouraging and supportive?
I reprogrammed my brain.
The truth is that listening to podcasts and reading books on creativity and inspiration completely changed my outlook on life. It replaced my negative self-talk with internal confidence in my own abilities, and a powerful drive to make things HAPPEN finally.
the turning point
I was struggling with productivity and feeling creative and motivated, and on a whim I started listening to the Creative Pep Talk Podcast.
I started listening at the gym, in my car, walking the dog, and any other time I just needed to pass. the host - Andy - helped me envision a better future for myself, and I started believing in it, little by little...even just for a few minutes every day. I read a book (I don't even remember what it was... oops) about creativity, and just filling my head with positive thoughts felt good.
And I noticed something – little by little, I was starting to think more and more optimistically. I started subconsciously and instinctively countering my own inner critic.
Pretty soon, I was finally taking steps to do that thing I had always wanted to do – and actually making progress. Faster than I expected!
(I started listening to other podcasts too - I share my favorites in another post).
It took probably a few months, listening to a podcast episode once or twice a week on average, to totally reprogram my self-talk. I actually tackled a huge project, and in a matter of just about six months, I had met my one-year goal. Woohoo!
I just wish someone had told me I could coach myself to be more focused and productive! It was like a whole world of possibility opened up to me.
Now, I still have those moments of self-doubt from time to time. But my brain jumps into the coach role, and almost automatically counters them with the new truths I have internalized, thanks to the influence of positive media.
When I have an idea for a new project, I ask myself, “Should I _______?” And the immediate follow-up is, “Heck yes, you should! It’s going to be a fun adventure, and you can totally do it.” And then I dive in.
So, there it is. My best, simplest trick for banishing your limiting thoughts and supercharging you productivity!
Give it a try! Take out your phone, open your podcast app, and download a few podcasts that speak to you. Listen to the first few minutes of each until you find one that resonates. Then dig in, and start enjoying it for a few minutes each day.
I’d love to hear how this works out for you – but if you’re too busy being productive and pursuing your dreams, I’ll understand. :)