August is the last month of fiery summer energy, so why not take the chance to swing into action something you’ve been putting off?

Maybe you’ve been doubting yourself recently – I know I have – but the process of beginning something can really help to dispel feelings of self-doubt, imposter syndrome or “unworthiness”.  Once we start on the path of action or creation we start to feel able and capable again!

Oftentimes we can become gripped by perfectionism, believing we must wait until everything is perfectly in place.  But most of us know that the perfect moment never arrives so all that happens is that the momentum is lost and we never begin! And, what is worse, in the interim we find lots of reasons for not carrying out our original plans.  We listen to our “inner critic” who likes to sneer and convince us that our ideas are rubbish or that we are certainly not up to the job.

Over the years I’ve found some simple strategies that have helped me ditch my deep-rooted perfectionist tendencies, seize the moment and start taking action with confidence.  I’d like to share them with you and hope that some may help you too:

  1. Challenge your inner critic – are you listening to a negative internal voice that is making you doubt yourself? Listen to this month’s meditation and see if it might help you to interrogate negative self-beliefs.
  2. Create realistic timescales for your goals – this will remove the stress that comes from either not having “time-bounded” goals or from giving yourself too little time to bring things to fruition. Just by reframing your timescales you’ll have more energy to direct towards what you want to achieve!
  3. Prioritise self-care – when you look after yourself you “future-proof” your energy so that you don’t run out of steam just when you need to feel full of enthusiasm and drive.
  4. Say no – to anything that doesn’t align with your values or goals. This is not selfish and, ultimately will mean that you are more willing to give your time generously to those who need and value you.
  5. Trust the process and trust yourself – rest don’t quite and everything will get done in a timely manner.

This last point is important and one that I have needed to work on more than ever this past 18 months. Going without proper holidays has created an “always working” culture for many of us but it can leave us carrying out tasks – rather than pursuing strategic action – to make us feel productive.  This has made me realise that we should not just strive for “action” at any cost, in order to escape the dreaded heaviness of feeling unproductive or stuck.  This is when we truly need to stop, reassess and refocus.

So, if you are not feeling a strong direction or you are feeling totally confused it is also important to remember that giving ourselves time and space is essential.  Try not to see it as time “wasted” as I have, in the past, but reframe it as an opportunity to:

  1. Process information overload and/or confusion
  2. Recharge your batteries!
  3. Gain clarity so you can reset your “compass” with confidence
  4. Tap into your own creativity and intuition
  5. Step back from a sense of always rushing and the anxiety this brings

Yes, trusting yourself is key – you are not lazy and you have what it takes to achieve whatever you set your mind on.  But make sure you have listened in, to what your heart is telling you, before you put all your energy into your next steps.  When you get your goals clear you will feel excited to go forward and you will not want to drag your feet so let this thought guide you too!