15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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The Problem With Your Confidence-Building Plan

confidenceWe naturally feel trepidation whenever we are confronted with a new task. Well, perhaps “naturally” isn’t the correct word since one-year-olds don’t have the same hesitancy. In fact, that nervousness is something that is a learned trait. Perhaps because we get laughed at or ridiculed when we fail at something as a child. Or maybe because we actually get physically hurt attempting a task. Whatever the cause, we (two-years-old and over) somehow develop this feeling of trepidation when we are confronted with something new.

Because we seek to avoid failing, falling, or fumbling, here’s how we normally seek to confront that mysterious new “thing” in our path. First, we want to build up our confidence. Second, we want to develop some skill. Third, we want to attempt it. Then finally, we achieve the results or success that we are looking for.

The problem is, the real world doesn’t work that way. You never develop confidence in something until after you do it. You certainly don’t develop skill in something until after you try it a few times. So, here’s how that process should actually look:

Step one, start.
Step two, increase skill and confidence.
Step three, results.

Do the thing and you will have the power. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You need to put the action in first before you begin to develop skill and confidence. Increased skill and confidence can accelerate your passage from step one to step three. But until you actually put some action in to initiate the process, you are just idling. And idling always increases fear and trepidation (I really like the word trepidation).

Sometimes you will fail, fall or fumble. Any failure is a lesson in how to achieve success on your next attempt. Any fall is a signpost on where to step carefully next time. Any fumble is a reminder to keep your eye on the ball. Each attempt increases confidence on the next attempt. The only time that failure is final is if you QUIT.

So don’t try to gain the confidence first to do the thing you’re been waiting on.

Do the thing.

Get the power.

Nine times out of ten, your fear will disappear the moment you start. More of us are held back by fear of failure than by failure. The only thing that can build up your confidence, is action.

Just do it. ~Nike, Roman Goddess of Victory

What have you been postponing or procrastinating on this week?

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Back to Basics (15 Minutes)

The last few weeks I’ve stalled on writing my current book. I have more free time now than I did while I was rat-racing*, but I feel sort of like I’ve replaced any writing progress on my book with blogging, twittering, and booking faces**.

*rat-racing is my new hip slang for being trapped in the rat race.

**booking faces is slang for utilizing the social networking site known as Facebook.

I’m still a novice when it comes to this brave new world of social media. It’s like a shiny new toy, and it distracted me for awhile, but I still have more books that I want to write. So it’s time to refocus.

Am I abandoning social networking? Heck, no! It’s an invaluable tool for a profession that relies on name recognition like, oh, an author… So I’ll still be blogging about 3 times a week, and tweeting, and updating my face’s page. I just need to get back to the same commitment level that I used to write my first book. Which means 15 minutes a day of writing (not including my time spent here on my blog).

Having more free time lulled me into a false sense of security. It made me think I could procrastinate and make up the time later. Here’s a handy tip: Having lots of free time doesn’t necessarily mean you can produce more. People who have lots of free time value their time less and are less productive.

Just like world-renowned efficiency expert, and part-time actress, Lucille Ball says, If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.

So, as of yesterday I’m back on track. No more skipped days. Every day, 15 minutes of writing time committed to my second book; And more when I can (that’s different from my rules of engagement for book 1, where I never did more than 15 minutes a day). My goal is to finish by July 2013.

What are you committing 15 minutes a day, every day, toward?