How Setting Goals Can Actually Be Dangerous and What to Focus on Instead.

Hey Mindsteins!

Do you ever write a task down on your to-do list after you’ve completed it? I caught myself doing this the other day, and feeling that little bit of satisfaction as I crossed this off my list (Here’s me randomly posing looking pretty pleased with myself, to illustrate my point).

Lisa (5 of 13)

This is one of those things that seems ridiculous on the surface, but actually makes perfect sense when you understand how your brain works.

Sometimes, we can spend a whole day getting small tasks completed, but when we come home to relax, that sinking feeling floods in, telling us that we really achieved nothing today. We didn’t reach any of our goals.

I’m sure this has happened to you too, right? You might think something like, “answering emails doesn’t count as getting things done, because I didn’t actually make any progress“. Sound familiar?

You didn’t make any progress, even though you crushed it at work, getting all the little things done that have been piling up, and getting through all of your emails? This seems counter-intuitive, but yet we all do it.

Surprisingly, goal setting could be to blame here! Why are you feeling disappointed with yourself even though you had a relatively productive day? Probably because you didn’t consider these little tasks goals in the first place. They’re just “things you have to do” (P.S. This is actually the same thing!)

It’s pretty difficult to argue against the practice of setting goals, and usually people will tell you the whole “keep them specific, with a realistic time period”, etc. etc. and you feel like this makes total sense if you want to be a success.

But, these could be hurting your productivity and your own wellbeing. If your goal was not to answer 10 emails, but instead was to produce a 50 page document full of amazing content, it’s fair to assume you’re going to come home pretty deflated, right?

So let’s switch it up – If you change this goal, and make answering 10 emails your new goal, even make answering one single email your goal for that day, things will be different.

Let’s take a look at my own to-do list for today. As you can see, nothing crazy and impossible to achieve on there, but all steps in the right direction!

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These mini-achievements make us feel validated, that we deserve to feel good about ourselves because we reached these mini-goals. This leads to every day feeling like a success, which is what I want you to work towards.

In 2003, King & Burton studied goal setting in more detail, and found that goals should really only be “moderately important” and “fairly easy” (so nothing unattainable here). They also said that goals shouldn’t really implicate finances on a grand scale, as this often pushes people towards negative and extreme behaviours in order to get what they want.

Obviously, if you’re dedicated to achieving something that’s awesome, and I am proud of you for your determination and drive! But, you can still achieve these things by breaking down the process and focusing on the mini-wins, committing to achieving even one thing every day.

This way, you won’t be left feeling worthless and inadequate, if you don’t complete the mountain of tasks you’ve set for yourself. Also, you won’t be so focused on one goal that you are pushed towards these negative thinking patterns and behaviours, and neglect your family and friends, burning bridges all around you, because you are focused. This is not the mark of a sustainable career as an entrepreneur.

Other experts like Schweitzer & Ordonez (2009) have found that when people do set these unattainable goals, they often will lie to make up the difference between the original goal and what they actually achieved.

So, a lot of the time, we put all this effort in to reaching a certain milestone, we don’t actually make it, but then we lie about making it…(scratches head..). When you lay it out like that, the logic doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Like I mentioned at the start of this post, if you know how your brain works, this will all make a lot of sense. But most of us weren’t taught this stuff in school, so it’s okay not to know! That’s what this system and methodology is here for!

In plain English, your brain wants to keep you safe, and protect you from any change. So, goals which require your brain to go above and beyond its comfort zone will send up red flags automatically to your brain, and resist the change.

That’s why sometimes, even when things are going well, we sabotage and stop ourselves from moving forward – to avoid discomfort and to avoid change.

Now, this is not to say you should never go outside of your comfort zone, but your brain works in a seek reward/avoid discomfort way, so this process of breaking your goals down into mini-goals, or mini-wins, allows you to move forward without this fear of failure that so often cripples us.

You’ll also learn to understand what types of mini-goals you can set on a given day. If you’re feeling productive, increase the number of mini-wins you’re aiming for. But if you wake up and things aren’t going to plan, take one mini-win and focus on achieving this, letting anything else act as a bonus!

When you start to see the results of your mini-wins, you feel encouraged and this leads to more action on your part to achieve more, in a steady, sustainable way. This prevents you as an entrepreneur becoming overwhelmed and discouraged as you stare at the mountain you have to climb.

The problem with trying to climb this mountain is that when you “fail” at achieving a goal which was probably next to impossible to achieve anyway, you go back to the start of that mountain, but you now have to drag along with you those feelings of being a failure, not being smart enough or attractive enough, or whatever those are for you.

So, don’t allow yourself to feel unworthy of success. Instead, make success as easy as possible through breaking goals down into mini-wins, and start making the climb. But climb hills with a backpack instead of mountains with a suitcase. You can make that choice, just as you can choose which way to move towards success.

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Photo Credit: Rockymountainreader.com

Jump in to our Facebook group, and let us know your mini-wins for today. You can join us here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindsteinsystemfreegroup

Lisa.

References
King & Burton (2003). The Hazards of Goal Pursuit. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2003-06255-004.
Schweitzer & Ordonez (2009). Goals Gone Wild. Harvard Business School.

My Headspace Journey: From Stressed Out to Chilled In 90 Days.

Hey Mindsteins!

Today I wanted to bring something a little more personal to the table.

I know a lot of people ask me about my tips and tricks for not getting stressed and being able to take things in your stride, so this post is going to focus on one thing I’ve been doing in my own life which has seriously helped me, and can help you too!

I’m going to start off by talking a little bit about where you’re probably at right now in your journey.

Maybe you are one of those people who naturally handles situations and events one step at a time (one of the lucky ones!). You have a carefree, “it’ll be fine” attitude, and it usually is! Or maybe you get completely overwhelmed and anxious when things become overwhelming – which makes sense, when you think about it!

Or maybe you fall somewhere in the middle, you can handle things up to a certain point, but then it all becomes too much and you feel drained and in need of a blanket and a Netflix session to cheer you up. This is probably where the majority of us are on the spectrum.

Regardless of how you are at dealing with stress, it’s always good to have a go-to stress reliever! Before I go into my journey and how incredibly useful and effective this app is, I just want to mention that Headspace don’t fund me in any way to write about them or share my thoughts on their service. I just love the program and have been recommending it to anyone who will listen, really!

So, let’s do a quick rewind, shall we? When I was studying psychology and later psychotherapy in college, I became really interested in the idea of relaxation, and why it’s so hard for us to relax.

I went along the traditional route of mindfulness and meditation, and even picked up a certificate along the way in the therapeutic use of mindfulness in clinical populations (sounds fancy, right?). I know, I know, I said I’m not into certificate gathering, but I really believed it would be useful down the line.

So, I went along to the course, really gave it my all with an open mind, and ended up coming out of there feeling more stressed than when I went in. This stuff was so far removed from my idea of relaxation, and was just not something I could see myself practising on a daily basis.

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Photo Credit: Headspace (for summing up how I felt when mindfully looking at a tree).

To give you some idea, we spent approximately 45 minutes discussing our inner children and proceeded to “walk mindfully” around in circles, looking at plants. Now, if I was a different person, this might have been right up my street (and I know it is for a lot of people, which is a-okay!), but I am me. And this was not me, not even one little bit.

So, qualification in hand, I left, thinking “I will literally never use this again…”. However, I was still fascinated by the process of calming the mind, slowing down, and building up awareness of the flow of thoughts and emotions running through our brains at a million miles an hour.

I began looking into ways that I could fit this daily practice into my day, without feeling like a full-time meditator (is that even a word?), and without spending an hour analysing my falafel before eating it.

Then, boom. Some great wisdom arrived from my brother and best friend, Stephen. He was using an app called Headspace to get some relaxation time squeezed into his seriously busy day, and I figured if he was using it, it couldn’t be too bad.

So, I gave it a go.

And I swiftly became addicted to what is simply the best little app out there for mindfulness practice.

Now, just before I go into how great this has been for me, I want to make sure this is a realistic portrayal of how these things normally go with me.

I take up something, I love it for two days, and then I “simply don’t have enough time” to fit it in [insert multiple other excuses here…]. With Headspace, I really liked it from Day one, but admittedly I did find it difficult to relax for the first few days.

I kept thinking about what time to make dinner at, wondered whether I’d left a window open somewhere in the house, and pondered many other, completely unrelated topics…sound familiar?

But then, a breakthrough.

Andy, the founder of Headspace, just kept telling me it was cool to think about other things, that it was normal and that I’d get better at just letting these thoughts come and go, and well, Andy wasn’t lying.

I got better at noticing the thoughts when they floated into my mind, and could eventually just let them go, and return to my breathing.

Headspace is so simple to use, and there is so much variety, with “workouts” for stress relief, worry or anxiety, and even pain relief workouts.

Andy speaks in a way which is, for lack of a better word, “normal”…He doesn’t sound like he’s experiencing considerable breathing difficulties and can only speak in a strange, whispering voice, and he doesn’t try too hard to sound “relaxing”. He just is.

The best part is, the average workout takes just 10 minutes out of your day, and all you need is a phone and some headphones.

I realise I sound like a sales person here, but you’ll understand why when I explain what Headspace did for me.

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I’ve been using the app for around three months now (There’s me looking chilled out above – I made Mícheál photograph me during one of my workouts), and can honestly say I have found such great comfort in knowing that if I’m feeling stressed (a new business and a busy life will do that to you at times!), I can just whip out my phone and chill out for 10 minutes.

I feel like this completely re-sets my brain, where I might have been planning out everything I want to do that day, and overwhelming myself with the mountain of tasks to do, I can now just take things one step at a time and know when to step back and take some time out for me.

I have also developed even more awareness of myself, what’s going on for me that day, and even what my body is feeling. I used to be extremely talented at ignoring the signs of tiredness my body was sending out, but thanks to Headspace, I’m able to check in with how I’m doing on a daily basis and adjust my day accordingly.

So, let’s say on Day #1, I take my ten minutes and still feel worn out and drained at the end, I know it’s a day where I shouldn’t push myself too hard. I won’t put huge expectations on myself to be super productive, clean my whole house and get s**t done.

Instead, I’ll maybe do some reading (which is productive in itself), answer some emails and take a long walk with the dog.

Then, the next day (Day #2) when I check back in, typically I’m much more refreshed, and I might bust out two blog posts, have five productive hours work across the course of the day, and get time to play some board games or watch a movie with my family in the evening.

If I just persisted and tried to “push through” and ignore what my brain and body were telling me on Day #1, the next day probably wouldn’t be much better, and I’d lose another day, with the added feelings of frustration, stress and worry about Day #3…

So, it’s having this awareness about yourself that is key to growth. And with Headspace, it’s super easy to commit to. It’s ten minutes out of the 1440 minutes in a day.

I know that it’s vital to create a lifestyle where I can commit to producing great content, keeping up with my two year old border collie, Jackson, and giving my all to my work, consistently. This means it’s fine to have a day like Day #1, because I can accept that I will have these days.

But, I know that Day #2 will be better if I truly allow myself the time to relax, without beating myself up about all the work I could have gotten done today.

By doing this, and through using Headspace every day, but on those Day #1 moments especially, I can create a sustainable business, and have an amazing personal life, too.

I would love you to experience these results too! That’s why I’ve taken the time to share my Headspace journey with you, to encourage you to take some time out for you, and to commit to relaxation for the benefit of your own well-being and also your business.

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So what are your techniques for taking the time to chill out? Do you give yourself even five or ten minutes a day to just become aware of what’s going on in your head, and in your body?

Let me know in the comments, and you can, as always, let us know in the Mindstein System Free Facebook Group here !

Lisa.

 

 

 

How You Can Bypass the Fear of the Unknown and Learn to Enjoy Uncertainty Without Catastrophizing.

Do you have love sharing your story but fear people have heard it too many times and are bored? Do you get excited at a new concept you’ve come up with but put it on the back-burner because you’re not sure how to make it a success?

This is one of those things that every entrepreneur will face, pretty much on a regular basis. I’d like to share with you guys my own experience, and how I deal with these situations now as a result of what I have learned from years of studying failure.

Let’s set the scene…

A while back, I had just done a photoshoot for images for my new website. I was so excited with how they turned out. They were really natural, and I felt they summed me up pretty well!

I’m one of those people who always has to share the things I’m excited about, and so I sent my photos to my family and a couple of friends for their thoughts. I couldn’t wait to hear what they had to say!

Radio silence.

So I sat and waited…

And waited…

And waited some more…

My phone eventually rang. It was one of my friends to tell me how much they loved the photos and couldn’t wait to see more, and how proud they were of me.

Awesome, right? Wrong.

At this point, I had already created at least ten different reasons that no one had replied. Let’s list a few here, shall we?

  1. They hated them.
  2. They thought they were too cheesy.
  3. They really weren’t as excited by them as I was.
  4. They didn’t really care about my new website.
  5. They didn’t really care about my business in general.

On the left was where I was, and on the right was where I should have been.

Photo Credit: PD4PIC CLIPART.

You get the picture. So when my friend gave me this amazing compliment, I didn’t even hear it. It never made it through the negativity barrier. While it sounds a bit crazy that my brain went straight to this place, this is what we naturally do as humans. Just not every one will admit it!

It might be on a much greater or smaller scale – You might have finished the presentation of your career and there’s a moment where people don’t applaud leaving you unsure whether they loved it or hated it…oryou might have cooked a beautiful meal for your relatives from out of town, and no one has said it tastes good, yet.

The point is, life is filled with these moments of uncertainty. Where we just have to wait and see. It’s not always easy to do this, and the story above is an example of when my brain really struggled with just chilling out and embracing the uncertainty.

So what do I do now with my (complete Bulls**t) Negativity Barrier?

There are many different strategies for dealing with uncertainty and the negative thought patterns that creep in. I’m not going to share them all with you now, but the concept below will change your view of uncertainty completely, if you truly take it on board and implement it in your own life and business.

Focus on the Predictable.

When we engage in a pattern of negative thinking, we begin to catastrophize, or view the situation in a way that is far worse than it actually is.

Your brain will always go to that place of worst-case scenario if you let it, so focusing on the predictable aspects of the situation is one way to remedy this.

Whenever you experience something, your brain tucks this experience neatly away in the form of “schema”. So for example, if you get attacked by a wild boar in the woods (and live to tell the tale), your brain will store this experience away as one you wouldn’t want to repeat in the near future.

Then, when something similar happens, like you meet another wild boar in a different part of the woods (unlucky…), your brain will automatically tell you that this is not a good place to be and that you should run!

This is seriously useful, and keeps you safe and out of harm’s way in dangerous situations. However, your brain can create schema which do not serve you. There are several types of schema, but event schemas in particular occur when predictions are made about how a situation will turn out.

So if you had one bad public speaking experience, your brain may create a schema to predict the outcome of future public speaking experiences, resulting in the crippling fear of uncertainty about how successful your presentation will be.

The main way you can use schemas to your advantage is just by being aware of them and of the processes at work in your brain.

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Photo Credit: Brainfacts.org.

So, going back to focusing on the predictable. You’ve delivered a sales pitch 1,000 times about your business, what exactly you do, and how your system or product works. It’s really, really effective and inspiring.

Now, let’s throw a really awful day into the mix, where your sales pitch is awful, no one buys, and you go home feeling a bit miserable.

You now know that your brain is busy at work filling in the blanks and catastrophizing, creating a self schema which says you’re a terrible public speaker and an event schema which predicts that every future pitch will be awful too.

But, armed with this knowledge, you can see this process at work, and you can change it. If the last 999 attempts were pretty excellent, you’re more than likely going to return to this high standard, regardless of one bad day.

It is your mindset that stops you from achieving excellent results again, as you accept the self schema and event schema of inadequacy and fear.

So, focus on the 999 positive aspects of your story, and the fact that these are a far more predictable outcome than the one negative aspect. This will completely unlock your potential, allowing you to remain cool and collected if things don’t go to plan, because this is your 1 in 999, and that’s okay!

Even computers make errors, so it’s pretty acceptable for you to have some here and there!

To go back to my photoshoot once more, I let the uncertainty get to me, and immediately went to worst-case scenario. Now, I only work with what I know, and this allows me to embrace the uncertainty and be confident in my own position.

If I mess up, if you mess up, that’s great. We can just return to what we know, which is being awesome at what we do and not let one event dictate our future performance! So don’t let your fear of the unknown hold you back – always move forwards and if you do one thing, remember to only focus on the positive and predictable aspects of the situation.

If this is something you love and are good at, do not let one moment of uncertainty or fear drag you down. Uncertainty teaches you to possess confidence in yourself, and being an entrepreneur is full of situations where you won’t always know the outcome, so it’s a great place to learn.

I hope this resonates with you, and I would love to hear your uncertainty stories and how you overcame them!

As always, you can get involved in the Free Facebook Group that I created for The Mindstein System (https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindsteinsystemfreegroup/), and begin your move towards fulfilment today.

The Mindstein System Logo

Lisa.

 

Welcome to the Mindstein System.

Welcome! I’m Lisa Somers

I am an entrepreneur and human behaviour geek who can get your life back to fulfilment and balance, allowing you to smash your business goals without spending 23 hours a day at the office or missing out on family time!

I am proud to say that I have revolutionised my own work practices, as well as those around me. I have changed the thought and behaviour patterns which so often hold us back from the life we really want, and deserve.

One of the things I wanted to share with the world, was my love for research and theory (sounds riveting, right?). But this is awesome news for you, because it means that any advice I give or speak about, is based on actual research done by actual experts. None of this wishy-washy, tea leaves in a cup, “find yourself” in rainforest stuff.

I help people like you create results, through actionable steps and routines that you can commit to easily.

My whole life has been spent people-watching, and what I have learned is that we are really an interesting bunch, for sure! I wanted to know why we spend 12 hours working when we know we can only concentrate for 40 minutes at a time. I wanted to know why people base their happiness on financial milestones only, and miss out on all those genuine fulfilling moments at home.

Why is it that some of the most successful people (financially speaking), are often the ones who struggle with their personal lives?

Some of my other multitude of passions include: Philosophy, reading (typically Personal Development and Entrepreneur Lit, but I’m a massive Stephen King fan), Music, Writing and Animals (I have a horse and two dogs, who I’m sure you’ll hear more about!)

It’s one thing to be interested, but another to be committed. I was interested for a long time in Psychotherapy and Counselling, and actually studied this for a time. After a while though, I realised what I was studying for was the “safety” of a 9-5, when actually this was the last thing I wanted.

I also discovered the money-making industry of adult education, one which I didn’t want to be part of anymore. I looked around at the incredible people that have influenced me, Marie Forleo and Russell Brunson mostly, and decided that I would much rather be coached by someone who is awesome at what they do vs. someone who has a certificate on a wall.

So, armed with the decision to never become a certificate gatherer, I began working with my brother, Stephen, and his business partner, Robert, at his company Marketplace Superheroes, teaching people just like you to generate passive incomes and live their “Superhero Lifestyle”, as they call it, through selling products on Amazon.

When I started working with the guys, I interviewed some members for case studies or testimonials of the course. These people were incredible, so hard-working and determined to make their dream a reality. But, some of the most successful entrepreneurs I spoke to explained their struggle with managing family life, routine, stress levels, and relaxation time was a thing of the past.

This completely was not what the term “passive income” should mean, and I found myself hitting these guys up with some tips and tricks to create space in their lives for other important things, as well as their new business.

This was really the origin of the Mindstein System (like Einstein, get it?). I wanted to share this actionable knowledge with more people, people whose business is rocking at an incredible level, but whose personal life has suffered as a result.

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I truly believe that every business needs a strong leader, and to be a leader, you have to lead a sustainable lifestyle. Sure, getting up at 3am and working 14 hour days can work for a little while, but the pressure and stress will eventually become too much. The Mindstein System is here to combat this, and get you on the right track going forward.

I also understand how difficult this can be, working so much to get things done, and putting off family gatherings, meeting up with friends, or foregoing that extra hour or two in bed. I get it, it’s difficult to fit everything in. That’s why I have brought you this system. To change how you see your day, how you see those around you, and how you see yourself.

You see, I know your business means the world to you. So I want to show you how to generate far more profit than ever before, by changing up your mindset and looking at your world in a different light.

For me personally, this change in thinking, based on research which I can understand logically and implement easily, has lead to increased productivity, decreased stress (and panic) levels, as well as genuine happiness in my life, even when things don’t go to plan or get completely screwed up!

My company is built on this foundation. A belief in the power of knowledge and understanding, coupled with a willingness to implement and change how you see the world. We are all filled up to the brim with these limiting beliefs which stop us from fulfilling our real goals, sometimes we are so blinded, we don’t even know what these are.

Through our free live streams, content releases, and our paid coaching programs, we believe the Mindstein System can truly change your life and your business. We want this for you, and we want to help you build your fulfilled life, not a life full of paperwork, missed occasions and feelings of inadequacy, guilt and the fear of never being enough.

Whether you are truly struggling with getting the balance in your life right, or just have a few limiting beliefs which are holding you back, the Mindstein System can help you reach the height of your potential, as a person and as a business owner, and delve into your strengths which you can harness to grow even more.

We are a business, and we do sell our programs. However, you will find a lot of free content. Because this is important, and people need to hear this. We would have a lot of happy CEO’s and Entrepreneurs living their lives in a balanced way, if more people had access to the knowledge needed.

I don’t have all the answers, I am not Yoda…yet. I am just as human as you, and I struggle sometimes with the same feelings of “Am I good enough?” or “Why would people listen to me?”. But, what I always come back to is results. If I can help you to change up one thing in your life and business which leads to a better outcome, then I’m happy!

I am so committed to sharing with you what I live and experience every day, as a business owner and person with a beautiful partner, family and friends, who I strive to make time for every day. I want to be honest with you about where I am in my life, so this will be un-rehearsed and real. But from this, you can expect ideas which will really make you re-think, some jokes and lots of sarcasm (I am Irish after all) and a promise to build the path for you to lean into fulfilment and genuine happiness.

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If you’ve stuck around this far, you must be an interesting person, with a drive to make a change! I love to get to know all of you, as most of you are just like me, determined, open, willing to learn and down to earth! I’d love you to introduce yourself in the free Mindstein System Facebook group, which is open to anyone!

You can request to join here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindsteinsystemfreegroup/

Thanks so much for taking to time to read about why I created the Mindstein System, and how it can change your way of thinking and being, without having to spend years “finding yourself”.

I can’t wait to connect with you!

Lisa xo