This past year I have switched from reading mainly fiction books to reading more books that spark creativity. I have also been reading many memoir type books from strong women who live creative lives. My latest read is Carrie Green’s ‘She Means Business’ and although I have not read the entire book yet, I wanted to discuss my experiences with one of the exercises in the book.
If you haven’t read or even heard of the book, a very quick summary of what the book is about–Carrie uses stories of creating her own successful businesses, inserting exercises and tasks for you to complete to give you tools start on your own entrepreneurial path.
I am taking part in the 28 day challenge (that is located in the back of the book, but you can also join the online community and take part on there as well) and I was really intrigued by Day 6- Watch Your Thoughts.
So today I want to talk about my experience with the Day 6 exercise and how we can apply it to any type of goal planning (whether you want to create a business or not)
In this sections leading up to this particular challenge, Carrie speaks of the voice in your head that will create excuses and justifications for you not following through on your business (or goals) “The little voice in my head that would make up countless excuses and justifications for why I shouldn’t do it, why I couldn’t do it–That was my worst enemy”
Have you ever sat to write down your goals, and even before you put pen to paper, a voice in your head says ‘you that you are crazy to think you could achieve that goal, so don’t even bother writing it down’. I know that has happened to me. We judge our thoughts and our feelings, in our heads so often that we don’t even realize it is stopping us from achieving our goals. We think of all the what ifs and then it causes us to not even get started. Because why bother start if we are just going to fail, right? Wrong. And even when we start to work towards our goals we can have many moments of uncertainty, and that is when that voice wants to come back. But we do have another voice in our heads, it’s the positive one. The one that tells us we are strong and we can work for our goals.
So how do we as Carrie says “Choose to listen to and follow the voice that encourages you to move in the direction of your dreams” when you have the negative thoughts trying to outrun the good ones.
Well that is where the Day 6 exercise has helped me. In the exercise you start your day by writing down what you’re thinking and feeling when you wake up. You continue to do this each hour (set an alarm). Carrie also suggestions to repeat this exercise whenever you are feeling stuck and you’re not making the progress you want.
Going into this exercise I thought it would be a pretty easy thing to do. I am an over thinker. I spend a lot of time in my head thinking things over, repeating conversations, daydreaming, making new conversations, etc so the idea of writing down what I was thinking each hour didn’t seem that difficult.
However it was a bit more of a challenge then I initially predicted. I found I was watching the clock too much and sometimes I was thinking about the exercise when the alarm went off causing me to not get my true feelings or thoughts for that moment. The day I chose to do it, I also worked for five hours, so many of my thoughts were worked related, I would like to try this exercise again on a day off when I am working towards one of my goals, and track my thoughts and feelings during that. Even while working it was very interesting to track my thoughts and feelings throughout the day and see how they effected my productivity. As expected, when I was in a positive mood and feeling good, I felt more productive, and when something wasn’t going right, or I was being lazy and unproductive, my thoughts were negative. Which makes sense. Another thing I am learning from this exercise–I allow myself to have too much down time, sitting, watching youtube videos or looking at planner stuff, I am learning that the more down time I have the less productive I am. Down time is suppose to relax you, but for me it is the opposite. If I don’t stay busy and productive, the negative thoughts creep in, and I get even more unproductive.
I think this exercise is perfect for anyone who is not achieving the goals they have set out for themselves. Or those who haven’t even set out goals yet, but want a deeper understand of what motivates you. If you complete this exercise and try it for a couple different types of days, perhaps a work day, a day off, a day when you are super busy, and a day when you don’t have much on the go, it can show you what days are most productive for you, and when are the best times to work towards a goal. I always go back to a fitness goal, because even though are hard work to achieve they are easily tracked. If you have a goal to be fit, examining your thoughts and feelings throughout the day, can help you understand if you are stress eater, or maybe stress makes you more determined and you work out harder. Examining your thoughts and feelings will help you to re-train your negative thoughts and hopefully keep them to minimum.
One of the quotes from the book that really made me want to complete this exercise was “What is going on inside of you (your thoughts and feelings) determines the decisions you make, and these decisions are creating your future and determining which path you’re walking down.” <– THIS, this is so true. If you are constantly in your mind having negative thoughts, there is no way you are going to be able to complete your goals successfully. We need to learn to re-train our brain to recognize those thoughts, and find a way to combat against them.
I want to leave you with another inspiring quote from Carrie. “You’re the one who gets to decide whether you show up for your dreams and play big and live the life you want or whether you ignore them and play small”
Comment below if you have read the book, or if you are currently reading it. I would love to hear what others are getting from the book and how the exercises are inspiring you. If you don’t have the book yet and are interested in purchasing it, it is available on both Amazon and Chapters/Indigo.
Thanks for reading!