Archives for October2013

How NOT to Be A Right Brain Super Hero

In the last post we talked about what the Super Hero Syndrome is, and why it is a particular challenge for the right brain entrepreneur. One of the reasons right brain entrepreneurs are overworked is because of this syndrome.

In today’s post we’re going to talk about the primary elements that create the Super Hero Syndrome and predispose us to be overworked:

  • Brain Function
  • Beliefs
  • Specific Habits

Here’s how our brain gets involved:

We don’t estimate how much time things will take or how much is on our plate already. This sets us up for a constant battle of unrealistic expectations.

  • We say yes to things to gain people’s respect.
  • We get seduced by “shiny objects” – those intriguing and fascinating ideas and projects that pull us off focus.
  • We really aren’t great at finishing things. Right brainers tend to have lots (and lots) of unfinished projects.
  • We have difficulty telling people no, partly because “yes” is so much more fun.
  • Time and time management are left brain activities, but we don’t think of them that way.
  • We don’t organize ourselves for maximum results-oriented productivity, and we wear “busy” as a badge of honor. The truth is, if we focused on results, we wouldn’t work as hard. Instead, we focus on the quantity of work and how much time it takes vs. getting the results we want and only doing the work that leads toward that.
  • We aren’t always clear about what are #1 priority is. If we are, and focus on it, we wouldn’t have to work so hard.

Like most super heroes, we would rather tackle a problem ourselves than ask for help. We enjoy the adrenaline rush we get when we fix someone else’s problem. What most other people don’t see is the number of family events we miss, the vacations we skip, the stress, sleepless nights, fatigue and worry that we carry from working in this way.

To stop being a Super Hero, we have to recognize this is what’s going on so we can “catch” ourselves and choose a different response that the one we’re naturally, biologically inclined to choose. Otherwise we’re just going to keep repeating the “overworked” experience in our work, and in our lives.

Our beliefs also contribute to our super hero-ness.

I’ve written about beliefs before, but here are the main ones that contribute to the Super Hero Syndrome:

  • I have to do it all.
  • I have to do it all myself.
  • I can’t ask for help. 
  • I can’t find or hire good people.

While these are all critical, the belief that we can’t ask for help is particularly insidious. That’s because asking for help is exactly what we need to do to NOT be a super hero. Not only have we become programmed for this, it’s become a large part of our identity. We think of ourselves as the helpful ones, the ones who help everyone else. To stop “being” that, challenges our whole sense of who we are.

As right brainers we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the hero and save the day. What we don’t realize is that it is costing us precious time, often sets our clients up to continue to expect this level of work from us. It’s costing our health and, truthfully, it just isn’t sustainable.

That brings us to the habits of the right brain super hero.

The habitual things we do that contribute the most to keeping us this state of being overworked are:

  • Saying yes to too much, primarily because we don’t estimate how much time and effort this new opportunity it will take.
  • Focusing on being busy vs. the focusing on the results you really want. (We talked about this being our “badge of honor” in the last post.)
  • We set unrealistic expectations – of ourselves, primarily, but we model this for others in our business and in our lives when we do it for ourselves.
  • We don’t have strong boundaries – or any at all. Some examples of not having boundaries are: taking work on vacation; working late and still bringing work home with us; missing important family events because we have to work; not scheduling vacation for ourselves because we’re so far behind; thinking about work all the time so we aren’t “present” when we’re with people.
  • We ignore what we need to recharge – and we often don’t even pick up on the signals our bodies are giving us.

Most coaches would tell a Super Hero client to focus on changing their habits. That’s because most people believe habits are at the root of our problems. We just keep doing things that don’t serve us, right?

Well, that’s true. We do keep doing things that don ‘t serve us. But the reason we keep doing them is because of our beliefs and our brain wiring. We can’t change our brains, but we can design our environments to support us in making better decisions and designing more effective structures.

What we can change are our beliefs. THIS is the core of overcoming the Super Hero Syndrome. Changing beliefs isn’t as easy as saying “OK, I won’t believe that anymore. I’ll just think this.” The problem with that is we can’t “think” our way out of our beliefs. If we could, none of us would have this problem and we’d already be living in nirvana.

Unfortunately most professionals (coaches, consultants, counselors, etc.) don’t actually know how to change beliefs.

The good news is…I do. Over the last 15 years of working with right brain entrepreneurs, and some profound training in using energy medicine to create these shifts, my clients have been enormously successful at changing their limiting or unhelpful beliefs and installing empowering, life affirming beliefs.

To learn more about this, and to experience it for yourself (and finally hop off the hamster wheel of being overworked), join me for the teleclass on Oct.  24, 2013, “Save Yourself From Super Hero Syndrome – Why You’re Overworked and What to Do About It”.

We’ll go more deeply into your beliefs, demonstrate how to change them (we can do this together), and share even more specifics about how to not be an overworked Super Hero any longer.

To join the teleclass, just go here to register.

Do You Suffer From Super Hero Syndrome?

We live in a world of constant pressure and unrealistic expectations.

The super heroes of our youth and the heroes in the media today have warped our sense of what is realistic and what is humanly possible.

While it’s sometimes difficult for us to admit that we’re human, many people I work with have difficulty understanding why they overwork.

Think about it…what does your typical week look like? Or consider just one day?

If you’re like many committed entrepreneurs who started a business because they were sick of the daily corporate grind and wanted to have freedom and control over their schedule, you probably…

  • have one, two, three, (four??) cups of coffee to get going in the morning…I’m so glad I quit coffee years ago! : )
  • check your email on your smart phone or tablet, perhaps before you even got out of bed…
  • go to the office and are immediately immersed in an overwhelming to do list, figuring out what to do because someone didn’t finish their part of a project on time, putting out a couple of fires, dealing with an angry or frustrated partner or employee, looking at your to do list again – woefully, this time…
  • grab lunch on the go or eat at your desk, and then it all starts over again for the afternoon…
  • rather than leave at a reasonable hour, you stay late (maybe very late) to focus on your work that you couldn’t get to because you were helping everyone else do their work…
  • when you do make it home, you probably check your email again, eat or drink something to relax from the day, then have trouble sleeping because there are lots of thoughts running through your mind about all the things you need to focus on tomorrow…

Any of this sound familiar?

This the classic pattern of an entrepreneur with Super Hero Syndrome.

For right brain entrepreneurs, we get an extra dose of Super Hero Syndrome. That’s because our brains complicate things further because we have difficulty prioritizing, estimating how much time it will take to do something, and we don’t think to consider what is already on our to do list before we commit to something else. (This isn’t criticism. It’s an acknowledgement of how your brain naturally organizes and processes information.)

When you’re working these kinds of hours – as admirable and necessary as you may think it is – you are actually putting your business at risk, even while you think you are making progress. As a business owner, you need time to recharge. But when you are this busy for this amount of time, you put yourself at physical risk of adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, obesity, colds, and a multitude of other health issues. All of these put your business – and your life – at risk.

If you are overworking, you have engaged the amygdala, a very small reptilian part of your brain that regulates the fight, flight, or conserve response.

But, in today’s hyper competitive marketplace it’s more important to be strategic than at any other time in history. If you aren’t being strategic…well,  you know what happens.

But, when your amygdala is engaged, you literally cannot be strategic. When you are in the fight, flight, or conserve mode of operating, you have an extraordinarily limited field of vision. At this point you aren’t thinking long term. You’re thinking “How can I make it through this crisis?”

Bottom line, you can’t see opportunities, and definitely not the richest, most effective ones. And you can’t develop the distance from your business to gain a strategic viewpoint or new insights.

All this is the result of overworking. And it’s a self-perpetuating system.

If you take a moment to be honest with yourself, you know that’s true.

It’s time to save yourself from Super Hero Syndrome.

Here’s how:

  • Identify what it takes you to recharge – and then schedule it. It might mean yoga, 8 hours of sleep, eating local, organic produce in your diet. Or a combination of all these. (This is just an example, and it’s what saved me from my own Super Hero Syndrome.)
  • Get clear on the results you want and why you want them. Truthfully determine if they are essential to your business success and personal happiness.
  • Set very clear boundaries around your time to work, play, and rest.

So what are your Super Hero tendencies? We all have them, and sharing this in the comments below isn’t a sign of weakness. Sharing this out loud, or publicly, is actually part of the process of Super Hero Syndrome Recovery.

In the next blog post, I’m going to talk about the brain function, beliefs, and specific habits that create this problem.

Be sure to join our free teleclass on Oct.  24, 2013, “Save Yourself From Super Hero Syndrome – Why You’re Overworked and What to Do About It”.

So, really…what makes you think you’re a Super Hero?

Why You’re Overwhelmed and Overcommitted – and What To Do About It [replay]

This week we finished the first teleclass in a series examining and explaining some common traps for right brain entrepreneurs and executives. The first class focused on why you are overwhelmed and overcommitted…the patterns that lead to this…and waht you can do about it in practical, straightforward suggestions.

Listen to this powerful teleclass:

Online? Listen here.

(Link will open in a new tab.)

Prefer to listen via phone? Temporary playback phone # is: (805) 399-1299

Download the handout for the class. (This is a graphic-heavy file, so takes a bit longer to download than a typical pdf or Word document.)

Class Description:
At some point, most right brain entrepreneurs experience being overwhelmed and overcommitted.This ends up not just affecting your stress levels and successes at work, but it also carries over into your personal life, how you feel about yourself, and whether or not you feel as passionate about your business as when you first started it.

The bad news is: these two factors create a self-perpetuating cycle – and it seems like you’ll never get out of it.

The good news is: there is a way to break the cycle, and I’m going to show you how to break it!

Are you an overwhelmed right brain entrepreneur?

photo by a2gemma,

In this class you will:

  • learn the 5 primary reasons you keep finding yourself overwhelmed and overcommitted.
  • determine how being overwhelmed and overcommitted is impacting you and your business.
  • learn how to identify the hidden beliefs that keep you overwhelmed and overcommitted.
  • discover what you can do about it…in both the long term and the short term. (You need strategies for both in order to relieve the pressure you are under currently, as well as build structures and support that create an environment which prevents – and protects – you from being overwhelmed and overcommitted.)

We also explore how your brain, beliefs, and brawn (habits) play such a significant role in creating overwhelm and overcommitment.

Are You Feeling Trapped By Your Business?

Last week I met with Bob, who owns a small business and wanted to talk with me because he felt trapped by his business.

He started his business several years ago and has lost sight of his original vision. He’s overwhelmed by his very long to do list. And while he enjoys the freedom of being his own boss, he feels anything but free.

Most business owners start their businesses because they crave freedom. Right brain entrepreneurs crave freedom and making an impact more than anything else. Yet, hundreds of entrepreneurs I’ve worked with in the past have felt trapped rather than free.

What most don’t realize is they have built themselves a lovely little trap, called their business. And they perpetuate it every single day.

Everyone likes to think their business or situation is unique, but being trapped comes from very specific habits and beliefs that contribute to the problem.

There is a way out, but it takes very personal work to identify and change your specific beliefs that are creating your trap and getting a better understanding of how you process information and make decisions so you can actually create the freedom you crave. (Hint: I am trapped is one of the hidden beliefs many people have.)

I wrote about several of our beliefs in a previous blog post.

If you’d like to learn how to create the freedom you crave, attend our FREE teleclass on October 10, 2013, or schedule an exploratory coaching session.

Have you ever felt trapped by your business? If so, please share what you did to change it or what you discovered in the comments below.

The Hidden Beliefs That Keep You Overwhelmed and Overcommitted

There are three main areas that determine how successful we are at running our businesses and our lives: our brains, our beliefs, and our brawn (habits). Today I want to talk about beliefs. Specifically, the hidden beliefs that keep right brain entrepreneurs and executives overwhelmed and overcommitted.

Whether we like to admit it or not, our beliefs really do drive our behavior, which in turn creates our habits, which in the end, determine our experience and success.

The problem is that some of the most powerful beliefs are hidden. They might be truly hidden from us in that we aren’t even aware of them consciously. And they can also be beliefs we are aware of but keep hidden. We keep some of our beliefs hidden out of embarrassment or shame (“What would people think of me if they knew I believed that?”), and sometimes we hide them because we don’t want to admit how powerful they are.

A prime example of how beliefs end up creating a chronically overwhelmed entrepreneur is my client Marcus.

Marcus is smart, talented, influential, and has a tremendous amount of potential. Like many of you.

Marcus says Yes to nearly every opportunity he is presented with, commits to helping every person who asks for it, and has a to do list a mile long.

He’s 40 years old and has been overwhelmed for at least the last 20. He has a reputation of being a great guy who was dependable and you knew would always help you out. But his effectiveness has started waning over time. Being overwhelmed started to wear him out, and when he called me, he was constantly stressed, worked 7 days a week, felt like he could never catch up, and had started losing clients.

In our very first coaching session I taught Marcus how his brain worked. This was eye-opening for him. He realized that because he doesn’t store sufficient detail, and because he wasn’t writing down what he had committed to doing for other people, he was forgetting his action items and was disappointing his clients and his family. As well as himself.

Understanding how his brain worked was just part of the picture. Uncovering hidden beliefs that were holding him back was the next step.

Clearly, the way he was working wasn’t working anymore. Yet he had built a reputation on how he worked, so he felt even more trapped.

Within a few sessions, we were able to shift the beliefs that were contributing to overwhelm, implemented a system for capturing everything he committed to, including details, and a way to comfortably say No and requests for help that he knew he couldn’t fulfill.

That was Marcus‘s specific situation, but it is by no means unique. In fact, it is a remarkably common experience for right brain entrepreneurs and executives.

I’ve been working with right brainers for 15+ years, and I’ve discovered that there are commonly held beliefs that most right brain executives and entrepreneurs have that contribute to their chronic overwhelm.

Here are Marcus’s hidden beliefs that kept him overwhelmed:

  • I am trapped
  • I am a martyr
  • I can do more than most people.
  • I can’t find good people.
  • I disappoint others.
  • I have to do it all myself.

We changed these beliefs using a shamanic energy medicine technique and Marcus is now reporting much less stress and overwhelm. So, Marcus is on the right path to breaking his bad habits. 

Yet, many of us wear these beliefs as badges of honor. We take pride in our ability to do more than most people. This may work extremely well when you are bootstrapping a business or in startup mode, but it severely limits your ability to grow and expand when you can no longer do it all.

We become so accustomed to stress that most of us think overwhelm is a natural and normal state. Or even if we don’t think it’s natural and normal, we think it is a necessary part of being in business.

Overwhelm is a signal that you are stressed. Stress limits your field of vision and it prevents you from being strategic, even though you think you are.

Eventually it prevents you from remaining competitive and relevant, which leads you to work even harder, resulting in becoming even more overwhelmed. It’s a vicious cycle – but it’s one that can be broken and realigned.

If you expect to be overwhelmed as a business owner, you are setting up yourself and your business for failure. Isn’t it time to change the beliefs that are creating your reality?

To learn more about why right brain entrepreneurs and executives continue to create overwhelm and overcommitment, and perhaps more importantly, how to change this, join the upcoming [FREE]  teleclass on this very topic on October 10, 2013!

Tweetable: Overwhelm is a signal that you are stressed.


Why are Right Brain Entrepreneurs Constantly Overwhelmed?

I’ve been working with right brained entrepreneurs for the past 15 years, and nearly every single one of them stays stuck in a pattern of overwhelm. Yet, most of them have no idea why they stay overwhelmed. It really comes down to habits. Yes, staying overwhelmed is a habit. These habits stem from the way we process information and our belief systems.

Because right brainers can handle more complexity than left brainers, we tend to make things more complex than they really are. One of the ways we do that is by saying YES to new ideas or tasks or action items without evaluating how much time and effort it will take to complete them. (Hint: A left brainer would never do this.)

To make things even more complex, we don’t evaluate how much we have on our plate before we say yes to those new ideas, tasks, or action items. This compounds the problem.

All that is built on top of our belief systems.

The belief patterns most right brain executives and entrepreneurs have that contribute to their chronic overwhelm are:I can do more than most people.

  • I can do more than is humanly possible.
  • I’m smart enough that I ought to be able to figure all this out.
  • I can’t find good people to do the work I need them to do.
  • I can’t afford the help I need.
  • It’s important to stay busy.
  • I can do things faster and better than other people can.
  • If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.
  • If I want it done right I have to do it myself.
  • I’m uncomfortable saying No.

We wear many of these beliefs as badges of honor. We take pride in our ability to do more than most people can. However, this may work extremely well when you are bootstrapping a business or in startup mode, but it severely limits our ability to grow and expand when we can no longer do it all.  (I’ve discovered a shamanic energy medicine technique that actually changes those belief patterns and I’ll demonstrate it on a free webinar on October 10th – see below!)

We become so accustomed to stress that most of us think overwhelm is a natural and normal state. Or even if we don’t think it’s natural and normal, we think it is a necessary part of being in business.

But every right brain executive and entrepreneur I talk with started their business so they could enjoy freedom. Overwhelm is a trap. It is the opposite of freedom.

Overwhelm is a signal that we are stressed. And when we are stressed it’s limits our field of vision. It prevents us from being strategic, even though we think we are. Eventually it prevents us from remaining competitive and relevant, which leads us to work even harder, resulting in becoming even more overwhelmed. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you expect to be overwhelmed as a business owner, you are setting up yourself and your business for failure.

If you want to learn what to do about this, please attend the teleclass on Thursday, October 10th at noon PT/3pm ET.The class will be approximately 75 minutes long.

Register for FREE now.