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Blue sky by Ute Wieczorek-King

As a new week unfolds, it is so easy for ultra-busy women to get sucked in to the to-do list without stopping long enough to take a breather.

Sometimes we drop tasks and reprioritise our action list on a whim, depending on what happens to us that day.

It may change like the weather in April: I recall days where we started with strong winds followed by torrential rain, which in turn was followed by glorious blue skies and sunshine.

I find it easy to admire the sunshine and appreciate the good weather after the grey of the rain but without that strong contrast, would I have really noticed the good weather or would I have taken it for granted?

It’s the same with the contrast of nice and not-so-nice tasks on your action list.

Have you got used to avoiding certain tasks?

Sometimes when your list is full of things you don’t like doing, or are not very good at, it may feel easier to ignore your important tasks and put them off. I have done this too from time to time especially with one of my least favourite tasks… following up leads.

But when you cherry pick, do you actually ‘enjoy’ doing what’s easiest? Or is the feeling of guilt when procrastinating preventing you from doing so?

It is so easy to become used to working in such a way, until a deadline threatens to derail us or a personal matter stops us in our tracks.

Then panic sets in.

Today as you trail through your action or task list, why not pay real attention to all of it – the good, the bad and the ugly?

Why it makes sense to embrace all tasks

Without dealing with the challenging, boring or uncomfortable tasks, you may miss out on valuable learning about yourself and the task in hand. You also deny yourself the opportunity to truly appreciate the positives and the fun activities. And then you are simply left with that niggling feeling of guilt that is so difficult to shake off!

So when faced with jobs that that make you feel disheartened this week, try to feel grateful for what you are learning about yourself and your tasks as you carry them out.

And if that feels a little strange at the beginning, look for something else to feel grateful for – even if it’s just the sunshine or the blue sky.

You may be amazed by how good it feels to apply an attitude of gratitude in your day-to-day work.

As William Arthur Ward said, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

Ute Wieczorek-King is an experienced Mentor who helps busy women to be visible and focused in business. You can connect with Ute on Twitter , Facebook or Instagram or get her free Money ebook for passionate solopreneurs on the Success Network website.

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When you run your own business you will frequently find yourself in unfamiliar territory. Like the first time you attend a big networking event, give a presentation to people you don’t know or publish your first blog.

10 years ago, when I started my coaching & mentoring business I hated being in the spotlight, something I had never needed to be with my corporate training business. Yet here I was, hesitating to contribute to discussions on my first professional social media network and wondering why anyone would be interested in what I have to say! At live networking meetings I felt self-conscious, occasionally stammering through my elevator speech, often wanting to hide at the back of the room.

A few years later I was hosting large events, had raised my profile substantially and was building a following on social media. I was once interviewed on radio – on my own – for 90 minutes and I was only a little nervous beforehand.

I have just released my first YouTube video called “Boosting your chances of success in business”. Speaking on camera, for all the world to see, used to feel even more daunting than appearing on the radio. Despite the fact that not everything went according to plan during the recording, I didn’t let my nerves affect me. So what has changed?

Three key things I’ve learnt that may help you too:

1. Whatever new situation you find yourself in, always prepare as best as you can

For the radio interview I mentioned earlier, I prepared myself by jotting down some bullet points on key themes and statistics so I wouldn’t forget them. I even visualised being in a small room talking into a microphone and wearing a headset.

When it came to recording my video, I did a few practice runs until I felt confident that I wouldn’t forget any of the tips I was trying to get across. Good preparation will give you confidence whether you are speaking at a conference or getting ready for a new customer meeting or presentation – indeed, any situation that puts you in the spotlight and tests your performance.

2. Last-minute nerves may not always be a bad thing

Feeling nervous can at times work with you rather than against you. The effect of adrenaline can make you feel much more alert which may help to improve your performance. When I run a brand-new training event, for example, I find that this alertness helps me to react more quickly and deal better with things that don’t go according to plan.

Whilst excessive nervousness and panic can be disabling and affect performance negatively, you don’t want to be too calm either. Just telling yourself that there is no need to worry and that all will be OK may lead to complacency. Both are extremes and neither will be helpful when you want to perform at your best.

3. You will never be “perfect” Ute YouTube1

Women often want to be ‘superwomen’ and try to please everyone, but in doing so, we can be far too hard on ourselves. It is when you accept that ‘good’ is good enough and therefore perfectly acceptable, that you will come across as human, authentic and approachable in other people’s eyes.

When you watch my video you’ll realise that it isn’t in the recommended landscape format and there are also a few seconds missing at the beginning. But despite the flaws, I chose not to strive for perfection with my first YouTube presentation. Leo Tolstoy once said “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” True?! So, why not remind yourself from time to time that not being perfect is actually OK.

By being prepared, embracing the inevitable nerves and accepting yourself as you are, you will feel authentic, alert and ready for action. That way you will get that huge sense of satisfaction when giving whatever your best may be … even when finding yourself in unfamiliar territory!

Ute2013-150x150PS. If you would like to have a complimentary chat about your micro-business, please email Ute Wieczorek-King.

Ute is a bilingual (German) business coach & mentor who helps busy women to be visible, effective and profitable in business. To get her monthly tips and a free ‘Turn your Passion into Profit’ ebook, please visit the Success Network website.

Copyright 2012-2014, Ute Wieczorek-King

Photos: Ute Wieczorek-King

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