georgiaGeorgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

“I am physically weary and emotionally exhausted,” my coaching client said with a heavy sigh.  ‘I’m not motivated to write or do anything.”

She was in over her head at home and with her writing deadline.
I knew how she felt . . . been there recently myself. Overwhelmed with too much to do and little energy to do anything. So I’ve decided to share four things that help me in those, “in over my head” moments.

1.  Do nothing for a while

It seems counter intuitive.  After all, you have all these things to do, so you can’t afford to do nothing.

I usually resist this idea.  Yet, when I rest, space out with a good book, a video or take a nap or stay in my pj’s all day, I feel rejuvenated. Doing nothing is usually the best thing I could do.
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georgiaGeorgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Boy with brilliant ideaDid you ever have a brilliant idea that later seemed to turn bad? Three years ago I had a great idea for a book. Once I decided to take action and make it a reality, however, I felt at times like it was the worst idea I ever had. We have all had similar moments.

Since my bright idea became a published book (Coaching the Coach: Life Coaching Stories for Transforming Lives), I’ll share five things to remember when a brilliant thought flashes through your mind, and what to do afterwards as you try to bring it into reality.

1.  Write Down Your Idea and Pray About It

Ask God for his direction. Ask people to pray with you and for you. Talk to people you respect and trust and ask for their advice and suggestions about your vision. If you feel God is leading you, then think about the first steps you could take toward making it a reality.

My idea was to compile a book of life coaching stories (think Chicken Soup for the Soul type of book), sharing the wisdom and experiences of gifted leaders in the field of Christian coaching. I prayed about it, and one morning in my quiet time I felt God’s peace to move forward.
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image001Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Recently I read a blog for singles written by a woman who was obviously still bitter about a man she had dated. Her sarcasm and biting comments about men in general and one man in particular offended me.

Her post caused me to stop and reflect on who I am and how my writing might negatively impact my readers.  Am I carrying unforgiveness or deep resentments? Do I have any hurts, feelings of betrayal or frustrations that I have ignored but are slowly seeping out in what I write?

Reading that article reminded me how our failure to deal with these hurts, insecurities, or disappointments in a proper fashion not only adversely impacts our emotional and spiritual well-being but can even put off those who read what we write.

If you want to positively influence others, then you need to be intentional about clearing out negative attitudes, thoughts, and feelings. As the writer of Hebrews suggests in chapter 12, verse 1, we want to “throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles.” It’s our awareness of what we’re holding onto along with the commitment to take action that enables us to get rid of our junk. Read More →

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georgiaGeorgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Last month I wrote about anxiety and how it can ambush our writing. This month I’ll discuss the self-sabotaging mindsets we have that undermine our creativity and productivity.

Some mindsets are caught from our parents or friends. Others we’re taught. Some mindsets are helpful and some are self-defeating. The latter keep us stuck in negative thinking and deplete us of vital energy.

Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of Spanx, is a great example of how positive mindsets propel us forward. She said, “My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.”

An unproductive mindset would be, “I don’t have what it takes to write a blog or publish a book.” If someone important in your life, like a teacher, parent, or sister told you, “you can’t write,” it’s easy to continue to carry that perspective without even thinking about it. Read More →

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georgiaGeorgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

One coaching client emailed me, saying, “Every time I sit down to write, I’m flooded with anxious thoughts. The voices in my head shout that I can’t write and nobody wants to read what I have to say. How do I deal with all this anxiety?”

In highly motivated people like this woman, I’ve found it is often anxiety that interferes with our creativity and ability to focus. Obviously not all anxiety is detrimental to writing. These feelings can motivate us to take action. But constant anxiety can lead to moodiness, writer’s block, headaches and even insomnia when our brains don’t shut down at night.

You can help yourself resolve some of the anxiety by first asking yourself multiple questions. Could I be trying to do too much? Is this just a difficult challenging time? Do I need to put this writing project on the back burner? Do I need more sleep? Or am I only anxious when I write?

I knew this particular client had been gradually trying to write later and later into the night. Her most productive hours, however, were in the morning. Working longer at night allowed her little time to relax. Since she went to bed, still tense, she had problems falling asleep. The next morning she felt sluggish and had difficulty concentrating. Read More →

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