Do you need a ‘not-to-do’ list?

Would you benefit from identifying “not to do” things that will propel you to success more quickly and easily? When you strategize for success, you typically focus on things you will do and steps you will take to reach your goal. Without a doubt, that is an excellent strategy. However, there may be things getting in the way of your success and holding you back from achieving the results you want. It may be helpful to make a “not-to-do” list to help you change some of your old worn out habits.

When I began my coaching career, I studied great coaches to learn how they worked with their clients. My first role model was Cheryl Richardson, best-selling author and Oprah’s Life Makeover Coach. I would listen to recordings of her programs, read her books and do my best to coach like her. Invariably, I would fall short of her seeming perfection. I would compare the worst aspects of my performance to the best of Richardson’s, which always left me feeling less than adequate and frustrated with myself.

In my comparison, I neglected to include important information such as the fact that I was new to coaching and Richardson had been at it for several years, and that she had once been a new coach who did not start out as polished as she became after years of experience. I only saw my shortcomings in comparison to her brilliance. Once I decided to stop the self sabotage and quit comparing myself to Richardson, I was able to relax and coach with confidence. Without the pressure that I had created to be like Richardson, I was able to be my best, which was more than enough.

What needs to go on your “not-to-do” list in order for you to reach your goals? Maybe you are like I was and need to stop comparing yourself to someone else? Or do you need to stop scheduling too many activities? Stop trying to do everything on your own without asking for help? Stop trying to be perfect? What will you put on your “notto- do” list so that you can achieve success?


• Stop comparing your worst to someone else’s best

Comparing yourself to someone else is a recipe for disappointment. It is especially frustrating when you try to size up your performance, or your appearance, or some other quality to a super model, an Olympic athlete or your brother or sister who always outshined you. Give yourself a break and appreciate that you are more than enough just as you are. It is better to be the best version of yourself than to torture yourself with unrealistic comparisons to others.

• Stop waiting for someone else to make you happy

Happiness is an inside job. You are in charge of your life and of your happiness. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Decide that you will create your own happiness rather than expect it from someone or something else. Take responsibility for doing things that bring you joy.

• Stop focusing on what you don’t have

Rather than focus on not having enough time, enough money, enough energy or enough help, focus on what you do have and be grateful that you have it. Watch your world begin to change in a positive way as you let go of limiting thoughts of what you don’t have and express gratitude for what you do have. Self-sabotage is the worst deterrent to your best performance. — Coach Pat Morgan Pat Morgan, MBA and professional coach, works with busy professionals to help them become more profitable and productive by capitalizing on their strengths and taking focused action to create powerful change.

Call her at 305-458-2849, email or visit her website at

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