At the Risk of You Thinking I Gave Up

2270328d7dc160c9c2e46383e497b212I don’t want anyone thinking I’ve given up on the idea of Carrot.

I haven’t, I’m just kind of on an emotional sabbatical ( but I think those are typically paid leaves, yes? This isn’t like that.)

I’m just trying to figure out in what direction I should go.

I WILL  figure it out soon … any suggestions are still welcome. I appreciate all so far and am considering them for revamping the format some…

I tend to return to art and avoidance when I am in a conundrum. Thus the length of time since the last post… soon…Thanks for your patience.

In the mean time…

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I started CARROT with the idea that I needed some motivation to continue in a project that I started last year (the great unsticking). When I started that project on my other blog, it took a whole different form than this. I have to say I am not fond of the direction CARROT is taking. It’s too preachy for me. I’m not sure what else it is or isn’t, but I would like it to be more interactive. Not necessarily with comments per se, as with setting up a way to be accountable.

There is more that needs work. I’m just not sure what it is. I would like to continue CARROT because it is a step in the whole revamp project, but like all good dynamic projects, you have to recognize when it’s not working… so it needs restructuring.

Don’t worry about hurting feelings… As long as it’s constructive, criticism is a good thing. I’ve been told I have thick skin. Let me know what’s working and what isn’t working.

I’m asking (begging!) for some ideas. Help me out here, huh? Please.

Any and all ideas are welcome. Leave them in comments below. Don’t be shy.

Thanks, L-


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Pangs of Conscience

carrotHave you ever felt guilty for something that was just not yours to own? Everyone has done this one, right? So maybe I should be asking, when was the last time you felt guilty for something that wasn’t your responsibility?

I’m not saying there aren’t times I haven’t sincerely screwed up and needed to pass out an apology or seven but, I often find myself at the end of some self-induced punishment in the form of obsessive guilt that I just don’t need to hold up to my personal lens of responsibility.

1409-wes-taking-ownership-four-top-down-strategies-that-create-better-teamworksource         In all reality the easy stuff is when we KNOW we screwed up! Now, THAT’S saying something! Look, if you really mess up, apologize! DO IT! Admit you’re wrong and be contrite. Recognize what you’ve done is out of league with your norm, and resolve not to do it again. DON’T sit around drawing more attention to it and yourself with ” I’m such an ass,” statements. Make amends and move on.

The same goes for when you don’t need to own it.

It’s not easy to stand by your convictions and not take on extra guilty baggage when you don’t meet the expectations of other people. Example: I will often feel responsible if I’m not able to help someone with something they’ve asked, or even inferred they would like me to do. That’s just my feelings of inadequacy, and my fear of failure disguised as guilt. When I allow subversive guilt to get in my way, it eats at my self-esteem. It devours me emotionally and relentlessly hammers at my self (1)source

Webster defines Guilt: Noun: a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation.  Verb:make (someone) feel guilty, especially in order to induce them to do something.

By shear definition, it implies assumptions of what we should be feeling and the possibility of manipulation.

I wish (as I’m sure you do) that it was as easy as 1,2,3 steps but it’s not. The way I see it (and who knows if that’s right or wrong)…is …

  • First you have to be honest with yourself-often a difficult task in tough circumstances
  • Recognize that you’re most likely angry or dissapointed or saddened by whatever has occured.
  • Recognize the need to identify what may really be at the core of your guilt.Why are you feeling compelled to either do or not do something in the first place?
  • Know one of two things in your heart: 1. That if you weren’t allowed to feel guilty, you would probably just be PO’d that someone has put you in this position and you  turned your back on what you thought was the better choice… or 2. That you yourself are putting needless expectations on yourself for some unrelated reason you harbor in your psyche.

If you find yourself feeling guilty all the time or even just questioning why you’re feeling guilty about a certain situation, you may want to explore the idea a little further. Ask yourself a few telling questions.

  • Are you judging this situation by your standards or someone else’s?
  • Are you  being honest with yourself? What do you really know or feel about this situation?
  • If an angel  came down and said “Never fear, no one will ever know about this situation,” would you still need to feel guilty? I mean after you regained consciousness of course cuz well, c’mon, a real live angel… I mean, really…

How does this relate to your goals? Have you been feeling guilty for dropping off some?

Is it yours to own? If it is… OWN IT AND MOVE ON! If its not… LET IT GO AND MOVE ON…

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Who Said That?

Sometimes you just lose momentum. I want to write so many posts, but seem to be lacking the motivation… I will push myself soon. Promise. In the mean time, let me leave you with the thoughts of others more motivating than I. (And if anyone is interested in writing a guest post, leave a comment and let’s talk…)


“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankl

“Everything yields to diligence.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation.”  Arsene Wenger

“Many of the factors that we think will cause motivation, such as fair pay and a good manager, won’t make you love your job. Even if you eliminate what makes you dissatisfied, that doesn’t make you motivated. It doesn’t make your work rewarding. You just are less bothered by things. “Clayton Christensen

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. “Zig Ziglar

“For me, motivation is a person who has the capability to recruit the resources he needs to achieve a goal. “Arsene Wenger
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
― Albert Einstein


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…And the Procrastinator of the Year Award Goes TO…..

carrotWhat are some of your favorite reasons for putting things off? Me personally? I am the queen of because I just don’t feel like it. I’ve been known to put things off for my health, because it won’t work anyway, because I may suck at it, because I’ve never done it before and would prefer less stress to do it the first time, because it’s boring, because it’s difficult, because it’s otherwise unpleasant… because… because… because…

What does this all boil down to? Well, I think it means I’m an anxious nut job with a bad case of being a brat. But, how  do you avoid anxiety? You don’t! You hit it head on because avoiding anything gives it more power over you, and makes doing it the next time (and there WILL be a next time!) worse. However, that is a conversation for a different post, because today, I am here to address the finer points of acting like a total brat.



Sorry, but I’m here to say…too bad.

You may rightfully notice, that in the last post I said it was smart to listen to your body, and cut yourself some slack as need be. I also said if it becomes a pattern you should assess how often that is happening, and find another alternative to get your goal met. All that is still true.

You know just as I do, that there are plenty of times, not even health related times, that you put something off because you just don’t feel like doing it. That’s because somewhere along the line we convinced ourselves that if it’s an important goal we should want to do what it takes to get there. In all honesty, I would rather not get up an hour early to exercise before work. 743f88ea-33cc-4d8e-ba60-69433c0485aaBut last I checked, the dog didn’t wake in the night and bungy cord me to the bed, so I do it. Because I can. ” I can’t get up that early,” is a total falsehood. I can. I don’t want to. But I can.

Commitment to what you want to accomplish, commitment to your goal and even to the method for getting there is important. To expect that you need to FEEL like doing what it’s going to take… is too much. Be like Spock…stop feeling…just the facts…”I will reach my goals if I do this…it’s important to reach this goal.”

Acceptance is what’s important. Accept that you don’t have to like it, but in order to feel better you still have to do it!

Remember this? Watch it, it’s good!


Posted in control issues, fear, goal setting | 6 Comments


14ed2cdf-f969-4d58-813f-04105122b6ecWell, the first week has passed and maybe you set some goals, made a vision board (thanks for this one, Andrea!), or decided you were more of a list person and wrote them down.

Either way, you’ve more than likely had occasion to modify your plans for your personal “unsticking.”


  • Did it throw you off your game?
  • Were you able to regroup after your initial reaction of “JEESH! WHY ME?”
  • How did you decide modification was a better idea than giving up?

There were a few comments this week that reflected the challenges …

Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says:  Goal was treadmill today. RA and dramatic temp drop said NOPE. I’m over it. Pass the space heater.

Lisa illustrates a great point. She’s referring to having rheumatoid arthritis which doesn’t respond well to forcing it through cold weather changes. She knows her body and what she should and shouldn’t do in order to avoid making her physical situation worse. If you can listen to your body vs letting your head take you to places you shouldn’t go (i.e. “Don’t be a wimp, you can do this!), it will work to your advantage when you have to modify your plans.

Josie at Two Shoes in Texas says:… At first I felt guilty, then realized that this is an unusual circumstance and no apology is needed. I also didn’t get any reading done last night because I was exhausted before bedtime ever got there. Today is less stressful, and I’ve got things under control, so I look forward to reading tonight…

Not only did Josie modify because she was just too stinking tired from a stressful day, but she recognizes that she can look forward to her goal of reading tonight because she didn’t force it last night. How many times have you forced yourself  to do something and resented the hell out of it the whole time? This way Josie gets to salvage her goal and enjoy meeting it when she can.

carrotBelieve me, I am not saying you shouldn’t push through on occasion, but there are times you would be better off to be able to know when pushing it, is going to backfire. If you find yourself doing it every day… reconsider. If you find you have an illness that doesn’t do well in rainy weather and your neighbor is building an ark…consider that maybe it’s time to find a lower key activity than the original plan.

Look, I know it’s not rocket science, but if we based it on the number of times we successfully manage to cut ourselves some slack, there are a lot of us practicing for NASA out there… 'When we say 'it's not rocket science' we mean it's something far more complicated.'

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Self Doubt and the Art of Conjecture

  • If you’re like many people, today is the first day to a full week after two short work weeks of holidays.
  • If you’re like many people, you may have set some goals for yourself on New Year’s Day and started them today.
  • If you’re at all like many people you had a few stumbling blocks today.
  • If you’re like many people…the doubt. has started. to. creep. in…


It’s not bad yet, but it’s possible that by the end of the week you’re going to be thinking, “Well, I let it go this far, so I can let it go for the weekend and restart on Monday.”



You may be wondering why I mention this now when it hasn’t even been an issue yet. Let’s just say I believe in prevention, the preemptive strike as it were. Why? Because if history tells us it has happened this way in the past, you can reasonably predict that it may happen that way again. Furthermore if you can predict something may happen then with a little planning, you can make an effort to prevent it.

So purely in the interest of prevention, let’s look at some ways to be gentle with yourself this week in order to take better aim at your short-term goals.

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

  • downloadRemember that you made these goals when you were all pumped up to get things done! And yes, you should make every effort to meet them, but recognize that any good goal is going to need flexibility. You may not need to adjust the end result but rather your steps in getting there. Breaking it down further if you find you underestimated how much attention the other parts of your life would still need. Or better yet, saying “no” to the things you do to chronically overextend yourself, serving your real values by doing the few things, instead of stressing yourself by trying to do it all!
  • It’s likely that you are the only person expecting yourself to have all the answers. Trust your intuition, trust that no one person can control everything.  There is only so much planning you can do. When you tell yourself “I won’t be happy unless/until this happens…”  you eliminate the unexpected. How many happy accidents have you missed because you couldn’t see fit to be content that something may have come about in a way different from what you expected?
  • portable_reel_to_reel_tape_recorder_818931Shut down your inner critic. Learn to turn down that repetitive tape in your head that keeps telling you to doubt yourself. When you’re doubtful (and we all can be), the past becomes regret and the future becomes fear. Why spend your time in either place? When your inner critic shows up it is time to be present. Time to recognize the here and now, pay attention to what you’re doing to the exclusion of other thoughts. Being present allows you to observe and not judge. Fear is judgemental. When fear shows up recognize it as a powerless thought that’s just trying to keep you from reaching your goal. Fear is trying to keep you small.
  • You don’t get to beat yourself up for being fearful or having doubts. We all have off-days. Some of us have off-weeks. Don’t deny how you’re feeling. Take it as a sign to be gentle with yourself. Maybe today is the day I give myself a little extra break time. I find a book or go out to lunch…whatever floats your boat. Don’t do it every day, but don’t forget to do it on occasion.
  • Be grateful. There are many proven benefits to adopting an attitude of gratitude. Being thankful for even small changes is going to be important to your continued success. I am not going to reinvent the wheel, so let me just send you to the right place to witness what I’m peddling here: The 31 Benefits of Gratitude. (Suffice it to say it’s everything from improved sleep to forward career advancement.)

Remember that stumbling blocks are normal. Expect them, and you can make a plan before you find yourself having to make it up as you go along.

Are these posts helpful? Is there anything you would like to see at Carrot?


Posted in control issues, fear, gratitude, mindfulness, prevention, self-doubt, self-talk, support | 9 Comments