The chances are, that if I did ask this question to a live audience of CEO’s, directors and senior managers (based on my experience as a Leadership Coach working on a one-to-one basis with Executives over a number of years) I know that there would be a sea of hands bobbing up in front of me. One thing for certain is that a track record of results and positive outcomes leading to success and promotions is not always a recipe for an abundance of self- assurance, self-belief and unshakable self –confidence .
Why is this?
It seems illogical to feel any less than ‘I can do this, I am a motivated and driven individual who thrives on getting things done achieving through others and creating something great’, especially when faced with all the evidence before us. The stark reality is that we are all humans, and as humans we have those voices in our heads, that make us stop, think and question ourselves. Most of the time the voices are there to keep us ‘safe’ and to stop us from being an egotistical person that gets people’s backs up and stops them co-cooperating and collaborating with us.
How does this make us feel?
Frustrated, confused, annoyed at ourselves, disempowered , feeble , self-deprecating, scared of being ‘found out’, a fraud, feeling like an imposter in our own skin and sometimes even feeling an element of self-loathing. These may be momentary feelings or they may linger and fester below the surface. Regardless we need to STOP! It’s all very unresourceful and un- checked it can lead to a slippery slope downwards!
Here we are in January, the start of a New Year, so let’s make a pact with ourselves to STOP this and CHOSE a different way to think and behave to build our resourcefulness and confidence to create the best year possible for ourselves.
What can we do about this?
There are a number of ways we can help ourselves to feel differently and with intention think and say:
‘Yes, I know exactly how I got here because I am in the driving seat!’
First of all it is important for us to recognise that when we start to feel our unresourceful feelings manifesting themselves in self-doubt, reluctance to do something or fear of doing something, we chose to press the PAUSE button for a moment . Notice our inner critic voice and the language used by this negative self-talk going on in our heads. It’s usually something like ‘what makes you think you can pull this off successfully?’, or ‘don’t be a fool everyone will see that you have no idea what you are talking about’ … you get the gist?
When we notice this happening catch ourselves, take a deep breath and imagine there is a small person or some other creature sitting on our shoulder whispering these unhelpful words in our ear. Take another deep breath and turn to address this unwelcome guest and say:
“Thank you for keeping me safe, I know you want to keep me safe and I appreciate that. Today I want you to keep quiet and go away as you are not serving me well. I am choosing to challenge myself, know I am doing the right things and stretching my comfort zone to help me grow”.
Take another deep breath and then purposefully connect with the ‘inner-leader’ that we all have inside of us (if often helps to image our inner leader as the person we admire the most for their wisdom, skills, personal values and strength) Our inner leader deep down inside of us, knows we are capable and intelligent human beings. Drawing strength from our inner leader supports us to do what we need to do and helps us trust ourselves to be our very best, even in the face of either real or imagined adversity.
Call to action:
- Visualise and/or draw your inner critic – give it a name, sketch it in as much detail as possible, and make it real for you, so you can easily identify, call it out and address it, when required.
- Practice connecting with your inner leader regularly so you can do this easily whenever you need to draw on inner strength to combat your inner critic
Contact me if you want to dig deeper into this and let me support you to be your best self, by tapping into your innate motivation and courage. Take steps to stop the feeling of ‘My God – how did I get here?’ and instead foster those feelings of ‘‘Yes, I know exactly how I got here because I am in the driving seat!’
I look forward to hearing from you!