You can be the most skilled, intelligent and hard-working person out there, but if you don’t believe you deserve to be a leader and you’re too afraid to share your wisdom with the world…
No one’s ever going to know it.
I didn’t speak up for the first year of my career. I was terrified.
I tell you this because these days, women ask me all the time how they can become as confident as I am, or portray the same level of executive presence that I do.
I am walking proof that it can be learned
So where to start?
Let’s Start With The Stories You’re Telling Yourself
This is more important than you may realize. Let’s suppose, for a moment, that every event that occurs in your life is neutral and YOU are the one who decides whether it will be perceived as positive or negative.
That means when your boss gives you constructive feedback, you can either be happy and appreciative that she’s helping you grow, or upset and annoyed that she doesn’t see your value.
You get to decide which it will be.
Which of these do you think will serve you best in the long run?
Your beliefs are so important because they influence your thoughts, which produce an emotion, then an action and then the outcome that is the result of your choice.
Becoming aware of your thought patterns is the first step to changing your mindset. Only after you’ve learned how to bring awareness to your thoughts can you go about challenging them.
2 of my favourites tools for becoming more mindful are breath-work and journaling:
Breath-work is great at getting you out of your head and calming down your overactive nervous system. When you’re stressed AF, it’s really hard to have perspective and think rationally, so grounding yourself first is key.
Try one of these breathing methods the next time you’re stressed way out, or just need to re-align:
Box breathing: 4-4-4-4
What to do: Inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4… repeat for 2 minutes
Wave breathing: 3-3-6, 4-4-8, 5-5-10
What to do: Inhale for 3, hold for 3, exhale for 6… and repeat. Once this gets easy, work up to 4-4-8 and then 5-5-10
Notice how you feel after 2 minutes of breathing. Pretty great right?
Journaling is another way to bring awareness to your thoughts in a more intentional way. Brain dump whatever is happening in your head and start to work through where your feelings are coming from…
Write out some of the things you’re proud of and what’s gone well and see how this starts to shift your mindset towards more positive thinking.
Are You As Kind When Speaking To Yourself As You Are To Others?
Many of my clients have limiting beliefs holding them back from being the women and the leaders they want to be. When they share with me the way they talk to themselves I can’t believe it! I often ask them,
“How would you feel if your best friend were talking to you this way? Would you put up with that?”
Imagine the freedom in bringing your full self to the table, just as you are, and feeling confident that you’re enough! This shift would not only feel amazing, it would free up SO much energy for critical thinking, strategy review or any other more productive activity.
So how can you free yourself from these limiting beliefs?
Limiting beliefs could be a whole newsletter on their own, but a great way to start tackling this is to unpack where these beliefs originated and why this event had such an impact on you.
For example, if you hold the belief that you’re not smart enough, chances are it came from somewhere other than your brain. Maybe someone teased you for not going to college. Maybe a teacher made you feel bad for not understanding a key concept in class. Whatever that event was (or maybe there were multiple events) it left an imprint on you and created a belief that you treating as fact.
Spend some time unpacking these memories (maybe through journalling), even if it’s a little painful. The first step is simply to gain this new awareness…
From there, ask yourself,
“What evidence exists that contradicts these beliefs?”
I’m going to bet you have some proof that says the opposite of what you’ve been telling yourself. The next time you catch yourself in this thought pattern, remind yourself of what you know to be true.
Challenging old thought patterns is key to shifting into a growth mindset. When you shift to a growth mindset, you can accept failure as part of your journey and be willing to keep trying. Failure is simply seen as part of growing.
The thing that separates the ‘successful’ among us from the rest of the pack is not a lack of failure. No way. It’s the choice and determination to keep trying and not give up when we inevitably fail.
Is that you?
Before I sign off – I want to share that I’m offering early bird pricing for the April cohort of group program until Jan 31st. I cover these topics and lots more to help you break through to becoming a successful exec. Get in touch to learn more.
Until next time friends ✌️💜