3 Courageous Steps to Reducing Your Negative Voice

I’ve been reminded in the last few weeks how much I really don’t know.  I’ve been reminded how important it is not to make assumptions or indeed let my ‘negative voice’ dictate my behaviour.  I truly do not know what someone is going to say or how they are going to react.  I mean it makes sense, how could I?  I who I am and they are who they are – I cannot read other’s minds.

I have had many conversations over the past 6-8 weeks about courses I’m teaching and about coaching.  Many conversations, not about what I’m offering per se but about individuals lives, roles and what they are wanting to change or develop in their leadership.  I’m grateful as I sit typing this that these are the conversations I get to have most of the time – transforming, empowering conversations that sometimes in themselves have many insights for me and others.

I realised after three conversations this week (where I was extremely doubtful of getting the outcome I wanted) how massively important it is not to listen to my ‘negative voice’.  I was fearful enough that I seriously considered not even asking the question that I really wanted to ask.  This was because of course my negative voice’s commentary had already started:  ‘They won’t be interested’, ‘They will say no or not now, ‘They will say I can’t afford it or I can’t do the dates’…and I will be left disappointed, de-motivated and resigned to the fact I have to do more to engage more people.

Well what I actually did was I decided that I can connect, listen, ask the questions I want to ask and see what happens.  And then my friends I was shocked!  All 3 people just said yes!  And now I am thrilled – for them, for me and for the difference this will make to leadership in the world.

So my question to you is…where do you hold back, avoid asking the question you really want to ask?

Have a go at these 3 Courageous Steps:

  • Listen In – to your negative voice…what assumptions are you making about what may or may not happen? About how someone may respond?
  • Check-In – with those assumptions…how do you really know what that person will say or what the future holds? When in the past has someone said something you didn’t expect?
  • Be Curious – and courageous, take a deep breath and ask that question! You never know…none of us do…trust, be open…see what happens.  And if you get a response you don’t want… is it likely you will handle it?

Learn how to increase your willingness to be courageous, get past your ‘negative voice’ and put yourself forward.  Step In, Step Up in your Leadership.  And learn the tools to keep this going for yourself, for the rest of your life.

Come and join me in a warm and empowering environment, in my online taster session for The Power of Self Esteem course.

Taster sessions are on Wednesday’s 28th September or 5th or 12th October 6-7:30pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Self Esteem

Nicci Statham is an executive coach who specialises in changing behaviour, she is passionate about empowering clients to transform their results through changing their attitude and behaviour.  Follow her on Twitter @awareleadership.

 

3 Ways to Abundance not Scarcity

It’s a fine line isn’t it?  Having faith I mean that there will be abundance…rather than crossing over into the fear of scarcity.   Or indeed FOMO, the ‘fear of missing out’ another common phenomenon.

I have many conversations with clients about this pretty big mindset dilemma.  This can manifest in many ways too.  Scarcity can be a general perception of the future which is not enough’ness in some way…insufficient…in short supply…or that fear of missing out on something…there’ll never be another opportunity.  Or at least that’s what our inner voice (or negative voice) likes to threaten us with.

The general perception is one thing and then added on top is the castrophizing our minds like to do.  This has shown up with many clients in comments such as:

  • My staff will never improve or change, what’s the point
  • It won’t get done unless I make it happen
  • I have to get this done or else I’ll look bad, lose my job, look incompetent
  • If we share our talent, knowledge, experience with other organisations…I’ll lose my edge and customers

I wonder in a way if this is part of the human condition…half empty or half full.  I know in my own business and leadership I’ve fluctuated between both, depending on what life is throwing my way and my level of emotional resilience at the time.

What I’ve realised is that when I allow my inner voice to run riot this is the cause of the stress, anxiety, glass half emptiness – not the situation I am dealing with.

Scarcity can be a very stressful, uncreative, limiting and demanding place to be.  This is a completely different energy and focus compared to abundance – or my preference Trust.  What would that look like?  Trusting in you, trusting in life, trusting that whatever you do or don’t do – all will work itself out and all will be well.  Whatever happens you can adjust and will be able to handle it.

So my friends, 3 Ways to combat a scarcity mindset:

  • Check-in with Reality – ask yourself do you know what the future holds?  How many times have you expected one thing and something else has happened?  None of us know the future.  Consider the worst case scenario and how you would handle it if this were it to happen…
  • Focus on Possibility – focus on what you do want, what is working and what you can put in place to move towards where you want to be.  Get aligned with reality and focusing on the next step, even a small one, will move you forward into possibility
  • Trust – let go, release your grasp, loosen your grip on the demand that things be different to how they actually are.  Creating this space allows other creative possibilities to emerge which you are much more likely to see and say YES to.  Remember nothing is for life, we are only ever in the ‘right here, right now’ so in the next ‘right here, right now’ you can always course correct

Trust, be open…see what comes your way…see what happens…see what is evoked in you

Learn how to release your state from fear to creative possibility and learn the tools to keep this going for yourself, for the rest of your life.  Come and join me in a warm and welcoming environment, in my online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Taster sessions are on Wednesday 24th August or 14 September 6-7:30pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose
Bye for now…

Nicci

3 Ways to Expand Your Limits

expand your limit1

I had a physiotherapy appointment last week to review my progress and something very unexpected happened!  An epiphany!!

My physiotherapist and I were chatting about the level of pain I was having and how this was better or worse since I’d been doing my physio exercises.  I was explaining that I’d been doing yoga the night before and I’d started to get uncomfortable pain so I’d pulled back and hadn’t completed some of the yoga activities.  My physiotherapist said, ‘so you stop when you get pain?’ and we carried discussing how I normally handle that.

Then my physiotherapist started to explain that some pain was good, and that I woundn’t damage my body by having some pain.  He also explained that going slightly beyond pain that each time would enable my current physical limit to be expanded.

Well…a light bulb went off in my head!!  I thought YES I am limiting myself because when I feel discomfort/pain or what I judge as ‘too much’, I become fearful I will damage my body – so I stop.  Then I pondered a very important question…where else do I do this in my life?  Where else, when I reach my ‘comfortable’ level of discomfort, do I pull back?

This was an extremely exciting observation for me and since then I’ve been intrigued.  As I result I have been actively practising being with my ‘discomfort’.  How often in our work and personal lives do we pull back, disconnect or avoid if we are out of our comfort zone?  Will this ultimately limit personal and leadership development?

In the case of my physio, this is actually really important because to reach improved resilience and strength my body needs to go beyond its current limits.

So consider these 3 things to question and expand your limits:

  • Discomfort – what makes you uncomfortable and what would it take to move beyond this discomfort?
  • Truth – what are you fearful will happen if you move beyond your current comfort level, what’s worse case scenario?  Is this true, really?
  • Next Step – What is 1 thing you could do to practise stepping beyond your current limit?

Come and explore how to get beyond your current limits in a FREE online preview for The Power of Purpose course with me on Wednesday 27th April 6:30-8pm.  You will be encouraged to explore where your current limits are and how this is affecting your results.

Change your behaviour, change your results…Go on, take a risk!

FREE Online Preview…book here: Book FREE Power of Purpose Preview

Disaster or Discernment?

discernment 1

I realised this week, partly due to the face that I’ve been ill for some of it, that I’m in severe danger of going into overwhelm.  All was going very well, firing on all cylinders and then suddenly I’m ill and off the radar for a few days.  Then all the requests for my time seem to be coming at once.  Straight away my mind starts to go down the…I have to do it all now!…road…

It takes something doesn’t it to stop, notice and say no to staying in this mindset.  And then pops up the old FOMO (fear of missing out), I had that today.  I had booked into an event – and one which may have been great networking for one of the areas than I am passionate about working in.  In my overwhelm I have to go or else I’m never going to get another opportunity – and if I don’t go my mind ultimately has it that I’m going to be a total useless failure.  WoW!

So it sure does take a big part of me to say no to carrying on down that road and trusting that all will be well whatever I choose to do (or not).  This is very common isn’t it?  It can be for me, running from one thing to the next…thinking I can’t miss anything or not get everything done or else something disastrous will happen.  Thing is for me right now, taking care of myself and getting back to 100%…firing on all those cylinders is important.

So here’s a few questions to check-in and check-out those thoughts and assumptions:

  • Priorities – what’s in the mix?  What’s really important and why?  What can wait?
  • Reality – what’s the worst case scenario?  How would you handle it if it happened?
  • Discernment – are all those things really urgent for NOW?  What 3 things can you do next to move one of your priorities forward?  Including the possibility of course correcting deadlines…
  • Support – what support can you ask for, reach out for and put in place to support YOU with all that you are striving for

So next time you your mind is in ‘disaster’ overwhelm, take a moment to check-in with yourself and consider saying no or not now to something so you can say YES to yourself.

Come and explore how to learn life changing tools to release overwhelm, in a warm and welcoming environment, in my FREE online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Join me for an FREE online taster session on Tuesday 29th March 6-8pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose

Renovate or Resist?

Life is an echo2

I’m teaching one of favourite courses at the moment – The Power of Purpose.  This is a course I am extremely passionate about, the tools have the propensity to completely shift one’s state from limiting fear to open possibility.  This is transforming, both for life and in terms of what each of us creates in the world.

Whenever I am teaching this course my learning is always rich and evoking.  This week I am almost seeing a beauty in how the very thing I am teaching about is being played out in parallel before me in other projects I am working on.

All this has reminded me of a big project I passionately wanted to create a while back – my hope (or as it turned out expectation) was that I would be met with open arms, trust, support, encouragement, acknowledgement – the reality was fear, limits, scarcity, bullying, exclusion.  What a difference!  I’m not suggesting questions or concerns weren’t hugely valuable (or indeed that ultimate outcome wasn’t what was exactly required),however it was the approach and attitude made a huge difference to me.  There was a lot of fear, a lot of focus on what wasn’t enough and how things were had been done in the past.  And there is a ripple effect – that ongoing attitude makes a huge difference to the results for myself and others.

And this difference has an impact on the bigger picture, the longer term results and ultimately sustainability for organisations.

When we operate out of fear our attention will likely be focused on one or more of the following:

  • Holding on tightly – maintaining, protecting something or an ideal which we think will be lost if we let go or embrace something different, especially something more radical
  • Resistance – to the new, different ideas, different paths, anything opposing our ‘ideal’ or current belief about how something should be or look like
  • Saying NO – pushing back, holding onto our ideal at all costs and picking holes in anything outside of this

There is a BIG cost to operating from such a fearful place, such as:

  • Impossibility – through the sheer focusing on what isn’t, openness is narrowed and ultimately willingness to see what is possible outside of what we know
  • Innovation – this requires openness, curiosity, willingness to take risks. How likely is this if we are focused on holding onto an ideal?  How likely are we to get creative and resourceful?
  • Alignment with reality – when we focus on what isn’t and holding onto an ideal we are not aligned with the reality of what IS. Something may not be working, particularly if we are not getting the results we want. We are missing the opportunity to get on with correcting this as our attention is on what
  • Engagement – from others, customers, partners, stakeholders, communities, supporters. How likely is it that others are going to want to be on board with such a fearful (negative) attitude?

I see a parallel … or some call it ‘you reap what you sow’.  I’m not suggesting in any way that there is a perfect approach, just that the approach we take and attitude we give out is reflected back.  Again and again.

So next time your results aren’t what you like them to be, take a moment to think about what you are resisting, saying no to or holding onto tightly.

Check out these 3 reflective questions:

  • Payoff – what do I get from holding onto how I think something should be? Or resisting being open to different ways forward?
  • Truth – what’s my worst case scenario? It is true (100%) that my fear will actually happen?
  • Cost – what is the cost to me and my organisation of holding onto what was? What opportunity may we be missing in the present?

Be curious, be open…see what happens…

Come and explore how to release move your state from fear to creative possibility, in a warm and welcoming environment, in my FREE online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Join me for an FREE online taster session on Wednesday 23rd March 6-8pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose

3 ways to Radically Change Your Results

hope and expect

I’ve been reminded this week at various points how important it is to focus on what IS wanted and what IS working.  This is a challenge eh?  I know this has been challenging for me many, many times.

It can be very easy to get into a complaining cycle, talking and focusing on what isn’t happening, isn’t working or what we don’t like.  Some organisation’s culture are totally based around this behaviour.

Thing is, there’s is a big cost to this and that is your results – and of course the quality of the experience to get there.  That experience more likely will be filled with stress, poor work/life balance and sometimes sleepless nights.

When you spend a large amount of time focusing on the negative, what time are you actually investing in moving forward?  What time are you investing in creating what you do what?  Have you even thought about that?  I was reminded again this week that when we focus on what isn’t happening, there is a danger that there’s actually little clarity about what is wanted – particularly in light of course correcting or changes in context.

How can you create something if you don’t know what it is or how you are going to get there? Different methods work of course for different people, however I do see many clients end up creating the minimum or far less than they are truly capable of.   Just imagine what would be possible if there was more focus on possibility rather than impossibility.

Staying focused in possibility can take a great deal of resilience of course, there may be many setbacks and it sure can be a big challenge to keep the faith and stay on purpose – especially when the road looks very different to expectations.

So 3 ways to shift your focus and your thus your experience:

  • Expectation – what was your expectation? Did this turn into a demand?  Not just the result but your expectation of others and yourself.  Hope is not the same as expectation
  • Switch Focus – focus on what you do want, what is working and what you can put in place to move towards where you want to be. Get aligned with reality and focus on the next step you can make towards your goal
  • Responsibility – what can you take responsibility for in all of it? Are you clearly communicating what you do want?  Is this understood?

Come and explore how to stay focused on your passion, your vision and create the results you really want in a FREE 1:1 45minute discovery session with me.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

FREE 1:1 coaching discovery session…book here: Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

What’s Your Persona?

all the world is a stage

I was reminded this week in various client sessions how easy it is to get into acting with a ‘persona’ – in or out of the workplace.  There it is…our trusty blanket comes out when there is uncertainty in some shape or form.  Some of mine used to be ‘I’ve got it all sorted’ or ‘look confident’ or ‘be smart’.    One of my biggest was being nice, pleasing and accommodating.  Now I do very much want to accommodate if I can, however something used to get lost in my ‘nice, pleasing and accommodating’ and that was ME.

There are of course many different personas, some may be placating or ‘nice’…others may be more aggressive and out there so to speak.  Be strong, confident, be loud, be first, sound like I know what I’m talking about, be tough, be in control, be nice, make them laugh, be the hero…the list is endless.

Thing is, the persona is essentially faking it – presenting a person that looks like you, sounds like you but is not actually the real you.   What’s going to happen if you are the real you?  What would the consequence be?

As Marianne Williamson said, ‘our fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us’

The persona and maintenance of it can lead to the constant picking holes in ourselves and living a fearful existence.  Sometimes even paranoia, the slightest comment from someone sends us into a spiral of self-doubt and fear about what others think of us.

Trouble is, all this ‘persona’ or fakeness usually entails a severe lack of openness and honesty – and this my friends does really not bode well at all if we want to create and maintain connecting and sustainable relationships.  And the persona will certainly not be a sustainable foundation if you are looking to become a high performing leader or organisation.

It sure can be tough, going into work day after day and ‘performing’.  What about all those other people who seemed to have it licked?  They look so at ease!

I have many clients that have said, ‘if I show any weakness everyone will think I’m not good enough at my job. I have to be strong for my staff’.  Well that’s very admirable to care deeply about one’s staff and the effect on the bigger picture, however when we present a persona we encourage others to do the same.   This, I suggest, in the long run does not support you, the organisation or your staff.   More often than not our personas are based on a range of assumptions that may or may not be true.  When we hide our humanity, we hide reality.

I challenge you to stop and consider the following about your persona(s):

  • What persona am I presenting? – most of us know when we are not being real at any given moment
  • What would happen if you are the real you? – there will likely be a list of consequences that your mind has ready for you
  • Is your list of consequences true? – really? How do you know the future?
  • What payoff are you getting from keeping your persona? – are you hiding out from stepping up or sticking your head above the parapet?

Go on, have a go at being real – at least once a day.  See what happens.

Come and explore how to identify and be the REAL you, more of the time in a FREE 1:1 45 minute coaching discovery session with me.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

FREE 1:1 coaching discovery session…book here: Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

New Year Resolutions – Are you in or out?

smooth sailing3v2

I have been reading lots of articles this week about how only 8% of people keep their new year’s resolutions and, refreshingly, a few about letting go of goals that are not serving us.  Great!  There’s nothing like checking-in to see that goals are still relevant and what we really want.

Being a bit of a purpose connoisseur so to speak (or so I like to think!), there is always something I am noticing and learning about my purpose(s).  Especially how this does or does not keep me on track with my goals.

Having a goal is wonderful however, purpose isn’t just about the final outcome for me.  Purpose is about noticing, getting aligned with reality, course correcting and then choosing again.  And again, and again, and again.  And this can be all within the same goal.  How often do we get into the all or nothingness of a goal?  And how much I wonder does this actually hinder progress, the quality of our experience and the final outcome?

For example, I had a massive project that I kicked off last year.  I mean it’s big – life changingly for myself and others.  So it took a lot for me to step-up, be visible and declare that this is what I am going for.  So I have a clear intention and an emotional attachment if you like to see this project come to fruition.  In hindsight, I realise I went into this with somewhat of an idealist attitude.

In my fantasy this was how it was all going to pan out…everyone is going to be immediately enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive.  They are all going to agree straight away, no one will be negative, no one will say  no, put any blocks in my way, ask me to change my vision etc.  I will hold my first meeting and everyone will be on board, turn up on time, respond to emails when I want them to…and from there it will evolve into this amazing world changing event…la la la…la la la.

Of course what I got was VERY different and quite frankly I found this tough to get past.  A few years ago this would have been a great excuse for me to give up and do something else instead.  I am clear now that I am not going to give up, but to keep my motivation and be willing to keep going is something else.

There is a much bigger picture here too, whatever we are doing with any goal big or small, we will be doing in other goals and areas of our lives.   This is true for me and all of us.

So whether you are changing jobs, creating something new, stepping up, improving fitness or losing a few pounds – how you respond and how you handle setbacks will impact the experience and the outcome.  This is it folks, this is your life.  You choose, always.

So you can course correct and go back in or go into one of my top 5 impossibility responses as a result of your ‘failure’:

  • Beat yourself up – drive yourself to do more harder, faster to make up for your ‘failure’
  • Indulgence – you have failed, any progress is futile, so why not consol yourself with a glass of wine or snack?
  • Resent – complain about how its everybody else fault that this has happened, they need to change or be different so you can be successful
  • Resignation – it’s impossible, it was never going to happen anyway, so you might as well give up right now
  • Denial/minimising – you never meant to go for that anyway, it was obviously unrealistic, better scale back so you don’t look like such a failure

 

OR how about this top 5 instead:

  • Reality check – Stop and review, check-in with yourself. What’s happened, what are the actual barriers?
  • Truth – What is the truth? Have you failed? How do you know you weren’t meant to get to your outcome this way?
  • Possibility – what can you learn from this? Are you willing to forgive yourself?  Even with any barriers you may be experiencing, what is possible if you were to forgive yourself and get back on board?
  • Way forward – what are the options to adjust, change course in light of what’s happened?  Are your setbacks going to require something different and if so, are you willing?

So what will you choose – in or out?  Go back to same habits of dropping or reducing your goal because you now believe it’s impossible OR get back on board with yourself.

Come and explore your goal challenges, in a warm and welcoming environment, get focused and empowered into possibility.  Join me for an FREE online taster session for The Power of Purpose course – on Saturday 16th January 10:30am-12:30pm.

I hope to see you there!

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose

Nicci Statham is an executive coach who specialises in changing behaviour, she is passionate about empowering clients to transform their results through changing their attitude and behaviour.  Follow her on Twitter @awareleadership.

You, no one else, creates what you have in your life.

Fear or Fearlessness?

freedom from fear

Oh my gosh!!!  I’ve had a particularly difficult few weeks working through how to move forward with a certain project that really means a lot to me – and actually is a big contribution to my life purpose.

The challenge has been working in partnership with others who are fundamental to the project’s evolution and delivery.  There has been a lot focus on what’s missing, what people don’t like, what isn’t known, what they think I should be doing and sadly lots of conversation about me rather than with me.

It’s a really tough one isn’t it?  What do we do when our projects go down the road of fear and impossibility?  How can we shift the perspective to be one of possibility, positivity and creativity?

It takes one person to focus on what IS possible, what IS happening, what IS available, what IS wanted…what IS the truth…what IS…what IS…what IS.

So with my project, the truth is I want to create a project where the attitude is that we are FOR each other, we support each with what we don’t know and we pull together to work out a plan that works for all.  I want a team that is enthusiastic, encouraging, open, honest, creative…a team that focuses on possibility rather than fear of what may not work.

For me, this is what is going to create a successful project – the will, the FOR each otherness, the positive energy, the ‘can-do’ approach where we support each other through it all – including the challenges, tough decisions, wins, losses and tears!

And I’m guessing it’s going to challenge for me to stand up for my vision and be in my personal authority about what I do want – whilst keeping open to possibility myself.  Because the truth is there is a lot I don’t know, others may know a better way and they will for sure have lots of ideas that will bring more and more to the ultimate creation and delivery.

So here are some key steps to move from fear to fearless:

  • Share your feedback (your experience) and ask for what you DO want, 100% from the heart
  • Ask yourself how can I model focusing on what IS rather than what ISN’T?
  • Review where you are, is it the ideal time to get into planning or would some team connection/building be beneficial first?
  • Re-group, re-align, re-engage others into your vision of what IS, what you what to create, what the impact on the world will be.

Go for it!!!  You will BE the change you want to see…

Get focused on possibility and what IS on my taster session for the Power of Purpose.  This is a FREE taster event running in Hertfordshire on Wednesday 6th January 4-6pm.

FREE tickets here: FREE Power of Purpose taster – book!

 

 

Motivation by fear of conscious choice?

hope not fear

So I woke up this morning and noticed I had a lot of tension in my face, I was almost a bit breathless.  I go on a 4 mile walk everyday and as I was walking I noticed this tension more and more.  I felt agitated and I had this sense of being ‘in a hurry’ and wanting to ‘get through’ my walk.

Then it suddenly hit me…I am going out today at lunchtime and there is a number of things, including this post, that I want to get done before I go out.  It occurred to me that my want to get this and a number of other things completed had turned into a push, demand, drivenness.  I mindfully tuned into what thoughts were running in my head and these were some of the things I could hear…I have to work harder, I have to work quicker, I have to focus, I have to get everything done..or else I will have failed, I’ll miss targets, I’ll let myself down…ultimately I was accusing myself of being useless and ineffectual.

Does this sound familiar?

My whole mindset and thoughts about the day ahead were being driven by a fear of failing and what sort of person id be if I did not meet the demands I had on myself.

How often do we do this?  Threaten ourselves into action….threaten ourselves into driving, pushing ourselves and ending up stressed, anxious, running through and through that hamster wheel like the world is going to end.

There is a different way.  Taking the steps to:

  • Be mindful – stopping to tune into these thoughts that are running and checking out what the truth is about these demands and accusations we are holding against ourselves
  • Choice – focus on what we do want rather than what we don’t want. Taking the time to explore what we want and WHY we want it.  We can use this as a motivation rather than threatening ourselves

Have a go and let me know how it goes?

We explore this in more depth on my The Power of Purpose course in January 2016.  I will be teaching some of the course’s extremely powerful, life changing tools to go through these steps.  This process will get us free of those fearful chains and liberate us to get off that hamster wheel…

Come and join me for a FREE taster session in Hertfordshire on Friday 8th January 10am-12:30pm.

FREE tickets here: Book your FREE place!

 Set yourself free…