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.

 

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Are you in 100%

We all like to have a good rant don’t we?  Especially at work – sometimes there can be a whole sub-culture which bonds people in the workplace or in a network.  How we love complaining about the process, how others shouldn’t have behaved, how different things should be.

My question is – who knows how anything or anyone should be?

In leadership, as a business leader or owner, complaining can have a serious impact on you and your team’s engagement.  Focusing on complaining and largely having a big fat NO to how things and others are, can seriously affect your time and alignment with your purpose – and ultimately this affects your results.

Of course sharing your thoughts and feelings is essential and this is an important part of connecting, discerning and collaborating; especially for the purpose of improving or developing.  However there is a big difference between stepping forward to assertively be heard and passively complaining or colluding.

I realised this week that as I wanted to create a big difference in my results – naturally this will require a big difference in what it is going to take to get there.  Change behaviour, change the result right?

I have had a tendency in the past to agree to a new commitment and then spend a time complaining because it isn’t how I want it to be.  This attitude and behaviour can seriously affect my results.  Whilst I’m using my vital energy and time complaining I’m not engaging 100%.  I’m focused on my complaints, not my goal.

This challenge is a topic that frequently comes up with clients in their leadership.  Which one are you focused on?

  • Alignment with Reality – it is how it is. We can get aligned with this, be present to what is and go for creating our desired result.  Be in 100%.  Or indeed choose a different path;

Or

  • Disengagement in Leadership – we are focused on what isn’t, what should be different and what we don’t like. Our result = dissatisfaction, resentment, valuable time and attention is away from our desired result.

This reminds me of the music industry years ago.  I remember a large amount of complaining about illegal downloading and how online companies shouldn’t be doing what they were doing.  This went on for some considerable time.  The cost was huge amounts of time and energy was spent on complaining – rather than realigning with the reality that the way people accessed music was significantly changing.  The industry was seriously on the back foot in bringing about new ways of marketing and selling music and lost a lot of profit as a result.

So…are you in 100%?

Come and explore how to identify and get aligned with reality.  Find out how you can be in 100% and create the results you want in your leadership.

Join me in a FREE 1:1 45minute discovery session!  I can’t wait to hear from you…

Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

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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

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Authentic or Auto-Pilot?

imperfect

I’ve had some fascinating conversations this week about what gets in the way of creating results and being more authentic more of the time…what does it take to drop the persona and be real?

If we truly want to create results in our lives and connection with others in our work and personal lives, how can our personas deliver that?  Time and time again there it is…our trusty persona gets in there first when we are really crying out to be real…to be liked for who we are…be at peace…be connected…be enjoying the journey.  We can easily get into portraying ourselves as a human being that looks us, talks like us but does absolutely no justice to who we really are.

This reminds me of reflecting some months ago when I was watching the news on TV, hearing discussions about various different people and what they had ‘done’.  Along came all the judgements and evaluations as if there is this perfect human being that everyone should aspire to become.  Who knows what that is I thought?  Who is this person that ticks all the boxes?  Is there an epitome to be reached where we there is no suffering and we are happy, responding perfectly, never making a mistake 100% of the time.  Is that even realistic?

This is how our persona behaves.  Being presented on auto-pilot as if we have to behave a certain way to not be ‘found out’ or not show that we are human.  And there are many personas to choose from…’I’ve got it all sorted’…’poor me, look what’s happened, life’s unfair!’…’I have to put myself aside and help others’…and many more…

What if this is it?  This is how it is.  There is never going to be a perfect way to be.  How about embracing all the challenges as they are and you as you are.  How about acknowledging that you are doing your best with what you have – at any given moment.

What would it be like to live a life like that?

‘Life is not a problem to be solved, it’s a mystery and a journey to be lived’

Come and explore how to be more You more of the time in a FREE 1:1 45minute discovery session with me.  You will be encouraged to show the real you and we will explore the number 1 thing that keeps your persona going.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

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

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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

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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

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FOMO – Have to or Want to?

wayne dyer...you choose limits

Ding!  An email pops into your inbox – a request, an enquiry – it might be from your colleague, the boss or a potential customer.  Its 6:30pm, you’re just about to have dinner together with your loved ones.  Do you open that email?  Of course you do!  You can’t resist!

Then, dinner is ready so off you go downstairs.  What’s happened though?  Suddenly you’re feeling a little uptight, agitated even and your mind is racing.  The email?!  You’re thinking ‘I have to answer it quickly’, ‘I have to respond’, ‘I have to get this info to them’, ‘I have to…   And then you’re eating you dinner but you’re not really there.  Your loved ones are speaking to you, you can hear yourself making the appropriate noises but you’re not really listening – really you want to get back to respond to that email.  So there you are missing the precious moments of your life with your loved ones because of FOMO – and this happens frequently doesn’t it?

Fear of Missing Out – a very common phenomenon.  Thing is, this is it folks.  That time with your loved ones, you don’t get that back.

A few years ago, I used to almost panic when an email or request arrived in my inbox.  Straight away I’d be thinking…I have to answer it now, I have to give them the right answer or else… I’ll look incompetent, I won’t get the assignment, my boss will think I’m lazy, I won’t be working hard enough, fast enough, I’ll lose my job….the list goes on.

After I took The Power of Purpose in 2010, I realised that actually I don’t have to do anything!!!  I might want to, this however is not the same thing.  This is a very subtle but important difference.  One is a choice, the other is a demand.  The other thing I noticed was that it was me adding on the ‘now’ deadline, not the person who’d sent the email.  AND I could ask for a deadline or indeed offer one.

Oh my gosh I felt SO free!  The awareness I learnt quite frankly freed me from the tyranny and grip that my mind had on me.  It’s not that I don’t still react but now I am more aware of what’s happening and this enables me to make more conscious choices, more of the time – rather than be driven by my unconscious mental demands.  Those demands usually end up with me flitting between tasks and reducing my productivity completely.  Sure, I could miss out on something but what’s the worst that could happen?  Once I think about worst case scenario, the truth is I don’t actually know that this is what will happen anyway.  Likely?  I suspect not.

So when that email pops in, consider:

  1. Who put the deadline on you or them?
  2. What’s the worst case scenario if you don’t respond immediately (or indeed until X?)
  3. What’s the truth – do you HAVE to or do you WANT to?

Come and explore how to release the demands you have on yourself, 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 3rd or 10th February 2016 6-8pm.

I’d love to see you there…

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

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3 Ways to Question Yourself and Transform Conflict

change your perspective3

We all have conflicts don’t we?  This may be small reactions to what someone’s said or what’s being asked of us or they may be big ongoing disagreements with colleagues, family, friends that have resulted in total disconnection.

I don’t know about you but for me it can be rapid to go from feeling well, happy, content to suddenly – BAM I have a conversation and my back is up.  Someone has said or done something I don’t like or want and I am fuming, complaining, uptight, ranting, moaning and pretty quickly blaming them for what has happened.

This happened for me over the festive break.  I was really enjoying myself getting ready, about to get going with dinner and then I get a phone call.  Oh could you add this…and how about doing dinner like this…and do this…and do that…and actually I don’t want that, I want this.  All this 15mins before I was about to make a start.  I was fuming!

Pretty much straight away I felt my body tense up, my voice become curt and I hear myself agreeing (when I don’t really want to).  Then I hearing myself saying ‘well yes, but all that will take longer’, followed by a load of other no’s and negatives.   Then I don’t quite know what happened but I hear the person on the other end of the phone say in a very frustrated voice ’right, fine see you later’ and that’s it, no niceties, we hang up.  I come off the phone feeling angry, frustrated and wound up.  How could this happen?  This shouldn’t have happened today, how rude, inconsiderate and most of all how demanding of them.  How dare they?!

Then some other family arrive, they already known about the conflict and they are saying this person isn’t coming!  So now I’m getting: because this conflict has happened it has, from their perspective, ruined the day.  Great.  Merry Christmas!!!

To be quite honest, for a moment I didn’t know what to do.  I wanted to resolve this so we could all get back to enjoying being together, but at the same time I was fuming.  They should have said all those things, they should have offered support, they should have mentioned all this earlier, they should have said those things differently – they were wrong to behave like that and I am right to be angry about this.

Then it hit me, I am in a position.

This is what happens isn’t it?

We get into our ‘position’ and no way are we going to let them get away with this.  I’m right, your wrong.  This shouldn’t have happened.  Omnipotence.  I am going to defend my position at all costs!

Then it occurred to me that this is a recurring pattern for me and this person.  If we are going to be in conflict, this is generally how we end up.

Then in the next moment I thought NO!  I will not keep this going.  I am not going to do this anymore.  I know different, I have the knowledge and tools to choose a different path.  So I pick up the phone and call back and, before I know it, I am apologising.  I’m saying the truth which is: I do want to  hear what you want, your ideas, your contribution – however I found this difficult, a lot to take at short notice and I heard your requests as a list of demands.

Then, my gosh, the conversation was awesome.  We relay honestly what happened for each of us and I then hear the other person is saying ‘I’m sorry too, I realise it was a lot to say and ask at short notice’ and then we are talking, being real with each other – and it’s not conflict it’s connecting, really connecting.  I feel relived, pleased, empowered and free.

All is well.  And I’m really proud of how we transformed our conflict.

So as conflicts arise think about these 3 things that could transform your perspective:

  • Position – are you in a position, what are you holding onto that the other person had done ‘wrong’?
  • Truth – what’s the truth? Should something different have happened?  With your objective hat on, if you were being less all or nothing about this, what would you see?
  • Omnipotence – are you all seeing and all knowing? Really?  Do you really know how anything or anyone should be…?

The purpose here is to notice and question yourself, even if you are unwilling to get off your position.   Have a go and see what happens.

When you keep your position going, you keep the conflict going.

Come and explore how to transform your conflicts, in a warm and welcoming environment, and get focused on how to break the cycle.  Join me for an FREE online taster session for the Transforming Conflict course that I’m teaching at the end of January.  This is a FREE online taster on Tuesday 19th January 10:30-12:30pm.

I’d love to see you there!

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Transforming Conflict

 

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New Year Resolutions – Are you in or out?

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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.

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Transforming Conflict into Connection

affect change by self transformation

Come and explore how you can transform your blaming and complaining in my Transforming Conflict Taster Session on Friday 8th January 10am-12pm.  Book a FREE Place Here

We will look at how to identify and change the behaviours that fuel conflict, find a different way to be and create a different connecting result.

Hope to see you there!

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