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Entries from August 2018

Do you trust yourself? Building personal mastery

29th August 2018

Trust, building personal mastery

I’ve been working recently with a senior team embarking on a transformation project. The purpose of the assignment was to revisit how they work as a team and the culture they want to create moving forward.

The model I introduced was Lencioni’s 5 dysfunctions of a team and we spent a significant amount of time talking about trust (the absence of trust being dysfunction #1). Lencioni describes this as the willingness to be vulnerable with each other.

Reflecting on this, and similar workshops I’ve run in the past, it struck me that the step before this is to consider to what degree do you trust yourself. This has to be the start of any work to do with teams or leadership.

Playing safe vs. being courageous

We are all aware of the speed at which the world is changing and the sense of overwhelm that this can create within us. No longer can we predict what is going to happen or know for certain what the outcome or solution will be. So how does this affect how you show up as a leader?

Do you protect yourself, play small and keep your head down to ensure you’re not failing or making mistakes – playing safe? Or, do you take each moment as it comes being comfortable with not knowing, knowing that you will make some mistakes and even make some bad decisions?

As a leader you set the tone for your team and the more aware you are of who you are, the more consciously you can set the right tone, show up and be present.

So how can you learn to trust yourself more?

Banish self-doubt and comparisons!

We live in a world of never enough. Brene Brown in her research on shame and vulnerability found that people constantly assess and compare elements of their lives.

This often triggers thoughts in our head that prevent us from taking action, for example:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not successful enough
  • I’m not thin enough
  • I’m not fit enough
  • I’m not certain enough
  • I’m not safe enough
  • I’m not perfect enough

These thoughts are triggered by fear, fear of being left out, fear of being out of control, feeling unappreciated, misunderstood, not recognised…

AND they don’t help! They only fuel self-doubt.

Trust yourself – being courageous and stepping into your power

There is a way to change this and it’s about shifting your mindset.

The moment you feel your self-doubt starting to surface – STOP! Press the pause button and take a step back. Focus on what is actually happening externally. Get curious. See things for what they are.

  • What might you be fearful or uncertain about?
  • What situations have you faced in the past and overcome?
  • What strengths do you have that you can utilise in this situation?
  • Who may be able to help you?
  • Are you clear about the direction you’re heading, even without all the information?
  • Have you provided enough information to engage people?
  • Have you congruently asked for what you want?
  • What assumptions are you making?
  • Start a dialogue.
  • Seek feedback and create an environment that makes it easy for others to do this.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, simply some ideas to get you started that I hope you find helpful.

Leadership is always work in progress and we can always learn from each other and if you would like to explore this further feel free to email me.

To your success!

“What we know matters but who we are matters more”

Brené Brown 



Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t you’re right!

8th August 2018

Sign for settled ways of thinking which can be difficult to overcome.

We have all heard the quote from Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t you’re right” at some point in time. What he was pointing out was mindset determines success or failure. But what lies behind our mindset?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working with a number of people to explore their beliefs. These beliefs can be empowering – helping us take positive action to achieve results, or disempowering (limiting) and preventing us from taking action, or taking action in a way that prevents us from getting the result we really want.

An empowering belief might be I’m brilliant, I’m competent, I’m confident, whereas a limiting belief might be I’m weak, I’m useless, I’m not wanted. Either way they are self fulfilling – the action you take and the subsequent results will re-inforce that belief.

For this article I want to focus on limiting beliefs. We all have them and recognising and changing them to something more positive and empowering will change the way you act and consequently, the results you get.

What are the stories you tell yourself?

We all ‘get in our own way’ and often prevent ourselves from being even more brilliant that we actually are. We do this through our own unconscious patterns of thinking, telling ourselves:

  • “It can’t be done”
  • “It’s not possible”
  • “I don’t deserve this”
  • “I’ll look stupid”

To name but a few…

All of these are stories. They blinker us. These stories are formed from the beliefs we have and are always driven by fear and a place of thinking that you are fundamentally flawed, you’re being disloyal, you’re a burden or you can’t stand out.

They stop us from seeing what just might be possible.

As a leader in business you are constantly learning and working to be a better version of  you. Yet most of us focus on tasks and management tools and techniques. These all help, however, our stories are created in our head. No amount of busyness or management tools and techniques will change the stories. It requires a different approach.

Getting out of your own way

The good news is you can do something about this.

The starting point is awareness. Because beliefs are held at an unconscious level they will come out in the language we use. So, the best way to spot them is to listen to what you say, particularly your internal dialogue. Take some time out to reflect on your self -talk – the conversation that goes on inside your head.

I encourage people to take a specific situation(s) where things didn’t go the way you wanted and brainstorm the things you say to yourself. We’re specifically looking for the negative comments. This may actually reveal the limiting beliefs you have, or at the very least, provide a doorway to get to them.

Once identified you then look for the belief you want instead that is empowering. For example, last week I worked with someone whose limiting belief was I’m weak, and identified a more empowering belief of I’m assertive and strong.

One of the best ways to work with this topic is hire a coach – but I would say that wouldn’t I… An external person can often see what you can’t, your blind spots.

I have a specific technique I use which creates shifts easily and effortlessly so if you are interested in finding out more email me.

“Those who can’t change their minds can’t change anything.”

George Bernard Shaw



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