Your life is what your thoughts make it.
Recently I Zoomed with Jasmin (names changed), a new client who wants to learn how to engage and not repel people. She claims she turns off people because she has a hard time making eye contact and gets nervous when talking, especially with people she doesn’t know and so doesn’t trust.
Because Jasmin has a great smile and friendly energy I was puzzled – what is she telling herself that makes her feel so uneasy that her unease becomes off-putting?
Jasmin eventually revealed she’s afraid people are going to hurt her – not physically, but emotionally.
When I asked when was the last time someone had intentionally or unintentionally hurt her, to her surprise, she couldn’t recall!
Her fear has as much validity as the fear of getting hit by lightning on a clear day. While she recognizes her fear is bogus, it still paralyzes her.
Facing down fear, no matter how irrational, is hard because it requires that we change and we can’t change until we acknowledge the fear is irrational.
There’s more. . .
The truth is – the only person who likes change is a wet baby!
Before any change can take place, we have to recognize the sneakiness of our resistance –
what are we truly afraid of?
Jasmin isn’t afraid of people. She’s afraid of being hurt by people. Or more accurately, she’s afraid of the possibility of people hurting her.
Change is not about a personality makeover.
However, only when we decide to do something new can we then resolve to manage our self-sabotaging behavior.
We can resolve we’re not going to continue to be entrapped by our old, fear-induced rituals.
Managing our self-sabotaging behavior is ALL about learning how not to screw things up for our own self.
Here are four steps to take so as not to get in your own way.
First – when a fear kicks in, stop and ask yourself, “Am I simply reacting out of habit?”
Jasmin revealed that when she goes into a work meeting, virtual or in-person, she gets nervous because she’s afraid of getting hurt. But there’s no one in that meeting who will hurt her without her permission.
Since she knows she works with good people, getting nervous is just her default setting.
Second – ask yourself, “Is there another way of doing this?”
I urged Jasmin to take a moment before entering a meeting room and say to herself, “I’m entering a room where no one wants to hurt me.” She must talk down the fear of the irrational lie that people want to hurt her.
Third – be present – commit to showing-up in the moment. Stay present.
Don’t get caught up in psychodrama of your own creating.
Fourth – celebrate the win for “change.”
At some later point, take a moment to acknowledge that you resisted caving in to the power of whatever lie you’ve been telling yourself. Power comes from and in acknowledgement.
Our self-sabotaging lies become the air we breathe.
With practice we can reduce their power and break through to a new way of being and doing.
now THAT is the business of confidence. . .
Do you want to break through the negative thinking that is preventing you from being influential and heard?
To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help you present you with enhanced confidence,
contact me at: