Category: Letting Go

How to be YOURSELF – Even when talking to important people!

By , February 27, 2013 2:34 am

Be Yourself“Leadership is not about holding on to territory, it’s about letting go of ego, bringing your spirit to work, being your best and most authentic self.”

~ James A Autry, The Servant Leader

Why are people sometimes so afraid to be themselves?

One of the key principles of self-leadership is the importance of being you.

However, some of us hide who we really are and instead present an image of how we think the other person wants us to behave in the hope that we will be accepted or liked.

I see this happen a lot in business, especially when leaders are stepping out of their comfort zones to play a bigger game. In corporate you might be attending a meeting with senior managers. As a business owner, you might be meeting an influential client or someone who is a role model and you feel star-struck to work with them.

Whoever the person, it’s easy for us to feel small, unworthy, inferior, or of lesser value. We perceive them as being so much more important and fall to pieces in these situations instead of being our normal, confident and articulate self…

Our internal thinking has a huge impact on our confidence and self worth. Our social and parental conditioning is against us being authentic and over time we have created rules, such as:

  • It is disrespectful to disagree with our elders, seniors or those more important than us.
  • Only speak when you are spoken to: We are taught what to say, when to say it.
  • Who you are is shaped by those who have influence over you. (You hand over your power to them.)
  • Don’t brag about what you’re good at as it might make other people feel uncomfortable. Push it down… (This is why most of us struggle to talk about our own successes.)
  • You have to be submissive with people more important that you.

Society creates ‘norms’ and we measure ourselves to them. We are under pressure to fit in. So here’s how we respond:

  • You want to keep the peace and hope they like you. So you say what you think they want to hear in order to become a people-pleaser.
  • You believe that your opinion is of lesser value and doesn’t count or it doesn’t matter. You perceive the other person’s opinion is of far greater value.
  • If you challenge or disagree with something, then you’ll be shot down or seen as difficult or negative.
  • You should keep your head below the parapet and blend in.

We live up in our heads most of the time, believing our thoughts to be the truth (you literally are what you think!).

Most of us go through life not knowing who we are or what we want. We settle, survive and keep our heads down. This is easier than trying to be yourself. Being real exposes you to vulnerability and judgment – this is scary.

The perception that someone is more important than you is often based on old concepts of power, especially in business. We try to work out where we fit in in the hierarchy.

True power comes from your personal power as a human being. By building trust and support you naturally attract other people.

Here are some tips on how to be you:

1. STOP WORRYING about what other people are thinking about you. You have no idea what they are thinking. These assumptions aren’t real. They are probably not thinking about you at all! This distraction only makes you get your own way of success. Instead of worrying about what to say, or how you look, focus on your intention for the meeting. Be 100% present for the person who is talking.

2. KNOW YOUR VALUE – Be useful as a leader to those you serve. Know WHY you’re attending the meeting.  Understand the value that you bring. You are there to provide information or  expertise so that others can make an informed decision. You are helping them to understand and make sense of things and prevent them making mistakes: Here’s how I can help you…

3. BE AN EQUAL –As human beings we all have the same worth and dignity. We are all equals no matter what role we play. See yourself as a consultant, not as a sub-ordinate. Let go of ego (theirs and yours) – it’s a distraction. Understand that some personality styles are different to yours. They package their language in a different way. It’s normal, not personal.

4. ALWAYS BE YOUR REAL SELF – Be the same person at home as you are at work… because you are! Be your authentic self – It’s who you really are. You have the same values whatever role you are playing. You already know how to interact with people at other levels – This is no different – Just be YOU. Find the language to help you say what you want to say.

5. FIND THE COURAGE to be you. Learn to listen to your heart as well as your head. People want an honest opinion, not ‘lip service.’ Be authentic and respond assertively, even if it is a difficult message. Remember, you are just talking to another person – we are all the same.

Be the person YOU want to be… from today!

It’s really okay to be YOU – Take yourself to work!

 

How to Stop Yourself Going the Wrong Way…

By , February 13, 2013 11:46 pm

“The best thing about the past is that it’s over. When people don’t deal with the past as if it’s over, then they’re not free to go into the future.”

~ Richard Bandler – Make Your Life Great

Throughout our day we are constantly talking to ourselves – Yes, THAT voice in our head, the one who seems to be sat pulling all the levers in the control tower of you!

I’m constantly reminded about the awesome power of language and how it influences who we are, what we believe and how we show up in our lives.

One of the great masters, who I once had the honour of learning from, is Richard Bandler. I was reminded of his work this week as I was coaching a client who was struggling in her mind to move away from the past and towards a new future that she was defining for herself.

She’d decided on a direction of where she wanted to go, but the voice in her head kept subconsciously sabotaging her thinking and taking her on a road trip back to her past, rather than to the future where she wanted things to go. Also, the close family around her was saying: “You’ll never change, you’re set in your ways!”

When we set a goal and decide to make a change in our lives our conditioning and internal language is still set on the old default pattern that got us stuck in the first place. As our unconscious thoughts travel down the neural highway, we find ourselves suddenly back in that old place where we used to be and we’re stuck once again in the past:

“History is repeating itself…”

“Here we go again…”

“It must just be the way I am, I’ll never change…”

I love using the metaphor of our neural highway being like a busy motorway or freeway. You can almost see the blur of taillights flowing past you at great speed. It feels overwhelming and fast… Before you know it, you’re in the wrong lane and you’re turning down that old piece of road again:  All routes lead back to the past – your old behaviour and patterns of language and beliefs.

We get caught up in old thoughts and loops that no longer serve us.

As my client spoke, her words made me realize that she was going into a behavioural loop; she was becoming anxious and started to become self-deprecating. She became once again, the person in her past rather than the person she now wanted to be.

I asked her to STOP and BACK UP…

This broke the chain… These words opened her to a deeper level of thinking.

We explored her thinking and how it was making her feel. She was frustrated that she was still going down the old road and not catching herself in time. She then described where she wanted to be with passion and enthusiasm.

Then she got clear – She knew exactly what to do…

She decided that this was the last time she was going to take this route. So she mentally installed a ‘Wrong Way – Go Back’ sign on her neural highway slip road (on-ramp) before the entrance of the old highway she was unconsciously turning onto.

She is now watching her language and paying attention so when that old thinking comes along, she has a conscious system to STOP and BACK UP so she doesn’t go the wrong way. She’s now able to follow the new signage of where she wants to go:  Happiness ahead. Better relationships – next exit, new career coming – 800 yards!

I helped her create some strategies to back up and reframe the situation, and replace her negative language with positive using the power of her intention.

My client reconfigured her brain with some new language patterns that serve her future and not her past. This shifted her state of mind and made things different so she can keep an eye on where she wants to be. She’s moving forward once again.

The past is what we know and we use it as a compass point, a frame of reference for comparison, whereas the future is unknown. It’s uncertain and we’ve no tangible evidence to support that anything could actually be different or better out there. It’s risky and uncomfortable. But you have two great advocates:  faith and courage, if you choose to take them along on the journey with you.

Creating and following a new route takes time and sometimes a little extra support and direction. It’s hard to do it all on your own. The last thing you need is someone with a clipboard standing over you telling you “you’ll never change or it won’t last long – look what happened last time!”

Dwelling on the past keeps you stuck – You’re going the wrong way!

Some people spend years and loads of money in therapy trying to understand WHY the past happened. My philosophy is that learning and growing (and healing) is all about letting go and taking forward motion. Life is fluid and too short to keep using the past as your navigation tool for the future. Create something new; you’ll be surprised how refreshing and exciting the new feelings are that come your way. It sets you free to go into your future!

Sometimes you need a little coaching support to get you started and change the language in your head. This opens you up to a world of infinite possibility.

What do you want behind you and want do you want in front of you?

Watch your language! How is it serving you right now?

 

 

Stop Hoping to be Successful and DECIDE to BE Successful

By , January 2, 2013 9:16 pm

Here’s something I have observed in others and myself…

Sometimes we can get in the way of our own success and block the flow.

We race after success without really knowing what it means for us; as a result, we are rarely successful because we are trying to live someone else’s dream of what success looks like. Instead, we contort ourselves in an attempt to align to their vision. This takes loads of effort and energy and the results are often disappointing.

A maze of social pressures pulls us off course and distracts us from our true direction.

The organization I used to work for defined success as: The harder and longer hours you work, the more successful you will be.

Success = Effort

I bought into it and this became my unconscious belief. Unwittingly it also became my work ethic for at least three years!

I regularly threw myself on the altar of personal sacrifice for work. I worked extremely long hours in the belief that my superiors would recognize my sacrifice. They would value my effort and promote me. It didn’t happen; instead I became exhausted and unhappy. The harder I tried – the further I pushed success away.

Looking back, I am so grateful for this happening because I realized I had been running around trying to GET promoted, but I had no idea why. It was something that I thought successful people supposed to want, and I wanted to be successful!

In this crazy, reactive world, people run around grabbing at a chance of success: ‘Yes, success… I want that! What do I need to do… How can I be like them?!’Sometimes, when we try to get something, we don’t consider why we want it, and therefore, we only work on external factors to make it happen.

I believe that success is a very personal thing.

Everyone defines success a little differently.

We are too busy comparing and competing with other people’s versions of success rather than carving and defining it for ourselves: ‘Why am I not as successful as them? I must try harder!’ It’s easy to become frustrated and disappointed when you perceive that THEY can do it much better than you!

But here’s the thing…Of course they can! It’s THEIR definition…not yours!

Once I realized this, my life changed completely.

I was done constantly comparing and competing with EVERYONE ELSE around me. I got down to the serious business of defining success for myself. This was such a liberating moment because everyone else’s story that I’d been carrying around just fell away.

The truth is that I started to become successful once I let go of following other people’s dreams of success and started to create and mold my dream for myself.

Remember, success is very personal – it comes from the inside-out. Following someone else’s definition is like starving your soul of light.

Here’s how to claim success for you:

1. Define YOUR OWN definition of success – Screw everyone else’s definition – we’re talking about you! You are a unique being on this planet. Stop trying to wear someone else’s shoes and ‘make them fit.’ What does success… look like, sound like and feel like for you? Maybe it’s flying 1st class to business meetings! Maybe it’s having a better balance of home and work life.

2. Claim success for yourself – Be the pioneer in your life. No one else does it like you. Become the leader. You can only do this by following your intuition and stepping out of the footprints of someone else, to create your own in the virgin snow. Intuition NEVER goes away – it’s always there guiding you to your higher self – if you’re prepared to listen to it. Be the role model for others.

3. Identify what you need – You grow into your success… (trust me on this one!) You don’t just walk around the corner and it is there, waiting for you. You have to nurture it. This requires self-awareness, vulnerability, openness, and a willingness to do things imperfectly. Also you need to stay true to you!

4. Stop being so scared! Being frightened is a natural reaction when you’re stepping up and trying something new. Recognize your fear and decide not to be paralyzed by it (life is too short!). Work through it by reaching through to find your courage instead. The most amazing things I have ever achieved have scared the crap out of me! But, here’s the thing about being scared: It’s when:

  • I feel the most alive – it’s exhilarating!
  • I grow to a whole new level of transformation.
  • I get awesome results.

5. Find someone to support and challenge you – There are so many coaches out there that are just focused on being supportive and helpful. While this is good, it doesn’t stretch you and help you to become the best you possibly can be. You want someone on your side that can support and challenge you… To claim your success – you need both!

STOP racing after someone else’s definition of success and give yourself permission to create your own!

Your successful life is waiting for you – Go deeper and start claiming it for yourself.

Who’s definition of success are you working to right now?!

 

 

Six ways to stop resistance kicking your butt…

By , April 14, 2012 5:25 pm

“Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. It’s aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

Steven Pressfield, Author

Resistance is a challenge for everyone from time to time.

I’ve helped my clients work through resistance when it has created self-doubt, procrastination, fear, low self-esteem and even self-sabotage in their business, projects or home life.

Resistance is a powerful nasty beasty!

I have been on the receiving end of it many times in my own life.

Resistance can kill your goals and dreams and destroy your confidence all at the same time.

It’s a powerful enemy within that feeds off your Lizard brain – that niggling voice in your head that says: “Do it tomorrow instead.” Or “Who do you think you are?!”  It turns positive momentum and hope into stone.

 

The truth is that EVERYONE has THAT voice in his or her head in the same way that everyone breathes. It’s natural and part of your human defenses. But that doesn’t mean it’s always right!

Resistance holds you back, throws you off course and won’t let go until it takes your ideas and goals and destroys them – you give up.

Perhaps you’ve started a business or you’re working on a project…

You get into a rhythm when good things are happening. You achieve momentum and everything flows. It’s like the Universe is pulling everything together and things are moving at a fast pace. There’s a quickening as things unfold for you.

…Then you hit the wall. Something happens or goes wrong. You lose confidence, despite being two-thirds through the project and the end was almost in sight. You’ve invested so much in time, energy and not to mention money, then it all feels like it’s slipping away from you.

Panic sets in as the tide turns, you feel out of control and can’t stop it. Your confidence drains away as the voice in your head returns to tell you that you’re not cut out for this and you’re the biggest loser in town.

Suddenly failure becomes an option and you’re scared. What was fun now feels very dark.

You can’t negotiate or reason with resistance because your inner Lizard is working overtime.

Resistance isn’t the end – though sometimes it can feel like it! Resistance is just testing your resolve. It’s part of the process. You can get through to the other side.

Here’s how:

1. Recognise your enemy – Resistance is self-created. It’s noisy and feels real but it’s not the big monster you might perceive it to be. Recognising this is extremely important.  YOU always have the power of free will. You can override your resistance at any time by taking conscious action. You get to choose whether you stay stuck or not.

2. Reconnect to your WHY – Your passion is like an antidote. It can de-solve any fear associated with your resistance. Reconnect to your passion and draw energy from it by answering the following two questions and use these as your touchstones as you’re working through:

WHY do I want to do this?

How badly do I want to succeed?

3. Remember it’s just part of the process Resistance is just part of the journey: First you have an idea – then you have resistance – then you create a system or process to work through it and take consistent action.

4. Get help Fight resistance with assistance! Help yourself by setting up a daily ritual or system that gets you into the habit of showing up and taking action. Create affirmations or goal cards and look at them regularly to visualize success. Sometimes it feels harder because you feel alone. Enlist help from others who have experienced what you’re experiencing now. They can guide you through.

5. Accept that things go wrong – You can’t always prepare for it but shit happens! Sometimes things don’t work. There’s a difference between quitting and feeling like quitting. Failure means that we have to grow – it’s all about learning. You’re compelled to figure it out. You are presented with the raw materials for your solution. Work the problem to create your solution.

6. Hang in there Completing is not for the faint hearted. Yes it takes hard work and stamina to finish. There might be many obstacles along the way. But all the hard work is for nothing if you don’t show up to finish. This sometimes requires extra energy and drive to see it through and it’s the most difficult bit – but it’s worth it! Sometimes you have to reach in for that extra bit of courage.

Resistance invisibly thrives when self-sabotage, self-doubt, low confidence, procrastination, and fear takes hold. The more important your call to action, the greater the sense of resistance you’ll feel. It’s a natural part of life. You can hide from it and hope it goes away, or consciously work through it.

You ALWAYS have a choice…

 

It’s okay to do things badly at first…

By , February 29, 2012 5:53 pm

“Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly in the beginning.”

Marshall Thurber, Business Consultant.

Sometimes when we’re learning something new we feel awkward, very conscious and uncomfortable. We want to be perfect straight away. We might give up (or not even begin!) because we’re not willing to pay the price of putting extra time in to break through the awkwardness.

Success is all about persistence, practice, discipline and sacrifice.

My Dad taught me how to drive. I got my provisional driving license on my 17th Birthday. The day after, I had my first driving lesson.

The first time I sat behind the wheel of a car was an amazing experience. It was a dark January evening and I was so excited. Although I’d never driven before, I’d eagerly watched my Dad drive and learned the theory of driving from the passenger seat.

That night I drove almost perfectly, changing gears with confidence as if I’d been driving for a while. It was amazing! When we arrived home my Dad proudly told my Mum that he thought I was a ‘natural’ and I’d easily pass my test!

After this lesson I thought that driving would be easy.

The next time I got in the car I was crap! For the next month my driving sucked! I was nervous, grinded the gears, mounted the curb and my confidence was soon reduced to zero. Learning to drive was overwhelming it seemed that there was so much to think about and do all at the same time.

I’d NEVER pass my test… I dreaded my lessons.

I was so frustrated. I’d driven well before, WHY couldn’t I just do it again?

I was frightened of making mistakes and compare myself to THAT first lesson when I drove really well – I didn’t want to learn how to drive anymore! The memory of that experience started to destroy my confidence.

Here’s what this experience taught me about learning:

1. Give yourself permission to feel awkward – In order to learn something you have to give yourself permission to do things badly, screw up and be imperfect. Understand in advance that this is an essential part of learning and accept that this will happen sometimes as part of your learning journey. Let go of trying to be perfect and let yourself feel awkward. It’s okay! There’s a kind of innocence about it.

2. Competence = Confidence = Control – You have to pass through the feeling awkward stage before you start to develop some competence. Practice, patience and persistence help you to develop your competence. Competence allows you to feel more confident and feeling confident ultimately allows you to feel in control of the situation. You have to work through all three stages of this cycle and as you continue to learn, these elements become stronger. 

3. Create Momentum – You have to be willing to show up on a bad day as well as a good day. You have to keep going despite looking silly or feeling very conscious of how stupid you feel. After a while competence kicks in and the awkwardness falls away. Persistence is the key!

Allow yourself permission to feel awkward…

It can be quite liberating!

Finding the Courage to…

By , October 28, 2011 3:01 pm

“When courage finally comes you never see it coming. Right out of nowhere you open your heart and that changes everything. You’re going somewhere and all you need to know is that you’re free to go”

Christine Kane, Mentor, Singer Songwriter

This year so far courage has been a huge theme for me. I have experienced it on many levels and in all aspects of my life.

Sometimes I’ve found myself praying for courage; other times I’ve found myself writing in my journal about how grateful I was for receiving some. A few people closest to me have also shown extra-ordinary courage this year. They have been great teachers (including my kitty, Charlie!).

Courage was overflowing recently at Christine Kane’s Gold Mastermind that I attended in Asheville, NC, USA.  I watched people as they got clear and reached a deeper level of courage. Despite being scared, they decided to take some real action steps to seriously Uplevel their business and their lives. This is a BIG deal and life changing for those involved. Yes, there were tears as people faced their fears and decided to let go of playing small.

Finding your courage creates a whole new level of freedom.

Here’s what I’ve learned about courage…

I have many examples to share from this year, but my personal story below is one of ultimate courage between a Father and Daughter and how it changed everything…

My Dad passed to spirit on 25 June 2011.

When I arrived at the hospital (after a 270 mile race up the M1!) my Dad whispered to me that he was so ready to die, but didn’t know how. He was frightened. I was so scared for him and felt helpless. What do you say? How should you act in a situation like this?

So I did nothing except sit next to him and hold his hand. I was physically present, but inside, my heart was falling apart. I continued this vigil for several hours.

These hollow words kept echoing in my head: Be strong and be brave.

There were 11 of us around the bedside (family and friends). We just sat in silence waiting and watching as he stopped interacting with us and drifted in and out of sleep. The silence in the room was broken only by the sound of his breathing and this became our focal point. I felt the room fill with a thick blanket of fear that surrounded and engulfed us all.

We were all scared of hearing that final breath.

I couldn’t stand the intensity and felt compelled to do something. So I left the room and spoke with Ward Sister. I asked her if my Dad could still hear us. She said that she thought he could. She told me that he was very strong and he may not die for a few days. Then I remembered my Dad’s words from the morning: “I’m so ready to die now, I just don’t know how.”

Something happened inside of me at that moment and it changed everything.

I got clear that I wanted to help him find his own courage to let go. I sat beside him and decided to coach him through this last journey.

I had no idea what to do! And Yes! I was shit scared!

I had no idea how to help someone pass. I’d never seen anyone die before. Deep inside I opened my heart and my intuition took over. Something told me to talk to him about his life and to support him through this ultimate challenge. I remembered how he’d taught me to drive and encouraged me through. His words of encouragement had always made the difference.

Something shifted for me. It was like changing gear. I opened up my heart, leaned through my fear and reached out to him.

My Dad was so courageous. He opened his eyes and connected with me, smiled, tried to speak and within 20 minutes he had passed peacefully. I spoke with him constantly through this time, talking about his life and through my words I helped him to let go.

It was the most beautiful and profound experience of my life.

I am no different from anyone else on the planet. Everyone has to be brave at times in their life, whether it’s standing up to someone, sharing your heart and speaking honestly about something, quitting the corporate world to start your own business, or saying goodbye to a loved one for the last time.

There are times in our lives we all have to find extra courage. When you need courage the most you never see it coming, it appears as if outta nowhere and creates a positive ripple effect on you and those around you. It can change everything.

This is so poetically described in the lyrics of Christine’s beautiful song called Right Outta Nowhere (see the lyrics at the top of this article). I never realised the true depth of what they meant until this year.

I know that courage is always waiting at the other side of fear. If you get clear and reach through your fear, you’ll find a deeper level of courage that is pure, beautiful and always there for you…Always. It’s deep in the core of your existence waiting to be let free.

What are you finding the courage to do?

Connect to your heart and reach through your fear.

I’m sharing what I’ve learned from the USA about Personal Growth!

By , October 23, 2011 5:12 pm

©2010 by Elaine Bailey International Ltd
(Registered Address: PO Box 250 88 Pavilion Way Meltham Holmfirth HD9 9BL; No: 7015168).
All rights reserved.
Website by WhizzLiz