(and yes, we all have them!)
About 15 years to the day, I was in a boardroom, faced with 5 Directors and my own manager, Head of L&D. It was supposed to be a great day for myself and our department. With the help of some key stakeholders, including all of those in the boardroom, I’d created a 3-year strategy to revolutionise our approach to developing our people.
I was expecting a ‘pat on the back’ at least, maybe even a promotion!Instead it turned out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. I was already nervous, not used to presenting in front of senior leadership, but the body language of everyone in the room made the situation even worse and when my time was cut from 20 to five minutes, my stress levels went through the roof.
When I got to the end of the presentation, the questions they fired at me absolutely tore both the strategy and myself apart. I left feeling deflated, demotivated and more importantly to me, let down by my manager and the HR Director.
Forward the clock and I still remember that fateful day. I’m very confident when delivering training and development workshops but whenever I have to deliver a presentation to senior leaders, the voices in my head are always there, trying to prevent me being at my best.
In our development programmes, we call those voices, self-limiting beliefs. Research shows that some of them are so deep-rooted that they can never be erased completely. However they can be turned down.
I’ve learned to do this with my own self-limiting beliefs.
My three top tips:
- Use previously positive experiences to turn self-limiting beliefs to empowering beliefs. Apart from that terrible experience, I’ve delivered many presentations with a great amount of success. I think back to some of those examples before every presentation I make
- Tap in to your support network (trusted colleagues and friends). A quick coffee and chat with one of them, really helps to get my mindset positive
- Acknowledge that you have this self-limiting belief. Most people do. Even the most senior people do. Accept it and move on. Recognising and learning to turn down self-limiting beliefs is a key part of our workshops in our Achieving Peak Performance programme.
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