Women Bringing Their Whole Selves to Work: Part 3

 

 

Five Steps to Conquering Your Internal Resistors

Resistors include the self talk that gets in your way and holds you back from getting into action. Unless you bring them to the surface and let go of them, they will hold you back from achieving success. Great leaders are aware of their resistors and have a process for letting them go. Here is an approach that works, based on “The Work of Byron Katie” (thework-4questions.php).  Take each step in order and see what happens.

1.  Notice the Trigger

A trigger is something that generates a strong reaction in us. The event itself is not the trigger; how we react to the event is the trigger. This can happen as a result of what someone says to us or as a result of something happening around us.

Each of us will be triggered by different things and they are often based on experiences that we had earlier in our life. For example, Amanda, a manager in a financial services company, noticed that when she was working on something complex she could be triggered by something as simple as her boss sending her an email about the project. In those instances she would avoid opening the email and responding to it.

Start noticing the types of events that trigger you and jot them down. This will start to deepen your self awareness and identify your patterns.

2.  Connect to the Feeling

The best way to know if an event has triggered you is to connect to your feelings. The more aware you are of your feelings, the more you will know if you have been triggered by the event.

In Amanda’s case, she noticed that when she was working on a difficult project and she saw an email from her boss, she would start to tense up, her breathing would quicken and she got red in the face. And this was before she opened the email! This was a clue for her that she was reacting to the event (receiving an email) and not being fully present and dealing with it.

Look at the events that you listed as possible triggers. What were you feeling when each event happened? Jot those down as a way of deepening your self awareness.

3.  Listen to the Self Talk

Once you have identified the trigger and connected to the feeling, examine your thoughts. What are you telling yourself? Your thoughts are the underlying assumptions and beliefs that you hold about yourself. They are often exaggerations of the truth. Jot them down and see what comes up.

Amanda noticed that her self talk revolved around the critic, both of herself (e.g., I’m not good enough; I can never get it right) and her boss (What does he want now? I wish he would stop micromanaging me and start trusting me to do the job).

4.  Explore the Truth

Look deeper into what you are telling yourself and ask yourself “is this really true?” Keep asking that question until you can see things realistically, free of the exaggerations and judgments. In Amanda’s case what was really true is that she sets high standards of performance. And in setting high standards of performance, she does great work. She noticed that when she let her self talk take control her strengths became a weakness. It held her back from being fully present and performing at her best.

5.  Make Conscious Choice

This last step asks you to look at the new perspectives and choices and consciously choose your next step. It is about moving from autopilot, where you are driven by your thoughts and feelings, into consciousness where you are fully present and performing in the moment. In Amanda’s case emails from her boss are opened when they arrive and dealt with. Questions posed by her boss are responded to from a place of possibility and not criticism.

This is the 3rd part of a 4 part series which explores how women can step into their greatness and “bring their whole selves to work”. Parts 1 and 2 offered a series of actions to develop leadership vision and begin your leadership journey.

 

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