When successful leaders reach out to have a conversation about coaching, self-confidence often comes up as hidden topic to explore even from those that are the most seasoned and thriving. 

Every time it surfaces, I’m surprised as I’ve equated success with confidence. 

Yet, there is a piece of me that understands this well. 

There can be thoughts and voices of fear, criticism, and self-doubt in your head and you don’t know how to quiet them. The voices can be loud, unkind or downright mean. 

This unmelodious symphony clanks and clatters about saying things that would make you cringe if you heard them spoken aloud to someone else. 

·     “That didn’t go so well last time and I’m probably going to fail again so why even bother.” 

·     “How could you be so stupid to think you could do that?” 

·     “What will people say when they hear I’m doing that now?!?” 

With critical voices shouting untruths, it’s no wonder you may struggle from time to time with being your most confident, brilliant self. 

If you’ve ever experienced this – even for a moment – I’ve learned these voices can operate similar to those on a radio station. 

When you move the dial, you’ll find another voice you can tune into that offers up different programming. 

This new voice is one that encourages you to fully step into your gifts, abilities, talents, and experiences. 

It is the voice that speaks kindly and gently to you because it understands all you’ve been through – and sees how capable and deserving you are. 

The best leaders tune into this voice to receive guidance which allows them to tap into unshakeable confidence. 

The trick is how to do that, especially when you’re hearing the relentless domineering critical rant whenever you have an idea or want to speak up about something. 

When I first opened my business, I couldn’t quite figure out how to move past the initial negative voice. 

It was one I was familiar with even though I had experienced much success and received many awards and accolades on my journey. 

Every time I engaged with that criticizing voice it felt like I’d battled a heavy weight fighter. Even in triumph, I was left bruised and exhausted. 

The balloon filled with thoughts of fear, doubt, lack, and limitation would burst in my head I needed to sift through the pieces to find the one shred of evidence that I could overcome whatever obstacle I’d encountered. 

I had heard about “faking it until you make it,” and so I tried that for a while. 

It didn’t feel good – and it didn’t really work. The voices were muffled like being covered with a pillow yet they were still present, writhing for attention. 

So how did I finally learn how to “change the station”? 

I made friends with the mean girls. I got curious about them instead of just trying to shut them up. I realized that those mean girls were the shamed pieces of me from the past, saying cruel things from old hurts. 

Doing healing around those painful memories allowed me to recognize them, and embrace with love the wounded parts of myself. And, guess what? They quieted down, and it’s been easier to turn the dial to listen to a new station. 

ACTION:  The Upside Challenge of the week is to identify your “mean girls” or “mean boys.” 

Do the work to make peace with them. 

Practice turning the dial to a new “station” with supportive, courageous wisdom. 

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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