I recently read that according to the National Science Foundation, we have 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and 80 percent of them are negative. My initial reaction was that there’s some hyperbole (yes - negative thought) in their data. Even so, that makes for a ton of inner stories that can kill our mojo.
Like blockbuster movies, the stories in our heads are full of drama and action sequences; it takes self-awareness not to slip into the storyline and lose perspective.
A few weeks ago, I was dealing with my own blockbuster.
I was working with a former direct-report who wanted to secure a coaching engagement for his team. I was excited about reuniting, and his current company would be a great addition to my client list. However, when the company’s paperwork process lagged, my worrisome inner story kicked in.
I started to make the process all about me rather than about his needs.
Slipping into a negative, egocentric narrative is easy to do. We get ambushed by self-doubt, worry, and frustration, and start to question the value of our leadership, services, and strategy. And as a result, we get stuck, and we lose our momentum.
It can suck the excitement and energy out of any project.
And that’s exactly what happened to me. Instead of pausing my movie reel and practicing some self-awareness, I cast myself in the starring role.
That was until my coach challenged me. She asked me two important questions:
1. How are you making this about yourself?
2. When you make it all about yourself, who would want to be led by you?
I counted nine different ways I had made the situation about me. Crazy, right? But the exercise gave me the necessary awareness to shift and get out of my way.
Call it serendipity, the universe, or something else, but as soon as I made that shift I received notification that the paperwork was approved. I kid you not - It was freaky!
The whole process reminded me that great stories have heroes and guides:
Luke Skywalker Obi-Wan
Team Members Business Leaders
As business leaders and owners, our real success comes from helping others achieve their successes.
Today’s work environment is as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous as ever. We don’t need to make it more difficult by allowing our imposter syndrome, gremlins, and inner critics to steal the show.
Does your pursuit of perfection ever stop your progress?
Does your concern about making a mistake drive your analysis-paralysis?
Does your worry about not being liked as a leader leave you stuck?
Here’s a quick exercise to help you stop your inner story and awaken your force.
1. Talk: Talk to a trusted mentor or coach to get your story out of your head.
2. Reflect: Reflect on a time when you were able to stop your inner story. How’d you do it?
3. Shift: Shift your attention to your hero.
4. Plot: Plot the steps can you take to ensure your hero is successful.
If you want to learn how to stop your inner story, simply set up a complimentary session by clicking Show Time. I’ll even buy the popcorn and gummy bears.
In the meantime, you can learn more about becoming your best by watching my latest webinar sponsored by James Madison University. There’s a special offer at the end. Click Find Your #28 to watch.