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When doubt and confusion descend how do you find clarity? (PART 1)

thinking man statue close up with fog filter

Over the last week or so I’ve found myself questioning everything. My thinking has been all over the place, I’ve not been able to concentrate on anything and I’m finding it hard to be clear with my words. It’s like my brain is foggy.

And the worse thing, the more I try to make it all right, the worse it gets.

Many of us will get times like this in our careers. We are all human, aren’t we? It’s happened to me a handful of time but normally I can (In the famous words of Taylor Swift) “Shake it Off, Shake it Off” relatively quickly. But for some reason this time the doubt and confusion are hanging around. That got me thinking – what’s different this time and why am I not bouncing back as I normally do?

I’ve begun to worry more about what other people think. Why is that? Why do we care what others think about us so much?

You all know me… I needed to find some answers. So, in a quest for personal enlightenment, I went off to search the internet, speak to my business pals and read some of my well thumb’d business books.

Amongst other interesting articles and conversations, my search led me to look at Imposter Syndrome.

3 pears and 1 apple lined up imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. In her article ABBY WEBSTER talks about people who experience it have several common characteristics.

  • They are operating outside of their comfort zone.

  • They are in or have experienced a rough time at work or home.

  • They might be past victims of bullying, had their confidence knocked because of a project that went awry, or they’re just fed up of where they are in life

This final point hit a nerve.

You see, my current situation started after working with someone with a very different personal working style to mine. We agreed on many points but the way they worked and their confidence brought back earlier time in my career when things weren’t so great. I realised the whole situation started off my inner critic and this was bringing a whole bunch of negative memories back to the surface. I started to remember all the work that hadn’t gone so well.

“If feelings of being an imposter are limiting you, reduce its impact by adopting a growth mindset – relishing the opportunity to learn and grow – and turn the negativity into something positive.”

What to do?

In the past I would have just turned and walked away. In life I believe there are two types of people. When threatened you either defend by fighting or defend by walking away. (Which on are you?)

I’m a consensus person. I’m inclusive. I’m a collaborator. I don’t like fighting – I’d rather remove myself from the situation. BUT NOT THIS TIME.

What do they say…

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

This time I am going to find that ‘growth mind’ set and work through it.

Where to start? Getting some CLARITY.

With #UniqueNRG (The GAME CHANGING Leadership Programme) we’ve developed a system called C.A.L.M. (The C stands for CLARITY.)

Over the last week these 3 exercises have helped me work out what the real trigger is and what I’d like to do about it.

  1. Be Honest with yourself about whats happening – ‘I am finding it difficult to work with someone. Someone doesn’t like me. I’ve come up against someone who is directly threatening my livelihood.’

  2. Candidly chat to those you trust about your feelings, the situation. Open up about the threat, the worry. Call a coach, a mentor, your other half – it doesn’t matter who.

  3. Write it all down. Do a mind map of your thoughts. Working clockwise round a piece of paper – just jot down your instant thoughts. See where the conversation leads you.

Mine went something like this….

The Person – what did I think of them?

Makes me feel - how?

Makes me question

Whats my role?

Why do they need me?

How do I add value?

What do I get out of the current situation?

What do I need to do?

I need to be more.

What am I going to do about it?

Now, this week I’m going to start on the next phase of growth. (A is for ACTION). Turning the negative feelings into positive and practical actions. Visualizing the success. And facing the situation head on.

Let’s see what happens. I promise not to walk away and I’ll tell you all about it next week.



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