Leadership Insights: Unveiling the Power of Vulnerability: Debunking Assumptions and Unlocking Your True PotentialMay 11, 2023
Your assumptions about a situation or a person don’t do you any favors. In fact, most assumptions are wrong. Let me say that again a little differently: Most assumptions we have about people are false, meaning we don’t have the whole story behind why someone acts or talks a certain way. We tend to judge people based on what we see on the outside rather than what is going on inside.
You know this. I’m not talking about something groundbreaking. My question to you is, do you live it? I don't always, and I need to change that – especially when it comes to myself.
Recently, I gave a talk, and afterwards, I didn't make any sales for my Leadership Program that I have developed. My assumption was that my talk was awful, and I didn't provide the value I had hoped to deliver during that time. I asked a trusted friend who was at the talk to give me feedback, and what she said shocked me. She said that I did a great job, but at times I didn’t come off as confident as I should have because I clearly had mastery over the subject. Wait, what? That wasn't even on my radar.
That feedback lingered in my thoughts for days. How do I fix my confidence level? Can it be fixed? In short, yes, and the process isn't pretty.
I found an online coach who helps people speak more confidently. On the first day, I was excited to learn new techniques and tips to show up confidently in future talks. The first stage of the process, however, required deep introspection. The first question was along the lines of what beliefs do I currently have that may be holding me back. My assignment was to take it home, list them all out, and then find evidence that disproves those beliefs.
Identifying the limiting beliefs and finding evidence that they weren't real was a true game-changer for me. I discovered all kinds of beliefs that were hindering my progress. I also conducted a root cause analysis to understand where they originated and how they were instilled in me. (Hey, I'm an overachiever. What can I say?)
Here's what happened – I realized that I was enough, and what was preventing me from showing up fully was ingrained in me from childhood and reinforced throughout my adult life by others. The assumptions I had made were that those people knew more than me and I had to respect their position, authority, etc. Guess what? The very people who instilled and reinforced those beliefs were wounded. Others around them had done the same to them. I realized two things:
- What I think of myself is more important than what I think others think of me.
- I don't want to perpetuate the same cycle with someone else.
That simple exercise with just a couple of questions changed my entire trajectory because I was willing to put in the work, and I'm so glad I did. You can do this too, and here's a simple framework to guide you:
- What beliefs do you currently have that may be holding you back from showing up fully? (List as many as you can. When you think you are finished, dive deeper.)
- Go back through and find evidence that proves they are not true. Don't skip this part. • For each limiting belief, write a truth that you can recite to yourself to counteract the belief.
- Practice how you show up in situations and identify where you shine and where you might need to reinforce that truth a few more times until you truly believe it.
Once you have mastered that part of yourself, you will be unstoppable. You will step into your leadership superpower and show up with confidence and all of you. It’s an edge – use it.
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