This week we’re profiling a blog from one of our inspirational coaches. Need a motivational boost? Jann Meehan is a business coach with The Icehouse. She is also a life coach, accountant and mentor whose areas of expertise include people management, personal effectiveness, financial analysis & reporting and strategic planning.
| Not feeling good enough
I was inspired about positive thinking this week, after competing in a Toastmasters contest at the weekend. I have been a Toastmaster for 17 years, and had competed many times before and managing to win at different levels, all the way up to NZ level a couple of times.
You would think I would feel supremely confident by now. However… I hadn’t competed for a while and I couldn’t see the point as much anymore. I also felt that I wasn’t good enough, there were so many people better than me. Why would I feel that way? What was going on?
| Give up judging and comparing
There were several things at play, which I think we can all learn from. I was making judgements and comparisons. I was looking at others and thinking they were brilliant (they were), but that’s not to say that I wasn’t. I was also making some pretty harsh judgements about myself. About not ever being good enough, about being too old now, about not having anything interesting to say.
Well, where does all that sort of thinking take you? Not where you want to go, that’s for sure. Certainly not the sort of thinking that sets you up to do well in a contest. So I had to again work on myself, visualise my success, visualise saying my speeches powerfully and seeing people respond well to them. I had to practise and keep using positive language with myself
| Our thoughts create our reality
For those of you who have children, think about what you say to them when they are playing sport, or music or drama or trying something for the first time. You are encouraging and helpful, you don’t compare them to others, you are there supporting them in every way you can. When it comes to ourselves though, we tell ourselves the most dreadful things. How useless we are, how we always stuff up, how others are so much better.
Let’s give it up! Our inner language and thinking has so much influence on our experiences. We create our reality with our thoughts. At the weekend, I was creating a “loser” reality from my thoughts, and I knew they were getting in the way of me being my best version of me.
| Become a supportive parent to yourself
So, I had to be the supportive parent to myself, nurturing, loving and caring. “You can do this. You’ve done it before, you can do it again. You are good at this, you have 2 good speeches and you have prepared and practised, get out there and do your best.”
I did the first speech – the humorous one, which is always a challenge, it’s a bit like being a stand-up comedian, it takes you right out of your comfort zone. I did a good job though and got a good response and I was happy.
Then the next speech in the afternoon was a motivational speech – I’ve had plenty of practise at that, but still I had to sit through 5 speeches before me that were absolutely amazing, uplifting and fabulous. Instead of seeing them and comparing them to mine and feeling overwhelmed, I just enjoyed them and acknowledged how brilliant they were.
When it was my turn, I felt confident and again, did a good job. When the results were announced, I had come first in the humorous and second in the motivational, which I was very happy about. I was even happier though about the fact that I had challenged myself, I had taken myself out of my comfort zone, and had overcome my negative thinking and language.
Someone mentioned to me about their own negative thinking and how she really struggled with it. It can be a struggle, and I think for some of us, it is something that is always lurking deep within us. I have mentioned many things over the years about different practises to help improve your positive thinking.
However, I think in times of stress or when we are challenged or out of our comfort zone is when the negativity can reappear, no matter how hard we have worked on it. The key is to be aware it is there, do all the things that work for you to help reduce it… I have got lots of different ways to help with that.
Most of all though, it is in being the supportive and kind parent to your inner child, because it is the little child inside you who is feeling the fear. Once you can overcome that and visualise your success and see yourself as the best version of you, you can tackle anything.
For more motivational and inspiring blogs from Jann, visit her website.
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