with The -C- Coach.
Introducing the second wellness pillar:
Here you’ll find advice from me, The -C- Coach, on how to integrate daily habits and focus on building a strong, resilient, and healthier mindset.
The results* are in and it seems like we are a community of people who are easily influenced by external, adverse impacts or daily challenges outside our control. This is understandably overwhelming and causing unnecessary stress.
What’s insightful about these results is that one quarter of us don’t have any self-awareness about what’s happening to us when we face a difficult challenge, or how we feel about ourselves when it happens.
*Results are a snapshot as of 28-April-23 at 11:00.
How do you approach a new challenge that negatively impacts you?
Incredibly, just 14.29% of us see a new challenge for what it is - an opportunity to apply our strengths, life experiences, and resources when faced with uncertainty. With 46.3% of us seeing this as a problem and feeling stressed initially, it’s clear that despite being able to push through what’s unfamiliar to us, we’re wasting a lot of brain fuel to find the solution.
Imagine what we could be doing instead with the time and energy we've spent battling your sabotaging thoughts until we finally get to a solution. To the 14.29% of community members who spiral into their own thoughts - this is the result of not being able to regulate our emotions and rationally separate reality from the ultimate fraud - our negative thoughts.
When something negatively impacts you, how does this impact your mindset?
Only 15.63% of us refuse to blame ourselves when something negatively impacts us. We need to cultivate more self-kindness, compassion, and empathy for ourselves. A sobering 25% of us - that is 1 in every 4 people in the community - are blaming ourselves for what's not going right in our lives. These thought patterns destroy confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to progress toward our goals.
This also applies to the 37.5% of us that are questioning ourselves. Every time we do this, we're reinforcing neural pathways that give even more power and influence to the inner sabotage.
How often do you blame yourself when something goes wrong?
Alarmingly, 29.03% of us always blame ourselves when things go wrong and struggle with our self-worth. This type of self-blame is rooted in programmed ideas that whatever we do, we should be doing more. It's something we learn from parents and/or experiences from a young age.
Just 12.9% of us recognise that everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions. By prioritising our mental health and focusing on how we can better regulate our emotions, we can reduce negative self-talk – the internal conversation that can cause us harm.
Explore your Mindset toolkit and discover how to integrate daily habits and focus on building a strong, resilient, and healthier mindset.
The -C- Coach advice column.
The -C- Coach is responding to the stories you have submitted. For each wellbeing pillar, we're choosing one of your stories and sharing guidance and support on how you can incorporate positive changes in your life.
Dear The -C- Coach,
"I'd like to change how I feel about myself - I am really lacking self-confidence. I don’t have much self-belief that I’m doing a good job. Most of the time, I feel like a fraud, that maybe one day people will finally figure out that I'm just winging it! I don’t want to feel anxiety anymore that I’m not doing a good enough job. I know I am doing some things right as I recently had a promotion and I have a lot more responsibility, but sometimes there are days where all I can hear is - "You're not good enough!" If I summarise how I want to feel about myself - it's brave, strong with uncertainty, and confident. I’d also like to feel good about my achievements at work. Thanks Mehibe!"
- Valerie, 35, Accounts Director
Firstly, thank you for being so honest and sharing your story with us about how you’re struggling with your confidence and self-esteem. This is very common, so you’re not alone! In fact, what you’re experiencing is something called imposter syndrome. A 2022 KMPG study found that a staggering 75% of female executives suffer from it, and a number of research studies have found that around 70% of women are likely to suffer from it at some point compared to 45% of men.
I describe imposter syndrome to my clients as the temporary (continuous) conditioning of a feeling of anxiety and stress, rooted in a learned story of failure or an inability to reward and experience success within self - despite being an objectively high-performing individual in reality. Feeling like a fraud is a common feeling and the result of prolonged conditioning of imposter syndrome.
Valerie, to address this feeling of being a ‘fraud’ and support you to shift out of your imposter syndrome mindset slowly, let’s look at the external factors - tangible evidence to challenge some things you’ve shared.
The most valuable and genuine question I use with all my clients is: “Is it true?”
Let’s apply it to the statements in your shared story:
Is it true that you’re a fraud?
Is it true that you’re winging it?
Is it true that you’re not doing a good enough job?
Is your thought, ‘I’m not good enough’, true?
Let’s look at this objectively. You have shared two pieces of evidence to support being a high-performing individual:
You were recently promoted.
You have taken on more responsibility within your new role.
So, Valerie, let’s ask again: Is it true? I’m not familiar with your story, however, it’s clear from what you’ve shared that you’re a classic overachiever. You have already and will continue to achieve incredible things, reach heights and inspire others. However, as an overachiever, you have learned behaviours from a young age - most likely from parents or close family members - that doing more is the only way to prove your worth. It’s difficult to enjoy success when you’re already looking at the next big thing and questioning if you can make it.
Our brain is quick to forget all the positives and successes we have had, focusing only on the negatives or when things went wrong. We use this as a building block to support the foundation of our imposter syndrome - essentially building a story in our head. Indeed, if you’re reliving those moments or events in your head, you’re re-triggering trauma stimulating a threat response in the fight-flight side of your brain.
Let’s continue building evidence and now apply this to your desire to feel confident and feel good about your achievements at work. Very simply, we need to strengthen your personal brand. Let’s start with who you are, and the unique value you bring.
I advise you to buy yourself a notebook and title it,"My Brave, Confident Self: work in progress." Why work in progress? It's so you can keep adding evidence as it comes to you, and remember that we are all a work in progress - that’s why we love self-development!
Now, take your time and write down the answers to the following questions:
What are your strengths?
What are the things you’re most proud of? (Both professionally and personally)
What are your skills? (Including soft and hard skills set with supporting qualifications)
Now to build your strength around uncertainty:
Identify all the times you’ve overcome adversity in your life (Professionally and personally)
Identify all the times you have supported others to overcome challenges in their lives.
Valerie, I hope this has supported you to consider a different mindset and see what you have achieved. You can break the pattern of conditioning imposter syndrome and the negative thoughts that support it. Keep coming back to the evidence; that’s your reality. The only fraud here is your thoughts and the belief you’re an imposter at work because we have the evidence that you’re doing a great job!
With heart and integrity,
The -C- Coach
You've got this.
Thanks again to Valerie and I hope we can all see that playing detective and using evidence-based questioning can shift us out of an imposter syndrome-based outlook and challenge limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. It’s very easy to ask yourself at any time:
Is it true?
Next week I unlock our third toolkit - Gratitude, the heart-centre of our 25% increase in happiness levels, so don’t miss out!
Let’s keep supporting each other! You’re not alone! Valerie and I will be meeting in Barcelona for her free coaching session. You could also feature and benefit from a face-to-face so please share your story or feel free to contact me any time if you need further support or guidance on the Happiness ROI Programme.
With heart and integrity,
Mehibe, The -C- Coach.
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