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Stop Lying to Yourself about Who You Really Are

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It was some years ago when I made the career transition from a musician in the British Army to an Executive Coach.  It was an enormous step and one that had, among many, two very strong emotions attached to it — excitement and anxiety. It was a tough journey and I became a prisoner of my anxiety, and began to lose the excitement.  I was losing sight of who I really was.

As Daniel Goleman puts it, our emotions provide us with intelligence from which we can make decisions.  I wasn’t being very intelligent and my emotions were running away with me.  In the grip of my anxiety I lost all belief in myself, and started lying to myself.  On the one hand I had the sense that this was the right career for me, but much of the time I was a prisoner of my anxiety which was constantly saying to me, “You’re not good enough; forget this!”

I was lying to myself.  I can’t remember if it was a seminal moment or a series of events which led me to feeling good about myself as a coach.  For sure it helps to experience some external victories, get good feedback, produce positive results and win repeat business.  But the real victory was when I really started to believe in myself; a private victory.  As I found the real, authentic me, my belief grew, literally immediately.  As I trusted myself more, my confidence improved and my performance transformed.  Do I still have anxieties?  Yes, of course I do.  But I manage these emotions way more effectively.., not all of the time, but a lot more than not!

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