Your Thoughts Create Your Reality


“Change Your Thoughts and You Change Your World” (Norman Vincent Peale)

  • I’ll never be able to…..
  • That’s just a dream……
  • I’ve never been any good at…….
  • I should/ought/must….
  • It’s impossible at the moment for me to……

So starts our ‘inner dialogue’ and self-limiting beliefs.

A self-limiting belief is an opinion or assumption.  It is NOT necessarily an absolute fact.

When we say something like ‘I’ll never be able to speak in public’ or ‘I’ll never get another job in the current climate’ our brain looks for evidence to support that belief.

Most of us need to work much more on our beliefs and mindset than we think.  We go looking for more data, more information to add to what we already know and call that ‘training’ or ‘learning’.

We can all name countless people who’ve been on expensive leadership programmes, found them fascinating, learned LOADS but CHANGED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

And in my experience it’s because they are working on the wrong thing.  Skillset rather than mindset.

So, here’s the thing.

Unless there is a physiological reason that you cannot and will never be able to do something, treat every belief you have (that holds you back from doing something that is important to you) as a self- limiting one.

So rather than ‘I can’t do that because’ start with ‘I can do that if…….’

As I always say.  Start with one small step.

How BATMAN helps me network!



Last time I shared Susie Burdekin’s fears and worries about networking – some familiar ground for many of us, I suspect.

This is how Susie worked to overcome those networking fears….. (in her own words)

‘I had to turn it on its head….and over time (and practice) I tackled each area and gradually became more confident. I realised I’m not a loud extrovert that marches into a room and demands to turn heads – it’s just not my style… and that’s ok.

But I am now more confident about my ability to walk in to a room of strangers and spark a conversation. More importantly I focus less on myself and instead on the person I’m talking to – I’m interested in them and what they have to say. I don’t need to shout the loudest to have presence in a room. I focus on being comfortable in my own skin and asking them questions and being present when they’re talking


1. Get the basics sorted

– Be comfortable in what you’re wearing. Sounds obvious but if you’re not comfortable it’ll ooze out from your body language;

– Work out where you’re going – nothing like last minute stress trying to figure out where the venue is to add to your nerves.

2. Do your research

– Is there anybody specific you’d like to meet or talk to at the event?

– If so, think about their attitudes/needs/expectations, what would they find interesting and how could you make them more receptive to you?

3. Reframe the event

– Key one for me – you’re looking to build relationships, have an interesting conversation – not do a hard sell on strangers.

4. Change your perspective

– If you get nervous, then I think this can be a great tactic – if you could be anybody (famous, fictional, dead or alive) going along – who would it be and what would they do?(Personally I liked Batman! The cape represented something different I had to wear and most importantly the element that I could literally just fly in and fly out. Just taking the stress out of the thought that I HAD to stay all evening as opposed to just 1-2 hours helped massively. Invariably I generally stayed the entire evening, but just thinking about it differently took the pressure off for me).

5. Watch role models

– If you know of somebody you really admire at such events, observe what they do.

6. Take the pressure off

– My aim of a night is to have 1 or 2 interesting conversations. If I’ve talked to somebody about a holiday destination, news event or hobby, then I’m much more likely to remember them and want to keep in touch, rather than the person that wasn’t interested in what I had to say and just wanted to shove their business card in my hand!

7. It’s not about you

– The final bit that helped me – it’s not about you. Stop putting the pressure on yourself and agonising over whether YOU’RE interesting, good, clever enough. Instead ask – ‘how can I help somebody here tonight?’, ‘how can I make someone’s life here a little better?’ and that could be some interesting or useful information, a tip, book to read.

– Ask them questions and really listen to what they have to say. If you’re struggling to know what to say to start a conversation, state a mutual observation, talk about something relevant happening in the news or ask them a question about the event; what do you think of the speakers tonight? Great venue isn’t it? If you can make it a question, then the easier it is for them to engage with you.

So you see?  Thanks to Susie’s tips and ideas NONE of us has anything to fear!  So get out there and build those relationships!

To download this article click on the following link How BATMAN helped me network

Hate Networking? Read on


I want to share the experiences of a favourite client of mine, Susie Burdekin.  Susie was Director of multi-award winning Brand Partnership agency Cherry London  and now runs the niche consultancy business The Drill Company.

Susie is someone who didn’t enjoy ‘networking’ – quite a challenge given the industry she is in.  Here’s her story in her own words.

‘At the start of my career the phrase ‘networking’ never seemed to be used. As I started out as an account executive in a fast paced digital world we met up for drinks and to be sociable – that was it.

No preconceived notions on how to behave, who you had to talk to, or what to say. It was about meeting up with others to share ideas, nightmare client stories, have a few drinks and a good laugh. It wasn’t called networking and it certainly didn’t feel like hard work.

Then things changed.

As I progressed through my career, the ‘networking’ term got bandied around more and more. There was a need to do it, you were expected to ‘mingle’ with other industry people and ‘raising your profile’ became an important point on the agenda if you were going to get on in your career.

Then it got worse.

As partner of a marketing agency and later sole business owner – the pressures of networking increased;

– As a new agency wanting to win high profile clients, we had to get our name out there quickly;

– Our offerings are complex, so standard pitching wasn’t effective for us;

– Like any company, we had salaries and bills to pay so securing new business and leads was a must.


– As leaders, we had to set the example. If we expected our team to be out there, we had to lead from the front;

– We wanted to be seen in the industry as experts in our field. That wasn’t going to happen without us talking to the right people and being at the right industry events.

The pressures of ‘networking’ started to mount up for me. I’d had a career of growing client relationships, but never saw myself as a ‘sales person’. I considered myself approachable, could facilitate a room of opinionated, difficult clients, but wouldn’t have described myself as a ‘born networker’ or someone who felt they could ‘work a room’ with ease.

All my pangs of shyness from younger days came hurtling back. What do I say? What do I talk about? Why would they want to talk to me? Do I have any gravitas or presence in these situations? And my biggest fear… what if I don’t have ANYTHING interesting to say?

The more I felt I had to ‘get out there’, the worse these fears became’.

Sound familiar?

Get off the Superhighway


Over the last three weeks I’ve been looking at Leadership Presence

Leaders with presence are great at really focusing on what they are doing and on the person or people they are with.

Many of you are joining me on a mission to get more focus in your own life and work so I thought you would love this great article from David Rock.  It’s a reminder that now, as Rock says, ‘might be the time to build in some limits and boundaries for our hyper-connected lives, to reduce the number of accidents along our information superhighways’

To download this article on the following link: Get off the Superhighway

Why You Won’t Delegate

What are your choice points?

There are many  lies or half-truths; excuses we make to ourselves and others that  stop us from delegating and keep us feeling overwhelmed…..but, if we’re honest, can also keep us SAFE from having to take on new, more scary, challenging or potentially risky tasks where we may no longer be the expert or the fount of all knowledge.  So rejection and fear of failure keep us doing tasks that really should be done by somebody else.

So, time for some honesty, here!

Let’s look at what might REALLY be going on.

Belief Number One

‘It’s quicker to do it myself’  – possibly.  And if it’s a one-off task it may well be quicker to do it yourself. But could it be that you don’t allow yourself enough time for planning and thinking; rush from one deadline to another and work at the speed of light?

The benefit in all of this is that you get through masses of work.  The downside is you may not be giving others the development opportunities they crave.

First Step

Think of one task you could delegate.  Start with something small. Then go back to last week’s email  and work through the ten steps.

Belief Number Two

‘He’s already too busy’ – maybe that’s true.  Or maybe you have a strong need to be liked which means you keep doing things that really should be done by somebody else.

First Step

Sit down with him and ask this question. ‘I would like to look at both our workloads as there is something I would like you to start taking on – let’s look at how we can make it work.’

Belief Number Three

He doesn’t have the experience/skills/ knowledge’. So how can he get them?

First Step

Is it a training course? Coaching or Mentoring? Buddying up with somebody?  Find the solution!  Now, if he is not competent then that is a different issue.  Why are you allowing incompetence in your team? (Fear of conflict? Strong need to be liked? Don’t quite know how to tackle it?)

Belief Number Four

‘She can’t do it as well as I will’ – so you’re a perfectionist and/or a control freak?

Aim for excellence, not perfection.  And sometimes ‘good enough’ is just fine.

If you know you’re a perfectionist at heart, read Brene Brown’s superb book The Gifts of Imperfection.

Click on the following link to download this article: Why You Wont Delegate