How many times do you make assumptions or state an opinion or belief as a fact?
And how does this derail your confidence, self-belief or ability to move forward without you even knowing it?
My guess is….. many more times than you think!
A couple of weeks ago I was running a Leader as Coach training programme and we’d been talking about this very topic.
So a bit sneakily, I confess, I asked a couple of volunteers at break to make a note of all the assumptions or self- limiting beliefs they heard from the group (including me) during the next couple of exercises and practice sessions. Without telling anybody (until later, of course….…..)
Of course, as I was aware of the exercise I was much more mindful of this…. which is of course absolutely the point!
Once we become aware of something we can decide whether we want to change it, question it or challenge it! In other words, it gives us more choice.
Here are some of the comments that the observers noted:
- I’m just an accountant (a lot of assumption or self-limiting belief in that word ‘just’)
- The Board won’t support us
- I thought at her level she would sort it out
- The team will leave if….
- I will get stressed…
- I can do x or y (the assumption being an ‘either/or’ – no other options)
- He doesn’t care
- I don’t want to make the situation worse
- I’m not very organised
- I feel responsible
- I should really do something about it
What was great about this exercise was that in the later practice sessions the trainee coaches were much more able to challenge or question these statements rather than ignoring them or even colluding with them.
I got to thinking how great an exercise this would be for your team…. Just to notice the number of assumptions or self-limiting beliefsthat are spoken out loud and what impact that has on performance, energy, resilience and motivation….. and that’s just for starters!