Helpful Habits & Behaviour?
Have you ever examined whether the habits and behaviour you have formed over time actually help or hinder in getting to where you want to be? If you consider how you might adopt a different approach, how might that also effect a different outcome? As a specialist Corporate and Executive Coach empowering female lawyers to achieve career ambition whilst creating congruent lives, I have seen countless examples of clients positively influencing their personal performance at work by adopting a more positive mind-set.
Here, just 2 simple ideas you can work on to enable you to do the same:
Look at the words you use
Are you a glass half full or empty kind of person? Do you even truly know? Some people can very clearly identify with their own outlook, and for others, whilst they think that they see the world in a positive way, their words and behaviour may suggest otherwise. A good example of this is those with a great sense of humour albeit that they are always the butt of their own jokes, because in order to get a laugh, they talk of themselves in a self-deprecating way. If you choose to regularly make yourself the butt of the joke, you can’t be surprised if colleagues, overtime, adopt a similar view.
It pays to take a moment to look at the words we use, to see how we might more positively influence ourselves and the view of us that those around us have. In a challenging situation at work where others might think “There’s nothing I can do,” could you be the one to suggest “Let’s look at our alternatives?” If you find yourself saying “I need to do some work/ go to the gym,” how about “I choose to…” do those things instead? Other examples include, “I must/ I’ve got to… find time to develop my business”, when “I prefer to…” is so much more empowering.
Don’t get me started on the difference between “I will try to…” and “I will…!” Try is half hearted and weak, and not certain to happen; if you say you will do something, already in your language you are committed to the outcome. Be mindful of inadvertent “word gremlins”, and their positive or negative power.
What about your thoughts?
If I told you, “you are not your mind; you are what you tell yourself”, wouldn’t you be more cautious about the thoughts you have and the temptation to listen to any negative internal chatter?
Similarly, “Be careful what you tell yourself as you are listening.” A great example of this came for me one Autumn day at Centre Parcs with my children after nearly 2 decades without riding a bike. Although as a teenage a keen mountain-biker, after well over 20 years out of the saddle, the thought of riding a “ladies shopper” with limited gears and a cumbersome trailer with 2 children in the back didn’t exactly inspire my confidence at the helm. And there we were, on a beautifully quiet forest road, probably at least 8 metres wide, when I saw in the distance a small obstruction which, with each turn of the pedal brought me nearer to it and IT in to sharper focus: a pine cone. A really small pine cone. And yet, all my mind could tell me was “Don’t ride over the pine cone, don’t ride over the pine cone.” With each thought, the pine cone was brought into sharper focus, and with laser precision, I actually ended up riding over it as if it and the bike wheel were an unavoidable magnetic force.
Our focus can shape our reality for good or bad, and instantaneously, just as when we focus on a positive as opposed to negative thought which will then influence our experience. Whatever you seek or dwell on, whether consciously or unconsciously, you will bring in to sharper focus and it will affect, if not shape, your reality.
Practice influencing positive professional outcomes
Being conscious of our words and thoughts is the key to unlocking more positive professional outcomes. Effecting the changes may take a little time; the more awareness and practice we have, the easier it will become.
Nikki Alderson is a specialist corporate and executive coach (and former criminal barrister) empowering female lawyers to achieve their career ambition whilst creating congruent lives. For more information, see https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkialdersoncoaching/ https://www.facebook.com/nikkialdersoncoaching/?ref=bookmarks or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.