Have you ever felt hard done by, made a mistake, felt foolish or embarrassed? Been given negative feedback or lost an argument? These things are natural occurrences through our careers – we’re human and tough stuff happens. This is why self discoveryis so important in shaping how you perform and how you can develop in your career.
These negative incidents, although painful, do shape us in a positive way through the lessons we learn and the developments we take away from each experience. However, they also ‘wound’ us because our natural response is often to take them personally and to dwell on them, building things up until the memory has even more pain and impact in our mind thanthe original incident itself. These things can often be found in the root of our self-limiting beliefs and fears stopping us from achieving more of what we want in our careers and out of our performance.
Identifying, naming and understanding that you have ‘wounds’ which you may still be licking is important if you want to understand why perhaps you feel unconfident at times, why procrastination kicks in, why your mind insists on overthinking some situations, why certain relationships are a struggle and why sometimes despite our best intentions we simply can’t move forward.
It doesn’t have to be bignegative experience which ‘wound’ us, the smaller things can be just as effective in leaving us scarred. Through a process of self discoveryconsider what experiences lie in the back of your mind. Perhaps…
- The critical line manager who once uttered some harsh words around your writing abilities
- Dropping a cup of coffee the moment you started to set up for an important presentation
- Finding out someone has been talking about you behind your back
- Losing youtemper under pressure and taking things out on youteam members
- Emailing an internal document to a client
- Having a painful new business call with a rude and impatient prospect
- Losing a pitch because you misunderstood the brief
- Being over lookedfor a promotion
- Getting made redundant……
Past mistakes, conversations and other negative occurrences which left you ‘wounded’ will show up without you knowing it. They hold you back, influence who you are today, the decisions you make, your willingness to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone, your confidence and they fuel self-doubt battles. They influence what we believe in the present.
In coaching, I remind my clients that by identifying an incident which has caused pain we are not seeking to fix, analyse and judge ourselves onthe past. We spot them to understand and recognise things which have happened previously and which are limiting us in some way in the present or could trip us up if it continues to lie hidden in the subconcious. Awareness as always is a key self leadershipfoundation for success.
When you are licking your ‘wounds’ you are in protection mode and are in the process of building yourself back up. You are to all intents and purposes saying you are not ready yet to face similar situations, tasks and people. But you are ready. In fact, you are more than ready as you have gained a level of insight which has made you stronger in the face of the same and similar challenges right now and in the future.
So, could you be licking some old wounds which are stopping you leading yourself effectively and stopping you achieving more in your career and performance each day? Reflect, reassess and move forward believing the past is the past and the future is yet to be defined.