Last week I started to talk about the power that limiting beliefs to make us ‘Reluctant Presenters’. In Part 2 of this article I want to share with you a simple yet practical technique for defusing your old limiting beliefs and empowering your new resourceful ones…
NB:If you haven’t done the exercises in part 1 of this thread, I suggest you go back and do it first as the rest of this post will then make more sense and you’ll have something useful to work with.
I often find metaphors a powerful tool for exploring and understanding things. Imagine that a belief was like a table top. In order for the table top to remain in place it needs legs to support it. In the same way, in order for a belief to remain active it needs evidence to support it.
As a simple example, consider the belief in Father Christmas that most children held at one time in their lives. The evidence that supported your belief in Santa was most likely something along the lines of ;
- My parents (whom I trusted) told me he was real
- I saw him in the local department store and on TV
- The biscuits, drinks and carrots I left out for him and his Reindeer had gone when I awoke on Christmas morning.
- There were presents in my stocking or under the tree
QED – Father Christmas is real!
Now consider what happened to undo this once extremely strong belief. I’m sure you didn’t just wake up one morning and say “Oh gosh, how stupid I’ve been , of course Father Christmas doesn’t exist.” No, the belief changed gradually as you started to question its authenticity because the evidence that supported it started to get shaky. Your friends or older siblings told you it was a fairy tale. You started to wonder how he could be in so many different stores at the same time. You started to consider the consequences of him eating all that food and drinking all that alcohol on a singe night. You stayed up and caught your parents putting the presents in your stocking. I’m sure you get the picture – Right!
Well, the same process can be used to tackle your own limiting beliefs about presenting.
Step 1: Identify the limiting belief (See previous post on this topic)
Step 2: Examine the evidence that supports this limiting belief. (Often when you do this, you will find that the belief is based on just one critical experience). Imagine you are a detective or investigator interested only in the facts!
Step 3: Look for counter examples. – When and where does this belief not hold true? Are there certain times in certain contexts where you have presented well? Have you ever had even a little bit of positive feedback about a presentation or speech you have given? The more counter examples you collect, the shakier the old belief will get.
Step 4: Repeat Step 2 for the new belief you would like to hold. Gather evidence to support it and look for opportunities to practice so that you can create new supporting evidence.
Have a go and you will see how you can eliminate your limiting beliefs and unleash your potential to be a confident communicator. What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to took action?