In Part I of The Stories We Tell Ourselves, we worked through some ways to discover the stories we tell ourselves. You may have had some time to reflect on the stories you tell yourself about yourself. These stories (beliefs) have shaped you as a leader. They may be powerful – or they may hold you back from reaching your full potential. It is time to decide if your stories are working for you and whether or not you want to change them.
Some real examples of stories leaders tell themselves:
“Being kind to others weakens me as a leader”
“Nobody on my staff is able to do this task as well as I do it”
“My staff doesn’t have time to do this task”
“Requesting feedback from others on my performance would show others that I lack self-confidence”
“My employees want me to tell them exactly what to do and how to do it”
“I will never be able to work in ‘the big leagues’ as a leader”
Perhaps you’ve discovered a story that you feel may prevent you from realizing your full potential as a leader. You’ve clung to this story for years without realizing it. It doesn’t seem to have interfered with your ability to be your best – yet. Do you need to change this story? Some questions you can ask yourself:
- Has this story influenced my leadership?
- Has this story helped or hindered my leadership?
- Considering where I want to be as a leader, how will this story help or hinder me?
- Is this story one that I want to change to a more powerful one?
- Am I willing to do the hard work needed to change this story?
Through this line of inquiry, you may have found a story that you want to change, and a new story you want to create. Part III will address how to change your story.