By Gavin Meikle, Head Of Learning And Founder Of Inter-Activ
When I was a sales manager I saw a number of potentially great communicators stall despite fantastic subject matter knowledge and great technique. It was no surprise to me that sending them on a skills refresher course didn’t solve the problem. I instinctively knew that the problem lay deeper, at the level of identity and belief rather than a simple lack of skill or capability.
On numerous occasions I argued with my colleagues in the training department because they said that you couldn’t do anything about those sort of problems and so they would resort to their default setting, a skills training course.
I knew there must be a better solution. As a result I have studied lots of different methodologies and approaches seeking a simple way to solve this problem and I believe I have finally found it. We cannot stop ourselves having negative or unresourceful thoughts but the key is to become aware that we don’t have to believe everything we think.
The process I have found for challenging and transforming unresourceful thoughts that are behind our blockages comes courtesy of the work of American teacher and author Byron Katie. It’s a simple 5 step process and I have seen it deliver remarkable results in a short time.
Step 1 – Identify and write down the thoughts that are stopping you from getting the results you want e.g:
- “My boss doesn’t think I’m confident enough to be promoted”
- “They think I’m too young”
- “He won’t like me”
- “I’ll make a mess of it”
Step 2 – Choose one of the statements you wrote down and then ask yourself “Is that thought true – Yes or No?”
- Just notice the answer that comes up
Step 3 – If the answer to step 2 is “Yes” then ask yourself “Is it absolutely true?”
- Close your eyes, go inside and wait for the honest answer to come from within you
Step 4 – “How do I react when I think that stressful thought?”
- What do you do?
- What do you think? What images come into your mind?
- How do you feel when you think that thought
Step 5 – Who would you be without that stressful thought?
- Close your eyes and see yourself doing what you want to be able to do, without that stressful thought
Repeat this process for every stressful thought you wrote down and notice how you feel now.
NB: I find that this process is a bit like peeling an onion, there are layers beneath layers but the wonderful thing is that the more you do it the easier it gets until you do it automatically.