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 as I instinctively knew that the problem lay at the level of identity and belief rather than skill or capability.

On numerous occasions I fought 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 comfort zone.

Over the years I have studied lots of different methodologies and approaches seeking a simple way to solve this problem both for myself and my clients and I believe I have finally found the solution.

It’s a process for challenging and transforming the thoughts that are behind our blockages and it comes courtesy of the work of American teacher and author Byron Katie.

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?”

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.

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