Three Tips for Getting Out of Your Own Way


A theme that's coming up again and again with my coaching clients this week: Killer Statements. 

A killer statement is communication that shuts out possibility. It's often dripping with hyperbole, assumptions, and pessimism.

"This is never going to work. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea has lost their mind."

"We've tried this kind of thing before, but it always ends up going badly."  

In a team setting, these kind of statements make it feel unsafe to share ideas and think up crazy, wonderful new things. They close down a culture of curiosity, openness, and possibility.

Many of my clients have been surprised to become aware of how often killer statements come up on an individual level, too—in the messages that we send ourselves about ourselves.

"When I try to work on this, it takes me forever. I'll never get it done."

"I'm never going to find a job that plays to my strengths."

Much like at a staff meeting, when these statements come up in our hearts, minds, and conversations about ourselves, we shut down our own belief in what is possible. We discourage ourselves from trying. We're getting in own own way.

We have to be careful about the stories that we are telling ourselves—because if we hear them often enough, we might start to believe that they're True (with a capital T) and not just fleeting thoughts. 

Here are three tips on how to manage the killer statements in your own head:

1. Track the patterns. When you hear a killer statement come up, write it down. Start to gather the messages to see if there is a common theme. Are they all really about your sense of confidence? Do they all center on talking you out of taking risks?

2. Get curious. Ask yourself some key questions:
- Where did this idea come from? 
- Is it serving me?
- What evidence do I have that it's true?
- What's changed that could lead to a different result than when the situation came up in the past?

3. Rewrite the statement. Ask yourself: What's another message I could send myself that will support who I am and I what I want? Write it down. Craft some new wording. The next time the killer statement comes up, you'll have something to say back. It's a way of rewiring your brain to let go of those killer statements and build new neural pathways for messages that will serve you.

YOUR NEXT STEP: If killer statements are holding you back, learn more about a 1:1 Breakthrough Coaching Session to get you unstuck and moving forward on your career and leadership journey.