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How to deal with doubt

How to deal with doubt

Nothing gets in the way of peak performance more than doubt – the little voice inside your head that says:

‘What will they think?’

‘What if it doesn’t work? What then?’

‘I don’t know what to do and everyone is looking for my lead.’

Timothy Galway (The Inner Game of Tennis/ The Inner Game of Work 1974) called these thoughts ‘interference’ – usually based in fear and doubt.

One way to increase our own performance and to support others in the same way is to reduce interference. As interference lessens, more potential becomes available to us.

Which of the following cause interference for you? Which do you notice might be hindering colleagues?

Fear? Lack of self-confidence? Trying for perfection? Anger? Resentment?

A powerful way to reduce interference is to focus your attention on what you ‘re currently doing and on what’s going well. Focus on strengths and solutions rather than the ‘What if’ anxious thinking that may be currently swirling around in your head. Start to notice where things are going well and how you can build on this. Notice what your strengths are and put them into practice more of the time. Reframe the interference. Once you’ve taken note of any negativity and reflected on where this might be the voice of caution speaking, choose to look at things from a different angle and ‘flip’ the thinking, eg:

From ‘What will they think?’ to ‘What positive things will they think?’, ‘What positive results might come from this?’

From ‘What if it doesn’t work? What then?’ to ‘What if this works brilliantly? What will happen then?’

From ‘I don’t know what to do and everyone is looking for my lead.’ To ‘Everyone is looking for my lead because I’m best placed to know what to do and which choices to make.’ Or simply ‘I know what to do.’

Play with your words so that they work for you – sometimes when we ‘flip’ a thought it becomes too strong, in which case tweak it instead so that it becomes a milder, non-critical thought.

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The Coachmark Team

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