This came up in a coaching session and I knew I had to share. The look of recognition and “oh damn yes, I need this” on my client’s face was enough for me.
And when I shared an example, I was reminded of how much benefit this one thing has brought to my life.
Dramatically less frustration, self-doubt, feeling bad about myself.
Dramatically more clear-headed decision making, choosing how to respond (instead of reactive short term thinking), feeling good about myself.
So what’s the coaching tip?
Choose who gets to take up space in your head. And evict the rest. They don’t belong there and it’s time to move them out.
There are a lot of people in your life who share their opinions and preferences with you, and they want you to accommodate them. e.g.
- How you should deal with that team member who’s not performing.
- How you should speak up more / dress a certain way etc to be taken seriously.
- What you are doing with your life.
If we let them, they will all camp out in our heads, telling us what to do, and laying their expectations on us.
Often, we can find ourselves trying “not to care about what anyone says”.
It doesn’t work because we try to exclude everyone AND we actually do care what some people think.
The solution: Choose who gets to take up space, and who doesn’t.
Exercise – Clear your head
Step one: Define your circle of people.
- Get a piece of paper and write your name in the middle.
- Draw a smallish circle around your name.
- On another piece of paper, write the names of all the other people that take up space in your head.
- take up space = you think about what they say, think, do, and currently you let their opinions matter
- In the circle around your name: write the names of the people who’s opinions you really want to consider and care about. Only those names. It will be a small number of people – probably about 5 or 6.
The people in your circle are the ones you trust and respect. You know they’ve got your back and will tell you the hard truths when you need it. They will also support and encourage you.
Step two: Keep your headspace for your circle of people.
Someone gives you input. Are they in the circle?
- Consider what they are saying. Ask questions for clarification. Reflect on it. Maybe have a deep conversation with them about it.
- Decide for yourself what you will do.
- Listen to or read the input (if you want to. you can ignore it completely like never reading the comments section on social media).
- Thank them.
- Forget about it.
Step two is a daily practice, whenever someone gives you input.
It will keep the room in your head for the input that really matters. Ain’t nobody got time to listen to everyone.
This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership. Want to talk it through with me? Use a free Experience Coaching session and I’ll help you.