March 24, 2007

Beliefs that hold you back

This article by Patricia Soldati refers to beliefs holding us back in our careers, but I also think that these beliefs are similar to those that hold us back as speakers. Here is the list:

1. I am not skilled enough.
2. Hard work is noble.
3. Fulfilling work is for others, not me.
4. Fulfillment comes from my personal life, not my work life.
5. I'm too old to make a major life change.
6. My family and friends will think I'm crazy.
7. I'm a fraud – my success is a result of the corporate structure, or my tenure.
8. The unknown isn't safe.
9. I'm not sure that I can trust my decisions or choices.
10. I'm afraid of failing in a new role.

Most of these can be tweaked pretty easily to refer to public speaking. For example, #7: I'm a fraud. Many speakers fear being "found out" as an impostor once they start speaking. That is, people will discover that she really doesn't know what she's talking about. People will discover she is not really an expert.

We've all heard #1 before in relation to speaking. Many people think they have to have all the right skills before they can take the podium. In reality, speakers build skills the more they speak. The more experience one has as a speaker, the better that speaker becomes.

How else do you see these beliefs getting in the way of your opportunities as a speaker?

Read on for 5 steps that can help you re-frame your limiting beliefs.

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Anonymous said...

Leaders must also master the skill of public speaking, and there is no doubt that "appearing as an imposter" is a huge fear for many leaders and speakers. Imposter of what? Pretending to be an expert and not being an expert? Not knowing everything? I think many speakers could get over this particular fear by acknowledging to the audience at some point, in some form, that they are not perfect. Then they always have a scapegoat..ha ha...I think perfectionism has a great deal to do with this fear - and accepting that things aren't always perfect and the world won't fall apart will help reduce this fear. I enjoyed Patricia's article - and your snippet of it is very convenient to refer to! Thank you!
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Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree that getting over the expectation of perfection will take a speaker a long way toward reducing "imposter syndrome."

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