Cultivate Your Inner Voice of Courage (Video)

Like this on Facebook

You’re not smart enough. You’re too new to this. You make bad choices.

We all have critical voices in our heads that peck away at our self-confidence and undermine our dreams. But imagine if the only voices you heard in your mind were on your side. Thanks to one particularly strong, supportive voice in my life, I was able to root out the naysayers and replace them with cheerleaders. The trick was to deliberately seek out and cultivate lots of supportive voices. Voices that gave me the courage to risk.

To identify your own potential inner guides, simply follow the praise. The next time someone pays you a compliment, lean into it:

Let it in. It sounds simple, but it’s maddeningly hard to do – especially in the moment. First, it means banishing critical voices. (They rarely leave quietly.) Second, you must hear what was said. Often, we have a reflexive response to compliments. Too embarrassed to receive them, we brush off kudos with a quick “thank you” and a change of subject. Only later do we realize how meaningful the remarks were and allow ourselves to feel the rush of satisfaction. Remember to stay present, be curious, and let the words land.

Believe it. Once you’ve invited a compliment into your head, the real work begins. Now, you must allow for the possibility that what was said might be true. “You’re a good speaker!” Even if you want to accept the idea, if it challenges how you see yourself things can get uncomfortable fast. It means stretching or outright changing your self-perception. Don’t back down from the praise. Sit with it. Play with the idea. What if it is true?

Pass it on. Be a positive voice for others. Again, this one sounds easy, but in a world that equates critiques with smarts and discernment, it can be hard not to qualify your compliment. Or worse, to give inappropriate or awkward praise: “Sure, the presentation tanked, but you looked great!” Give a simple, genuine compliment and let it go.

And when things inevitably go off the rails?

Breathe. Challenge your definition of failure and call on one of your most trusted inner voices for advice.

These days all the voices in my head are by invitation only.  After years of careful curation, I finally have a team I can count on to give me just the perspective I need in the moment.

To learn more, please take a moment to watch the video.
And then listen.
Listen for your voice of courage.

This video appeared on YouTube, April 22, 2016.

Sabina Nawaz

Sabina Nawaz is a global CEO coach, leadership keynote speaker, and writer working with executives in Fortune 500 corporations, government, non-profits, and academia.  Previously Sabina spent 14+ years at Microsoft first in software development and then in HR.  She led the company’s executive development and succession planning efforts for over 11,000 managers and 700 executives. Sabina has spoken at hundreds of seminars, events, and conferences. Sabina believes the greatest privilege of working with leaders is bearing witness to their acts of courage.

Look for more stories, insights, and advice on thriving as a leader on Forbes, HBR, and Inc and her TEDx talk. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Recommended

How To Handle A Bad Boss: 7 Strategies For 'Managing Up'

This article first appeared at Forbes.com. If you’ve got a lousy boss right now you have my sympathy. Truly. It can really siphon the enjoyment ...

Leaderly Quote: Dream it. Do it. Be happy.

Happy Monday! Dream it. Do it. Be happy. (Pretty simple, huh?!)...

Got a Big Goal? It’s Okay to be Scared.

I didn’t always have a job I loved. Far from it: At age 23, I got fired from my first job. I’ll never forget what ...

  • CoachCaron

    Thanks, Sabina! Important information in feeling positively about myself!

Ready to lead?

We'll show you how!
Get email updates from Be Leaderly.

Our mission is to provide the career strategies that help you lead, climb and thrive as a rising woman of influence.

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

15 Songs for Your Leadership Playlist

It was one of those conference moments I’ll never forget: Carly Fiorina had ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

6 Critical Missteps That Hurt Your Career Advancement

Let’s face it: it isn’t easy to break out and establish yourself as ...

Nine Qualities of Female Leaders Who Get Beyond the Glass Ceiling

I’m frequently asked to speak about women in law and specifically the issue ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

5 Things Women Leaders Should Stop Doing. TODAY.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had a front row seat to career ...

4 Characteristics of Leaders Who Get Hired and Promoted

Imagine if you had the opportunity to sit down with a senior executive ...

8 Types of Courage for Aspiring Leaders

“The truth is that courage resides within you; you must simply decide to ...

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

A few years ago, around the time when I was launching this blog, ...

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Erin Lo
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Erin Lo

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing

How to Go After Awards and Recognition (and Win)
How to Go After Awards and Recognition (and Win)

Just last week, a Director at a well-regarded business school explained to me that she

Leaderly Quote: Don’t let fear steal your dreams
Leaderly Quote: Don’t let fear steal your dreams

“Don’t let fear steal your dreams.” — Sabina Nawaz

Five Strengths of Vulnerable Leaders
Five Strengths of Vulnerable Leaders

The biggest misconception in corporate America is the thinking that vulnerability and weakness are synonymous.

How to Convince a Stranger to be Your Mentor
How to Convince a Stranger to be Your Mentor

When I arrived in the U.S. from India to attend college, I was excited and

Leaderly Quote: Take on things outside your comfort zone…
Leaderly Quote: Take on things outside your comfort zone…

“Take on the things outside your comfort zone that the world is pushing you toward.”

Top 10 Most-Read Articles of 2017
Top 10 Most-Read Articles of 2017

Grab a cup of cocoa, take a seat in your favorite comfy spot, and find

Our Best of 2017 – 33 Leadership Quotes (Slideshow)
Our Best of 2017 – 33 Leadership Quotes (Slideshow)

Every other Monday morning at BeLeaderly.com we post one of our favorite leadership quotes to help you

4 Ways to Execute a Stretch Assignment Like a Rock Star
4 Ways to Execute a Stretch Assignment Like a Rock Star

Want to uncover a bigger, bolder vision for your career than you can imagine today?

Lend Your Voice! Participate in Our Research Survey
Lend Your Voice! Participate in Our Research Survey

Help us change the game for working women by participating in our brief research survey

Cultivate Your Inner Voice of Courage (Video)
Cultivate Your Inner Voice of Courage (Video)

You’re not smart enough. You’re too new to this. You make bad choices. We all

Leaderly Quote: Someone sees the leader in you
Leaderly Quote: Someone sees the leader in you

Sometimes a thought or quote leaves an indelible mark on us. It was more than

What Does it Mean to Have a Sponsor? (Podcast)
What Does it Mean to Have a Sponsor? (Podcast)

What does it mean to have a sponsor? How is a mentor different? And how

The 5 Best Times to Negotiate on the Job
The 5 Best Times to Negotiate on the Job

When we negotiate and fail, the effects can set us back both personally and professionally. Perhaps

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Copyright 2018, Be Leaderly