Motivational speaker Lisa Nichols recommends that when you are doubting yourself or your abilities you should “collect evidence” to disabuse your perceptions. If you feel that you aren’t being a leader, compel yourself to write down examples and situations in which you did exhibit leadership and use this list as affirmations to help you overcome your fear.

I would suggest that collecting evidence is a good practice for many situations. Oftentimes, our mind exaggerates reality – both in negative and positive ways. If we see concrete examples of what is truly occurring it may simplify our decision-making processes and make it easier to ascertain facts. If we think that we aren’t spending enough time on our relationships, a simple time accounting can confirm or deny that supposition and guide us toward making changes. If we are questioning the performance of one of our staff members, collecting evidence can help us see more clearly whether there is a behavioral pattern or whether we are just more cognizant of the occasional times when their actions lapse. And if we are questioning whether we are being assertive enough in meetings, a private log may help us realize that we speak up more than we feel we do.

In order to overcome fears or celebrate small wins, it is beneficial to have a starting point and to track the changes over time. Collecting evidence is often the closest we can come to looking in the mirror and seeing what is truly there.

Leadership Reinvention workshop with Lisa Nichols, Massachusetts Conference for Women, 12-10-20

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