We all have our moments, those “down in the gutter” moments when we forget to look at the stars and only see the bad stuff … putting our faults and mistakes under a magnifying glass while forgetting the good stuff – our strengths, talents and how we positively contribute every day.
While clearly this level of self deprecation is unhelpful (at best!) for our mindset, wellbeing and general mental health, it can also hugely impact our performance in a way that affects our own reputation and personal brand.
For this reason, it is important to get to grips with our blindspots and more specifically the pitfalls of the self deprecating negativity which can often destroy everything we have worked so hard to build.
Finding easy to remember ways to bring ourselves back from the brink of self doubt & negativity so huge gratitude to Michele McDonald who came up with R.A.I.N.
A simple to remember, brilliant way to help us overcome the thoughts and feelings that lead to unnecessarily negative magnification, allowing us to accept who we are, as we are, and move forward with confidence.
So what is R.A.I.N?
?R is for RECOGNITION
This is simply the practice of noticing how you are feeling. What are you experiencing?
?A is for ACCEPTANCE
Accept the feeling for what it is and the fact that it is there..no fighting against it or pretending it’s not what you have identified it to be.
It is what it is, so give it permission to be there and let it sit.
?I is for INVESTIGATION
Investigate the feeling with kindness..explore it with a sense of curiosity and be honest about what you discover.
Imagine you are a scientist, exploring it from all angles –
What is in it?
How is it showing up in your body?
What’s the belief that is driving this feeling?
Is it true?
It is likely there are a number of emotions/thoughts/feelings weaved together.
Separate them out to discover what is hidden in that matrix of unease and take it apart piece by piece!
An example might be that initially you believe the emotion or thought to be anger..but when you investigate further, you can see the disappointment, sadness or fear that is intertwined with the anger.
Being able to break down our emotions like this helps our brain to process what’s going on, allowing us to feel more like we are in control of our emotions.
?N is for NON IDENTIFICATION
This is where we make a conscious decision NOT TO BE DEFINED BY THIS EMOTION which is a vital part of your self confidence.
It ensures that you are avoiding being trapped by a label or role and can often be the “killer” when it comes to us being so hard on ourselves because we believe ourselves TO BE THAT PERSON, instead of the reality, which is that WE ARE FEELING THAT EMOTION.
You are holding the space for yourself to see the emotion for what it is, and in the process, free yourself from the danger of labelling yourself as an “angry person”, a ‘sad person” a “deluded person” because you can see that these are states “a state of anger’ ” a state of sadness”, “a state of delusion”.
As you can see, this process does not change any of the emotions you are feeling, but it does change your relationship with them, allowing you to take back your power and “manage” those thoughts in a more effective and compassionate way.
Compassion is a key component of your self confidence and while you won’t see it mentioned in many leadership or business courses, the reality is that without it, we can easily fall into the trap of being consistently too hard on ourselves which, in the long term, will cause massive stress and ultimately hold you back from achieving the greatness you know you have the potential to be.
I have experienced this first hand because for years I believed that nothing was enough … my mantra was that I didn’t succeed, I would die trying! But what I found was that this lack of self compassion, rather than fuelling my success, was actually detracting from it.
The truth was that when I showed myself more compassion and practiced acceptance and took time to celebrate the little successes, they eventually became much bigger successes, but with half the effort!
When I took the time to recognise what was behind my lack of self compassion and made the decision to stop being hard on myself, my career and life went into an upward spiral!
The truth is this –
By practising compassion in the way we see ourselves & how we approach the “gremlin” negative thoughts, we change the way we present ourselves to the world. It is only by doing this that we can open ourselves up to seeing the world around us through a more positive lens.
And so…there we have R.A.I.N and with it comes another building block as you strive for confidence in your role..setting aside the fear that you ARE THAT PERSON and instead, compassionately accepting that you are a person who feels…who has emotions, and that you are perfectly normal just the way you are. Your emotions don’t define you, they enlighten you and enlightenment leads to authenticity, and ultimately, greater success in business and leadership!