Have you ever been in a situation like this?
You’ve got a meeting coming up and you already know what you want to say and why. Come said meeting and with all eyes on you, you suddenly become tongue tied, you can’t string a proper sentence together, and your previously oh so clear argument or idea suddenly sounds silly and unimportant.
When we lose trust we lose our voice
In her book Conversational Intelligence Judith E. Glaser writes that ”when we feel threatened, unappreciated, unfairly judged, bullied, or embarrassed, the heart brain responds to the perceived threat by beating faster. Blood rushes to the parts of our brain that need to be fired up to handle the perceived challenges. Rather than connecting to others, we move into ‘protect’ behaviors. This fear response sends messages from the heart to other parts of the brain to stop connecting and start protecting.”
In short ”In a ‘threatening environment’ we get dumber not smarter.”
Now whilst Judith’s reference above writes about the effect other people’s threats, judgement and bullying has on us, I know that our very own inner intimidator, judge and/or bully has the exact same effect on us. And when we interpret no eye contact as disinterest, a tilted head as confusion and raised eyebrows as ridicule, we start feeling insecure or anxious. Our ‘survival brain’ gets triggered, our ‘thinking brain’ starts closing down, and out comes the gibberish we talked about above.
When our ‘survival brain’ gets triggered our ‘thinking brain’ starts closing down
You might wonder what trust has got to do with this phenomenon? As a matter of fact it’s got a lot to do with it. And to begin with we need to understand that trust has three crucial elements: Trust in self, trust in others, trust in life. If your trust score is low in any one of them, then it’s highly likely that a new or unfamiliar situation triggers a heap of internal dialogue. From ”does my idea really make sense”, to ”they don’t seem to be very welcoming” or ”this company has a reputation of disregarding women”, your inner Judge will have an opinion on all of it. And if this won’t prevent you from making your point in the first place, it has a high potential to turn your words and ideas into a jumbled and disconnected mess.
Increase your trust score
The good news is that in our experience you can greatly increase trust by focussing on the most crucial of the three elements to start with: Trust in yourself.
When you trust yourself and come from this internal space of sovereignty, clarity and benevolence (the energy of the archetypal Queen we work with at Azkua) then your voice and ideas will carry gravitas, your presence will inspire openness, curiosity and collaboration, and your vision will attract like minded professionals into your orbit.
Trust in self
High trust in self is made up of a combination of foundational elements, all of which we cover both in our coaching and in our Gentle Ambition programme, but to get you started we invite you to ponder the following questions. Take a moment, grab a pen and write down what comes up for you:
Trust in self:
- am I firmly connected to and grounded in my unique strengths and talent?
- am I clear on the meaningful impact I want to have at work and how this will positively affect others and the organisation?
- am I able to reframe pushback or an initial NO as a sign that I obviously have not been able to clearly show the benefits, facts, reasons to the other person yet?
- am I able to positively regulate my and others’ emotions when they get triggered?
- am I aware of self-sabotaging internal self-talk and can I manage it effectively?
- am I clear how to use words and body language to support my message?
- am I able to recover from setbacks?
- am I comfortable with setting boundaries and asking for what I need?
- do I know that I am as important as and equal to the people around me?
- am I surrounding myself with people who want the best for me and hold me accountable to become the best version of myself?
Is there one question that excites you the most?
One that triggers your innate curiosity? That makes you dream of times when you show up in your full potential? Then that’s the one to follow. Our desires are an amazing compass towards self-actualisation.
And if we can help you along the journey don’t hesitate to reach out and book a complimentary coaching session with one of us. At Azkua we believe it will be women like YOU who will transform our organisation into forces for good, and our mission is to empower as many as possible of you to show up in your true magnificence at work and in life.
We can make a difference. Together.
Visionary Collective Leader Azkua
At Azkua we are on a mission to turn businesses and organisations into a force for good. And we believe that it is professional women like YOU, who will be at the forefront of this transformation. Purpose driven, caring, grounded and influential women.