Do you know your default conflict mode?

Thomas Kilmann came up with 5 in his incredibly useful diagnostic report. I use this when coaching leaders and have done a lot of work on this over the years myself but I still have a default mode. 

The conflict modes are:

  1. Avoiding
  2. Competing
  3. Collaborating
  4. Compromising 
  5. Accommodating

Mine is avoidance. 

I was in full on avoidant mode when I left my corporate career back in 2014. At that point in my life I felt like I had zero confidence. I had very young children and was surviving on little sleep, was highly anxious and so avoiding big feelings felt like the easiest thing to do (how wrong was I!)

Can you relate to avoiding things that feel hard?

Back then I was avoiding it all:

  • Avoiding connecting with friends because I was worried they would notice how much I had changed.
  • Avoiding speaking to family because they could read me better than anyone. 
  • Avoiding dealing with difficulties in my relationships. 
  • Avoiding the uncomfortable hole that felt like a lost career. 

This was the biggest one. I had built my entire career on holding a room full of people, standing up and being in the spotlight. 

I felt like an utter fraud. I didn’t believe I could do it anymore. Imposter Syndrome is a cruel mistress! 

Once I’d left my job these things only got worse. I went in on myself. If I couldn’t stand up in front of people and coach and train them anymore what the hell would I do! So I chose to do something COMPLETELY different. But of course that wasn’t the solution because I was building a house on sand. 

As time went on I started to hear a voice inside me calling for my attention. It wasn’t until my marriage broke down that the voice started to get louder. I went to counselling and in one of the sessions the counsellor said something that has never left me. When talking about the career I’d left he said ‘you are worth so much more than the life you are currently living.’ 

It was a true lightbulb moment that led me on a path to realise that (through CBT, a load of personal development books and courses) the confidence I thought I had lost hadn’t gone ANYWHERE. It was all there still inside me along with my skills and hard won experience. I didn’t need to slowly dial it back up, it was there! 

It just needed to be unlocked.

A lot of how you communicate is down to your mindset, particularly when standing up in front of a room full of people or speaking into a camera. Confidence is something that already resides within you. But there will be blockers and saboteurs that might be standing in your way. 

Removing those blockers will enable you to become super visible both online and on stage, show up with confidence and smash the dream goals you have. This might involve taking a look at the cause of your blockers and limiting beliefs through deep coaching, and taking steps to dissolve them so you can unleash your full self to the world.

Here are a few tips that helped me find the key to unlock my confidence, and was the basis of my TEDx talk:

Reconnect with yourself

Unlocking your confidence starts with tuning back into who you are. 

To get started with this ask yourself questions like:

What do I really need?

What is important to me?

What lights me up and makes me feel alive?

What values do I want to live by?

What do I believe about myself that might not be true?

What would my life be like if anything was possible?

What do I already know about myself that can help me?

Come back home to yourself

This means anchoring happiness inside yourself and looking within for validation. One of the best phrases I heard on my journey is:

Stay in your lane.

Don’t look across the motorway at the other cars. Focus on your thoughts and feelings, your goals and dreams. The more time you spend looking and comparing yourself to others the less time you will have to achieve what you want. Get really clear on what makes you great by looking back over the past few years and noting down what you have achieved. Come up with your top ten wins and review them regularly. 

Start to dream 

Getting clear on what you want and visualising it in technicolour can help your brain to start to seek it out. Focusing on what we DO want rather than what we don’t  will kick start your reticular activating system. Putting a vision board together on your biggest dreamiest desires can help you to stay focused on the positive and take guided action. Doing this has led to many incredible things that I never would have thought possible just a few years ago. But it DID happen and it can for you too. 

Want help unlocking your confidence?

1.Download my free AIR assessment which looks at confidence under the area of impact. You can complete the assessment and see how you are feeling about your confidence and identify what other areas might be of benefit to focus on too.

2. Book in a turbo call

In this 15 minute speed coaching call we will laser in on your confidence blockers and blast as many as we can! This call is completely free however I may also explain how I can help you further on the call if it feels right to do so.

3. Register your interest in my book. There is a whole chapter of the book dedicated to unleashing your confidence. ! I’m still in the writing stage, however I will be looking for awesome people to get an early copy of the book to read, give feedback and review. If you’d like to get your hands on it before it is released, please hit reply and let me know.

4. Watch my TEDx talk here it explores my journey from feeling like I had lost all my confidence to unlocking it again. So many things have happened since this talk but I wouldn’t be where I am now without having taken these steps. 

Much love


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