Do you have an inner cheerleader, or an inner critic?
Do you have nagging thoughts that you’re not good enough? This negative, self-critical voice can undermine how we feel about ourselves, our goals and our effectiveness in life and work.
I have always been a big believer in mindset but never more so than over the last 12 months, when most of us have had our lives turned upside down by so many elements which are completely out of our control.
This week I was invited to an event where Major Sandy Hennis FRGS was speaking. Sandy is an Army reservist. She started out as a radio technician and achieved the rank of Corporal. After that she went to Sandhurst and commissioned back into the Royal Signals. She was in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sandy was also part of the Ice Maiden expedition. The first female team to ski across the Antarctic continent using muscle power alone in 2017/18.
Sandy spoke about her journey and about some of the challenges she faced;
- Not believing she was worthy or good enough when she was on selection training for the Ice Maiden expedition
- A fear and worry about hitting rock bottom and letting her colleagues see her at her weakest
- The surprise when working and supporting so many young and or other females who do not believe they would be able to have or attain a similar level of achievement to Sandy
- The difficulty in being honest about how you are feeling and not to be ‘just fine’
- The mental and physical challenge to complete a 62 day trek across this frozen and often treacherous environment, travelling for 10 hours and up to 27 miles a day with temperatures plummeting to -56C (three times colder than your freezer!)
So much of what Sandy shared resonated with myself, as a female leader and business owner and someone who helps a lot of leaders and female leaders to further develop their career, how often do we hold ourselves back with a lack of self-belief, a worry of what others might think of us, or, because we believe we have to behave in a certain way?
One of the techniques Sandy shared to develop better self-belief and resilience, which also helped get her through this mammoth trip across the Antarctic, was ‘The Internal Cheerleader mindset’, that internal voice that tells you that ‘you have got this’, ‘you are amazing’…
This internal cheerleader helped her to, on some days, just put one foot in front of the other, focusing on the small bite size chunks and goals she had set herself to deal with the enormous task ahead, it was the only way to achieve the end result.
I found the session really fascinating and insightful and wanted to share it with you; I hope that you too can take something from this short piece.
If you would be happy to share, I would also love to hear what methods or routines you have developed to help you be your best possible self, feel free to drop me a note, or if you wanted to book in for a ‘virtual coffee’ please use the link below.
Michelle Ansell is Managing Partner at Douglas Jackson, a high-end retained executive search firm exclusively focused on consumer centric business, delivering high performance, diverse, impactful leadership.
Helping customer, digital, data led boards improve the success and retention of your new hires. To drive profits, growth and exit values. When exceptional leadership matters..