ARE YOU READY TO SHARE YOUR TRUE
THOUGHTS, FEELINGS & IDEAS AT WORK
TO GET THE RECOGNITION YOU DESIRE?
Welcome! You are all set to start the 'How to Speak Your Mind with Confidence' course.
You are here to make a positive change in the way you show up at work - I know you are courageous with huge potential, otherwise, you wouldn't have made your way here!
Make sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it when you need to in the future.
I created this course to share how you can begin your rebel journey. It's going to be fun and it will positively move you out of your comfort zone - but that's what you're here for, right?
You've chosen a great place to start: speaking your mind with confidence. It's a skill that anyone can master as long as you're committed to pushing through the feelings of discomfort.
I know the feelings that arise when you start to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas for the first time at work.
I've experienced the fear of judgement, being dismissed and being disliked, as well as imposter syndrome. Experiencing uncomfortable feelings is part of the process so when they arise, acknowledge them and trust that you're moving forward.
Through this course, I will offer your tips, techniques and exercises on how to trust your intuition, gain the confidence to speak in line with your thoughts, values and beliefs, and adopt an empowered mindset.
I want you to experience the power of speaking your mind with confidence. COURAGE LEADS TO CONFIDENCE and courage is what's needed to get the most from this course.
I know you can do it!
So, you're ready to make a positive change?
Why it's important to speak your mind.
It's time to commit.
I want you to gain the full benefits of this course so you can progress at work and be the powerhouse you want to be. In order to do so you'll need to complete each section of the course in order (including each exercise), be prepared to self-reflect and lead with courage to push through moments of discomfort.
If at any point during this course you feel as though you are really struggling with a deeper issue I would urge you to seek additional support from a counsellor or coach.
"You don't have to be perfect, but you do have to be committed to progress. That's where all success begins."
- Rachel Matthews, Founder of Rebel in Progress
Speak Your Mind: Contents
You should have already downloaded your workbook and be ready to start the course.
Each part has three sub-sections
The Aim: Speak Confidently at Work
Let's focus on the outcome
The best place to start when wanting to make a change is to be clear on where you want to end up. Start with getting clear on the outcome, what do you want to gain from this course? How will it progress your career? How will it make you feel once you achieve speaking your mind with confidence?
Go to your workbook and answer the questions in the AIM section and be as specific as possible - this will help you will the next visualisation exercise.
Once you've answered these questions it's now time to look at what makes an engaged and confident speaker. Listen to the Ted Talk by Julian Treasure, you can Google search the talk or click the following link.
You can make notes in your workbook while listening to the talk but to save you time, the main points have been written down for you. Return to this page and move on to the visualisation session once you've completed this.
Visualisation can be a powerful tool to rehearse your success in your mind. Many professional athletes follow the advice of sports psychologists and use imagery scripts, which take visualisation to another level by engaging all the senses.
If you are new to visualisation, no need to worry. I'll take you through the process of forming a mental image of your performing your goal.
Take ten minutes to form a clear mental picture of your ultimate goal, then start to engage your other senses. Read the following questions then close your eyes and begin to create the scene with your imagination. What can you see, smell, hear, touch, feel and hear? Imagine yourself speaking clearly, making eye contact to those in the room, projecting your voice, smiling and even, enjoying the experience of sharing your views.
If you are struggling, some people find it easier to form a picture of a moving image. For example, if you want to visualise you speaking in a department meeting, picture yourself walking to the room, choosing a seat, opening your notepad and prepping your pen before you speak.
If your ideal scenario is variable and the situation you will face is unpredictable, choose a moment that you are most likely going to face.
Once you have this clear in your mind, jot the information down in the VISUALISATION section of your workbook then use this information to record yourself (you can get free voice recording apps on your smartphone) talking through setting the scene. You can then use this to replay the scene and recreate the imagery sessions in the future.
You can take a few minutes each day/a few times a week for a visualisation/imagery training session. As you practice these sessions you will stimulate the region of your brain, as if you are physically performing the action of speaking. The sessions will then act as repetition and rehearsal for the real life event - you can consider this practice!
Part 1: What's holding you back?
1. Limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are internal stories that we form after experiencing events where we may have been made to feel rejected. We form these stories as a defence mechanism to keep ourselves from allowing the same thing to happen again. It's our way of keeping safe from attack. These stories can hold us back from taking the necessary steps to make progress. We can only reap the rewards when we take a risk.
For example, a limiting belief of mine is that if I speak my opinion people won't like me and I'll be ousted from the group. When I was young, during a disagreement with someone of authority, I was told that "no one likes a smart arse!". This sentiment has stuck with me. I can often tell myself that if I disagree with someone then they will hate me. And apparently being liked is an important thing for a woman to be... so we've been told.
So, there are a couple of limiting beliefs of my own. It's time to take a look into yours.
What your inner voice is saying might not be immediately obvious to you. It takes practice and some probing to get to the cause of a narrative you've been telling yourself for a long time.
We adapt these limiting beliefs without any questioning on how it will serve us. It's a subconscious action.
TASK: Go to your workbook and complete TASK 1. The challenge is all around taking time to notice when you hesitate or stop yourself from sharing your thoughts, feelings and opinions with others. OR when you speak your mind and experience a negative emotion for doing so, such as guilt, shame or regret.
Once you've encountered any of these moments, I want you to start questioning your thoughts at that time and go deeper when prompted by the question in your workbook.
3. Counteract these thoughts with positive truths and beliefs
Now you're starting to take notice of the moments where you hold back or experience negative emotions when it comes to speaking your mind. Over time you'll become more aware of your thought patterns and the internal narratives that are holding you back.
This puts you in the best place to start replacing those thoughts with more productive truths. The more you recognise your limiting beliefs and change your thought patterns to replace them with more positive thoughts, you'll begin to build a positive thinking habit.
TASK: Go to your workbook and complete TASK 2. The challenge is about focusing on and acknowledging the positive truths in the situation.
For example, if you wanted to share your opinion on a solution with your team at work and your inner voice says, "Why aren't you agreeing with your colleagues? Everyone else is. You are just going to cause unnecessary conflict and people will think you're being difficult."
The reality (and positive truth) in this situation is that:
1. Your colleagues respect your ideas
2. Your share your ideas in a positive way that builds on others ideas, rather than belittling them
3. Your collaborating and positive conflict can lead to an even better solution than your original suggestion
4. You're paid good money to offer your ideas, opinions and views. It's part of your job!
Next, replace your limiting belief with an empowered belief. This empowered belief is a belief that you will repeat to yourself when it comes to speaking your mind. For example, "I am a valued member of the team with unique perspectives that others can benefit from hearing." or choose one less specific, "I am an interesting person with valuable opinions and views that others want me to share."
2. Explore what your inner voice is saying
Part 2: You're better at this than you think.
1. List times when you have spoken your mind. What were the outcomes? Note the positives and negatives.
This section is all about searching for the evidence. The real hard facts about the times when you've spoken your mind and then assess how it went. I want you to get thinking of examples inside and outside of work. You should start to think back and collect examples of when you have spoken to others about your thoughts, feelings and opinions that were true to your beliefs and values. All examples are good, no matter how small they may seem to you.
The purpose of this task is to get you to realise that you've got more practice at speaking your mind that you think. And no matter what the consequences were afterwards, you survived and learned from them. This is adopting a growth mindset, which means even if you face challenges you'll focus on learning and then move on. There's no failure here!
TASK: So, go to your workbook and refer to TASK 3. Write down circumstances when you shared your opinion and write about the internal and external outcomes. (Internally, this might have been how you felt at the time, e.g. liberated. Externally, your friend disagreed with your opinion and that was the end of the conversation.) Next, I want you to think about what you learned from these experiences.
2. Ask three people that know you well (at least one of them from work) to share why they value your opinion.
Again, this section is all focused on gathering evidence that will support you when you speak your mind. When we put ourselves out there by sharing our thoughts and opinions it can leave us feeling exposed and some of us may start to engage in cognitive distortions. These are shortcuts that our minds come up with to summarise a situation with a lack of information and these shortcuts don't tend to be based on evidence.
A common cognitive distortion is 'mind-reading' when we assume that we know what someone else is thinking. When you feel uncomfortable speaking your mind you start to mind-read and assume others are thinking negatively about you because you opinion differs to theirs or the groups.
TASK: Go to TASK 4 in your workbook. Reach out to three people that you trust, include one person from your current or previous work if you can, and ask them what they value about your opinion and why.
You can collect this evidence up for when you have moments of self-doubt about the value you bring to a conversation, project or meeting. It will give you an opportunity to reject any negative self-talk or mind-reading that be happening.
3. List three qualities about yourself that makes you good at your job.
You guessed it, more evidence gathering! This time it is based on what you perceive your qualities to be because it is always nice to hear our qualities from other people but above all we must believe in ourselves.
TASK: Go to TASK 5 in your workbook and list three qualities that make you good at your job.
Now we are going to get stuck into some of the fun stuff!
We are focusing on self-expansion and how we can use it to improve the way we see ourselves. This part isn't so much about reflecting inwards but looking outwards. Here is where you will grow!
I'll start by explaining what self-expansion is all about:
"When we engage in novel activities and acquire new skills, our sense of who we are expands, as does the number of traits we use to describe who we are. This, in turn, heightens our confidence that we can accomplish our goals, even when we're outside of our comfort zone, and it also increases our commitment to reaching our destination, no matter how tough the road."
- Rebel Talent by Francesca Gino, Professor at Harvard Business School.
Essentially, the more we put ourselves in situations where we will learn new skills and push through the initial discomfort of being a beginner we gain new skills and see ourselves in a new light. We focus on the new skill we've mastered and add it to our bank of existing skills. We expand our sense of self and confidence in our capabilities.
These activities don't have to be serious things like, signing up to an online course in excel. No judgement here if that's your idea of fun but it's not mine! They can be more practical skills, such as signing up to life drawing, beginner stand-up comedy classes or learning to plaster walls on YouTube (I'm assuming you can do that!). Get thinking on what activities you've wanted to try out but haven't got around to it.
2. How can this help me?
3. Challenge yourself to try three new activities.
TASK 6: Your challenge is to try three new activities that will push you outside your comfort zone and will encourage you to learn something new. Where possible, start to speak your mind, ask questions and actively contribute. Aim to try one new activity a week.
Bonus points if you can find one activity that is artistic, one that expands your intellectual mind and another that enhances your relational skills, i.e. connecting with other people.
As you go through each new activity, journal your thoughts and feelings through the learning process, and afterwards, go through your notes are pick out themes. Make sure you summarise your learnings about yourself and what surprised you about the experience so you can reflect on your achievements in the future.
Part 3: It's time for self-expansion.
1. What is self-expansion?
Part 4: Gain momentum.
Practice leads to progress. Start outside of work with those you trust and note how you feel.
Practice sharing your opinions in different situations and with different people outside of work. Note how you feel.
Part 5: Anticipate obstacles & plan.
Take time to visualise your ultimate goal (be specific). Now make note of how you can reach that goal and the obstacles you might face along the way.
Plan on how you'll overcome that obstacle when it happens. This will build resilience.
Practice sharing your opinions at work with those in your closest team and begin to share more widely overtime. Note your progress.
Part 6: Conclusion.
This is all about small progress. If you feel you need to take a step backwards when you experience an obstacle or dip in confidence that is normal. Make sure you keep showing up with courage and acknowledge how far you've come.
Rachel founded Rebel In Progress in 2020 to help women break the rules and advance their careers. She previously worked at the global headquarters of multiple international banks based between Canary Wharf and the City of London. She has worked for well-known banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. She teaches on positive rebellion to help women climb the corporate ranks and gain influence at the top.