“Each day we listen to our inner voice as if it knows reality, without realising that it is usually the blocker to a better reality.”
“There is one specific thing that blocks us.”
These words were from the mouth of a pioneer in the field of leadership and innovation, and he was about to reveal one of the key insights from over 15 years of research.
The venue was a large hotel conference room in Cape Cod. I was sitting at the back of the room and was surrounded by about 80 people from all corners of the globe. We were attending a week long program hosted by MIT, consistently one of the top universities in the world.
The focus of the program was the exploration of new models for leadership, innovation and creativity. The team of researchers had spent countless hours studying and working with top entrepreneurs, leaders and innovative companies internationally.
It was a pivotal experience for me for a few reasons. One of them was that is was a validation of my own experience. They were giving me language for what I had seen first-hand in my own life and that of my clients.
A couple of moments really stood out from that time in Cape Cod. The first was at the beginning of the program and the second was at the very end.
The first moment relates to the line above (I’ll share the second next week). It was spoken in relation to what the researchers had discovered as being the single biggest blocker to creating better results for people, organisations and the world at large.
The ‘one specific thing’ was this:
A lack of awareness of the inner voice and the hold it has on us.
In particular, the researchers highlighted three expressions of that inner voice:
- The voice of judgement.
- The voice of cynicism.
- The voice of fear.
Our inner voice is very sneaky. It’s there influencing you often when you think it isn’t, usually in the shadows at the back of your mind.
What I’ve seen from over 25 years of helping leaders, is that even the best of the best will be affected by the inner voice – but in particular the voice of fear.
- Fear failure
- Fear of trying something new
- Fear of starting again
- Fear of speaking up
- Fear of changing something
- Fear of loss
- Fear of showing the real you
- Fear of being able to handle something
- Fear of change
- Fear of ‘X’ where ‘X’ is whatever is holding back your clarity, fulfilment and potential.
Take a few minutes today and reflect on where fear is showing up in your world. Then ask yourself how sure you can be that what the inner voice is telling you is true. The opportunity is perhaps in feeling the fear, and taking action regardless.
See what you discover.
PS – I explore some angles on the voice of fear in my latest podcast episode, out today. Available on all major podcasting platforms. You can listen on my website here.
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