How well do you know your internal team? I’m not asking about the team you play on or your team at work. I’m asking about your personal internal team … or the voices existing within us. You might recognize them under their assumed names like The Prover, The Judge, The Pessimist, The Avoider, The Victim, The Doubter, etc. Be darned if they aren’t inclined to jump out at inconvenient times during the day and our lives in general. I definitely have one of my own and have also met those of my coaching clients even before they might be aware of them. Our personal teams can be supportive of what we want to do or … readily protest loudly if where we want to go works against what they think is best for us. I know … it sounds a bit weird yet think about it. On any given day we can plan to pitch a prospective customer on a product we sell, we can plan to ask the boss for a raise or we might even be planning on asking someone for help. We are clear about what WE want to do and accomplish. Yet that voice appears (your inside team member) that cautions you, tells you don’t deserve the sale or the raise or the help – the voice that yells STOP.
Here’s the great news. We can actually learn to control the inside ‘folks’ so that what we want can happen without
being derailed by some one of the internal team members. For the past 10 days we have all seen the news about Mohammed Ali. NBC news described him as “the silver-tongued boxer and civil rights champion who famously proclaimed himself “The Greatest” and then spent a lifetime living up to the billing”. I think of him as the ultimate in self-management. In most every way what we heard him say and saw him do reflected a person who truly learned how to master his team in ways that enabled him to be the person he chose to be. This was so often evident in the ‘Ali-isms’ that he spewed very liberally such as:
- If you even dream of beating me, you better wake up and apologize.’
- “Not only do I knock’ em out, I pick the round.”
- “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
- “Live every day like it’s your last because someday you’re going to be right.”
So who among us doesn’t want to drink that cool-aid? Remembering that although we can’t eliminate our personal teams, we can control them, it’s really not that difficult following these 4 straight-forward steps:
- First, recognize when our own goal has been hijacked by a team member. Thus, controlling our own team becomes the key to achieving our choices.
- Second, we need to understand what the internal team member is trying to tell us. What is the concern of that voice?
- Third, when we feel that we understand the concern, it becomes a matter of providing self-explanation of our true reasoning and the benefit that we will realize once we have achieved the goal … reasoning that we actually believe and that drives us.
- Fourth, put conscious limits on how, when and where we will give any team member the ability to voice a thought, caution or concern. Remember that YOU are in charge. At the same time recognize when another team member is trying to take over.
Easy right? It actually is once, we recognize the reality that we do, in fact, have an internal team. It will take practice. The motivation is our strong desire to achieve whatever it is that is important to us. To the extent that we can learn to recognize and take control over our own, personal internal ‘teams’, we, too, can come to view ‘impossible’ in Ali’s terms … as nothing.
Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”