A very competent client once told me how she falls apart when dealing with upper management. She suddenly blurts out the wrong words, fails to make a cohesive point, and leaves in what she feels is a pool of offensive sweat.

Some version of this happens to many of us. Perfectly confident people regress to a younger version of themselves when engaging with an authority figure. This unfortunate high-jacking of our adult consciousness can keep us stuck in many ways until we learn how to manage our response to authority figures.

If this happens to you, here is a quick tip. Level the playing field. See everybody as a corporate citizen, or a global one. If we don’t put another person above us, we won’t activate childhood feelings that can make us clamor to be liked, loved, or seen. Think of your boss as having a different role. You are equally important as a human being. Just ask a family member, or a good friend, and take back the wheel from that smaller part of you.

Written by : Susy Bias

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  1. Kristy January 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Dawn,

    I read your weekly blogs religiously and want to thank you for sharing them. This one stands out for me, because I do it all the time! I automatically feel less qualified, less deserving, etc. when surrounded by senior levels. The corporate citizen comment absolutely resonates with me, and I’m going to start taking advantage of that tip. Such a simple adjustment in my thinking that might make all the difference! Thanks again for passing along!


    • dawnkohler January 13, 2016 at 5:29 pm - Reply


      So glad that it resonates for you. It really is amazing what a shift in perception can do to help us better manage a situation. Please let me know how it goes and thank you for being a reader!

  2. Jindra Hrdlicka January 25, 2016 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    I love this expression “and take back the wheel from that smaller part of you.”
    But, how can you be aware that the smaller part of me is at the wheel ?
    I only recognize it after the “accident”

    • dawnkohler January 25, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply


      That is such a great question! We find out when the smaller part of self is at the wheel by looking back at our life. When was it clear she was in the drivers seat? How did you feel and act during those times? When you find yourself acting in a similar manner, stop the car! Walk away from the vehicle, take some deep breaths and look for the high road. Bring in the best version of self (you can find her in your history too) and act on her behalf.

      Thanks for the question. Great hearing from you.

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