What type of music is playing in your mind?

What type of music is playing in your mind as an international leader and how do you handle it?

The mind has a tendency to play worst-case scenarios.

Epic music of potential catastrophe.

Orchestral manoeuvres in the dark.


Here are some examples I’ve heard in my career as a Coach:

If I speak up and don’t say “the right thing” in “the right way”:

– I’ll ruin my credibility.

– I’ll lose the client.

– I won’t get the job.

– I won’t be able to handle it.


I call the above “scary-clown” thoughts.

Perfect for Halloween and horror movies like “It”.

But not every week at work.


Whereas, this is what generally happens:

After we speak in a foreign language, we do 1 of 2 things:

1/ We tell ourselves something about what we said and how we said it.


2/ We hear someone say something about what we said and we tell ourselves something about that.


We attach a “good”, “bad” or “neutral” label to it.

In other words, we have a thought about it.

And we often continue the overthinking. For a while.


So in actual fact, the worst-case scenario when communicating in a foreign language is always this:

A thought. Our scary-clown thought.


So what can help?

Remember this:

If we remove the red curly wig, nose and make-up from scary clowns,

we can see them for what they are: an actor pretending to be scary.

And it’s the same with scary-clown thoughts.


When we become aware of the make-up – the story we are making up in our mind,

we can recognise those thoughts for what they are:

images and words that we are choosing to scare ourselves with. Not reality.


And sometimes, just that realization is enough to step back and get us moving.


My own experience:

At the start of my business 9 years ago, my scary-clown thought was:

“I’m not good enough yet”.

The funny thing is that it was me who found out something.

I found out that I was always as good as I needed to be in the moment.

And my confidence sprouted from there. And grew. With each client.


Yes, scary-clown thoughts still come knocking. It’s normal.

And when they do, it helps when I remind myself of this:

🔸 They are part of having a human brain. Nothing is wrong.

🔸 I get to decide what I do with the scary clowns:

1. I can open the door and sit with the thought for a while. Noticing.

2. I can allow myself to get lost in it for a set time. Then stop. BECAUSE it’s a story.

3. I can wave through the window with a knowing smile and tell it: not today.


In all those scenarios, I’m in charge. Not them.

So the next time you feel that familiar feeling.

Remember my scary-clown concept.

And have a little chuckle at their red noses. You can’t miss them. 😉


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin


Analogies really help me to remember how my brain works.

And you?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.