Beliefs Affect Results

No matter how tough an economic environment, look around and you will see people who thrive. They innovate, create and persist in achieving their goals.

So what is the critical difference? What predicts success? Beliefs!

Beliefs act as self-fulfilling prophecies. Our experience of life is literally created by our assumptions about the nature of reality. In technical terms, we delete and distort sensory cues for evidence of what we believe to be true. We create ‘proof’ that reality operates the way we think it does. Beliefs are the filtering processes that cause some people to miss the opportunities others see.

Do your beliefs support success or are they holding you back? Monitor your self-talk. When you think about goals or mentally rehearse conversations with others, are the words positive and encouraging, or critical – of you, the situation or others?

Here’s a quick way to test this out. Pick someone you are having a conflict with. For the next week, whenever you think about this person, make a point of switching your internal dialogue. Imagine this person giving you positive feedback and hear yourself appreciating them in return. Use this before sensitive meetings. We call it ‘acting as if’ and the results can be amazing.

For beliefs about self-concept and beliefs limiting your performance Innergize offers the Breakthrough Coaching process.

Advertisements

Making 2010 your best year yet

There is still time.  So what has to happen?  The last post focused on recognizing  hidden opportunities. This one follows up with a thought provoking question.  Questions can be a powerful tool for activating your internal GPS, your Global Positioning System for achieving success.

  • The first question sets your destination. 
  • The rest lock-in the most direct path, providing detailed directions,
  • and just like using the GPS in your vehicle, questions provide ongoing feedback, a way of checking and adjusting your course from time to time.

So the question is …
What has to happen for 2010 to be your best year yet?

When was the last time you asked yourself a question like that and then thought deeply about your answer?

We may set goals, measure certain activities, even block time for specific tasks. Yet few of us take the time for deep thought about what it will take to get there. (Deep thought is the hallmark of experts.)

If you can, take a minute now and think about how you would answer the question. What comes to mind?  Write your answer down. Seeing it on paper is often an easier way of discovering the deeper meaning behind your words.

  • Is what has to happen something you’ll do, an activity or behaviour?
  • Is it a feeling or quality, like having more confidence, more energy or less stress?
  • Is there a hidden belief in what you wrote? About yourself, the people in your life or your business environment?
  • Is what has to happen within your own control? Something you can ‘do, or not do’ as Yoda would say.
  • If not, can you break it into smaller bites or contributing elements that you can control.
  • When and where will this be happening? How often? Is it something you’ll do every day? Once or twice a week? Monthly?

When you think about it logically and rationally, you probably already have the knowledge, skills and experience required. You know what to do and how to do it, right? And you may even know people who’ve achieved the results you want with less knowledge, fewer skills?

So … what are your sticking points?
What could possibly prevent you from doing what you know?

  • Distractions, lack of focus?
  • Lack of confidence during critical activities?
  • Competing priorities and time pressures?
  • Feeling overwhelmed?

‘Sticking points’ whatever you call them, drain your energy.

It’s like driving with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake.  It can feel like you’re spinning your wheels, working longer and harder just to stay in place.

So the question is, what can you do starting now, that will begin moving you through those sticking points and towards your best year yet?

You can clear some sticking points using conscious, logical left brain thinking. For more see the note below.1

What about your deeper power?
There is another option, a quicker and some would say easier way of clear sticking points – by harnessing the power of your unconscious mind and right brain processing.

It’s also more fun. Because your unconscious mind is a wizard at handling competing priorities, reducing stress and handling hot button situations that can hijack your emotions and behaviour.

So if the idea of harnessing the power of your own mind sounds interesting, check out the NLP trainers in your area or look for someone offering Performance Breakthrough Coaching process. 

1 Neuroscience has demonstrated that as much as 95% of our decisions, our emotions and what we do, is controlled by the unconscious mind,  that we simply use our conscious mind to justify decisions made outside of conscious awareness.

A thought from that perennial font of wisdom …
“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.” Anon

And one more …
“It has taken a long time for us to reach the understanding that much of what we do is not under conscious control, even though we thought that it was.”
Michael Gazzaniga, neuroscientist and author of Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Different

Spring Cleaning For Your Mind

Long winter?
Lots of slush, salt and grime splattering around too. Real and metaphorical. Enough to keep anyone’s windshield washers busy.

Now the spring urge for clean has arrived. Shining surfaces, clear windows, whether it’s your home or the vehicle you drive. Things just seem to run better after a good cleaning.

So what about your mind?
A quick couple of minutes checking out your mental vision could be time well spent. Are you clear and focused? Enjoying what you see?

A quick self-test
Grab a piece of paper and you can put it to the test. Jot down three things in your life that are important for you right now.

That done, you can easily check for sludge and slush that could be blurring your thinking, impacting your decisions. Do this by looking at your beliefs about the relationships you have with the important things/people in your life. 

Take your career.  You have a relationship with your company, with your coworkers and with your clients. You also have a relationship with the actual work you do. Which ones are most important for you?

What about family and personal relationships. Or your health? Again, jot down the most important – with your spouse, your children, your friends. 

What do you believe about those relationships? Are they getting better? Are you spending enough time with those people? What is true for you?

Once you see those beliefs in black and white, you can decide if they are useful or not. If they have a negative aspect, they are probably hindering your progress.  And if they are not moving you forward, challenge them!

Removing you own roadblocks
Now that you’ve identified the beliefs you’d like to challenge, can you take a minute and play? Run one of those beliefs through the following questions. (One belief at a time works best.) 

  • What are you focusing on when you believe that? What image comes to mind? Are you focusing on a task, a person, number or result?
  • Begin noticing what else is in that picture? Who else?
  • Now ask yourself, what is happening that you were not noticing? As you bring that ‘something else’ into focus how does it begin shifting that belief?
  • What about time? Are you focused on the short term? Then switch to the long term.
  • Ask yourself what you have learned from the feedback you’re getting – what will you do differently the next time? 
  • Now go ahead and imagine the future – one, three, even five years have passed – and you’ve been using what you learned.
  • How valuable has that feedback become over time? How much better off will you be now because of what you learned? Think about that for a minute.

Thanks for taking time to play.  Because a simple shift in perception is often enough to dissolve the sludge from our mental vision … so you can see clearly when opportunities call, and they will. 

 I’d love hearing about any ‘aha!’ discoveries you made, just don’t expect them immediately. It can take a day or two before you begin noticing you have more clarity around important issues.

And if you have a few stubborn smudge spots left, perhaps you’re ready for Performance Breakthrough Coaching, an investment in yourself!

If you have questions about the process, you can contact me at 416-492-3200,  or visit the Innergize website.

Achieving Goals With Help From Your Mind’s Eye

The February issue of Fast Company has a piece on the role visualizing plays in goal achievement. If you found the two posts on Beliefs, Wishes and Goals useful, then Make Goals Not Resolutions may be worth a look.  The second page has a simple but powerful example of the process in action and the benefits. 

Neuro-linguistics offers some excellent techniques for fine tuning the qualities of your mental images. Qualities or visual distinctions you can use to support new behaviours, change beliefs about your own capabilities, and strengthen your confidence and other resources. 

The same qualities or distinctions can also be used to render those unhealthy foods we find way too tempting into something less attractive. Think of dressing up your favorite food, perhaps chocolate, so that it becomes as compelling as liver. Hummm … perhaps not. What about seeing it as something you can enjoy, just in small quantities.  Better!

Beliefs, wishes and goals – part 2

Testing your goals – how committed are you?
You have plans for 2008, important goals you want achieved.  Yet have you given any thought to how much of your success will depend on what you believe? And the strengths of those beliefs? 

More important than the level of your skills
What you believe about your ability to go out and make those goals happen will impact your results. What you sort of believe doesnt count! Maybe doesn’t count! Only firm beliefs will give you the determination and conviction to keep going when you hit resistance. Or obstacles. Any goal worth achieving will have a few obstacles.

What self talk reveals …
Listen to the questions you ask yourself.  The questions that dominate your self-talk shape your future.  Are your questions loaded with why? Why did this happen, why didn’t that happen? 
Questions like …

  • Why didn’t I get that opportunity when I worked so hard for it?
  • Why did that person fail to recognize the value I offer?
  • Why do I always seem to lose my focus just when things are going well? 
  • Why do I find (fill in the blank) so intimidating?
  • Why did I make such a (fill in the blank) decision?

Why questions focus on the past – the one thing you can’t change! Better to focus on now and the future you want using what and how questions. 
Questions like …

  • What do I want to create? 
  • How am I going to do it? 
  • What do I already have going for me that I can build on? 
  • What is the best next step? And how can I accomplish that?
  • What positive outcome could that person be trying to achieve by doing that behaviour? And how can I help them to be more effective? 

Driving with one foot on the brake
Finally, if you’re feeling a little stuck when logically, rationally, you have everything you need to get going? Perhaps it’s time to consider a coach.  There are comfortable, quick and effective ways to get you moving when you’re ready.

Just a suggestion
A coach trained in neuro-linguistics can help you turn weak beliefs and wishes into conviction, share a nifty technique for handling competing priorities, and align the values driving your goals for maximum motivation.  However you do it, here’s a wish that you get your 2008 off on a running start and have a terrific year!
 

Beliefs, wishes and goals!

A new year, a fresh start …
And I’ve decided I’ll be a more consistent blogger. Perhaps not better. Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it’s at least a step in the right direction. 

Have you decided where you’re headed this year?
So, do you have plans? Important goals for 2008? And are they really big enough? Because if you shoot for the stars and fall a little short, at least you’ll land on the moon.

Can you get there from here?
Will what you’re doing now move you forward fast enough and in the right direction? If not, what are you planning to do differently?  I have a friend who is fond of telling his team 
If things don’t change around here, we’re going to end up where we’re headed!” And he could be right. So be sure that where you’re headed is where you really want to go!

Do you really believe you can do it?
Believing you have the ability to make it happen is essential. Do you think you should be able to achieve your objective because others have done it, but you’re not absolutely sure? Then it’s a probably more like a wish than a belief.

Beliefs – a call to action
If it’s just a wish masquerading as a belief you’re unlikely to make the consistent effort needed to achieve your goals.  Action level is the true measure of the strength of your beliefs. Do you act as if they are true? 

Test yourself – belief or wish?
Ask yourself, if you truly believed your plans were going to come to fruition, what would you be doing right now?  What one idea can you begin to put into action now, that gets you started?

Next up
What your self talk can reveal about beliefs. Or is it only a wish? Coming soon (see opening paragraph.)

Mental Filters, Unconscious Blind Spots And Motivation

Last week during a sales workshop on influencing motivation, the importance of beliefs came up. As it usually does. Because beliefs play a major role in how we perceive and make mental maps of our experience.  

The cliché ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ should actually be reversed!  ‘You’ll see it when you believe it!’
 

Synchronicity being what it is, Fast Company (a favorite business magazine) sent out a fast fact link on the same subject, same day.  I shared it with the workshop participants and thought you might enjoy it too. 

The Seeing/Believing Gap | by Marcia L. Conner
What you see may be only a fraction of what’s there. To
learn more, look beyond what you expect.
http://trax.fastcompany.com/k/w/mailman/fasttake/20071010/seebelieve

On a similar note, here’s a quote attributed to Buddha on the subject of judgmental thinking: “There is nothing to judge because perception can only see illusion. Perception is always partial and limited to arbitrary context.”