Andrew has been building his practice as a financial advisor for about 18 months after quite a few years of working in other roles in the industry. I coached him last year and was catching up with him this week. His update sounded like this: “I’m really good once I meet people at building the relationship and turning that into business. My problem is I’m not good at meeting new people.”
It struck me that this was something he’d shared in a pre-coaching survey over a year ago. It also struck me that this is only Andrew’s belief about himself. It occurred to me that it’s like every belief you and I have: whatever we believe becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I decided to point this out to him: “You’ve been saying this about yourself since we started working together. I’d urge you not to buy into this anymore. It limits how many people you can help. It doesn't serve you to see yourself this way.”
He replied by saying: “That’s a great insight. What’s funny is that I was just talking to my manager about this and telling him I was getting better at this.” Yet, he was still describing himself in the same old way.
The most inspiring thought I had this week was along these lines. You are always just one new thought, one fresh belief, one powerful decision away from completely changing your trajectory and how you see yourself.
The thing about beliefs is that you believe them whether they are true or not. You seek proof every day to confirm a belief and fail to notice or choose to ignore anything that doesn’t support a belief.
Let’s start with a trivial matter, such a player on your favorite team that you don’t think is very good. When s/he does something mediocre, you notice it every time, reinforcing your belief. “Here we go again,” you grumble to yourself. “Don’t they have anyone better to play in that position?” But, when s/he does something with skill and savvy, well, you disregard this as luck or a ‘one off’ and continue only to notice their flaws. On a grander scale, you do it with family members too – you only notice their imperfections when you’re upset with them rather than the helpful and caring things they do.
And you do it to yourself. The most common unhelpful sales belief is: “I never have enough high-quality prospects.” This guarantees your outcome almost every time. Your brain is always busy amassing the evidence. You rarely get resourceful about resolving your dilemma. When you make a special effort (perversely, really, to ‘prove’ you’re right), you either don’t do it long enough or get discouraged easily because this supports your belief!
Could it be this simple to turn your old, unempowering belief upside down and then obstinately only notice proof that your new belief is true? Neuroscience would say that if you have a well-traveled thought (neural pathway) engrained in your brain, it will take time and repetition to build a new one. But gradually, that old pathway will weaken because of neglect, and your new one will become the new default pathway in time. That’s how neural pathways are formed.
Your motivation and activity will help to reinforce the new pathway and get you back on track more quickly after something discouraging happens. Gradually you will see more proof that your new belief is true.
You can believe whatever you want – about your prospecting situation, your relationships, or any other area of your life. And if you think that sounds far-fetched, look at politics and world leaders of every persuasion. They believe whatever they want and only see what they want to see. When Churchill talked tough against Hitler in 1940, when things looked bleak for England, he wasn’t basing his belief on logic.
Leaders like Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk believe whatever they want and so did that man who was standing at the traffic light intersection with a cardboard sign asking for money yesterday. That’s what the optimist and the pessimist do. They are all ‘right’ according to them. It is exactly the same for you and me.
The world is a mirror that merely reflects what’s going on inside you.
Changing your belief/s is usually a process, and there is no assured timeline. It helps to take a leap of faith as Churchill did. It helps to believe in God/a universal intelligence – not least to seek higher inspiration outside the limits of your current thinking. Logic probably won’t get you there: that’s the home of the small-playing ego.
Everything starts with your thoughts and beliefs. They prompt you to have feelings that motivate you to take action that generate your results.
Consider taking the time very soon to question beliefs that limit you in areas of your life where you don’t love the results you’re getting.
Then complete this sentence: If I can believe whatever I want, I want to believe…
It’s your choice. Then laser in on only noticing what proves your new belief to be true.
Remember: Your beliefs determine how you live.
To empowered beliefs!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121