All along you thought it was the economy, your competitors, your education or your boss getting in the way.
Then one day you discover it’s you. This doesn’t make 1 ounce of sense.
We spent countless hours working, in dreaming of how we want our life to be. We spend a ton of effort trying to get what we want, in the way that we want so we can live happier and more productive lives.
Why do so many people struggle to build a life that they want?
I’m not sure why that’s happening for you. But I can share what was getting in the way for Marcy (not her real name) one of my clients.
Marcy knew with certainty that she is gonna build a great company. Every ounce of her being was focused on doing just that. She built a good company but nowhere close to being a great company. One day she realized the problem wasn’t external, something within her was blocking her progress.
This is what we discovered…
Marcy knew there was a better more confident version of herself waiting to come out. Marcy 2.0 had an amazing staff around her. People that were committed, people that had passion, people that did whatever it took to get the job done. Her customers loved her and consistently sent her referrals. Her family life was richer and more fulfilling.
Her current reality
Somewhere deep in Marcy’s unconscious mind, she had a belief that was getting in the way. “Who are my I?”, this one thought kept getting in the way of her being bolder. This one thought, caused her to doubt herself in challenging situations. This one thought, made her procrastinate in critical areas. This one thought was standing between her and the amazing Marcy 2.0.
Well underneath that thought, “Who am I?” was a belief that “I am a fraud.” If only Marcy had a better education, she would deserve to build a life that she wanted. If only Marcy had better connections, she would be able to get ahead faster. If only Marcy was better looking, people would help her move ahead faster.
Using Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) I was able to help Marcy transform that old limiting belief into a new empowering one. I deserve success, became the new belief that allowed her to set aside the negative dialogue that had been sabotaging her efforts. I deserve success, allowed her to be bolder in her business dealings. I deserve success, allowed her to be more confident with her staff. I deserve success, allowed her to wholeheartedly go after her dream.
I’m not sure where you are in your life right now. But I do know if you are not getting the results you want, you need to figure it out. If you don’t know where you are they have a phrase for that, it’s called being lost. People never have a problem with the destination. They know what the dream is and know they are supposed to get out of it once they arrive. They know how amazing its gonna feel when they do get there.
But if you don’t know where you are you have no idea what direction to go in.
Take my self-assessment quiz and figure out where you are in life right now. From this foundation, you will be able to get the bearings you need to set out on the journey to build the life that you want.
I had them trapped!
Well, not really, I was leading a breakout session at the Chesapeake Human Resource Association’s Spring Conference (@ChesapeakeHRA). There were about 120 HR professionals attending my session. At one point in my presentation, I asked them to describe a highly effective team. What are the attributes and attitudes that these team members possess that allow them to deliver exceptional results?
This is what they came up with:
A Great Team
Then I asked them what are the attitudes and attributes that best describe an average team.
An Average Team
Keeping the Status Quo
Just Doing the Basics
Not Having Fun
No Real Leadership
I shared my hypothesis with the attendees. When a great team takes on a project they deliver exceptional results. An average team will deliver average results on the same project due to team dysfunction. My point here is that team dysfunction (office politic) causes lower productivity.
I asked the attendees to take a quick two question survey.
Question one, what percentage of productivity is lost due to team dysfunction?
Question two, how much does this impact corporate culture (a little, medium, or a lot)?
48 of the attendees took the survey.
Eleven of the attendees thought that team dysfunction cost the organization 70% in lost productivity. Overall the group guesstimated the impact of team dysfunction was 57%.
73% of the group thought team dysfunction had a large negative impact on the organization’s culture. With only 27% thinking there would be a medium impact. No one thought that team dysfunction had a low impact on the culture.
These findings are not scientific but are instructive. This data came from HR professionals that are on the front lines every day. When we allow team dysfunction to go unaddressed we pay dearly in lost productivity, lost revenue and higher costs. Additionally, it undermines the corporate culture that leads to our best people leaving.
All of this creates a downward spiral that becomes harder to turn-around the longer we allow it to exist.
I never thought so. I mean why would it?
Should I really share my private thoughts with another?
What possible good would it do to reveal my vulnerability?
Here are three data points to consider:
I was reading Jonny Cash’s biography (it’s worth the read by the way). In it, he talks about his days in the Air Force during WWII. He was stationed in Germany as an intercept operator.
It was common place for girls back home to break up with their enlisted boyfriends. Can you imagine the impact of getting a Dear John letter? There are many ways to handle this type of rejection. Share the heartache with a friend or carry the burden oneself.
The Air Force troops used an imaginative third option.
GI’s who received a Dear John letter would stand up on a chair in the mess hall and read it out loud so everyone knew about the kiss-off.
It turns out if everyone knows, there was no shame because many of them had gone through the same ordeal themselves. The sharing garnered a lot of support, whiskey, and encouragement to find another love opportunity.
Sharing the news (truth) allowed the GI’s to let go of the past faster and move on.
This morning I was listening to On Being a fabulous podcast hosted by Krista Tippett (@KristaTippett).
She asked 2 questions that were of interest to me:
What is something in the other group’s thinking that you like?
What is something in your group’s thinking that makes you feel uncomfortable?
In letting the other group know what you like about their agenda you reveal something about yourself. You make it clear that you are listening to them. And you create the possibility of building a bridge between you and them.
By letting the other side know something that you are uncomfortable with in your own group’s agenda you show your openness to finding a better solution. Once again this creates an opportunity to build a bridge with the other group.
There is a scene I vaguely remember from Crocodile Dundee (1986 movie). Dundee is telling Sue (his love interest) why they don’t need Psychiatrists back in his small town.
If anyone has a problem they tell Walter (his sidekick).
Sue asks, “Is he a therapist?” Dundee answers, “No, he’s a gossip. He tells everyone else in the village about your problem. When everyone knows, you have nothing to hide. Problem solved!”
The Power Of Truth
We spend so much time, effort and psychic energy keeping our secrets. Most of the time the only person that really care is us. And the FBI, my advice it’s best to keep them out of it.
To me, these three examples highlight the value of sharing what you are really thinking or what you are going through. Rather than weakening your position, it has the power to strengthen it.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section
Sandra is a highly successful entrepreneur that is doing a good job. The frustration for Sandra is that she knows that she could be exceptional, but something has her stuck.
No matter how much she wants it or how hard she works she remains at the same level of performance.
When she came in to see me, I asked her what she wants to achieve in her business and in her life. She told me, “I want to accomplish more and be less anxious all the time.” As Sandra was telling me this she talked with passion and made powerful gestures with her left hand to make her points. When I asked her what seems to get in the way she switched hands and told me how she feels stuck no matter what she does.
I noticed was that when she talks about achieving her potential she uses has a strong voice and uses strong gestures with her left hand. Conversely, when she told me about not achieving greatness her voice becomes weaker and she used weaker gestures with her right hand.
As soon as I saw this duality in voice and gesture behavior I knew she that two parts of her psyche were in conflict. One part is driving her towards success and the other is putting on the brakes. There is a powerful tool from the world of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) that resolves this type of inner conflict effectively.
In about 60 minutes, I was able to resolve this internal conflict that had her stymied. Later that day, I got a phone call from Sandra. She said, “The biggest change that I have noticed is that my level of stress in way down. And the tension I usually hold in my shoulders has been gone all day.”
That is what I love about NLP. It helps people get the change they want extremely quickly!
You want to do better in life. You have hopes, dreams, and desires. You can see your future and have a plan to get there. When you’re truly confident you turn to your support network and find the dream killers. Many of these people have your best interest at heart. And they feel compelled to stop you before you make an insurmountable mistake.
To them it’s better you live a mediocre life than suffer the pain and humiliation of failure.
Motivational gurus, success coaches, and online charlatans will tell you to stay away from the naysayers, “Their negativity is poison to your dreams.”
Before you turn your back on the naysayers and go it alone, ask yourself is there a lesson here.
The way I see it, these ministers of doom and gloom are fantastic at what they do. I mean, they are rocks stars in negativity.
They have the following attributes:
Conviction – they truly believe their predictions of doom and gloom are real. And nothing in the world is gonna change their mindset.
Tenacity – they are true believers and adhere to the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up!”
Flexibility – no matter how many new ways you have of explaining why your idea is worthwhile. They will come up with as many, if not more reasons why your idea will fail and result in misery and a lonely painful death.
Just imagine, if you could master these three elements and use them for good. You would have the conviction that nothing in the world is going to stop you from achieving your goal. You would have the tenacity to keep going until you achieve success. You have the flexibility to overcome any obstacle that’s thrown your way.
Think of it this way, you are studying the Sith Lord’s skill set to become a master Jedi.
Let’s get one thing straight, figuratively speaking, you will get kicked in the balls. I mean that’s what life’s about right. You have hopes and dreams and a bunch of setbacks tries to derail them. Right?
What separates successful people from ones that never quite make it is their mindset. This is true whether you’re in sales, leadership or just trying to get ahead in life. The stronger your mindset, the more clarity you have on what you really want to achieve. The stronger your mindset, the more likely you are to get up and keep going when life kicks you in the balls.
Last Week, I was attending a presentation at the Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES) and heard Arnold Sanow (motivational speaker) present. Arnold shared a simple mindhack that allows you to get a stronger mindset. What I call a success mindset. Before I get to his tip I wanted to set the stage.
1. Prospective – when you have a success mindset it gives you a different perspective on any situation. You just look at it from a different point of view than the rest of humanity. This perspective allows you to find solutions that other people usally miss.
2. Action v. Inaction – it’s only human nature to freeze in a challenging situation. We’ve all heard of the fight or flight response, the first step in that process is the freeze response, this gives us the ability to figure out whether to fight like hell or run like hell.
When we look at a situation that’s dire most people focus on the negative consequences. This causes people to freeze. But when you have a success mindset you’re looking for the opportunities hidden within the tragedy. The opportunity becomes a beacon of hope allows you to take the first step forward to make things better.
3. Happiness – when you have a success mindset you are a happier person. Out of all the possibilities that could possibly happen you are focusing on the ones that lead to success. I’m not sure about you but that makes me happy. And happier people look for opportunities to be happier. A self-fulfilling prophecy to be sure.
4. Problem solver – having a success mindset makes you more likely to come up with a solution. And that my friend is the essence of problem-solving looking at the problem and seeing a path to solving it.
5. Resilient – having a success mindset gives you the certainty that there is a solution that will get you out of this predicament. That certainty allows you to get up and keep going in situations where most people would give up. Resiliency is a common trait that the world’s most successful people all share. Never giving up, works.
6. Resource – when you have a success mindset you get a track record of solving seemingly unsolvable problems. For many people, this results in their peers seeing them as a resource that they can use when they get stuck. As you help other people think with a success mindset you spread this philosophy like a virus making your community stronger.
7. Success focused – the stronger your success mindset becomes the better results you deliver. Your success mindset build your confidence so you have a new way of being. This allows you to dream big dreams. This allows you to set higher expectations for yourself. All of this leads to you having the sense of knowing that you are going to do great things. Further strengthening your success mindset.
Arnold Sanow’s Tip
So this is what Arnold shared with us that day. There is always a flip side to every situation. In every negative thing that happens, you can look at the flip side.
For example, we have all heard stories about someone who gets cancer. Rather than focusing on cancer or death, they focus on who they are, “Am I a good person?” They focus on their relationships with the people they care about, their work and their place in the world.
This new focus changes who they are fundamentally. Many times this reset (re-mission) results in a remission of their cancer. I’m not sure about you but I think the two are connected.
The flipside is a tool that you can use to build a stronger success mindset.
It would be huge, right?
Well, I’m going to show you how to know what people are thinking, without holding a séance. Before we get down to business, let me give you a few data points that will set the stage for this discussion.
Visual Create (Vc) – When people look up to their right they are creating visual images
Visual Recall (Vr) – When people look up to their left they are recalling visual images (things that they have seen before)
Auditory Create (Ac) – When people to their right ear they are creating an auditory (sound, voice, music,…)
Auditory Recall (Ar) – When people to their left ear they are recalling an auditory (sound, voice, music,…)
Feelings (F) – When people look down to their right they are accessing a feeling (emotional or tactile). for example, it could be an emotion like happiness or the feeling of touching wet cement.
Thinking (T) – When people to down and to their left they engaging in inner-dialog (talking to themselves or thinking)
94% of the population is wired (like the above chart), with Vc, AC and F to the right and Vr, Ar, T to the left. The other 6% has these indicators reversed so Vr, Ar and T are to the right and Vc, Ac and F are to the left.
This is how you can determine which way a person is wired
The easiest way to determine how someone is wired is to ask them a question that forces them to recall a visual memory. For example, If I asked you what color is your front door you would unconsciously access a visual memory to recall the color. If you looked up to the right I would know you are wired like the 6%.