January is often the time of year when we enthusiastically set new goals and resolutions for the next 11 months. The question is though; do you believe 100% that you will achieve them? Or is there some nagging doubt, a quiet little voice that says “Ha! You’ll never achieve that”?
February is often the time of year when we start to listen to that voice. The reason many people fail to achieve the goals they have set for themselves is usually not through lack of effort or even ability, but through lack of belief.
When you set goals for yourself, you need to believe 3 things:
- It IS possible to achieve them
- You ARE ABLE to achieve them
- You DESERVE to achieve them.
Although on the surface you may think, well of course I deserve to achieve my goals, but the truth is many of us have very deep seated beliefs around what we think we deserve to have and be. And because these beliefs were created unconsciously we may not even be aware that they are sabotaging our success and limiting our potential.
What are beliefs?
Beliefs are our personal rules for life based on our personal experience. And they are just that, beliefs; they are not facts or universal truths as some might think.
For example some people might believe that having a good education is the only way to get on in life whilst others may believe that drive and purpose are much more important. Some people may believe that work should be hard, whilst others believe that the best work shouldn’t feel like work at all!
A belief can make or break whether you actually achieve your goals. No matter how exciting or desirable a goal may seem on the surface, if you hold an unresourceful belief around achieving it, then it’s likely to sabotage how, or indeed whether, you achieve your goal. The results that you have achieved in your life so far and will achieve in the future depend very much on your beliefs.
Some of the following may resonate with you as beliefs that you hold or that you hear others preach as being ‘truths’ about life:
- No pain – no gain
- Money is the root of all evil
- I’m not talented enough
- ‘They’ are better than me
- I’ll never be rich
- Success takes a very long time
- Work should be hard
Do you hold any of these beliefs or something similar? Does holding these beliefs make your life easier or more challenging? Do they make you feel lacking in something or more abundant? Do they boost your self esteem or sap your confidence? These beliefs are only true if you behave as though they are!
The Thinker and the Prover
Another way of explorer these beliefs is through a concept that Robert Anton Wilson discusses in his book Prometheus Rising. Robert models the mind as having two main parts; a Thinker and a Prover. He says that the Thinker is very flexible, and can think any number of things. The thinker can think that money is scarce or that all poor people are lazy. It can think all rich people are greedy; it can think everyone has unlimited potential. The thinker can think that everyone struggles in a recession.
So, what about the Prover?! Whatever the Thinker thinks, the Prover will look for evidence to support it. If a person thinks that all success comes at a price, the Prover will sort through their experience to find evidence to support that idea. They will look for evidence of successful people who they think have ‘paid a price’ for their achievements. If your Thinker thinks that it’s impossible to make money doing what you love then your Prover will continually look for and find evidence that supports what you think.
If you think that you are unlimited, you Prover will show that to be true!
Perhaps as you are reading this, you might be having some ‘ah ha’ moments about the behaviours of your own Thinker and Prover!
This concept allows you to understand just how powerful your beliefs are in either helping you to achieve what you want or in sabotaging your success. Remember, your beliefs are not universal truths, but your model of how you think the world is or ‘think’ it should be.
The key to recognising whether your beliefs are supporting or sabotaging your goals is awareness. Whenever you set a goal for yourself, check in with your beliefs. Listen in to that quiet little voice that may be either whispering beautiful words of encouragement and motivation or metaphorically tying a noose around the neck of your goals!
The great thing about beliefs though is that you can change them! Once you have identified the key beliefs that are stopping you achieving your goals then you can set about defining and installing more resourceful ones.
For a light-hearted and inspirational guide to running your business download my free Bear Necessities of Running a Business ebook
About the author: Jenny Littlejohn is the founder of Big Strides and Big Strides 4 Business. She is passionate about giving small business owners the confidence and knowledge to market their businesses with courage, flair and creativity. As both a business coach and marketer, Jenny loves helping people to do the things they previously thought were too complex, scary or totally out of their comfort zones.
Jenny also literally takes big strides with her clients; taking their coaching and strategic sessions outdoors into local countryside and parks where inspiration is unlimited! www.bigstrides4business.co.uk InspiredPreneur Blog www.bigstrides4business.co.uk/blog