Have you always felt deep down inside that you are capable of so much more? If you do you’re not alone.
Most of us have an innate sense that we are capable of far more than we have yet we remain confused by what stops us and conflicted by what we need to do to make it happen. I work in the field of personal and professional development, primarily in the financial services industry and deal every day with clients looking to implement the process of change that will lead to success. The truth is that the greatest challenge any of us will face throughout life is the impact of the information we take in and the experiences we have over decades that create the voice of doubt. Know this. You and I and everyone were born with a perfect belief system.
It is the experiences of life that begin to turn belief into doubt which in turn creates our greatest challenge. A view into how this happens is evidenced in a study by the University of Iowa, which showed that the average 2 year old hears 438 negative comments per day compared to just 36 positive ones. That equates to almost 160,000 negative comments per year. The cumulative affect of this over time is what is responsible for turning belief into doubt. “You can’t do this and you can’t do that. This is too hard. That’s not likely. You don’t have the money or the education or the knowledge or this”!
A question that I ask every audience I speak to puts the achievement of goals into a clear perspective. The question is “If you set a goal, find out what is necessary to achieve it, begin to invest in the activity and you don’t stop is any goal possible”? The answer every time is a resounding “yes”. Ask yourself this then. Do you believe this to be true? If you answered yes in effect what you are acknowledging is that any goal is possible if you don’t stop.
At the core level what we believe generally turns out well. When we bring a doubt into a process or activity the results are often negative. The absolute, given that we were not born with doubt is that it is entirely possible to turn any doubt into a belief. In pursuit of a goal, any goal what ultimately happens is that we stop. At the outset we define a goal, find out what is necessary to achieve it, begin to invest in the activity and then somewhere along the continuum we stop. It is developing a clear understanding of the ability to stop stopping that will allow for the completion of any goal. The question then must be, “What stops us”?
This is the element of personal and professional development that fascinates me the most. As we begin to invest in the activity to achieve a goal, (grow our business, improve health, improve relationships) we encounter unexpected challenges. The journey between two points after all is never a straight line.
There will always be obstacles that crop up along the way. It could be a client who cancelled, the economy that hits a bad stretch, a car that breaks down or any number of unanticipated occurrences. As we encounter these challenges the voice in our head begins to raise doubt about the process and the potential of our success. “I didn’t know the economy would turn down. I didn’t know the client would cancel. I didn’t know the car repair would set me back. I thought I would be further”.
Over time doubts are created until we make the decision it’s not working and we stop. We cease the activity that was moving us towards our goal. This is what happens to everyone who does not achieve a goal. So lets examine what stops us. Was it a barrier we could not get past or overcome? The answer is no. The economy rebounded, the client re-booked, the car was fixed and yet the experience of the challenge created doubt that ultimately led to the decision to stop. Think about this very clearly. In effect this is what stops us.
It was a thought! That’s all. No more than a thought. A thought that it wasn’t working and a thought that we should have been further and so we stop. Lets examine then what a thought is. A thought is the storage of a piece of information based on a past experience that is no longer here. That is what stops us. If you were to call a client two weeks ago to book a meeting and the client was rude and said, “You people in financial services need to get a real job” and slammed the phone down, that experience would be stored in the subconscious mind. Then two weeks later you pick up the phone to call another client and the audio track of the bad call would play in your mind, impacting your belief in this next call or possibly causing you to put the phone back down and not even make it.
Here’s the question, “Are you calling the same guy back”? The answer is that we are calling a completely different person yet the storage of the information from a past experience steals away the potential success of this call. The challenges that we face in this country are not real, they are psychological. We are not living in Syria or Haiti where real barriers do exist. We can overcome a thought. A thought after all that is based on nothing more than a past experience that is no longer here. Understand that this is the absolute. We are all capable of so much more than the mind is currently willing to allow you to believe.
If you set a goal, find out what’s necessary to achieve it, begin to invest in the activity and you don’t stop any goal is possible. So adopt this philosophy as your own and make the commitment to stop stopping. Know that what stands between you and everything you are deserving of is all in your head.
Randy Taylor is an expert in the area of personal growth and leadership. Through his own personal experiences he has developed a dynamic new leadership philosophy and written a book of the same name called “Life Before Can’t”. Visit Randy at TaylorMadeLeadership.com
-what would are your thoughts on the ideas above?