Strategy & personal development

Did you know that the secret to success is all in your mind?

Yes really, it is. Most of us dream about being successful and achieving our goals, whether that’s on a business or personal level. It might be, for example, that you’ve set your sights on running a thriving business, driving a prestige car, owning a lovely home, or something more physical like climbing to base camp at Mount Everest; maybe all of these  

So what’s stopping you? It’s not time or ability that’s holding you back rather it’s your mindset. As a business coach one of the areas I often work on with my clients is getting their mindset right for success. This takes time, effort and self-knowledge.

There are two exercises which I’ll go through below that can help focus your mind on success and also help you to understand your behaviour traits and make the changes you need. Working your way through these steps helps to bring you greater self-understanding and knowledge, and ultimately gives you the tools to ensure you achieve your current goals and then some.  

Step One – idealisation, verbalisation, visualisation and materialisation

Idealisation – Close your eyes and dream. Take the time to really pin point what it is you want to achieve, whether that’s this year, five years, 10, 20 or 30 years time. It’s important to dream big, and be really specific about what you want as this helps to increase your desire to achieve.

Verbalisation – Have you ever noticed how saying something out loud can help make it happen? This part of the exercise encourages you to prepare 21 “I AM” statements about your future. These statements need to describe the traits you want to build in order to become the person you want to be in order to do the things you want to do, to have and experience all you dream of. All the statements are in the present tense as you are assuming you are already there (even if you are not just yet).

Some examples might include:-

I AM going to make 20 phonecalls and speak with 10 business owners.

I AM capable of achieving success in my business

I AM passionate about my business and that shows in everything I do

I AM a great leader of my team helping them to develop into the best people they can be

I AM a great parent guiding my children to be smashing adults

I AM able to run 20 miles in 3 hours

I AM able to convert 20 leads into 12 clients

Take a few minutes each morning and evening to say them out loud to yourself. Saying your positive affirmations out loud every day helps to focus your mind and ultimately makes them happen.

Visualisation – They say a picture paints a thousand words and when it comes to helping make your dreams come true it can really help to visualise yourself doing the things you’re dreaming of. Set 10 minutes aside each day to spend time picturing your future. Visualise yourself doing those things that you’re dreaming of, and remember to include yourself in the picture rather than just visualising the place you want to be. Picturing yourself where you want to be, helps to give you the motivation to take the actions required to get you there.

Materialisation – This is the bit where your dreams come true. The steps above help you to adjust your mindset and give you the tools to be able to achieve your dreams. The process also helps you with your accountability and this in turn means that your dreams ultimately become reality.

Step Two – knowing your Identity Iceberg

This is a useful exercise as it helps you to understand yourself better and learn why you react in the ways that you do, to the situations that you find yourself in. It also helps to explain why, despite setting goals and targets you don’t always achieve them and how you can change that outcome.

This image can be used to help you understand yourself better and how your “softer” parts, the bits below the waterline, affect the “logic” parts, the bits above the waterline. The areas above the water being the parts that people see of you. Only a very small part of you as a whole human being is visable to others.

The Identity Iceberg

So when you are unable to get something done the usual reaction is to focus on your behaviour , which is the effect. Instead, what you should be doing is working out the reason for your behaviour.

I’m sure you’ve been in the following situation, setting out to complete a task, one you know that if you did consistently would bring you the reward you’re after. Yet you never get round to completing it.  An example of this could be doing your cold calls, most of the business owners I know, myself included, procrastinate over doing this! Why is this? It could be that we don’t have the skill to speak on the phone, so we need to learn the skill, or that we have a belief that we won’t be any good at it and that it will be a waste of time. ‘I AM’ statements can help here, see the Verbalisation section above.

Your behaviour is influenced by your environment – where you grew up, your parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, extended family and your experiences, also where you work and whether it is organised or untidy for example. It’s from your environment that you develop your identity. Your identity leads you to develop your system of values. Your values in turn influence your beliefs, and these can be positive, or negative and can help move you forward, or hold you back, moving forward may help you to identify new skills which you need to develop, these could be people or ‘technical’.

Just in the same way that 90% of an iceberg lies below the waterline 90% of who we are lies within us, in the form of identity, values, beliefs and skills.

So in summary, we are represented externally through our behaviour, which is influenced by actions and decisions, which ultimately translates into results. If we are not achieving our results then we need to look at our actions and decisions. If dissatisfied with our actions and decisions then we need to turn our attention to our behaviour. If our behaviour is causing us a problem then we need to look internally, or below the surface, to find out what is leading us to achieve less than we want. The reason will be down to either our skills, beliefs, values or environment. Once we know what’s holding us back, we can take the necessary steps to overcome any challenge.

So from me to you, make the decision today, to commit yourself to focus on what is causing you to hold yourself back ‘getting in your own way’, ‘self sabotage’. Once you commit to this approach you will begin to establish the foundation to achieve all that you want. If something above the water needs to change you need to change something below the water first. So what do you need to change?

Originally posted 2020-11-25 14:52:31.

Kathy Bassett
The Business Bulletin

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Kathy Bassett

Kathy’s passion is working with owners of successful small to medium-sized companies. She can help you to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you really want to be, whether it is to grow your business long-term or to implement an exit strategy.

Did you know that the secret to success is all in your mind?

by Kathy Bassett Time to read: 4 min