To Achieve Your Goals, First Challenge Your Limiting Assumptions
By Sue Hornblow, Director @ Key Performance Group
We all know that feeling…we say we want to do something…. It is that Sunday night goal for the week. ..This week I will…. “Write that proposal”… complete that project”, phone that difficult client, “have that tough conversation I have been avoiding”, “exercise every day”, “eat healthily.” … Recognise the pattern?
We all know what we should do…have a to do list..just do it..chunk and prioritise, promise ourselves a reward.
Ever been on a training program.. left on a high full of good intents? Yet a week later (or even a day) the busyness of life is back and we find ourselves reverting to old patterns of behaviour.
With all good intent we may start with gusto… sometime down the track something happens and we change track… we lose focus we stop the doing and do the opposite of what we intended. Or we don’t even start; something else more important comes up. Sound familiar?
What’s going on here? Why as intelligent humans do we so often sabotage ourselves? Robert Keengan and Lisa Laskow Lahey in their book “Immunity to Change”, describe how we protect ourselves by behaviours that run counter to our goals. These behaviours are based on the beliefs and assumptions we hold as true. Once we gain awareness of our limiting beliefs and assumptions we are in a position to test and shift them. We can then bring about real sustainable behaviour change and achieve our goals.
Take the sales person who wants to be successful… knows they need to engage with new clients but for some reason does not pick up the phone to make the appointments. Or contacts people lower in the organisation rather than the decision makers. They may have a lack of belief in their ability to initiate conversations .Until they recognise and shift this belief; they will limit their success winning new business. As a manager, coach or trainer, we can help others to uncover what beliefs are holding them back. To create an environment for them to safely test a different behaviour that on reflection will help them to shift their limiting belief.
So next time you set a goal. Take some time to consider..
What am I currently doing that will prevent me from achieving this goal?
What is my real fear if I stopped these behaviours?
For that fear to be real… what beliefs must I hold? (These may seem silly)
What can I do to test and get evidence to dispute these beliefs?
Try it, and then reflect. What does this tell you about your belief?
Keep testing and reflecting until you weaken or replace those limiting beliefs with new ones that will support you to achieve your goals.