3 Steps to Get Real Traction & Lasting Results
In this week’s post, I’m going to talk about those times when you feel you’re doing everything you know to do but aren’t seeing results.
When this happens with clients, sometimes there is a strategy or key tactic that’s missing. But very often there’s a limiting belief that’s translating to behaviors that are getting in the way of lasting success. Something more fundamental needs to shift.
And all of us, even those with lots of practice with conscious change, occasionally run up against a seemingly invisible wall like this.
We know it’s there because we’re not seeing results, and every angle we’ve come at it fails to show us the cause.
Even if you’re great at spotting limiting beliefs, when it’s your limiting belief, sometimes you’ll miss it. That’s because limiting beliefs (which translate into limiting actions – actions that are not best aligned to achieve the results you’re seeking) are in our blind spots. And we all have them.
One sign that you’ve overlooked a limiting belief that’s holding you back is that you’re doing everything you know to make a change in your work or your life, and things aren’t changing or the changes aren’t sticking. You may feel like you’re spinning your wheels and you certainly aren’t seeing the results you’d envisioned.
So what do you do?
Check out this week’s 5-minute video for one quick tool you can use today to identify a belief that’s holding you back:
It comes down to three things:
- Honesty & Accountability
- An Experienced Coach or Mentor
- Motivation for Change & Aligned Action
Limiting beliefs can be tricky. So let’s first take a moment to better understand how they work and how they affect you every moment of the day.
How Your Beliefs Affect You
As an example, let’s say that at some level, you believe that most people are out to take advantage of you. That belief may be based on some very valid experiences, yet it will also be your filter, a lens that will color all of your interactions. Your brain will be looking for – and finding evidence – that supports this belief. Although this may not be on a conscious level, this is how the subconscious mind works.
So let’s turn this around and say that deep down, you believe that most people are kind, good-natured, and generally, want to help. This will then be the lens through which you view your interactions and relationships. At one level, your brain will constantly be looking for – and finding evidence – that supports this belief. And this dynamic impacts how you tend to experience reality.
The people you interact with might not be all that different, but what will assuredly be different is the way you interpret their behavior. Your brain, and more specifically your subconscious mind, will attach a different meaning to the same behavior depending on your beliefs.
Your Brain and Your Beliefs
To use the language of computing, these beliefs are like a piece of code that programs your brain to think about things – life, work, relationships – in a certain way.
Some of this programming is very helpful and some of it is quite limiting. The good news is that research from the past decade in areas such as neuroplasticity shows that we can actually rewire our brains and break habits and patterns of behavior that no longer serve us.
Research also shows that neurons in the brain work together to find what you’re looking for. You can do a simple visual experiment by focusing your mind on something and then noticing how often it shows up over the next few days. Perhaps you’ve even had this experience. You’re thinking of buying a certain make and model of car and suddenly you start seeing that Audi Q5 or Honda Accord or Subaru wagon everywhere you go.
This is one simple example of how a single belief – or point of focus – can dramatically affect your day-to-day life. Consider the fact that you have hundreds, even thousands of beliefs, all working at a subconscious level to create your version of the world as you see it.
This is not to suggest that you can simply adopt a positive affirmation such as: “People are kind,” and they will magically become kind. This is not how you shift a deep-seated belief.
So what is effective?
What To Do If You Suspect a Limiting Belief is Getting in Your Way
Even though you may not be conscious of them, your system formed these beliefs for a reason, and when you try to make changes, it can trigger the fight or flight response in your brain. So, when there’s an especially deep-seated belief, your own mind can try to fool you.
The good news is that beliefs, even long-standing ones, can be shifted with time and practice. There are so many things we do habitually that don’t really serve us. So it comes down to living and working in a more mindful, intentional way.
Here are 3 things you can do if you suspect an old or outdated belief is getting in your way:
1. Honesty & Accountability
If you’re committed to having more of the work and the lifestyle you love, it’s important to take an honest look at where you are now. This involves looking at the kinds of thoughts you’re thinking and the actions you’re taking. Do you have clarity on your vision and priorities, personally and professionally? Are you clear on what steps need to happen to make your vision come to reality? Have you identified your very next step? If you have a team, are their goals are clear, measurable and aligned to desired outcomes?
If you’re struggling and feel stuck with these questions, you may need a clearer strategy and prioritization. If you answered yes to these questions, you feel your highest priorities are clear, perhaps something else came up. Maybe it was a new opportunity and you chased it even though it was in a slightly different direction than your vision. Maybe it was an interesting concept you wanted to learn more about but it was not your very next step toward your most important goal. It wasn’t really aligned with your highest priorities.
That’s where honesty comes in. We live in a world of almost constant distraction so it’s important to be honest with yourself. Was there something truly urgent that required your focus and pulled you away from your priorities? Or was it simply a distraction? When you’re trying to make changes, it’s helpful to have someone supportive, someone on your team that you can be accountable to. That way, if it continues to happen, you’ll be checking in frequently enough to catch patterns that aren’t supportive of the results you’re seeking – and redirect yourself.
2. Get a Coach or Mentor
Sometimes you really are doing everything you know to do and getting nowhere. You honestly look at yourself and what you’re doing, you’re even taking action, and you can’t figure out what’s blocking you:
- You know that better work-life balance is important to you, yet it continues to be elusive.
- You know that following up with potential buyers will increase your revenues yet you don’t make those follow-up calls.
- You know that it’s past time to update your website yet you haven’t taken the very next step to do so.
When that happens, it’s time to get a coach or a mentor.
3. Motivation & Aligned Action
An experienced coach will be able to help you shift old beliefs and mindsets that may be crippling your motivation and hurting your results – and to identify new, more effective strategies and actions to reach your goals. In the end, even with the best guidance, it’s still up to you to take those actions that are aligned with your most important outcomes. If you feel fairly certain you know the steps to take, look at your plan and make sure that you are TAKING your next step.
There are times that you really do need to adjust course – throughout your day, your week and your year – to respond to what’s happening in your environment. But I see this happen way more often than is necessary.
For example, you respond to something someone feels is urgent before pausing to see if it’s really:
a) important – for you, your customers, your business, your personal priorities or
b) aligned with your highest priority outcomes.
You pursue it and you think that you’re doing everything right, you’re being responsive, responsible, etc., but you’re not. Or perhaps you allowed yourself to get pulled into busy work instead of your actual most important next step, and for many of us, this is one habit that can get in the way of real traction on what’s most important. This is another area where an experienced coach can help you more quickly identify what’s getting in your way and how to shift past old patterns in an easier and more effective way.
You Don’t Need to Go It Alone
Regardless of how much you’ve done on your own, sometimes you simply need a sounding board and a guide – someone who is professionally trained to assist. Someone who can help you spot when a limiting belief is getting in the way and someone who is trained in proven methods that will enable you to shift your belief. Someone to help you if your motivation is just feeling off, or to help you gauge when your strategy and action steps need to be adjusted.
Many successful business owners and leaders have coaches because good coaches make growth happen faster and easier.
I’m a coach and consultant for other people and organizations, but I also have coaches for myself. There are circumstances where the time it would take me to learn something new on my own – or make the shift I want to make – just aren’t worth it when I have experienced coaches and professionals to reach out to for guidance. Sometimes it’s something I can’t see or shift on my own. Sometimes it’s a strategy I need because I’m stepping into a new area.
As a simple example, when I decided to race triathlons in my late 20s, I did some work with a fitness coach. This was a friend who was an Ironman triathlete and helped me understand how to train effectively, including strategies like cycling for an hour then running for an hour immediately afterward — so my body knew what that would feel like on race day. Or making sure to have enough food to eat something every 45-60 minutes of racing so my body had the fuel – not just the hydration – it needed for endurance racing. She also helped me with mindset, which more often than not was the most important part of my training, the part that kept me going until I crossed the finish line.
It was really in those early days of training for triathlons that I realized just how far your mindset and attitude can take you – and just how easily it could get in the way. Perhaps you’ve worked with a fitness coach or trainer and can relate.
Success in business and in your career is not all that different from an endurance event. You’ll need practical strategies and mindset tools that will help you achieve your vision over the long haul. It’s not an overnight thing any more than you would expect to wake up tomorrow with no training or tools and successfully compete in a triathlon.
Realigning for Success
If you’re feeling stuck or you’re not seeing the results you’d expect in an area, I encourage you to stop being critical of yourself and instead reach out for help. Tell me a little about what your goals are and we’ll set up a 30-minute discovery session.
Or if not me, contact someone else who’s a respected coach or trusted mentor with experience in the area where you need help.
You’ll want to find someone who is a fit for your needs. My coaching style is unique in that it’s a blend of strategy and mindset work. After two decades of strategic consulting from Fortune 50 companies to universities to small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs, along with almost a decade of working with individuals on mindset and motivation, I find that the most effective success coaching work involves a mix of coaching and consulting.
So my work is integrative: a combination of strategy and aligned action to help you get traction on what’s most important along with mindset work and energy management to improve your productivity, effectiveness, and enjoyment. There are so many things we do habitually that don’t really serve us, our businesses or our relationships. So integrative success coaching, in part, is guiding you to living and working in a more mindful, intentional way. In short, to empower you to do work you love while making the income and impact you’re envisioning – all while enjoying the lifestyle that makes it all worthwhile.
If you want personalized guidance to implement any of these tips, click here to apply for a one on one call with me. We’ll schedule a chat to explore how this can work for you and your goals while growing your business. You can also learn more about the next Success With Benefits Group Program.