BELIEFS are what make the world go round, at least for us as human beings. They determine what we will and won’t do, they determine what we pay attention to or ignore.
They are thoughts we invest a sense of ourselves into and hold with some certainty that they are true.
Beliefs are our path to freedom or the prison that keeps us trapped and hold us back from following our dreams.
Beliefs are picked up throughout our journey of life, from our parents, teachers, peers, friends and from wider society through the media, social media and authority figures.
Beliefs should be scrutinised and seriously questioned, because they are often based on nothing more than assumptions, inferences and the testimony of other people, rather than being derived from facts and truths and being evidence based.
Consider self-limiting beliefs like…
I’m not good enough
I’m not skilled enough
I don’t have the talent
I don’t have the experience
I don’t have the time
I don’t have the money
I don’t have the resources
I’ll forget my lines
Beliefs about what others think or will think about you
If it doesn’t work out…
They’ll know I’m a fraud
They’ll see me as a failure
I’ll make a fool of myself
I’ll embarrass myself
They’ll be disappointed in me
They’ll laugh at me
They want me to fail
They’re just wanting me to fail
They’ll think I’m fat
Beliefs about past performance
I’ll mess up, I always do
I failed last time, I’ll fail again
I’ve never been able to do it before
Seriously, stop buying into such beliefs, they disempower you, they turn you off even trying things. If you want to believe anything believe….
Self limiting beliefs are not going to put me in the best frame of mind to succeed
The opinion of other people isn’t important, it’s my life and only my opinion really matters; I must start being kind to myself
The past doesn’t dictate my future. Learn from my failures and improve going forwards
You can do whatever you put your mind to with enough effort, dedication and determination
You can learn what you can, and draft in help to fill the gaps
There is always a way, you just have to find it
You never fail at anything unless you give up trying
Getting results is a matter of acquiring the right knowledge, improving motivation and being productive
Take a long, hard look at your beliefs, write them down on a piece of paper. Question their validity, even ask someone you respect and trust to give their opinion of them. Replace the limiting beliefs, you wrongly, hold with more empowering beliefs that will give you the best frame of mind to succeed. If you’re going to make shit up, make it empowering.
As I began to love myself
I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living
against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is Authenticity.
As I began to love myself
I understood how much it can offend somebody
if I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right
and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call this Respect.
As I began to love myself
I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything
that surrounded me
was inviting me to grow.
Today I call this Maturity.
As I began to love myself
I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call this Self-Confidence.
As I began to love myself
I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects
for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness,
things I love to do and that make my heart cheer,
and I do them in my own way
and in my own rhythm.
Today I call this Simplicity.
As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything
that is no good for my health –
food, people, things, situations,
and everything that drew me down
and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is Love of Oneself.
As I began to love myself
I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since
I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is Modesty.
As I began to love myself
I refused to go on living in the past
and worrying about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment,
where everything is happening.
Today I live each day,
day by day,
and I call it Fulfillment.
As I began to love myself
that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart,
my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.
We no longer need to fear arguments,
confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide,
and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.
Today I know: This is Life!
Having done some research, we found that this poem“As I Began to Love Myself” was not actually written by Charlie Chaplin. As far as we can tell, the poem is actually an English translation of Portuguese translation of an English language book written by Kim and Alison McMillen in 2001 entitled “When I Loved Myself Enough.” That text was then altered even further into the shareable form it consists of today.
We often think CHANGE will be a simple process, a case of cause (we do something) and effect (something happens as a consequence). For example, we learn to drive, pass a test, get a car so we can drive around where we want to go. Or we learn a skill, let’s say programming, then we can go looking for a programming job. We learn to swim, we go swimming etc.
These are reasonably straight forward examples of simple change, but let’s consider another example that tends to be more problematic. Let’s say we want to lose weight, why can it be so hard to shed those pesky pounds?
We first must KNOW what is required to lose weight; which is, we must consume less calories than we burn off as energy. It’s as simple as this to lose weight, right? If we do indeed eat less calories than we burn off as energy, than losing weight is inevitable.
But many people often struggle to achieve weight loss, why is this?
Figuring out what calories we are consuming and how many calories we’re burning off is difficult to gauge. We get so many mixed messages from the media and people around us, we are told fat free food is the way to go, then we find sugar is really the problem. Finding accurate information from reliable sources is critical for success, but harder than it should be.
If we are armed with the correct information, we then have to deal with MOTIVATION. We have to overcome our desire to eat those calorie-loaded sweet treats. They taste so good don’t they?
Such desires are the enemy to our goal of losing weight. Here at getresults.org.uk we call them blocking motivations, they are blocking progress towards our goal. In fact, they can be taking us further away from our goal as with the example of eating calorie-dense foods; we’d be putting more weight on rather than losing it.
Fear is another example of a blocking motivation, it isn’t usually a factor when trying to lose weight but it can be when we’re, say, wanting to start a business or looking to make some meaningful change to our lives or professional life. We fear the thought of failure, loss, disappointment, embarrassment etc and this can stop us taking action altogether.
Discomfort, inner-conflict, coping strategies and lack of support are other examples of blocking motivations.
Then there is COMPLEX CHANGE to consider, this is change where there are more variables and moving parts to consider, many of which aren’t under our direct control. For example; if you want to set up an online business, you have to figure out what message you need to use to communicate and market your product or service, so that you get people to visit your site and buy. This isn’t just about what you are doing, it’s about shaping the thoughts and behaviours of other people. This is altogether more complex than just controlling your own actions and behaviours.
You can see how complicated things start to get when considering CHANGE. We must not under-estimate the difficulty of the challenge, even with apparently simple change. But armed with the right knowledge and motivation, it can be mastered, and once mastered, it will help you in other aspects of life, from health to wealth.
Check out the site for more information on the subject of change and the aim of getting results, it is dedicated to the pursuit of achieving success in all areas of life. Hope you find it useful on your journey of change.
The BELIEFS we hold so dear, are often, indirectly holding us back from chasing down our goals. The way we use beliefs to make decisions, and to interpret the world around us, can result in, both positive and negative consequences for us as individuals.
Our beliefs are the core of how we evaluate the world we live in. They determine, often on a subconscious level, who and what we pay attention to, or ignore. They influence what we do, or don’t do. They shape how we interact with others. They inform our choices about what groups we decide to join, or not. They affect who and what we are drawn to and who and what we avoid, who and what we disagree with and whether we take action or stay put.
I like to think about beliefs like bullet points that form the backbone of a story we tell ourselves, which we believe with some certainty, that we use to navigate the world around us.
For instance if you believe the following…
The world is a dangerous place – The news is full of horrible, violent events, I can’t remember it being this bad when I was younger
People are more violent these days than they used to be, I can’t remember all this knife crime and shooting I hear about now
People only care about themselves, and are less likely to help others, than they used to be
Community spirit is long gone, people aren’t as friendly as they used to be
So these beliefs form the backbone of a story that depicts the world as a lonely, scary place, with danger at every turn, where people are out to get you or rob you. – okay I’m exaggerating for effect here, but you get the point. The stronger you hold these beliefs, the more powerful the resulting emotions you will fear.
So how do you think this thought process is going to shape your behaviours? You might go out less particularly at night, or avoid certain places altogether because you see them dangerous. For instance, you might turn down the opportunity to go on holiday to somewhere you’ve heard has had problems in the recent past.
You might be less trusting of strangers when you interact with them, coming across as unfriendly and uncaring from their point of view. This impacts how they react to you in return. You can see how we can easily get the wrong opinion of someone and vice versa.
If you see someone in distress you might rush by, for fear of falling into a trap. It might well be a trap, it does happen, but it might also be someone that desperately needs your assistance.
You might prefer to keep yourself to yourself, rather than seek the company of others in social situations, making you seek aloof and unfriendly.
It’s not hard to see that these underlying beliefs are impacting the way you might make decisions, how you interact with people and places and how others see and interact with you. This shapes your relationships and directly impacts the quality of your life.
Life’s experiences are a combination of interpretations, emotions, behaviours, reactions and interactions which act like a feedback loop; all of which, are built on top of our core beliefs.
So what can we do about beliefs that are spoiling the quality of our lives? Surely we can’t just change our beliefs to suit us, after all, they are based on truths and reflect how the world actually is, right? Otherwise they wouldn’t be our beliefs in the first place, would they?
Well, let’s consider what a belief is. My definition of a belief is ;
“It’s a thought (which is a mind constructed abstraction) we hold with some certainty to be true.”
The dictionary definition is;
“An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.”
The directory definition is interesting because it adds “with proof” at the end. Yet I’d bet few of us consider our beliefs not to be based on proof, we might not even contemplate this possibility. When in fact, many beliefs we hold are based on nothing more than assumptions, inferences, and the testimony of other people.
Beliefs are absorbed through social conditioning. We learn them from people around us, from the media, from influential people like teachers, parents, authority figures, experts, from peers, work colleages and friends. Increasingly we are strengthening such beliefs through social media algorithms that are designed to feed us more information that we have “liked” in the past.
Okay our personal experiences shape our beliefs to some degree, of course, but consider than our beliefs are underpinning how we even interpret our experiences.
We see or hear something and almost instantly give is some meaning. This meaning is based on our beliefs. At the same time we are filtering out incoming stimuli and data that we aren’t interested in. For instance we buy a red Mini, we suddenly start seeing red Minis everywhere. Where there no red minis around before we purchased one, or were they always there but we just didn’t notice? Check out this video, follow the instructions, and see the power of our minds to filter out unnecessary stimuli.
So beliefs are core to what we pay attention to and what we filter out.
Something else that’s important to understand about our beliefs are they are often invested with our sense of self. This means we psychologically attach to them. They become our belief, we and the belief become one. Because we do this particularly with strongly held beliefs we fall into a couple of traps.
The first trap we fall into is we notice evidence that supports the belief, and ignore anything that contradicts it. This is known as confirmation bias.
The second trap we fall into is we find it hard to change a belief because we’re invested in it. To change the belief we must first accept we were wrong to begin with, and this can be unacceptable for our fragile Egos.
The way to avoid these traps is to avoid investing our sense of self in them. How? Well, use a scientific approach, consider beliefs like a best guess (hypothesis) that you actively try to disprove. That way you don’t fight for them, instead you’re open to hearing contradictory evidence. You suddenly stop trying to be right, and instead try to find the truth.
So the question becomes, which beliefs should we keep and which should be abandon? In truth, we should, as I’ve said previously, turn all beliefs into best guesses. But specifically it’s the beliefs that are holding us back from going after our goals we should target first. If it’s not serving you, drop it or change it.
Beliefs that hold you back tend to be self-confidence focused. Consider these common beliefs…
I’m not capable of doing [blank]
I don’t have the experience/resources/skills/ talent to do [blank]
You need to be [blank] to succeed at doing [blank]
We often allow these beliefs to put us off even trying to make progress, due to fear of things like disappointment, failure, loss, embarrassment, etc.
Changing such beliefs or incorporating new beliefs that empower us will help us to overcome such limiting beliefs
The best way to learn is by doing
Failure is a necessary part of learning and making progress
I am capable of doing this, I might have to learn something new or develop a skill further, but I can do it
If I lack a particular skill, I can find someone who I can hire to help me
Where there is a will, there is a way…always
I can only truly fail if I give up completely – I will not be beaten
You are never too old to learn new tricks
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change
These are empowering beliefs, but they are also very true, and more grounded in reality than simply saying “I can’t do this”. Why can’t you do it? Who says so? Based on what, the past? Remember the past doesn’t equal the future, how’s that for a belief.
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Drive your actions,
What you do,
What you don’t do,
What interests you,
And what doesn’t,
What you enjoy,
What annoys you,
What you’ll do,
What you won’t,
What turns you on,
What turns you off,
What you say and how you say it,
They choose your friends,
Where you live,
What you do for a living,
If you drive or not,
Where you holiday,
If you holiday,
What you buy,
What you throw away,
They are your focus,
They colour your world,
They make you liberal or conservative,
Leave or remain,
Kind or mean,
Social or reclusive,
They make you fat or thin,
Successful or not,
They determine if you’ll give up or soldier on,
They are your path to freedom or your prison.
So what are beliefs?
They are rigid thought forms invested with your sense of self. Formed from assumptions, inferences and the testimony of other people. They are a consequence of our social conditioning. Our thoughts are largely given to us by others.
What they are not, is fact or truth. They can be changed, reformed, manipulated to serve you better. They can and are manipulate by skilled persuaders to get you to do things for them, so be warned, be vigilant. Bring awareness to your beliefs, if they are hiding from scrutiny, observe your behaviours and emotions and ask why? What belief is driving this?
When it comes to building a brand, there are many considerations, but there are 3 that I would suggest should be at the forefront of your brand building activities.
Differentiated positioning involves your branding standing apart from the competition.
Your brand should represent unique meaning from the point of view of customers.
Think about some of your favourite brands, what simple meaning do they represent to you? Volvo represents safety to me, Apple represents innovation.
Positioning is also about where you position your brand in the marketing, are you a specialist, a generalist, are you a premium brand or a value driven brand?
No two brands can successfully hold the same market position, the first in that space will usually be the winner.
Look to disrupt and challenge the status quo, by shaking things up and approaching the market from a unique and refreshing direction. Think about how Netflix have changed the landscape of the video rental business into the streaming services we now see. What would look different in your space?
Play to your brands unique qualities and strengths. What has your brand got to offer that will allow you to stand apart from the competition?
Provide value to customers
The fundamental requirement of any brand is for it to provide value to its customers.
If there is no benefit for the customer in interacting with your brand, why are they going to bother? They just aren’t going to, life is too short to waste time on brands that don’t benefit anyone.
Provide a valuable solution that addresses customers wants and needs.
Make sure your solution fits your brands strengths, talents and skill-set.
Try to ensure your brand is focused on a specific part of the market. It’s often better to focus narrow and deep, rather than shallow and wide in terms of market coverage. Leave the mass market to the big boys who have a big enough budget to reach them.
Brands should attempt to connect emotionally with customers, because emotions and not reasoning or logic, are what connect people to people and people to brands.
To matter to customers your brand has to provide value on a regular basis, so that if you go away, they will miss you.
What do customers want or need that your brand can provide a valuable solution for?
Effective communication; perception control
Value offering and differentiation are no good if you aren’t able to communicate them effectively to customers or prospective customers.
Brand building orientated marketing is required to tell your story to customers so that they get what you’re brand is about. Speak to your target customers in a language only they will understand. It’s okay if your communication goes over the heads of non-targeted people.
Be inspiring to customers, provide them with hope; show them that whatever they are wanting to achieve, can be done, and they can do it with your help.
If possible connect to a bigger cause – be part of it, together. Play to customers aspirations. Romanticise a calling – “I’m a photographer” changes to “I help celebrate family – happy families make for happy communities.”
Ask yourself “What does the market think of us? Is this as intended?” If there is a disconnect between the two, revise your brand communications.
Branding is about owning a word in the mind of the customer.
Having a simple to understand and remember position, separate and distinct from all other competition.
It’s not about saying something short, dumbing down or using sound bites. It’s about prioritising the core message which should be both simple and profound. Proverbs are the ideal in doing this, like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; a one sentence statement so profound that you could spend a lifetime learning to follow it.
You can build on top of schemas to leverage existing knowledge, like describing Speed as Die Hard on a bus, or being the test crash dummy of online marketing, as with Pat Flynn.
A good core message helps customers understand and remember your brand, while also helping employees decision making. As with Southwest Airlines’s core message being THE low fair airline, customers know what southwest are all about, while employees know what intent should drive their decision-making when it comes to a choice of say, putting extra filling in the sandwiches or not.
Commander intent is used in much the same way by the Army, a simple, plainly-worded statement that summarises every military order, to ensure everyone understands the underlying tactic to be accomplished.
Journalists would describe it as making sure you’re not burying the lead, but instead putting it front and centre of communication, as if you might be cut off at any time.
Doing this prevents decision paralysis caused by overload, and uncertainty. It’s harder to remember 3 things than it is one. One clear message is easier to communicate, to get across and strengthen.
Use this core message as the centerpiece of your marketing, but branding is also about driving it into the customer experience at every touch point. This means making it part of your value promise and then delivering it, consistently over and over. If you don’t deliver on your promise, your message will be undermined and diluted.
Your Core message doesn’t have to have all the information built it. Treat it like breadcrumbs. The low cost airline, doesn’t advocate saving money on airline maintenance and is not as accurate as “improving shareholder value” but is more usable and memorable, and guides employee decisions by knowing the commanders intent when making individual decisions.
As long as you know where you currently are, and where you want to go (your goal), you will be able to map out what is required to fill the gap between the two. Getting results means you have to have a plan of action to move you towards your goal.
Now many people think about this in simplistic terms. For example lets say you want to start a business online and you come up with the following plan of action;
Simple isn’t it, this is a outline list of tasks that need to be done for you to get a business up and running online.
However if you think this is all you have to do and the world will be knocking down your door, you’re very much mistaken.
Each step is somewhat more complex than I’ve shown above because it’s not just about what you do, it’s about how your audience responds. If your website isn’t pressing the right buttons for visitors they are not going to take the action you want them to and buy from you.
So you may have to try different marketing channels, different messages, different media and different offers to see what works for you. Complexity comes from things you can’t directly control or predict. There is often no one right way of doing things, and what works for one business might not for another.
Sure the vast majority of people are looking to improve their situation in some way, they are looking for growth in economic wealth, for social wealth for physical and psychological wealth. If your solution nudges them in that direction, you’re going to have a better chance than you would otherwise.
But you’ve got to communicate this benefit to your audience through your marketing messages. What you think will resonate with them, might not, so you have to test ideas, tweak, improve and test again. You also need to understand their pain points, what is going to motivate them to take action and so on. Below is table with some of this complexity factored into it.
Are they willing to pay for a solution I can provide?
Is it worth doing from my POV?
Where can I find prospects to find this information?
What is the business model?
Where will the solution be available (online or bricks and mortar)?
Set up website
Drive traffic from..
Social media channels
Target prospects wherever they are
Deliver the right message at right time to the right person
Allow prospects to know, like and trust you
Encourage goodwill by providing value to prospects who aren’t ready to buy just yet
Engage emotionally through branding
Consider marketing channel choices
Build social proof/signals
What channels are prospects spending attention on?
How can I get their attention?
How can I engage with them there?
What type of messages will help me get known, liked and trusted?
E-commerce to take payment
You must work to improve your results through continually improving your plan of action and improving your problem solving capabilities.
It’s vitally important you factor complexity into your plan of action, it’s the one thing that is going to hold things up and stand in the way of you getting results.
This is a system focused on KNOWLEDGE and PRODUCTIVITY, it doesn’t take into account any MOTIVATIONAL elements that might be holding you back from taking the action YOU need to be taking. If you fear failure or disappointment or loss, if you fail to take responsibility, if you lack resourcefulness or self awareness, these are all motivational problem areas that need to be addressed.
Motivation is a subject in its own right and there are lots of articles throughout the site dedicated to it. Check them out here.