The year 2017 is in full swing and already 13 percent of it is gone! In December, we looked at a simple way to Jump Start 2017, as well as three primary roadblocks (false beliefs, chosen ignorance and irrational comfort) that can keep us from achieving the goals we desire. Now that we are nearly two months into the new year, let’s dive a little more deeply into a topic that can have the greatest impact on your road to success; your beliefs and your personal philosophy.
Business philosopher and personal development expert Jim Rohn evangelizes the idea that each person needs to have their own personal philosophy. He believes this so strongly that he told audiences, "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out." Strong words. Personal philosophy determines how life turns out. Your beliefs will either bolster your personal philosophy positively or make it ineffective. As an example, part of my personal philosophy is that I have a goal of encouraging, inspiring and equipping others to lead extraordinary lives. If my beliefs conflict with my desired philosophy, such as, “people are lazy and do the least possible just to get by,” then my philosophy isn’t really a philosophy, it’s a sound bite that is delusional. If I don’t believe I have what it takes to encourage, inspire and equip others, then once again my personal philosophy might sound good but I will never actually live it out.
Your beliefs about the value that you bring, the marketplace, your company, your competitors, your abilities — you name it — all either serve to support your success or to tear it down. Your beliefs are so vitally important to your success that I want to highlight three of these beliefs for you to consider in your desire to make 2017 your best year so far.
Three Important Beliefs
Belief in your product or service. “Everyone needs what we have.” Ridiculous fantasy. “We are the only choice and people make rational decisions, therefore I will win.” Ha ha. Expecting the world to work either rationally or per your set of beliefs is silly. “I don’t have any real advantage because everybody has the same stuff and my big bad competitors are better anyway.” Equally ridiculous unless you have zero business, have never won any business and have been in business for more than a year. Of course there are differences! List them! You see, you can have false beliefs on either side of the coin. You can have negative beliefs about how you stack up against the competition, and you can have what I call “delusional” beliefs that you are the only answer and no one else comes close. I have known a few of these people over the years. Living the big life, becoming arrogant and then, bam! Someone comes from out of left field and wipes them out. Garmin owned the portable GPS devices for cars until Apple added the technology to their phones and moved Garmin’s cheese. That said, Garmin wasn’t arrogant. They saw it coming, changed courses and created new opportunities. On the flip side of this is Apple’s newest laptops. Judging from consumer reviews, maybe Apple was living in some false beliefs about their products and/or their loyal fan base. What are your beliefs about your products and services? Are your beliefs based on facts? Are they empowering?
Belief in those around you. Nobody comes to success in isolation. “All buyers are liars,” is the mantra of a popular sales training program. If you look at it from the perspective that everyone has told a lie at one time or another, true. If you are basing your actions in sales on the belief that customers and prospects are out to lie, mislead, cheat and beat you, then this is an inaccurate, not to mention unhealthy belief. What about your company and your team? What beliefs do you really hold about them? Do you believe that the people around you are empowering AND that you are likewise helping create success for them?
Belief in you. The big one! This is the one that matters more than all of the others. The reason it sits at the top of the belief importance pile is that if you don’t have this one right, even with all the other beliefs being solid and helpful, negative self-beliefs will destroy your chances for success.
To make this short post actionable, here is a three-step process to help steer you in the direction of a heathy and helpful personal philosophy which is held up by your foundation of beliefs.
- Assessment Process. Take some time and consider each of the three primary beliefs mentioned above. Determine which beliefs you have that are empowering and which are destructive.
- Correction Process. It’s not enough to know which beliefs need to be changed, you will need to begin a process of correcting these and replacing with healthier ones.
- Desired Outcomes. After assessing and determining the correction process, identify three specific foundational beliefs that are directly tied to your own personal definition of success. They need to be specific, measurable, time dated, tracked and most importantly carry a big dose of your own personal “why.”
Let me know your thoughts on how beliefs have played a role in your success! Or better yet, share the details with someone you know who may need to change a few of their beliefs to develop a more empowering personal philosophy.