Dan Beverly

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”
~Thomas Edison

Results vs. Reasons

As a coach, one of the first things I do for my clients is listen.

Not the superficial and unthinking listening-to-respond of everyday conversation. But deep listening-to-understand – both of what’s being said and what’s not being said. And essentially, I’m listening for two things:

  1. Results – the things we want;
  2. Reasons – why we don’t have the things we want.

This duo is important because they’re mutually exclusive: we can’t have the results we want whilst having the reasons for not having them. Remove those reasons and we move ourselves into a world of possibility and results.

In my coaching sessions, there are 5 self-deceiving beliefs I hear more often than any others. See if any sound familiar to you. Consider the ways in which they may be keeping you from your success. And see if you can spot the common theme.

#1: I don’t have the time

Ok, I agree: you’re super busy. We all are. But you do have the time. We all do. The truth here is that you’ve chosen not to prioritise whatever it is.

All anyone ever does is what they prioritise. And when we say “we don’t have the time,” we’re actually saying “this is not a priority for me, right now.”

Realising this gets us operating at the level of choices and priorities – a great place to be. Because in the end, that’s all there ever is: choices and priorities.

#2: I’d love to, but …

This one is often allied to the first: “I’d love to, but … I don’t have the time”. Let’s look at the first part.

“I would love to do it.” Really? If I’d love to do it, I would simply do it. No ifs or buts. I would find a way. I would make it happen.

So it’s not really true that I’d love to do it. Rather, it’s just another thing that we think should be somewhere on our list but which (again) we’re choosing not to prioritise – and, in truth, have no intention of ever prioritising. So do the things you love; drop the things “you’d love to”.

#3: There’s nothing I can do

No. There’s always something we can do.

When a client says “there’s nothing I can do,” what I hear is that we’ve just not got creative enough yet. And I set the challenge: How creative could you get with this? What haven’t you thought of? What could you do that other people wouldn’t even think or dream of doing?

We always have more choices than we realise.

#4: That’s just the way I am

This lie keeps us from the things we want by limiting ourselves to what we’ve done before. But the idea of a permanent characteristic is an illusion (we could behave differently if we needed to) and it’s certainly not something that causes us to do anything.

Breaking free of this lie is great because what got you here won’t get you there. Success requires challenge, stretch, actions, changes. So challenge this belief and ask: who do I need to be right now to achieve my goal?

#5: I can’t because I’m afraid

The good thing about this lie is it acknowledges a fear which we can then address for what it is. And fear is just our brain telling us we’re moving out of a comfort zone – and that’s a place where growth and success can happen. So it’s a good thing.

The issue with this lie is it equates our fear of doing something with not being able to do it. The truth is: we are able to do it, but we’re choosing to prioritise our fear.

So feel the fear and do it anyway – and break that cause-effect dependency.

. . .

Your unconscious can hear you

When challenged, my clients often dismiss (at least, initially) the significance of their comments. They might say “I know I actually do have the time” or “I don’t really believe that there’s nothing I can do”.

But these are subsequent thoughts of your conscious mind (and, by the way, ones which I don’t believe). First-time round: your unconscious mind was listening – and got to work on them.

So take care when saying these things: your unconscious mind will hear you. And that’s a powerful asset to turn towards those limiting beliefs and away from focused action that would otherwise move you towards the things you want.

Taking responsibility for your success

And the common theme across these beliefs? They each keep us out of action and devoid of responsibility. And that release from the burden of responsibility is what makes them momentarily so seductive.

But in relinquishing our responsibility, we also relinquish our influence over our situation. And that only keeps from us the things we want.

So take responsibility for your success and break the habit of accepting these beliefs. Instead: challenge them. Ask yourself: what little lies am I telling myself (there are plenty more); and what will I choose to do differently to wrest back ownership of my results and success?

Dan Beverly

Dan Beverly is a leadership and performance coach helping high-calibre, high-performing professional women embrace the pivotal career moments.

To work with Dan, go online to book your complimentary “Session Zero” – and start capitalising on your pivotal career moment, today.