When I started out in my career in IT, some 25 years ago, I had a job in a newly founded sales division, which was quite revolutionary at the time: Telesales. Yes, that was quite a new model at the time, so our small team got a list (on paper – not in Excel) with names and telephone numbers, each of a certain geography, and another list of products which we were to sell.
Calling, creating relationships, developing a region, striving towards happy customers and building revenue.
My next few jobs included creating a product portfolio for IT storage products for another distributor and creating a startup business unit dedicated to newly developed backup products.
Fast forward to today: I am creating classes and training to help people achieve (the right) objectives and to be more successful in their daily lives.
Why do I tell you this? Because after my first job, where I successfully created something new from nothing I was convinced that I was a creator. In other words – I started forming a belief that this is who I am.
And got proof after proof in my life to backup this theory.
A positive belief with a positive impact in my life. Unfortunately this also works for negative beliefs. Did you, or anybody else, ever tell you that you are not musical? Or that you are unorganized? “Oh, she’s so lazy”, “He’s so messy and clumsy”, “Well, I was always late – that’s just who I am”, “I’m just not the patient one”…and so on. You get the idea.
These beliefs start to stick early in our lives if we hear them often enough or tell them to ourselves often enough. And the reality starts to prove the point. Over and over again. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is why whatever we believe about ourselves influences our lives in a big way and can seriously empower or limit us. You could say that they can destroy or create parts of your life.
Writing a bit of code, hitting enter. Not quite that easy, but the good news is: It is possible. The bad news: It will take some time and effort. But the rewards will be great.
1. Be aware: take a piece of paper and write down your beliefs about yourself. 2-3 negative beliefs that you know have a negative impact in your life. You might have to think hard. What limits me? Why did I not go for this job that sounded so great? When do I come up with saying “That’s just who I am?”. When do I not try because I believe that I am……?
2. Re-write the belief from “I am just not musical” to “I can learn anything I want to if I am fully committed to it”. From “I am not good enough for my dream job” to “I can learn what it takes to get my dream job and will do so”. Replace the negative thought and choose a positive alternative.
3. Pay attention and react consciously: When the negative thoughts in your mind regarding those beliefs come, use the newly formulated belief to replace the negative thought consciously. Don’t allow your brain to go back to the old trigger – impulse reaction. Unfortunately our brain is a bit lazy and retreats to experiences, so keep watching yourself and don’t just go into an automatic mode, which is not helpful.
4. Repeat no 3. Until you see that your thoughts start changing your behaviour. Have you picked up this guitar yet (despite your original belief that you are not musical?) Have you applied for this job which you really, really want?
5. Be patient. The perfect world where negative beliefs or thoughts are just never there is unlikely to happen. So be kind to yourself and don’t expect a change overnight. You will have to practice. But, oh boy, when you’re there - it’s great!