Monday 1 July 2013

The important role beliefs play in shaping your results by Stephen Pauley

If you believe you will always find a way to succeed no matter what, you are more likely to do just that than someone who believes they can never have what they really want.  Most of our beliefs are formed by the age of seven.  They are shaped by our parents, grandparents, relatives, teachers, past experiences, media, culture, peers, friends & religion.  Aside from physical differences, it is our different experiences/interactions, schooling etc that make us all different and unique.

In most cases we do not realise what our beliefs consist of or how we have formed them.  Yet they influence every moment of everyday. Every belief has a structure to it which we can change if we choose to.  It is like carrying a recording in our heads.  If the recording is working for us, we can keep it, maybe updating it to refine it from time to time.  If however, the recording is limiting what we think about ourselves, we can take it out and re record it, so we have one that is working for us.

We accept opinions from influential people in our lives and hold them as facts.  They are not facts at all but perceptions formed through our own experience and others views.  Beliefs are views about us, others and the world.  These views determine the decisions we take and the way we behave. If we want to change our results it starts with changing our beliefs.

Beliefs determine how we think, how we talk to ourselves (our self talk) and this in turn determines how we behave.  If we are overly self critical or hard on ourselves, we need to start talking to ourselves in a kinder, softer and more positive way.  This will make us feel better and behave more confidently. Our results are more likely to be more positive if we behave in this way. Henry Ford once said, ‘if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are probably right.’

There are two types of belief-Enabling (where we believe we can achieve, they propel us forward towards our goals, we feel confident and good about ourselves). The opposite is limiting beliefs-these hold us back, hinder us, and make us feel bad/less confident.
A famous example of how people changed their beliefs and conventional wisdom is Roger Bannister breaking the four minute mile record.  People urged him not to try it, telling him it was dangerous and life threatening.  He broke the record and once he did, four runners broke the record in a year because they believed it was possible and knew it could be done.  Athletes changed their beliefs, they told themselves they could do it and as a result their bodies performed more effectively.

In business, there are countless examples of beliefs missing the point.  For example, many said, photocopiers, personal computers and telephone banking would not catch on.  They have all become best sellers.  It is important for people to challenge the conventional wisdom of businesses. 

All of us have the power and control over our beliefs which shape our self talk/thoughts, behaviour and ultimately our results.

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