Why is it difficult for us to achieve our goals? Why is it that our New Year’s resolutions never come to fruition? Let’s look at what is going on behind the scenes in our mind. Our beliefs are agreements that we make about ourselves and the world around us. Our beliefs are very powerful in that they are the lens through which we experience the world.
I was working with a client whose goal it was to clean off his desk in his home office. He told me that he continually has this goal for himself, but never does it. The desk remains cluttered and stacked with papers.
I asked him, “What would it mean if your desk was clean and tidy?” I rephrased it, saying, “What would it say about you if you had a desk that looked neat and organized?”
He told me that would mean that he is organized and is a person who gets stuff done.
I asked, “What would that mean if you were organized and got stuff done?”
He commented, “It would mean that I am a successful person.”
In a prior blog, I wrote that many people have the belief that they are not good enough. It’s a belief that originates in childhood for a variety of reasons. Do you think a person who believes they are not good enough believes that they can be successful? A person who thinks he is not good enough will never feel he is successful because the two beliefs oppose each other. The original belief, “I’m not good enough,” has been in his mind for a long time and will outweigh any new belief or new goal he is trying to achieve. The reason he is “unable” to accomplish the goal of cleaning off his desk is because his old belief does not align with a clean, organized desk. A clean, organized desk represents someone who is organized and successful. A messy, cluttered desk represents someone who isn’t focused, doesn’t really know what he’s doing, doesn’t meet deadlines, etc. A messy desk represents someone who is just not good enough.
In order to achieve his goal of decluttering his desk, he will need to eliminate the old, “not good enough” belief. Here is why: psychologists have proven that you think between 50,000 and 75,000 thoughts a day, and 80% of those thoughts are negative. Using this formula, by age 40, you will have had 730,000,000 thoughts with 584,000,000 of them being negative (one of which is the “I’m not good enough” belief). If at age 40, you decided to change your belief by now affirming that “I am a successful person” and you said that affirmation 500 times per day, you would still be unconsciously thinking negative, contrary thoughts 40,000 times per day. Mathematically, this alone will not turn you into a successful person. The desk will remain cluttered until the old belief is removed, regardless of saying 500 affirmations a day. Removing the old belief requires an honest look at the cause and feelings behind the original belief.
If you are having difficulty achieving your goals, try looking at what it would mean about you if you achieved the goals. Would it mean that you are competent, capable, successful, smart, or accomplished? If so, look at if those things are different than the current beliefs you hold about yourself. Keep in mind, that 90% of our beliefs are unconscious, so it may not be easy to know what your beliefs are. But, if you are having trouble moving forward with your life, it’s probably due to an old, limiting belief you are holding onto from childhood.
This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing professional success and personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.
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