When people decide they want to make a change, they will usually set a goal and start taking action. When we focus exclusively on actions, however, it takes a lot of hard work and the demands on willpower are huge, especially if we don’t look at what’s underneath some of those actions.
This is especially true for entrepreneurs who start up all of their activities but haven’t looked at the foundation that will influence their actions. When you focus only on actions first, you might find yourself pushing so hard to achieve your goals. It’s like starting an exercise program and immediately working out. People start taking action first without understanding what influences their actions. They end up creating a start-and-stop scenario.
So it comes as no surprise that most exercise facilities see their greatest enrollment in January and a significant drop off by the end of February. In order to make changes last, you need to consider the influencers interrupting the flow to your sustainable results and develop a system for inviting the change you do want.
The first influencer is your hardwiring. Your hardwiring is natural to who you are. This hardwiring is a unique blend that determines how you will communicate, the degree of risk, how you triage things, and the degree of information you need for decision making. Each of us has our own unique blend. It affects everything in your business, including how you execute sales and marketing, delegation, hiring others, and managing your time.
For example, if you like your information in bullet points, focus on results, and generally like your ideas best, this may part of your natural hardwiring. Often times, entrepreneurs wired this way are looking for instant results, become discouraged when they don’t see it, and don’t always accept or dismiss feedback from others (because they like their ideas best). Meanwhile they proceed with their ideas and wonder why their plans are not working.
They will often either stop the activities or push even harder perhaps when they should be pulling or invite the contributions of others. Stress amplifies your hardwiring. The key to creating sustainable change is managing that natural impulse.
The second influencer to your actions is your Belief Systems. Belief Systems influence your thoughts and your thoughts influence your actions. Your belief systems come from experiences and other external sources, including family, friends, TV, radio, and internet, etc.
If you believe that you could never have a successful business in this economy or you’ve “tried everything” or you “don’t have enough time to get all that needs to get done” to have a successful business, your actions will follow your beliefs.
The third influencer is your thoughts. According to Psychology Today, “it has been estimated that we have anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day. If your cast of mind is predominantly negative, imagine how many thoughts you are generating daily – thousands upon thousands.” We allow ourselves to state negative messages and we easily believe them. Your self-talk will influence your actions. If you think each day you couldn’t possibly be a successful entrepreneur because you don’t have the expertise or education you think you need, you will approach your prospects with apprehension and this will impact your results. If you think you have to work hard to generate income, then you will make it hard for yourself to make money.
The problem is that many entrepreneurs start with good intentions to create a new mindset system but then slack off. The solution is to make that system part of your daily routine. To create lasting change, consider this daily system:
Understand and Manage your Hardwiring. Many behavioral assessments are valuable contributors to finding out about your unique blend of hardwiring. With development, you can learn how to manage and leverage these traits to work for you. When you understand how behavior change works, you’re able to make better choices and connect with sustainable change on a different level.
Rewire your Belief Systems. You can do this by first identifying your negative beliefs and negative thoughts. Since your thoughts influence your actions, this is an important step. If you believe “who will want my services and programs, your actions and what you invite into your business will mirror your beliefs.” Instead, rewire them by writing down an affirmative “I am a prosperous entrepreneur and attract an abundance of clients to my services and programs.” The act of writing down the new Belief Systems will help you with the next step of this system:
Develop New Conscious Thoughts. Each day, without fail, create a series of affirmative statements, including those new belief systems. Remember to say them aloud in the present tense. For example, say, “I am…” (healthy, prosperous, etc.)
Each day, I found myself saying, “I’m tired” perhaps left over by a period of time where I may have been feeling tired. By no coincidence, I said this and started feeling tired all of the time. One day, I chose to change what I was telling myself to: “I have an abundance of energy.” I said this new conscious thought each day. As I dragged myself out of bed the first day, I didn’t believe it, but I said it anyway. Something delightful happened about six weeks later. I woke up alert. It affected my actions because I started working out and consciously watched what I was eating. It affected my long-term habit because now I work out every day. You can’t help but align your actions with your thoughts.
Visualize how you will look, feel and be in the ‘after’ stage. How you see yourself and feel about yourself is important to create and sustain change. Feelings are powerful indicators in what you are drawing into your life and business. If you cast doubt, fear or desperation, your results will be delayed. When you visualize, notice the feelings that you are developing. Positive feelings, like contentment, gratitude, happiness, joy, pride, acceptance and openness will draw in more of your intentions of what you do what to change.
Instead of reading or listening to something negative to start your day, change your habit. Take just 10 minutes to:
· Discover your hardwiring
· Focus on your new beliefs
· Say your new affirmations aloud, and
· Visualize how you will look, feel and be once these changes are realized.
Before you know it, you will create positive thoughts and habits, and start new actions that create results that have staying power.
Lisa Mininni is President of Excellerate Associates, home of The Entrepreneurial Edge SystemTM and the Best-Selling Author of Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change. To learn more about your hardwiring, pick up your copy of www.memyselfandwhy.com. To understand how your hardwiring impacts your business, get your free eBook, Get Ready, Get Set, Go! at http://www.freebusinessplanformat.com.