Identifying them is Step One But Changing Them’s Another Story
Or – Can We Even See Much Less Fix Our Own Flaws?
Brian Tracy recently published a Twitter post asking his followers
what habits, excuses, and flaws were holding them back from
the success that they claim to want. The claim to
want part being my words not his.
And identifying these nasty habits, as well as the excuses
we use to avoid doing what needs to be done to succeed is
obviously a noble undertaking.
But the thing is, that this post (limited of course to 140 words)
and the landing page of his blog on the subject, assume that
we, as humans, are capable of identifying our own filters,
shortcomings and bad habits.
And the absence of instruction on how to actually accomplish
change – assuming we know what needs changing – leads
me to assume that the self improvement wisdom simply
tells us what to do but not HOW TO DO IT.
But I think this is worth thinking about and that there are
actions we can take that make our path to success clearer
and success itself more likely. What’s more, there are things
that can be done. We can learn not just what to do but how to
go about doing it.
Well let’s take these problems one at a time.
First, there is good evidence, and probably your personal
experience confirms, that we are generally bad at examining our
own assumptions. The filters we use to understand and operate in
the big bad and complicated “real world” are like lenses that make
it simpler and clearer but which we cannot ourselves see. If they
were easily visible, they’d by definition be less effective.
So what’s a human who wants to get better at anything to do?
We have several options.
We can ask those around us, who work
with us, and with whom we live, what are bad habits are and what
excuses we use to avoid the things we don’t like or things that we need to do.
But there are inherent flaws to this approach. First, our flaws in one
context like our personal life may not be the same ones that
interfere with growth or optimal performance in a business or other setting.
Next, in each setting, the person may or may not have thought about
or be perceptive about such things and they may have incentives,
recognized by them or not, for being less than fully truthful.
We can schedule and allocate time to be introspective and to examine
times when we get success and times when we fail to act and to determine
what is holding us back and what our unexamined assumptions really are.
But doing this alone is tough work and inefficient at best.
We can undergo therapy with a behvior therapist who is outcome based and
looking for real world tools to help us to get from point A to point B.
We can find a coach that has demonstrated over and over again an
ability to work with someone like us and to help them to get breakthroughs
in behavior and results.
I have benefitted from this and many of the people who are my private and
group coaching clients, mastermind participants, and consulting clients report
that this alone is one of the most valuable parts of the process and is
worth the price of admission.
Each have their own costs, benefits, and detriments. Spending money on this
may seem an unnecessary expense but what value do you place on the loses
and money left on the table from failing year after year to make that
breakthrough that requires a new way of looking at yourself, and the world.
But doing something, really anything is better than leaving these issues unexamined.
And, whatever route you decide to take make the time to determine what
is holding you back AND what to do to make the change.
That then is the next installment. Once we figure out what we need and what
has, up until now been holding us back, what can we do to make the changes
work and to achieve the breakthrough to the next level.
Dave Frees can be reached at 610-933-8069.
Dave is an attorney, author, and according to Steve Forbes, a Grand Master
of enhanced communications skills.
He teaches the skills of persuasion, influence and marketing to layers, C level
executives, and other professionals.
Dave divides his time between his speaking, publishing and consulting
and his law practice and between his home in Pennsylvania and his small
ranch in Cave Creek Arizona.
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