As you read this, you’re somewhere near the halfway point of your year, and it’s useful to take a moment to reflect on your progress. Think back to the beginning of 2005 and the promise it held. Did you set some goals? I’m sure you did. Did you resolve to get in shape? Really build your practice and take it to the next level? Quit smoking? Get your finances in order? Spend more time with your family? All of the above?
If what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything else. Just do it quickly.
Whatever your resolutions were, take a moment right now to evaluate your progress. As you assess, you’ll find yourself in one of three situations:
- You are on track
- You are slightly off track
- You currently can’t remember where the track is located
Most advisors (most people, really) find themselves in one of the last two situations because they identify that they really want to grow, without identifying the emotional barriers that live inside of them. As human beings, we all come hardwired with these barriers, and we must overcome them if we want to experience positive growth in any area of life.
The four emotional barriers to growth are:
- Unwillingness to accept full responsibility.
Your growth is up to you and you alone. Certainly you have resources
and should get help achieving your goals, but ultimately you reap
the harvest that you plant. If you are blaming your situation
on “the market,” “the economy,” “the
territory” or “the anything” other than the
person currently reading this article, wake up! Until you accept
that you are responsible for the quality of your life, growth
- Unwillingness to take decisive action.
All the knowledge in the world is useless until it is put into
motion. Once you’ve decided to make your life better, make
a plan and get going. A mentor of mine once told me, “It’s
much easier to act your way to proper thinking than to think your
way into proper acting.” Growth cannot occur until you start
moving; if what you’re doing isn’t working, do anything
else. Just do it quickly.
- Unwillingness to look foolish.
The pursuit of anything worthwhile will definitely require you
to take some risks. You’ll need to go beyond your comfort
zone and in that process, you’ll stumble, fall or look dumb
at least once—it’s guaranteed. The sooner you stop
worrying about appearances the sooner growth can begin.
- Beginning with incorrect premises. Many of the things that we’ve come to believe about success, health and prosperity simply are not true. Some have never been true, and some used to be true but aren’t anymore. For example, what would happen to your practice if you still lived by your mom’s advice to never talk to strangers? How many people lost money in the stock market since 2002 because of the incorrect premise that the “New Economy” was so different from the old that nobody could lose? I could give dozens of other examples; for now, suffice it to say that growth cannot occur until you have an accurate view of the world.
Overcoming these hurdles
These barriers must be overcome if you want to grow, and the good news is that you definitely can overcome them. How? A simple, three-step formula:
- Accept your current situation, forgive
yourself for any mistakes that got you off track, and then decide
that you are totally responsible for changing your direction.
Not your family, not your company, not your clients,
- Take action. Create a 12-week
goal for yourself, make a plan and dive in to executing that plan.
The key to getting out of a slump is always to hit it head on.
You’ve been thinking too much already, so get moving—now!
- Feed your brain. Get into the habit of reading positive material and listening to good audio material for 30 minutes a day.
The first two steps will start you moving; the last one will help you make sure you’re on the right path. I’d love to hear about your journey. Be free!
Roger Seip is co-founder of Freedom Speakers and Trainers (www.deliverfreedom.com), which offers workshops on memory training, goal setting, time management and communication skills. He can be reached at 888-233-0407.