Your beliefs about yourself and the world determine whether you’ll achieve your goals or fail. Negative, disempowering beliefs cause a vicious downward spiral, while positive beliefs create an upward virtuous circle.
For instance, let’s look at referrals. If you believe you are not good at getting referrals, how many referrals will you get? Darned few. And that will reinforce your negative belief, leading to fewer and fewer referrals.
Do you believe that by asking for referrals you are bothering your clients? If you had done a great job, clients would have offered referrals to you, you may think.
WHAT IS A CERTAIN NEGATIVE BELIEF GOING TO COST YOU IN THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS IF YOU DON’T CHANGE IT?
Let’s suppose, however, that you have a very different belief: “I deserve to get referrals because I do a good job for my clients.” With this belief, you won’t shy away from asking for referrals, and you’ll definitely get more of them. This will reinforce your positive belief, which leads to more success, more positive reinforcement and more success.
Steer clear of the negative
You acquire your beliefs throughout your life, and your environment has a big influence. If you’re in an office full of producers who keep saying the market is bad, it’s harder to get appointments, and the compliance department is impossible, you could easily adopt these negative beliefs. If you think you have adopted these beliefs, here’s a five-minute exercise that will help change them into more realistic, positive beliefs.
- Write down your negative beliefs.
- Now write down the consequences of these beliefs.
- What is a certain negative belief going to cost you in the next five to 10 years if you don’t change it?
- When I asked a group of advisors what it felt like after doing this exercise, they had the following responses: “It felt rotten.” “Depressing.” “It created a fear.”
Now write down your empowering, positive beliefs. You probably feel a lot better now. Writing down the consequences of these positive beliefs is optional, because the benefits are self-evident.
Clarify your goals
Since your beliefs determine whether you’ll achieve your goals, it’s important to be clear about your goals. What are your long- and short-term goals? Take a hard look at your practice. If your business model is incompatible with your beliefs, it is absolutely impossible to achieve a high level of success. You will sabotage yourself because you just don’t believe you’re doing the right thing. You’ll have to change either your business model or your beliefs.
To attain all of your goals and to have not just a practice that you desire but also the life you desire, you need to figure out what kind of person you want to become. You also need to believe that you can achieve that transformation. To accomplish this, write down one paragraph defining the person you need to evolve into to really achieve all your goals, dreams, ambitions and desires.
One advisor I coach wrote this: “I would work diligently every day, every hour toward a goal. I’d have an incredible ability to communicate with people. I would have tremendous self-confidence in my abilities and give great client service. I’d be a great investment advisor and give tremendously profitable, good advice.”
Another wrote: “I have high energy. I am a total professional. I have high contact level with all of my clients. I weigh 150 pounds and am tuned up physically. I have a single-digit handicap and I am able to mix easily with high wealth and I can be a top competitor to any financial firm.”
These are great positive beliefs.
Reinforce your vision
Write down your own beliefs on a piece of paper and read them every morning. Saying these new beliefs out loud helps reinforce your vision, hearing them makes them more real and repeating them helps them put down strong roots and grow.
Like anything worthwhile, changing negative beliefs into positive ones takes work. Some negative beliefs are like weeds and it shouldn’t be that difficult to uproot them. Others have deeper roots and are harder to dig out. Get started today. The rest of your career and life is at stake.
Joseph J. Lukacs, practice strategist and coach to insurance and financial advisors, is the founder of International Performance Group LLC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 321-255-2889 or through the internet at www.ipginc.net.