Over the years I have become fascinated with finding out why business owners are challenged with taking action and executing the routine action points they need to accomplish in order to be successful. What is most fascinating to me is that most of these business owners believe that if these action points are executed they will lead to success. Yet they still won’t take action?
Why is that?
Through experience and massive amounts of reading one major element keeps revealing itself to me. It isn’t a new concept. It isn’t groundbreaking news. However it is something that through my experience I have found we overlook every day.
What is it? It is our self-image!
You might be saying thanks for telling me what I already know Jeremy. Well, the reason why I am bringing this topic up is because as Jeffrey Gitomer states, “There is a big difference between knowing and doing.”
How come so many of us know what we need to do but we just don’t do it?
The answer is our self-image. It plays a major role in what we accomplish and what we don’t accomplish. The other thing I have discovered with regards to our self-image is that we don’t just have one self-image of ourselves, we have many.
How so? Well, aren’t there areas of your life where you are supremely confident and others areas where you have absolutely no confidence?
As an example, one common area I see in coaching my clients is that their self-image with regards to the technical aspect of their business is extremely high because it is the same skill set that made them successful for many years as an employee. As an employee they were able to sit behind a computer all day and just work on the areas of their expertise. However, as a business owner, in order for them to be successful they must get out from behind their workstation and interact with others.
For example, you could be an IT professional and have an outstanding self-image with regards to your technical skill set. However, when it comes to networking, meeting people and developing relationships you do everything you can to avoid this activity. Even though you know that once you are well connected in the community you will achieve the level of business that you have always desired.
So how come you don’t participate in this activity?
The reason you don’t participate is because you lack the confidence and proper self-image required for you to go out and involve yourself in this activity. It isn’t that you aren’t capable. In fact, you are absolutely capable. The challenge is you don’t believe you are good at this particular task. So what happens? You get what you believe. As long as you tell yourself you aren’t good at a particular task, such as networking, you won’t be good at networking.
So how do you overcome this challenge? The first thing you need to do is identify your self-image with regards to the various activities and tasks you must complete in your business on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis such as networking.
Once identified, I would like you to grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being 100% certain and 1 being no chance at all, with regards to your belief in your ability to be successful at the specific task.
I would like you to do the exact same exercise with regards to your personal life.
Now I would like you to identify the areas of your life, either personal or business related, where you scored yourself a 10.
I want you to analyze why you are a 10 in certain areas and how come you are less than a 10 in other areas? The same reason you are a 10 in a specific area is the same self-image you need to work to be a 10 in every other area.
For example, Tony Robbins discusses in ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ this specific topic. He wonders why a football player can be absolutely unstoppable on the football field but when it comes to his history class his test scores suffer. He states that the same certainty and confidence that the player portrays on the football field is available to the player in the class room. Yet he doesn’t leverage it? Why? Self-image!
After reviewing your scores I would like you to ask yourself what skill sets you need to develop to improve your self-image by one point in each area.
As used in the initial example, if networking is a challenge for you, what skill set can you improve to increase your self-image by one point with regards to networking?
Remember it isn’t a sprint. It is a marathon. If you are a 5 in a particular area I want you to ask yourself what you need to accomplish to become a 6. Once you become a 6 you can then focus on developing yourself to become a 7.
How would your self-image improve if you just had clarity with regards to what you desire to achieve?
Do you have a purpose for each networking event you attend? Is it written down? How would you benefit from defining your specific purpose for this activity? Wouldn’t your self-image improve dramatically once you understood what you were striving to achieve and had absolute clarity with regards to what you needed to accomplish to achieve your purpose?