15 September 2009

Do You Soak in Self-Fulfilling Messages?

Remember when mother used to say: watch what you say? She was wrong.

It's much more powerful to watch what you think.

Most of us bombard ourselves with conscious and/or unconscious mental messages everyday that guide our beliefs about what's possible. Then we take the actions that live up to those beliefs.

This is true in every area of life, and it's no less true with regard to being in business for yourself. What are the messages you give yourself about what it will take to succeed?

Here's a list of some of the more destructive self-fulfilling messages that have lead to a lot of counselors and coaches I know going out of business this year:
  • I don't have time to market
  • I can't narrow down my interests to one ideal client group
  • I don't want to limit myself
  • It doesn't feel professional
  • I don't want to have to sell myself to get clients
  • I can't possibly spend money on marketing when I don't have clients
  • It's not my style to set goals and track progress
  • I'm not comfortable being an aggressive networker
You may have these messages in your head, or others that are keeping you unfocused, scared, unproductive, and stuck. If you aren't working on changing these mental mantras, they will drive you out of business.

What can you do?

Get very clear about what your destructive self-fulfilling messages are. Make a list.

Then choose the one that has the most power for you, the one you're most afraid to change, and imagine what could be different in your business if it magically shifted. Do you like what you imagine?

If so, tackle this as a professional and personal improvement project. Determine what actions are needed to overcome this message -- what risks need to be taken, what resources need to be acquired, what timeline will you set for changing this false belief, and who will help you be accountable for making it happen?

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