Too often people search in the wrong places when trying to find out why they are not achieving their goals. They think there is something wrong with their time management program, so they buy a new one. They create long lists, and they rank things A, B and C only to find that they have over 100 As, 2 Bs and no Cs. The real problem is not the process they currently use to manage or use time. It is the habit of thoughts or attitudes they use to decide how they will use their time.
Belief systems lead to actions that cause results. If you or your people behave in ways that are counter-productive or do not support primary goals, then it is imperative that you identify the belief systems that cause that behavior. For example, let’s say you decide to exercise 3 days a week to achieve the goal of better health. However, your primary belief system is that exercise is boring and painful. What do you think the chances are that “exercise 3 days a week” will happen?
An additional thought on this dilemma of belief systems is that in our society we seek immediate gratification. The benefit of better health is a long-term goal. In the short term, a person avoids the pain of sore muscles and the loss of self-esteem that goes along with confirming one’s own bad physical shape by not going to the gym. In other words, they feel better about not going to the gym than they do about going. This is immediate gratification, even though the decision is a bad one.
In order to cause a change in behavior, a person must identify the immediate gratification they get from their bad behavior and the thought patterns that cause them to continue to practice it. Once identified, it is then necessary to find something more motivating to replace them. So, for example, many people would start to exercise if their doctor told them, “If you do not start to exercise tomorrow, you’ll have only six months to live, and if you do exercise, you will live another 25 years.”
Here are some examples of “habits of thought” or belief systems that may be preventing you from achieving your goals:
- Fear of making mistakes or allowing others to make them.
- Failure to delegate because of the belief that you can do things better and faster than the other people available to do the tasks.
- Discomfort with sharing information that would compel others to get things done in the right and timely manner.
- Perfectionism that causes one to spends too much time on things where the time is not warranted.
- Discomfort with giving positive feedback or “strokes” to others on a regular basis, causing those others to lose motivation and lower their productivity.
- An excessive need to “just be myself” and not adjust when appropriate, again causing others to lose motivation and be less productive.
The next time you or your people are not getting done what you think should be accomplished or are feeling constrained for time, find the belief systems that are getting in your way. You can change your belief systems if you make the effort and commit to doing so.
Howard Shore is a business growth expert that works with companies and people that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please or contact Howard Shore at (305) 722 7213 or [email protected].