Last week we discussed feeling “stuck” in our lives and our careers. In my role as a coach and manager I often see how people quickly discover the level of performance those around them will tolerate… and then they gravitate to that level. Imagine if your spouse would tolerate you going out for a beer every day after work with your buds and coming home late with a buzz on... then you would naturally gravitate to the fun and easy… maybe not really considering how it may be affecting your relationship long term.
The same is true in business. If your manager will allow you to miss sales meetings, slough off training/ coaching sessions, and close only a few transaction a year… then you too will gravitate to the easy... not fully realizing how it will negatively affect your career and your income.
Then as your performance at home and work decelerates, those around you will begin to assume this low level of performance is all you are capable of achieving and will eventually stop challenging you to do better. So in reality… you, and those around you, unconsciously reinforce low performance and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
Many times in our profession I hear the word “plateau” used to describe someone in the above described dimension….
How does Webster define plateau?
Pla-teau (noun) 1. An area of relatively high ground
2. A state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress.
Look at the 1st definition… when you are in a low production state I would not define it as “relatively high ground”… and for the 2nd … some low production agents may have never seen a period of activity or progress… so use of the term plateau is often misused. The reality is...you are stuck in your own beliefs and the beliefs of those who surround you.
Consider it this way...If you believe, think, and feel something… it becomes who you are. We all form mental boundaries which limit our performance... and these boundaries control everything we do… and what we achieve is always consistent with our own inner belief systems.
Your performance cannot expand beyond the limits we unconsciously place on ourselves. Based on our own perceptions, and the perceptions others have of us, we mentally draw a boundary circle around us we fully believe we cannot pass through. We make hundreds of these unconscious decisions about ourselves, our lives, and our capabilities every day... and with each decision we silently strengthen our boundary circles.
The only way growth can occur is to push back the inner walls of your circle… and we usually can only do this in small incremental expansions of your belief paradigm. If you are willing to undergo the hard work and stress of changing your inner most personal beliefs new positive thoughts and better performance will fill the expanded space within your circle.
Most old-school motivational efforts fail because they focus on changing actions and performance without first changing the base cause of a poor belief system.
If you want to change your performance first you must change your beliefs… (More to come).
Next Blog Topic: Changing your inner beliefs systems
Eddie Brown ©2016