We’ve recently completed powerful exercises in self-awareness and self-talk. In the next 60 seconds, your One-Minute Coaching™ will build on the knowledge you’ve gained to uncover beliefs hidden deep in your blind spots. Ready? Set. Go!
Your One-Minute Coaching™
Writing down your internal monologue (self-talk) was likely a challenge. However, this next exercise will be even harder. Here it is: For the next week, think critically about your beliefs. Review your records of your self-talk again and write down the beliefs or interpretations you can draw from them. Pay attention to the unspoken convictions that influence your decisions, and write them down as well. Keep going until you have a list of at least a dozen beliefs.
Why is this an important exercise for you to complete?
Because, as you are about to read, knowing your beliefs will definitely enable you to improve your executive performance. Your beliefs shape and often drive your actions. Misbeliefs can and often do derail an executive’s career. It is critical that you catch yourself when you are operating on a misbelief.
How to Identify Your Misbeliefs
- Use your notebook, smartphone, tablet, or recording device.
- When you notice a limiting belief or interpretation of reality, capture it as best you can, a few lines at a time. Look at any belief that is not working for you. You may need to look at your blind spots to see what your executive challenges are. If you have not yet done so, take our executive assessment—it will help you see more clearly what areas you may need to look at.
- Identify five to ten of your most prevalent misbeliefs and those that are most damaging to your performance.
- Select the top two or three to work on. We will talk about how in “Should You Change Your Beliefs?“
Some beliefs that you notice will annoy you and others you will defend vigorously. The idea is to raise your awareness levels, not to make judgments.
Are Your Beliefs Misguiding You?
We generally don’t notice how our minds work with beliefs. This is because beliefs are embedded. We tend to take them for granted. And, we often assume they are universal truths. But beliefs are a way the mind filters information. So as not to be overwhelmed with incoming perceptions, the mind forms a mental model or a representation of reality for a purpose. This is your mindset.
Many executives confuse their perception of the environment with the actual environment, concluding they can’t change things because that’s the way things are. In other words, they have a rigid mindset. If we remember that our perceptions are the map and not the territory, then we realize we can be flexible in changing our beliefs and considering alternatives. This is critical for top executive functionality.
Unfortunately, many executives pride themselves on quick thinking and the ability to size up people and situations in nanoseconds. They forget that their interpretation of reality is not necessarily reality. Simply put, it is critical to keep an open, flexible mind when solving workplace challenges.
- Are there beliefs you hesitate to acknowledge or write down because they don’t match your ideals? Or perhaps they don’t match your value system.
- Do you feel confident that your list of beliefs is honest and accurate?
- Do you notice conflicts in your beliefs?
Once you’ve completed the exercises here, read “Should You Change Your Beliefs?” There, we’ll explore the impact this new knowledge can have on your executive career. Alternatively, if you are a bona fide senior executive and want to talk about your findings ASAP, click the button below to schedule a call. I will be happy to give you a few complimentary coaching sessions to try me out.
I don’t believe that you would have come this far as an executive if you were not serious about taking your game to the next level. Is that true?
Enjoy this process of looking at your belief systems. And we will continue with this thread in “Should You Change Your Beliefs?“
By the way, if you are enjoying this series, please send it to some of your colleagues. We are trying to grow our readership, and would appreciate your help. ’Til next week, keep hitting them long and straight.