What do a flea, a central heating thermostat and our achievements in life, have in common? Not much you would think – but you may be wrong.
Our self-belief is based on many things – what we are told by significant people in our lives e.g. parents, teachers, peers, friends – and increasingly importantly, what we hear and read in the media – especially social media. But is what we believe about ourselves actually true? We all accept very different things as true or real which means that what we believe about ourselves is what defines us, and more importantly, sets the limits to our expectations of what we can achieve in life.
Let’s get back to the flea. It’s widely known that the flea can jump significantly higher than its body mass, more than any other creature. If you put a flea in a jam-jar, it will jump right out of it. But if you put a lid on the jar, it continues to jump and hit the lid, until eventually it only jumps that high – if you remove the lid it will not jump out. The flea has ‘learnt’ its limitations.
Another way of looking at limitations is to observe how a central heating system works. Systems generally operate on a thermostat system which switches the heating on when the temperature falls below a set temperature we have chosen and switches it off if it goes above that temperature – it regulates the performance limits of the system around a ‘comfortable’ or ‘normal’ range.
Both these examples illustrate what is actually going on inside our minds – our inner belief system is controlling what we think we are capable of. If we think we cannot do something i.e. it is outside our ’normal’ range, it is very unlikely we will actually achieve it – because our ‘normal’ is our reality.
Therefore, your business/job/career will be as successful as your ‘normal’ allows it to be. So how can you change your ‘normal’ settings to achieve more of what you want in life?
Firstly, be aware of the beliefs that are holding you back (like the flea, what is your equivalent of the jam jar lid?) and decide what you want to believe instead. Next, instead of listening to that little voice which is always telling you what you can’t do, use positive talk to drown it out – you can do it! And finally, visualize yourself being successful in what you want – your sub-conscious will help you believe it is happening already.
Then it is a question of getting out of your comfort zone, (outside the thermostat range) and regularly, in small steps, trying new things and also achieving new things so that you train your mind to believe you are capable.
At IAOCR we want to enable organizational excellence in the clinical research industry. One way to help this is to encourage everyone to be the best they possibly can be – and that starts with small steps every day to increase your self-belief. What are you going to do today to jump out of the jam jar?