How do You Suck?

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Your beliefs about yourself, others around you, and the world in which you live play a pivotal role in pushing you towards, or pulling you away from, the successes in life that you seek. It is no surprise then that I place so much emphasis on determining a client’s beliefs (whether empowering or limiting) during the coaching process. As I’ve stated numerous times before, eighty percent of being successful in whatever your ambition entails is how you represent the situation and circumstances internally (mentally). The other twenty percent is made up of the mechanical components (actions) that you take in pursuit of your objective.

The problem is that, as human beings, we tend to focus on the twenty percent (mechanics) and obsess over what we could be doing differently in order to have a better result. In the context of the “body” heading, this is the cause of “program hopping”, constantly switching up dietary practices, or flip-flopping between “should I focus on growing, or lean out for a while”.

If you’ve found yourself guilty of thinking that way or demonstrating that behavior in the past, chances are your focus was on the mechanics; i.e. finding the “perfect” program, diet, etc.

If that’s you, then you probably did not reach the level of success that you were after in the first place, and instead encountered loads of frustration along the way.

Believing that you don’t have the right program, the right amount of time, or access to the right equipment to make the changes that you want in your body are all examples of limiting beliefs that will, without a doubt, serve as major road blocks on your journey. Such beliefs are not restricted only to the body however, and are present in each of the other four major areas of your life (relationships, business, finance, and mission).

You may believe that “all women are ______”, or that you don’t bring enough to the table to truly attract the women of your dreams.

You may genuinely desire to be “your own boss”, but feel that you lack enough knowledge or experience to provide significant enough value to others for them to pay you for your services, or if you’re an employee, that you lack the proper credentials to land the big promotion.

You might think that you are “not good with money”, and that you have bad habits that keep you from getting ahead financially, or that it is impossible to build wealth while in debt.

You may have an excellent vision of a major contribution that you could make to the world, a way in which you could enrich the lives of many, and be remembered as a great man in history, but feel that you are not the “right guy” to do that sort of thing.

These are a just a few examples of the many common limiting beliefs that I find hidden inside of my clients’ brains. A few may apply to you. If not, you should clearly be able to see that the type of thinking associated with beliefs like those is not conducive to making any kind of significant progress in any of the associated life headings.

All of us possess limiting beliefs. We aren’t always consciously aware that we have them; sometimes it takes our belief being challenged in order to identify it. It is crucial that we do understand where ours lie however, because in order to move forward without the belief, we need to eliminate it using a variety of different tools.

One assignment that I give coaching clients early on in the process is the task of creating a list of all the ways in which they “suck”. This assignment comes after the client has already been guided through creating their personal standards for each of the five headings, and has learned the appropriate exercises to perform with that material to ingrain the concept deep into their subconscious.

The assignment is simple; referencing their personal standard for a given heading (i.e. their ultimate and most desired outcome) they must list all of the negative qualities that they possess that have kept them from reaching that goal to this point in their life. Since most people are used to phrasing things negatively (a big no-no for my clients), this is an easy exercise. I’ve literally received lists from clients that are four or more pages long.

The information that the client provides in this list is extremely important to me as their coach. This data speaks volumes to me in terms of how this person represents the world and, most specifically, their own potential and purpose in it.

Once I know what they believe, I am then able to work with them to destroy the barriers standing between them and where they want to be (evidenced by their standards). This is a fun and excited process for both the client and I, and represents one of the biggest “a-ha” moments for the client during their work with me.

Here are a few recent examples of limiting beliefs that clients were able to immediately overcome:

The client that recognized that the schooling and career path he was currently on was not for him and wanted to strike out on his own in an entrepreneurial venture but stated that he was “afraid to take risks”. A bit of prodding revealed a lot of “risky” behavior in his personal life (most of which was life and death risk, not insecurity risk) that far exceeded the risk of pursuing his dream. This client was able to learn that his “fear of risk” was contextually dependent, that at heart he is a risk taker, and that his fears of striking out on his own are centered around the insecurities caused by an outcome that is not yet well-formed enough, not a characteristic of his personality. I’m proud to say that he is working his ass of on forming the latter, now devoid of the notion that he won’t have the “balls” to launch when the time comes.

The client who told me that he is not “detail oriented” enough to advance to the position that he desires. The interesting part here is that he is a computer programmer for one of the largest Internet companies in the world! He writes code for a monster of a company that each and every one of you reading are most definitely familiar with. So his prowess in the tedious task of code writing was exceptional enough to be hired by this company, but clearly he is not “detail oriented”. As you can imagine, a lot of laughs are shared when clients realize how downright silly some of their beliefs are. While an interaction like his might be comical to a degree, the loss in quality of life that comes about as a result of possessing such a belief is no laughing matter.

The middle aged male client whose marriage of close to twenty years collapsed, leaving him with the belief that women are money hungry, cheating whores (quite a harsh generalization). This belief led him to seek out women many years his junior who were impressed by his lavish possessions and aura of power (I backed him through this initial phase, letting him blow off some steam). He had established his belief, and therefore sought the very type of woman that would do little more than solidify it with regularity (..um, his belief I mean). We like to do this as humans; we like to be “right”. He then reunites with a long lost love with whom he shared a tremendous amount of great experiences and who he claimed was “the only woman who ever really loved him”. Sounds great right? Not if he’s walking around with a belief that she must be “just like the others”. Helping him overcome that little nugget of nonsense was very rewarding. I’m happy to say that the two of them are very much in love, and that he has completed his puzzle by obtaining the companion in life that he’s wanted all along.

Here’s my challenge to you.

Get yourself a piece of paper and write the following headings on it:

  1. Body
  2. Relationships (remembering that this includes friends/family as well as significant others)
  3. Career/Professional Life
  4. Finance
  5. Mission

Now think of what your “dream” is in each category. If I waved my magic wand, what would the perfect life look like with regards to each of the above?

With that “dream life” scenario in mind, list all of the ways in which you “suck” at being the type of person that is willing, able, and deserving of manifesting that sort of success and happiness.

Pull no punches! Really let yourself have it. This is an incredibly important part of the process of creating the life that you truly desire because it exposes all of the underlying mental opponents, which you must destroy with prejudice in order to get there.

In a perfect world I would be able to personally discuss each of your lists with you on a one- on-one basis. In this world however, JP is a busy dude. The information you generate will be valuable to you in identifying your limiting beliefs on your own regardless, but should you desire to seek further guidance and direction on precisely how to slay your own personal dragons, my door is always open to new coaching clients.

If you’re ballsy enough, post a few tricky ones up in comments, and I’ll see what I can do about providing some feedback on here.

As always, feel free to contact me via email john@villainintl.com

I look forward to hearing from you.

Now as Steve Anderson, one of my favorite shooting coaches says, “Get to work!”

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One Response

  1. Will have to give this a go..

    February 20, 2014 at 8:49 pm

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