According to behavioral scientists, the secret to your personal growth resides in your core beliefs. When you believe in doing something, your thoughts lead you to action! But without being intentional about designing actions that align with your beliefs, no new change initiative will sustain. NO BELIEF = NO SUSTAINABLE ACTION.
Take a second to consider: What are your core beliefs about personal growth? Do you believe You are worth investing in? Do you see yourself as a force for good, with the capacity to influence others and change the world? How are your actions influenced by these beliefs?
My experience has been the most effective leaders can immediately identify the habits/behaviors they do daily that drive their key results/outcomes. Good leaders take the time create alignment between their beliefs > actions > results. So what shapes your beliefs? And can you intentionally increase your “Belief” in doing the right things? Yes, thank goodness, we all have the capacity to create experiences for ourselves that inform the right Beliefs. Thanks Tom Smith and Roger Connors for the Results Pyramid!
We must also consider that our brains are hardwired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. So, if your beliefs/actions don’t align and you are not intentional about creating positive experiences, you’re going to stagnate in your own little Cozy Club. Explains why 86% of the planet is stuck in their status quo and will never achieve the personal growth they desire. Over time they conclude all attempts at their personal growth fail and healthy diets, workout routines, personal goal setting does not work for them.
AGAIN, take a second to consider: What do You Want? What are the habits/behaviors that drive results? WHAT ARE THE RIGHT BELIEFS that make that compelling? I challenge you today to write these down. Intentionally writing out your core beliefs that support each desired habit. I.e. What I must believe to take consistent action? What belief makes it compelling? Creating alignment between your beliefs > thoughts, and actions is the secret to personal growth.
Steven Covey codified this principle in his bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He showed how: Beliefs -> Thoughts -> Actions -> Habits = Character
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Stephen R. Covey
Similarly, Gandhi stated:
If you want to dig a little deeper into how habits are formed and why you must choose the appropriate beliefs, I highly recommend you read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.
In my coaching practice, observing hundreds of clients, here’s what I’ve learned about the relationship between beliefs, habits, and personal growth:
#1: Leaders rarely make significant changes to their personal routines until there’s a crisis or a compelling reason to act.
In essence, they must be stretched out of their comfort zone. Examples: A divorce or threat of divorce. A health scare. Getting fired or fear over losing their job/status. Receiving formal feedback/reprimand from their CEO over a performance gap or a behavioral issue. So, I tell my clients (after delivering 360 Feedback), you can either rise up and embrace the FACTS by making some changes NOW, or you’ll face the most likely and natural consequences.
What changes are you trying to make? Make sure your beliefs support these changes. Don’t wait for the crisis to ACT.
#2: Whatever the new initiative or change approach is, it must align with your beliefs and values.
The most effective and pragmatic approach here is asking the client what has worked for them in the past. Bringing them back to a place when they were consistently doing the key behavior or habit, and getting the desired results. I call this process, “Minding the Knowing vs Doing Gap!” You’d be shocked at how large the average leader’s gap is….compared to the top 10% of leaders. Simply reducing a leader’s gap by 25% has a profound impact on their confidence and their capacity to lead. Reduce your gap, and you’ll better lead your team.
#3: The top 10% leaders know and nail their daily drivers!
Your daily drivers are the habits and routines that you do to boost your productivity and to bring out your best. Great leaders know their drivers (both personal and business) and they have a compelling case/why they do them. They create alignment between their beliefs > thoughts > habits by creating the right experiences (hanging around the right people, celebrating successes, reading the right books. They have a keener awareness (a compelling internal why) for what they do and how it impacts their leadership capacity and the business. The average person only achieves about 30-50% of their “daily drivers” on any given day. But the top 10% of leaders achieve consistently north of 70%.
There’s a great deal of difference between knowing something and recognizing its significance. Don’t wait for life to crush you, before you reach this understanding. Knowing “what” to do is not enough.
Your greatest personal growth plan is found in the space between your knowing vs your doing. You must intentionally set your core beliefs, monitor how your experiences are influencing your behaviors, close your knowing-doing gap, and you will become THE BEST VERSION OF YOU!
Here’s a simple start:
- Seek feedback
- Do a personal SWOT analysis
- Identify your personal growth goals and use the Results Pyramid Tool above to create alignment.
- Find an accountability partner/coach to help draw out and frame your Knowing-Doing Gap.