Did you attempt to make a new start at the beginning of this year? Was a new start one of your resolutions for 2023?
There are many reasons that this type of resolution fails:
- Unrealistic goals
- Vague goals
- Trying to meet other’s goals
- Goals that people tell you to make
- Lack of belief in yourself
- And sometimes life just gets in the way of the goals
Out of all the above reasons, the one that most often gets overlooked is a lack of belief in yourself. But I think it’s the most important reason so many people fail.
They just don’t buy into the goal. Resolutions sound great on New Year’s Day. In fact, a lot of people may be telling you how good the goal is and how they too are making a similar goal, but somehow you just don’t really buy into it.
Goals not only need to be goals you believe you can achieve; they also need to be goals you believe in. Your level of belief directly affects your performance and results. It also affects the people you interact with.
Let’s take a teacher for example.
The teacher may have a goal of being an exciting teacher that students love to learn from, and the goal for the next semester is that every student raise their grade point average. This is a great goal, and everyone tells the teacher how good a goal it is. But if the teacher doubts the capability of the students and how they will perform, the goal will never be met.
This is called the Pygmalion Effect. Robert Rosenthal, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside was the first person I know of to come up with this thought process. Basically, the Pygmalion Effect says that our expectations of other people (or ourselves) can create a self- fulfilling prophecy.
Robert’s report contained a study that involved a brand-new teacher that was hired to teach a new class of gifted students for the next school year.
What this teacher did not know was that these students had been tested and were found to have very low IQs. Basically, the worst of the worst kids were given to a person who thought and was told that they were gifted children.
As you would expect, when she started teaching, the students started misbehaving. They didn’t respond. They didn’t learn. But she believed these students were of higher IQ, so she figured she was the problem rather than the students. After all, these were gifted students and she was a teacher so if they weren’t learning, it must be her fault.
What happened? She started to take responsibility for their failures. She thought her teaching style may be uninspiring; it didn’t stimulate them or capture their attention. She started to experiment with and change the way she taught. She started to encourage the students. She strove to arouse their curiosity and challenge them with games and activities. She took the time to nurture these low IQ students.
The more she treated them like gifted students, the more they responded. By the end of the school year the grades of all the students had jumped tremendously. When they were retested, their IQs measured a 20- to 30-point increase across the board. That teacher took low IQ students and literally created high IQ students out of them. She did this because of a belief. She believed the students had higher intellect, so she treated them differently.
It was her belief that made the difference! She had built a belief system the moment she was told she would be teaching a class of gifted students. That belief transferred to the students she was teaching.
This can apply directly to you and your business. If you really and sincerely believe something can be accomplished, that something can be achieved, that some goal can be met, you stand a very good chance of achieving it.
Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, General Motors (and I’m sure many other companies) had a belief that to be a good executive you needed to meet certain criteria. The criteria included being male, being a certain height/ weight, race etc., it even included hair style and color.
For years, this belief was proven true. The majority of people who rose through the ranks met the criteria. People who did not meet these criteria failed to make it up the ladder of success. The company had full belief in this system and saw it proven year after year for decades.
When management finally began to question this and researched it, they found because of this belief, the people who did not meet these criteria were treated differently. They were given less responsibility and training. Fewer doors were open to them because, after all, why would time and money be wasted on people who were going to fail.
Management began to experiment and encourage, train and promote people who showed talent regardless of race, color, height, weight, hair, sex etc. What they found out was that there was no difference between the people. When given equal chance and opportunity, everyone rose (and fell) according to their own abilities, not according to some pre-conceived criteria.
Are you letting yourself and your business down due to pre-conceived notions of yourself, the market, your product, your customers, etc.?
Keep this in mind when you make your resolutions and goals. Do you really believe in them based on reality, not on pre- conceived notions you’ve inherited from others or developed on your own? If you really believe in them and yourself, you will take your business and life to new levels this year and beyond. I truly believe that! And I truly believe in you!
“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.”