Many of us are addicted to doing.  We measure our self worth and success on how much we get done and how productive we are.   Based on my twenty plus years of studying human behavior and working closely with people to create change in all areas of their life, I can tell you that your success is not about what you do, it’s about who you think you are and what you think you can accomplish.

We all have stories we have created about who we are, what we deserve and what we can or can’t accomplish and why.  Our brain is wired to create these stories as a way of making sense of things in our world.  When I studied hypnosis, I learned the story of the woman who had a brain injury and was in the hospital recovering.  She truly believed that she was in her home and when the staff would ask her to explain the hospital gown, the doctors and nurses in and out of her room, the monitoring equipment and even the bank of elevators in the hallway, she always had a story (reason) for why they were in her house.

We do the same thing daily.  Starting early in life, we form answers to important questions such as “Am I valuable?” . . .  “Am I loveable?” . . .  “Is the world a safe place?” . . . “Can I trust people?” . . . “Will I get my needs met?” . . . “Is it safe to express my needs?”   The answers to these questions are formed based on our perception (how we make sense) of the interactions and situations happening to us and going on around us.  These answers are automatic and unconscious and they form the basis of our belief about who we are and what we are capable of doing, being or having.  Our belief about our self forms the stories we create daily around the people, situations, obstacles and lack in our life.

What we believe about our self and what we think we can accomplish determines our success.  If we don’t think we deserve something (success, money, recognition, attention, happiness) then it doesn’t matter what we do because we will sabotage our selves from getting it to fulfill our belief and confirm our story.

Does this mean you are doomed to stay where you are?  Absolutely NOT!  It does mean that you have to examine what you believe about yourself and your ability to do, be or have what you really want.  This takes soul searching and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings and choices.  Once you realize your beliefs, you can begin to recognize the stories you have created about everyone and everything in your life (including your business).  Recognition is power because once you SEE the story, you have the choice to CHANGE it.

Step 1:  Get real.  Evaluate what areas are not working in your business and in your life right now

Step 2:  Get Honest.  What is the story you have created for yourself and the other characters in the situation?  Where else is that story (or a very similar one) playing out in your life?  Remember, how you do anything is how you do everything.

Step 3:  Go Deeper.  What is the underlying belief (that defines who you are or what are capable of achieving) that is driving the story(s)?

Step 4:  Make a decision.  You formed this belief for a reason and it served to keep you safe at one point in time.  Do you still need it?  Is it helping you or hindering you from having the success you want?

Step 5:  Rewrite the story.  I had a client in the financial services industry who worked at a big name firm.  When everything erupted with the banks and the stories were flying about the rampant corruption within financial services, she found herself having difficulty charging her clients for her services.  When I began to question her, she realized that she was feeling guilty about charging people because she felt she needed to make up for the “sins” of the industry and she didn’t want people to think she was just out to make money and take advantage of people.  Her guilt came from her story that people had been victimized and she needed to protect them and make it right at her expense.  This story came from the belief that was formed early in life from living with a divorced mother who struggled with depression – her value came from her role as the caretaker who put others’ needs ahead of her own.  This was not only showing up in her relationship with her clients, but also in her personal relationships.  Once she realized the story and the underlying belief, she rewrote it so that she could take care of others AND take care of herself, too.  As a result, her income increased her relationships improved (work and personal) because she felt less resentful and more empowered in them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article.