How To Influence People The Root Cause For Procrastination Harness The Power Of Skill Sets And Mindsets Multiple Steps To Success
No matter how one looks at it, success and respect come in the form of other people, perhaps even complete strangers. Rare is it in today’s world that success will happen in total isolation. No surprise that some of the most successful and respected individuals know a thing or two about how to deal with others.The ability to communicate and influence others’ way of thinking, and to actually transform their opinions, is an invaluable life skill.
The obstacle of attaining this life skill is one that everyone faces. Anger, selfishness, and pride all work against our better judgment. The idea is to become proactive, to work toward a resolution rather than toward your own base desires; which will come under fire the more it conflicts with other desires; and so on, until it comes full circle. Disagreements add more fuel to the fire, until neither party is able to influence the other. To be proactive means to step back from the situation, and to examine it from a different angle. Chances are you want your way simply because, well, it’s your way. Consider the fact that the other person thinks the same. So be proactive and negotiate yourself out of a one-way street that’ll lead to zero resolutions; because while you may get the other person to agree, have you really influenced their opinion?
Look at it this way: “right” is “wrong.”
How can that be? The way to peoples’ hearts, the way to influence their opinions, is not to impose your will onto theirs’. They first need to see the light before they alter their mode of thought. Approach your opinion as though it were a scientific method, without the pride of being right. It is that very possessive nature that creates disapproval in people. And unless you’re in a scientific or highly technical environment, approach the discussion as if it had multiple resolutions. Step outside of yourself and join the team.
The idea is to influence others, rather than simply imposing your will. Become impersonal if you have to; all the better to swim through a sea of ideas and opinions, without the risk of being offended. Assess the problem, and not who said it. A proactive person is more concerned with a resolution than with retribution. The point remains to be said that other variables are at stake, and that “your” viewpoint is not the only path. This does not mean that you cannot disagree. Disagreements are inevitable; but there is a sharp contrast between a personal disagreement and a holistic disagreement. Chances are that a holistic disagreement is a lot more convincing, and more respectable, than a personal one. Because when holistic matters become too personally charged, it becomes detached from a holistic resolution.
The ability to communicate with others is not as vague as it sounds. The abilities to influence and to disagree are the two principle components of a born leader. Because being “right” is only as good as getting the person to agree.
Why is it that we as human beings often behave in ways that we don’t really want to? How often have you said or done something only to cringe at the thought of it afterwards? The truth is that your behaviour is mostly driven by your unconscious mind, especially behaviours that is hard to explain from an intellectual point of view. Procrastination is knowing what to do, having the ability and desire to do it, but still you don’t do it. Although there are many apparent causes for procrastination, the root cause for this illogical behaviour resides in your unconscious mind.
Your conscious mind is very limited in its ability to deal with life. That over which you have conscious control is mostly limited to one thing at a time. This is why using your willpower to create any real change rarely works long term. What you need to do is to change your automatic behaviour which resides in your unconscious mind, that part of you that controls all the vital function of your mind and body. You can try and overcome procrastination by using willpower but it will usually be a short term change. The cause for procrastination is not your conscious actions, but your unconscious associations that is to a large extent responsible for your behaviour.
Your nervous system is designed to preserve you and when fear presents itself your nervous system, through the working of your sub-conscious, will “kick in” to “protect you. The ironic thing is that we train ourselves, unconsciously, to fear certain things by making false associations about the meaning. Nothing in life has any meaning but the meaning you give it. You literally create neurological links to experiences that gets “stored” in your nervous system so that you can act quickly and accordingly next time. Whenever something happens to you, you assign a meaning to it by the way you communicate the experience to yourself. Unconsciously you are always trying to establish meaning and at a very basic level you are trying to establish whether something means pain or pleasure. This meaning then gets stored in your unconscious mind that will help you act (or re-act) appropriately in the future. The challenge is that when associations are reinforced you build up beliefs that will greatly influence your behaviour and is often the cause for procrastination.
Although procrastination makes no sense intellectually it actually reveals a lot about your unconscious and your self imposed limitations and (in)abilities. The major cause for procrastination is fear, and more specifically your fear that taking action will lead to pain or a painful experience of some kind. At some level your unconscious mind combines and searches it’s “files” to come up with a “link” that associates the action to a painful experience. This can range from something which is mildly uncomfortable to something physically painful. Although you consciously want to do something your unconscious will prevent you as it associates pain to the action. As human beings we automatically reach for comfort and will almost automatically reach for whatever feels comfortable in the moment. This is why you often procrastinate on tasks that do not feel good in the moment although it will mean much more pleasure in the future.
Learning to push against this need for comfort is what creates all the growth that is necessary for you to really produce results. When you start to see procrastination as a blessing in disguise; you can start to use it and embrace the behavioural insights it holds for you. Procrastination reveals your fears and, quite by design, gives you the necessary resistance needed to expand and grow in your capacity to push past your fears and create the things you really want for your life. The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of “discomfort” you can comfortably deal with. Procrastination can also shed some light on the goals that you value most, as your concern over procrastinating on it shows that some part of you care enough to be concerned.
It’s been said that first we form our habits and then our habits form us. This is also true for habits of mind and procrastination often manifests itself as a habitual pattern of thinking. Your thoughts lead to and help create your actions. Like the engraved pattern on a record your behaviour will “play the same tune” every time. Your associations to pain and pleasure play an important part in your habitual behaviour in that it determines what you will or will not do. By repetition you form habitual patterns of thinking that will cause you to automatically act or retract in certain ways when your habit pattern gets triggered.
Being aware of your associations to pain and pleasure is critical in dealing with the root cause of procrastination. There are many symptomatic solutions that will not create a lasting result. Although you have to use your willpower initially, your aim is to re-establish your associations to the tasks you are avoiding. You can be, do or have whatsoever your heart desires providing that you can overcome your self imposed fears and take action. Although the real cause for procrastination resides in your unconscious mind, you are ultimately in control with your conscious actions.
When you have a problem, sometimes you need a new skill or skill set to deal with it. That was an epiphany generated from listening to a speaker the other day. Everything seemed so clear in that moment. Yes, it made sense.
Sometimes when you wrestle with problems, you might not see an immediate solution and you struggle to find one. After a while, you might give up completely, thinking that it is impossible to find a solution for that particular problem. At that moment, the idea that you might simply need new skills or knowledge to overcome the difficulty can be very empowering.
Making that mental connection allows you to escape being stuck and giving up, it focuses your mind on a solution. It doesn’t allow you to think that there is no solution which can only lead to depression or feeling ‘down’.
But then you might think that you lack knowledge or skills in a certain area. Yet, you know that you could either find that knowledge or develop the skills to solve your problem.
Alternatively, you could hire someone to solve your problem. NO killing please, that is not a solution, but a doorway to greater problems. However, under normal circumstances, hiring someone with the right skills is perfectly acceptable. For example, you might higher a plumber if you have a problem with your shower or sink. You could take the time to learn the skills but you have to weigh the value of that learning curve against how much it would cost to actually hire someone with the skills already.
Maybe you have decided that there is no one with the skill set you need available or that it is worth your time to develop a new skill. What are some sources of knowledge and places to develop these new skill sets? Libraries, books, online searches, bookstores, Internet, circles of influence, brainstorming, mastermind groups and even asking someone you don’t know for their viewpoint can sometimes yield new ideas, leading to new results.
The bottom line is that there are resources everywhere for you to tap into, you just have to open your eyes and allow yourself to become aware that this is the case. There is always a way to find new resources and you can keep tapping those resources for expertise until you find what you are looking for and you develop the new skill.
There are also ways to reframe existing problems. Questioning the underlying thoughts that support your belief that you even have a problem in the first place can sometimes yield interesting results. Sometimes we get stuck in a mindset and asking ourselves questions to understand the legitimacy or redefine the reality of situation can be most useful.
Having an interest in online business, I often frequent forums that are for people who have or want a successful online business. There is one theme that recurs time and time again, and one that touches me with sadness. That is, the number of people who sound despondent and want to give up. You may think that such an attitude would be confined to those who had at been trying to get their online business going for a year or more. Often, though, it might just be a month, or like an example today, three weeks.
Such a short term view is totally unrealistic. In that particular case, the person concerned was being given a kick start by a highly experienced and well known internet marketer, for free. He was complaining already, despite not having done anything himself, that he had so far received no benefit, and that the whole idea needed to be rethought, presumably so that he could be raking in a fortune inside another month without doing any work.
That sort of attitude is likely to lead to failure for a tough ambition such as making a decent income online. Success at anything normally involves taking one step at a time, sometimes along several parallel routes that, eventually, run into one and bring you success. With working online, for example, there are a wide variety of skills, methodologies and pitfalls, all to be dealt with methodically en route to success. Success does not come quickly unless you are very lucky; but those who are patient, have a vision, and are prepared to work hard, taking a step at a time, have a very good chance of succeeding….eventually.
I was not sure whether to feel sorry for that particular poster, or annoyed with him for complaining about what was some valuable free assistance from a genuine expert. In the end, I felt neither, and left him to find out the realities of life.
Most visions of success do really need a number of steps to be taken, and success cannot be achieved in one giant leap. A good example is with a professional qualification, such as the management accounting qualification for which I studied when I was younger. The end result, the “success”, was a certificate, but you could not just order that certificate. There were several series of steps:
1. 5 stages of either 3 or 4 examinations had to be passed to qualify; a total of 18 examinations in all.
2. To pass a stage, you had to pass each exam individually, which meant being well inside the top 40% of students for each one. Fail in one, and you fail the stage. That meant starting again.
3. Each examination required different skills, knowledge and practical application to succeed. Subjects were varied, such as computing, marketing, financial accounting, organisation and management, contract law, business law, and corporate planning. Each was a separate step, requiring a separate approach, with no scope to put a foot wrong. Each a big step in itself, with many little steps along their own route.
Once a stage was passed successfully, it was like starting all over again with another series of steps, each getting progressively more difficult. Many students fell by the way side or had to resit. There was no avoiding the necessary steps.
That is true of most ambitions in which you seek success. If success is really worthwhile in something, it is unlikely to be easy and simple. So it is best to bear that in mind when focusing on your goal.
Once you have a vision of your goal, you need to recognize all the essential steps to the goal’s realization. There is no harm in imagining the final success; visualization of fulfilment will help. However, you do need to give appropriate attention to each of the essential steps. In the professional qualification example, I hated business law, but had to give it special attention to pass, otherwise all my work on the other subjects in that stage would have been worthless. Having got through that stage, the next included company law, which was nothing more than a memory test. I hated that even more; but still had to pass it.
Most worthwhile goals have similar essential steps, which you need to recognise, and then devise a plan to address each step with whatever effort, knowledge, skills and practice you may need. Having formed your plan for each step, you can then set about them methodically, carving your way to success, one step at a time.
If you write down your goal, and then the individual, essential steps, you will have the great satisfaction of ticking off each step, and then stand back and see you have reached your vision. Your goal will be achieved..
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