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Is your outdated “mental software” holding your business back?

Did you get the most recent software upgrade, download, update, patch, service pack… whatever these tech folks call it these days, for… your mind??

I was working with a new client a few days ago, and I heard all sorts of “disturbing” language that she was using. No, I don’t mean swear words or anything like that.

Let me back up for a moment.

As a professionally trained coach with several years of experience, one of the things I’m really good at is seeing in my clients (even though all my client work is done via phone) what they are thinking by using highly evolved listening skills.

This helps me to find out exactly what is blocking a client from moving forward.

For example, when he says that he already knows ‘what’ to do, but just isn’t doing it, the reason is probably an internal block of some kind, and at that point I know to start asking questions to uncover the block and help him address the situation and find a workable solution.

So, getting back to my newest client, I was listening intently as she described her dreams (“dreams” was her word), and we discussed possible ways to get over her challenges and to make her dreams a reality.

But there were some major blocks in the way. I heard one or two key statements and knew right away that she was on the wrong path – that her “dream” was going to end up as more of a nightmare – a programmed response to what she thought she was ’supposed’ to want to accomplish with a business.

Here is a list of “red flag” statements that I heard:

“I could see myself doing it, I guess…”
“It wouldn’t be the worst thing…”
“I just have to get over that…”
“I should just focus on….”
“The work isn’t too boring…” (I almost fell out of my chair with that one)
“I should just do it and embrace it…”

Now taken individually and in casual conversation, these statements really don’t seem that alarming. They just sound like someone who hasn’t really found her motivation or is compromising what she wants. And I can honestly say that many years ago as a less experienced coach hearing something like this, I probably wouldn’t have known that she was going in completely the wrong direction. I probably would have thought she just needed some help to see the positives in what she was telling me, and she perhaps would have come to the same conclusion as many of us do in our daily lives.

Luckily for both of us, these days, these sorts of statements stand out like a sore thumb to me when I hear even just one uttered inconspicuously. When I hear a bunch of them in a short time frame such as during this conversation, I know we need to lift some blinders and get down to work.

So what happened?

After asking her some questions to dig deeper, my client realized that she was running “new information through her old programming.” She had built up a mental software package that allowed her to be very good at being a mom, a wife, and the head of her household, and one that let her always put others’ needs before her own.

But now, her children are grown, she’s starting a business, and she has new goals, ambitions and interests. But her old programming was only letting her process this new information in a certain way – that of someone whose needs still always come second, and the biggest block was that she was completely blind to it. She had no idea she was thinking, processing and putting together a business plan based on faulty assumptions because they were so ingrained within her and they served her very well for so many years in her “former” life but were now a detriment.

Well, after she was able to hear herself and realize what the problem was, she told me she felt completely transformed. She understood the situation of the old programming, how it was affecting her, and she came up with an action plan to “upgrade her systems.”

And wouldn’t you know it:

A few days later I received an email from her which had so much new, exciting news. In a very short time, she had come up with and initiated a plan that excited and motivated her – one that uses her true passions and skills, and she is now in the thick of moving forward with a new business that is poised to thrive!

What about you?

Is your mental software holding you back, or is it up-to-date and helping you reach the accomplishments that you say you want to achieve?

To your success,

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