The most important “vision” that we can have is the vision that we have of ourselves – in other words our self-image. Sometimes we fall into ruts and we develop negative habits and a negative self image.
I have had times when I have not hit my goal, and that has affected my confidence. I have also had times when things turned out to be totally different than what I planned for, and that tested my belief in my abilities. For those of you in real estate for example, I definitely know what it feels like to have everything that you thought was true to end up totally different.
If you think you have ever been in a rut, consider this: The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s a very odd number.
But, that gauge was used because that’s the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.
And, the English built them that way because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
And the people who built the tramways used the same jugs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.
The roads for the wagons had to be built that way because, well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that’s the spacing of the old wheel ruts.
So who built these old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long-distance roads in Europe. The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots.
Thus, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Rome army chariot. The Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.
If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.
Many people believe that they can think their way out of their ruts or negative self-image. I hear people say things, “I just need to get motivated” or, “I forgot my purpose.” That just gets them feeling frustrated because you cannot think your way out of a rut or into a more positive self image.
I’m going to talk to you about how to get out of that negative self-image a lot faster and how to get a powerful vision of who you are very quickly: Action proceeds feeling. Action is the predecessor of our confidence and self-image.
So here is a simple 3-step formula that you can use to ACT your way to a better self-image:
A – Admit who you have been being.
Make a list of every negative attitude or habit that you have that has been holding you back form living into the person that you want to be. Write it all down. Be open and honest with yourself about everything. We must first admit our mistakes before we can change the behavior.
C – Create who you want to be.
Sometimes it is hard for us to come up with our vision. We don’t know exactly what or who we want to be or how we want to do it. The first exercise of admitting who we don’t want to be, ironically, helps us to figure out who we do want to be. We can take each of the actions that we are not proud of and turn them into positive behaviors.
For example, hitting the snooze button is a negative habit. It causes us to begin our day by procrastinating. Then we start the day off groggy and already behind schedule. If that is one of the negative habits that you identified, create who you want to be by declaring, “I am a person who leaps out of bed every morning excited to tackle the day!”
Go through each of your negative habits and turn them into positive habits, and you now have a vision for who you want to be.
T – Trade your bad habits for good habits.
It is not just enough to say that you are a person who leaps out of bed every morning, now you have to be that person.
Often times, we try to get rid of a bad habit and we fail. Many times the reason why we failed is because we did not put a positive habit in its place. Every bad habit needs to be replaced by a good one, or we will slip right back into who we are used to being. But, if we pick up a new habit, often the behavior that we don’t like will easily slip away.
For example, there are people who quit smoking without even really trying because they picked up the habit of running. Eventually their body feels good from running. Their lungs feel bad when they smoke and they eventually lose the desire to smoke.
Every day it comes down to a choice. We must choose the good habits over the bad, and those new habits eventually become how we see ourselves, and we have completely changed our self-image.
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. ~ Chinese Proverb
Your Partner in Success,
Professional Sales Trainer