What's Your Pivot for 2018?

"How limiting beliefs hold you back while pivoting can improve reaching your goals"


What is one thing you would have liked to do, complete or accomplish last year in 2017, that you didn't? What stopped you?


For many, the common barriers include limited time, not enough money, other people, changing priorities or one of numerous other reasons your plans got sabotaged. Although these reasons can and often get in the way of goal success, the primary challenges and reasons we don't reach our desired goals often come from our own limiting beliefs.


Limiting beliefs are those which constrain us in some way. As is described in ChangingMinds.org, "a key way by which we form our beliefs is through our direct experiences. We act, something happens and we draw conclusions. Often such beliefs are helpful, but they can also be very limiting." Over many years of work, education, personal relationships and life experiences we form a variety of beliefs some of which inevitably become limiting to our beliefs which impact reaching our goals. Without checking the assumptions often formed from our limiting beliefs, our perceptions develop in ways that are quite often unconscious to our thinking but exhibited through actions, behaviors and interactions with others.


These limiting beliefs can come from habit, fears, environment, group or team dynamics to name a few. For example, if early in your career you've worked in a highly ineffective team where conflicting views and discussion got in the way of team success, you may come to believe teams will always function like this. Without checking this further, when you are later asked to launch a new team, you might focus on minimizing any discussion which involves a degree of conflict to the detriment of finding improved solutions and gaining team buy-in.


If not reflected upon, explored and validated, limiting beliefs hold us back from goal success in our personal and professional lives.


Through a coaching approach, clients almost always gain some level of awareness as to what limiting beliefs they hold and how these might be impacting self in relation to goals. This usually leads to developing "pivots" in how they attain their stated goals. Pivoting is much more effective than throwing out thoughtful goals simply to replace them with new goals which can force a restart of the process requiring large-scale and often overwhelming personal change.


What do we mean by pivoting? Pivoting is making change or shifting in a related way or variation of what currently exists. Unlike developing brand new goals, it's building upon past knowledge, skills and experience in finding new approaches to reaching goals. In essence its transforming past learning in new directions which become strengths rather than remaining barriers.


For example, given the new team opportunity provided in the previous example, a pivot could involve redefining your beliefs regarding the dynamics of effective teams and then bringing forward new skills or learning into this new team opportunity rather than each time a team seems stuck, replacing team members.


Addressing limiting beliefs and crafting pivots can be successfully used with individuals, teams and groups to address both dysfunctional dynamics as well as elevate well functioning teams onto the path for high performance.


Let 2018 be the year your New Years Resolutions shift from your "to do" list to your "completed" list by breaking through limiting beliefs on the path to pivoting through to success!

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