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Steve McDermott

Steve McDermott

Your antidote to motivational logjams; idea shortages and presentation terror

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Article - Eight Ways to Double Your Personal Effectiveness

1. Be in THE right state (not A right state).

For lots of people their state, or mood, is determined by others or by their environment, rather than themselves. For instance, if someone says something negative about them they feel terrible. Or if it rains they put themselves in a bad mood. You might say they get into a right state. Without giving it any conscious thought they bounce around from one state to the next hundreds of times a day. And if you stop and think about a typical day, many of those states prove to be extremely negative. Now if you think back to a specific time when you were in a less than resourceful frame of mind, a right state, what do you notice about your performance? No doubt it suffered.

On the other hand, if you think about a similar situation, when you performed at your absolute best, what was the key difference? You were the same person, with the same skills and knowledge, right? The difference, that made the difference, was that you were in the right state.

Imagine then, if instead of being at the unconscious mercy of your moods, you could chose your states at will and trigger them in a heart beat. Well, by thinking about the two factors that create your state you can.

Let's call these two factors the two F's. Your state is made up of:

  • Fizzy
  • Your physiology or everything that is physical about you (the way you move, breathe, stand, gesture etc)
  • Focus
  • Your mental focus (what you focus on in your mind, the sorts of questions you ask yourself, what you picture, feel and hear inside your head).

Change your Fizzy and Focus and you instantly change your state.

For example, if right now you were to think of a specific time when you totally, absolutely certain about something. Now breathe like you breathe when you are certain, stand like you stand when you are certain. Put the same expression on your face you would have when you are certain. Say to yourself the things you say, in the way you would say it, when you are absolutely certain things are going to work out. Now notice what's happening. You've gone into that state of certainty.

Once you understand, and are sensitive to exactly how you use your Fizzy and Focus to create and trigger different states, you can use this knowledge to produce any state in yourself instantly.

Remember, before you begin any new enterprise, to check your state. Remember, only if you are in the right state can you achieve outstanding results. Remember, you have state control (unless you chose to let others or the environment put you in a bad mood).

So right now are you breathing, standing, sitting, moving, talking, and thinking, like someone who is massively effective in everything they do?

2. Double the size of your comfort zone.

Step into the land of uncertainty at least twice a week. You'll will still feel uncomfortable, just get those butterflies flying in formation and remind yourself how good this is going to be for you. Do all those things you've been fearing the most first. That way your comfort zone will grow at light speed.

Please note that if you don't step outside your comfort zone it is going to shrink. You can't stand still. You are either growing or dying. You are either moving forward or backward.

Use some of the following strategies when expanding your comfort zone:

3. Stop trying to be perfect.

Whoever said 'It has to be right first time' is wrong. You never did anything in your entire life right first time. Instead we should believe anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first. Don't do it badly on purpose, just give it your best shot and learn from it.

4. Change your beliefs.

It is not whether the belief is true. It is how holding the belief makes you behave and therefore how it improves your results. Two master beliefs you must hold in order to double your personal effectiveness:

There is no failure. There is only feedback.

You either get the result you would like or you get 'Fascinating'. But all you got was a result. As long as you act on the feedback, as long as you learn from it, you can never fail. So have you fallen off your bike recently? Have you demanded your team fall off theirs? If not, why not? How good is the quality of the feedback you and they receive. Do people get feedback often enough, and quickly enough, to be able to learn from it?

You are 100% accountable and response able for everything.

The more you put yourself at cause, rather than effect, the more personal control and power you have. The difference between successful people and not so successful people is not what happens to them. It is how they respond to what happens that counts. So how response able are you?

5. Transform your language.

To make yourself more able to respond effectively, stop blaming others or circumstances. A good way to get started is to stop saying 'if only', 'I wish', 'I can't' and 'I'll Try'. Start saying 'I must', 'I will', 'I won't' or 'I choose not to'. One of the best words you can add to your vocabulary is 'Yet'. As in 'I don't understand the Internet yet' or 'We haven't sold to that client yet'.

6. Create a vision.

Remember, everything is created twice. Every successful person on the planet, from the business world to the world of sport, clearly sees their success in their minds eye before they see it in reality.

They vividly imagine the successful completion of their goal, over and over again, until it becomes so familiar to them that as far as their unconscious mind is concerned they have already achieved it. These are the peak performers.

Unfortunately, most people vividly imagine what they don't want (instead of positive visualisation they are experts at doing the opposite. There is a name for this, it's called worry). Both the good and bad news is that you become what you think about most of the time. So be very careful what you think about!

7. Take massive action.

It is not enough to be in the right state. It is not enough to change your beliefs. It is not enough to visualise the successful completion of your goals. It is not enough to say the right things to yourself and others. None of it is enough if you don't take action. You can't be effective if you are not prepared to get a successful result or get a 'fascinating' result. To be twice as effective aim for four times the amount of 'fascinating' results you currently enjoy.

8. Don't forget your parachute.

It is not advisable to jump out of a plane without a parachute. That can be very messy upon landing. So before you step outside your comfort zone do some risk analysis. We can all live with a successful result. But can we live with 'Fascinating'? (what some people might call failure). We might not like it but can we live with it? If the result will kill you then don't do it. However, make sure you don't use this as an excuse not to jump out of planes at all. At the moment most people don't even expect to have to go to the airport.