This is my new line in the sand.
It’s my new (to me) idea that I’m currently thinking is a foundational belief. It’s a must. A non-negotiable.
I’m working with a wonderful coach, Lindsay Helm (you can check her out here) who challenged me recently to tell her what I believed in 100%. It happened because I was pushing back on some of the things she was coaching me on, primarily some mental approach tools and systems that I was having a hard time buying into (I’ve since come around).
So I said, “Man, you’ve got to believe int his stuff 100%, right? I mean, if you are going to say that our thoughts are such powerful drivers and that by mastering our thoughts we can make significant change, you’ve got to be all in. You can’t halfway believe something like that. You’ve got to stick with it and believe in it all the way. Do you really believe in this 100%?”
And she said, “YEAH! What do YOU believe in 100%?”
And I said…
“Let me get back to you.”
Actually, I told her I’d like to take my faith off of the table for this discussion, because it was an easy answer, and that actually, I would like to get back to her…
It got me thinking in the best kind of way, which, for those of you who have not experienced coaching, is a huge part of what good coaches do. I’ll share my answer to her question later.
The more important point here, is the importance of conviction. We have to believe in something. We have to believe in something 100%. We have to KNOW, all the way, what’s important to us, what we believe to be true about ourselves and what we are confident in. We have to have conviction, about something.
We’ve probably all met someone who has conviction about everything. That gets old. They are right about everything. They know everything. They are certain about everything. Even things they shouldn’t be certain about, or on things they are clearly wrong about. This is not what I’m talking about. You don’t have to be certain about everything. I don’t think you can be. Stay curious. But at the same time, stick with you convictions about some, important, things.
Lack of conviction leads us to just sort of wander about. Maybe we could do this or maybe we could do that. Maybe this is important and maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s okay for my kid to do that and maybe it’s not. Again, some maybe is okay, we don’t have to be certain about everything. But too much maybe? As the great Major Payne says, “Don’t push the maybe, baby.” (link)
If you don’t know, you should check out Major Payne.
Lack of conviction leads to uncertainty and indecision. We aren’t sure what we believe, what we can do, or what we think will work in our lives, so we don’t take action at all. We are hesitant to move forward because we don’t have the strong convictions necessary to propel us forward or keep us going. When we get knocked off course, as we all do from time to time, we’ll stay down longer, change course more quickly, and give up sooner. Without strong conviction we become weak individuals, weak families, weak teams, and weak organizations.
Lack of conviction allows the world around us to tell us who we are and what we believe. There’s a great quote by Carl Jung that says:
The world will ask you who you are and if you don’t know the world will tell you.
There are too many keyboard/instagram/media “all-stars” (present company excluded, of course) who are dying to tell you what they believe and what you should believe too. If you don’t know, just ask them. Or better yet, don’t worry about asking, they’ll just tell you.
We have to believe in SOMETHING. And we have to believe in that something STRONGLY.
You don’t have to be a tough guy about it. You don’t have to yell at anyone about your convictions or put them into a blog and share them out with other people. In fact, in many instances, it’s better that you don’t. Your conviction could be about kindness, or love, or humor. It could be about family, or education, or curiosity. It could be anything. My personal belief is that it should be something good, that serves you and others in the process. Believe in something. Strongly. Then get busy believing in it, 100%.
Have some conviction.
It’s a question worth pondering: What do YOU believe in 100%?
In case you’re curious, I did come up with an answer for Lindsay, but more importantly, for myself. The thing that I believe in 100% is: I can figure it out. I can get through it. I can find a solution. It sounds a bit selfish if you allow it, and actually, when leading a team or a business, it can be a weakness if you aren’t careful. You know, something like, “Just move out of the way and let me do it”. But that’s just the one side of it. The good of it is that I refuse to be beaten. I refuse to give in. I refuse to believe that I can’t get through it, figure it out, or find a solution. That doesn’t mean I can do everything, but I believe I can get through anything.
Again, it’s worth answering, better yet, declaring: What do you believe in 100%?
I’m pulling for you,