We have access today to more “how to” information than ever before: how to fire employees effectively, how to make yourself a more effective leader, how to coach employees toward success, how to be a better salesperson and how to become happier and generally more dynamic. In most cases the author has found a methodology that works for him. He then works with a couple students and gets similar results. He publishes his how-to solution, we buy it. We try it, but don’t get the same results.
Is something wrong with the method? Was the author being untruthful about his success? Do we secretly believe that it has nothing to do with the method but that we are somehow flawed and perhaps would never really master that particular skill?
You’ll be happy to know – NONE OF THE ABOVE! There is however something missing – a particular state, which most authors don’t include in their manuscripts because they themselves have arrived at it either intuitively or unconsciously. You see you must first achieve this state in order for words and actions to be effective. So not getting results is just a matter of not tapping into your own personal power. If the solution is so simple, then why aren’t more of us accessing this state more readily?
Because we get in our own way, taken off track by the trash that we have managed to collect, comprising of all the shoulds, musts, dos and don’ts that we’ve accumulated throughout our lives. Your lens, how you see the world, is clouded by your own thoughts and experiences which will sometimes work positively but also negatively for you in all your interactions including attempts to improve your own performance and in all other dealings e.g. with your boss, staff, investors, board members, competitors as well as in your personal life including your spouse, partner, children, parents, relatives and friends.
No matter whom you’re dealing with, if you don’t first get to know and understand your true self (the source of that state and inner power I referred to earlier) your interactions will be flawed every time. Why? Because not knowing this REAL you means that, you will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again and before long you may find yourself thinking that you’re out of luck and bad things just keep happening to you. Or you’ll find yourself resorting to defeatist statements like this will never work and you’ll feel justified in digging your heels in and doing things YOUR way even though it’s proving over and over that all you manage to get is insubordination and chaos.
You might be asking “How can I not know myself?” Bestselling author Ching Ning Chu says “at first blush, the idea that you could not know yourself sounds ridiculous. But the odds are you don’t. We aren’t talking about the superficial stuff, like the way you wear your hair or your taste in music. The “REAL YOU” means the way you react to difficult situations, what you worry about, and how you view the world – the things that help or hurt you in your business and personal life.”
Whenever there’s an underlying feeling or thought that goes unspoken underneath whatever it is we’re saying, it’s going to result in some kind of drama. Intuitively, the person on the receiving end senses that there’s something else that the other is not saying and THAT is what brings the drama. There can’t be friendly normality if there is deception of any kind. At the very least you will get forced compliance and some feeble attempt at civility.
Self-observation is essential to self-growth. You must first understand the motives for your own actions in order to understand others and affect a situation positively. According to authors Squillaro and Thomas, Head Trash refers to thought patterns and emotional tendencies that hinder your ability to respond to business issues in a productive and professional manner. Put another way, Head Trash is the negative voice of your subconscious, engaging you in a deadly inner dialogue that only you hear, consciously or subconsciously, but which affects EVERYTHING you say and do and everyone around you. Head Trash is any pattern of self-defeating feelings and thoughts that leads you into trouble and keeps you stuck there. Even worse, depending on your level of responsibility and authority, the rest of your team or company gets stuck, too.
There are 7 pieces of trash and if you’re able to detach yourself from the misery of your trash experience, you will see with complete clarity, the REAL nature of your situation and the proper course of action will then surface. Head Trash includes but is not limited to fear, guilt, insecurity, arrogance, control, anger, guilt and paranoia. Everybody feels afraid, insecure, guilty, and so on from time to time. That’s normal. But when problematical thoughts and feelings become patterns in your life and consistently affect your decision-making and leadership behaviours, they’re Head Trash that requires clean-up on your part.
In an attempt to simplify what happens in our world, how to books will continue to be published and we will continue to learn from new studies, aspects, and applications. However keep in mind that the world is not so simple that we can just make and follow rules about what is wrong and what’s right. When we seek to get to know and understand ourselves better then we will better know what we ought or ought not to do in any given situation. Gradually we will replace the beliefs we were taught with the truths we discover. Knowing yourself is a lifetime commitment but it is a crucial one. How well you perform in your business and in your life relates directly to how well you know YOU!