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When we are not achieving the success we want in our lives, too often we look outside of ourselves instead of inside. The observable parts of our success – our actions, behaviors and results – are what we spend too much time focusing on, and the hidden aspects of ourselves often remain out of view, like an iceberg. While it is true that our results are directly related to our actions and behaviors, we need to dig deeply into our personal icebergs to learn how to take new and better actions and learn new success behaviors. We call this personal iceberg the Identity Iceberg, and it has 4 Layers.
- The first layer of the Identity Iceberg is your Skills. When your actions are not getting the results you seek, the first thing to evaluate is whether you need a skill upgrade. Whether it is your sales results or your understanding of your financials, take a good inventory of the skills required to perform well. In the information age there are a multitude of free resources for business education, and you should be allocating time every week or month to advance your skills.
- Once you have evaluated your skill needs, not it is time to look at the second level of your Identity Iceberg, your Beliefs. Take the time to think through the areas where you struggle and ask yourself what beliefs you have about those areas of your life. Whether it is sales, money, leadership or your team, your beliefs will dictate the decisions and actions you take. If you have negative beliefs, get some help to work through them to unlock your abilities to achieve more in those areas.
- The third layer of the Identity Iceberg is your Values, which are those things that are critically important to you. The question to evaluate here is whether the actions you are taking or considering taking are in alignment with your personal values. All too often, we put ourselves in a position where we unconsciously begin adopting the values of those around us, and chasing what is important to them instead of staying true to yourself. Are you chasing someone else’s dreams at the expense of your own value system?
- The fourth layer of the Identity Iceberg is your Identity – how you see yourself. Most coaches and motivational speakers correctly teach us to write out the definition of our ideal self in the form of “I Am” statements. These descriptive phrases and sentences can be used to train our minds to help us accomplish more, and to be who we want to be, who we need to be to achieve the success we seek.
The last consideration to think about to unlock the power within you is what surrounds your iceberg, i.e., your environment. Who and what do you allow around yourself? Are you spending your time with positive people who build you up or with negative people who bring you down, or suck you into the drama of their lives? The personal improvement industry tells us that where we will be five years from now is directly related to the books we read (skill development) and the people we associate with (beliefs, values, identity, environment). Are your friends and family helping you build a positive, success oriented environment, or are you stuck in “poor me” world with them?
When you are ready to take your life and business to the next level, start with your personal iceberg, and do an honest assessment. Only then will you have identified what you truly need to do to achieve the success you seek.
Author: Mark McNulty, Louisville Business Coach