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“I’m No Good At” Really Means “I Don’t Know How…YET!”

I was coaching an entrepreneurial client recently and, as is so often the case, a limiting belief reared its ugly head in the middle of our coaching session. No surprise, as we all have them (limiting beliefs), including moi!

Specifically, we talked about putting systems in place that would support her annual revenue goals. Listening carefully, I caught a clue to the roadblock when she said, “I’m just no good at organizing.” You’ve probably used a similar phrase, such as:

  • I’m no good at …
  • I’ve never been able to successfully …
  • I am just not talented at …
  • My gift is definitely not …
  • I wish I didn’t have to …

Whatever the phrase, it probably related to a task that you regularly avoid or procrastinate on, such as:

  • Marketing
  • Closing sales
  • Growing my business
  • Bookkeeping
  • Networking
  • Social media
  • Getting/staying organized
  • Staying up on technology
  • Following up with your clients/network
  • Or fill in your own “I’m-no-good-at” task here: ____________

So what do you do when you hit a “I’m-no-good-at-that” roadblock? Before I offer some insights, first pick something from the above task list that resonates with you so you have something tangible with which to relate these ideas.

Now, here are three insights and suggestions:

  1. Incapacitate the accusations: Notice your language or self-talk. Don’t condemn or berate yourself. Just curiously notice and name it, whether silently or aloud. E.g., “I’m noticing that I am labeling myself as ‘not good at’ x.”
  2. Remember the W.I.N. (“What’s Important Now/Next?”) Decide how important “x” is to your success. If you chose “closing sales,” and you don’t have a waiting list of clients ready to thrust money into your hands, it’s likely that “closing sales” is pretty important. If it’s “staying up on technology” but that isn’t critical to the success of your business, note that as well. Focus on important items.
  3. Swap it: Substitute your “I’m-no-good-at” phrase for this new phrase:“I don’t know how to [x] … YET!”

When we shift from “I’m no good at” to “I don’t know how to … YET!” we shift from condemnation to exoneration, and with exoneration to encouragement. As a human being, you are a living, breathing, learning machine. Your brain is capable of wiring more new neuropathways and healthy habits than you could ever dream possible.

Everything you need for success can either be 1) learned or 2) paid for and performed by someone else. If you’re growing your business, you may choose to “learn” more than you “pay for” initially (focus on doing the things that only you can do and delegate the rest).

So what is the mind-shift for you? What do you want to learn next?

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