It’s tempting to think the fastest way to get results is to act fast. As business owners, most of us have a bias for action because it’s something we can do and feel. Plus action gives us feedback in the form of results. We either get what we want, or we get more information.
But a few years ago I learned how to get better results by reducing interference. I read about the concept in the classic book, The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey. Because interference reduces our potential, it’s a formula that looks like this:
Performance = Potential – Interference
Once I understood the implications, my mind was blown. Substitute the word “results” for “performance” and getting better results becomes all about reducing interference.
I’ve used this approach to scale my businesses, create new relationships and achieve my ideal weight.
We create most interference unintentionally with our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Have you ever been in the middle of a project, found yourself feeling frustrated and in the end only doing a mediocre job?
That’s interference. The key is to stop and ask yourself what you’re thinking because interference starts with our thoughts. Here are a few examples:
|Types of Interference||Thoughts that Cause It|
|Emotional: anger, frustration, doubt, overwhelm, confusion, worry, sadness||They shouldn’t talk to me that way.|
I have to do everything myself.
We’re not going to succeed.
There’s too much to do.
I’m not sure what to do first.
What if this doesn’t work?
|Buffering: overeating, overdrinking, overspending, watching too much TV, , spending too much time online||I deserve it because I work so hard.|
I just need to relax.
Everyone does it.
I don’t want to miss anything.
|Physical: lack of energy, problems sleeping, poor nutrition, no exercise||I’m exhausted, but there’s so much to do.|
I don’t have time to cook healthy food.
I don’t have time to go to the gym.
Beliefs act as a force multiplier for our actions.
Reducing interference is the first step but there’s another way to get better results, faster. Our beliefs are a force multiplier for our actions. Before we take action, we want to believe in the result.
Beliefs are thoughts we repeat so often they become “true” for us. Then they become part of our subconscious mind and are used to filter how we see the world. Like a fish in water, we don’t realize we’re looking at the world through the filter of our beliefs. This can work for us or against us, depending on the belief.
The distance between where we are and where we want to be is less about what we do and more about what we believe.
It doesn’t seem that way because the action is what we see, what we notice. We think it’s what we do that creates the results we get. But two people can take the same actions and get different results. The main difference is their beliefs.
When we try to do lots of different things but deep down don’t believe we’ll achieve the result, we don’t feel confident and congruent. We don’t show up in a way that makes the action effective. Our mind creates interference which reduces the effectiveness of what we do.
How do you create beliefs?
I remember the 18 months it took me to write my first book. And the 18 years it took me to scale and exit my first company. Both could’ve been done in half the time, except I believed it had to be hard and take a long time.
It wasn’t until I adopted the new belief, “I’m scaling my business in a way that’s simple and easy,” that I created those exact results in the world in tangible form.
Spend most of your time getting clear on the results you want, then on creating beliefs that reinforce the results you want are possible. Repetition is key when creating new beliefs. I do it by quieting the mind, journaling, visualizing, and meditating.
Then confirmation bias kicks in and your brain starts looking for and finding evidence to support your beliefs. This creates momentum that makes it easier to achieve the results.
Try it and see if you can recognize how many of the obstacles between where you are and where you want to be are really just limiting beliefs.
The fastest way to get better results in less time is to believe in the result before taking action.