Most self-help literature focuses on the last step of a sequence – on how to do something better.  That’s why self-help books and workshops have titles such as “How to …” or “Best practices for …” Knowing what to do and how to do it better are important.  But that’s usually not the problem.

To read the rest of this article from the East Bay Business Times, see: ‘How-to’ methods often miss out on crucial step

More often, the problem is the prior two steps before developing the skill: Developing the will to do something and then actually doing it.

I divide developing the will into two areas:

  • The mindset – Developing effective attitudes and beliefs to get started, and developing the will to treat all excuses and obstacles as just speed bumps.
  • The “heartset” – It means two things: Developing the determination, grit and tenacity to stick with it; and using the same emotional power we’ve utilized when we’ve relentlessly pursued something we’ve wanted, no matter how discouraging the voices, difficulties or obstacles.

The “how-to” steps for learning or improving skills usually are straightforward.  People often already know what to do before they read self-help books.

For example, learning to strike up a conversation with a stranger at a conference is a big fear for many people.  The how-to steps are well known: see the whole article for description.

Many people already know these steps – but just won’t put them into practice.  So they must develop their mindset and heartset in order to implement a potentially effective plan.

Most people have a litany of excuses for why they simply can’t get started or persevere.  Some of the most frequent excuses are: see the whole article for description.

People with these excuses aren’t stuck because of a lack of skill.  They haven’t gotten to the point of improving skills yet.  The real problem is that they’re stuck with poor mindsets and ineffective heartsets – stuck in past failures, being hypercritical of themselves, needing to be right, or feeling that each moment is life and death.  Sum that up as fear, perfectionism, laziness or inertia – real or imagined.

Particularly for managers, the proper mindset and heartset are crucial to overcoming poor time management, negating the fear of giving honest evaluations and not being overwhelmed by too much pressure.  Appropriate mindset and heartset are crucial in areas that can’t be squeezed into a how-to method any fool can follow – like leadership.

Appropriate mindsets and heartsets also are critical for people who want to lose weight and stay in shape.  Most people know exactly what they need to do: Eat less, eat better, work out.  But they have many good reasons why it’s too difficult.

Coaches can help you learn these skills and make you accountable for taking certain actions.  A good coach can also help you get past the mindsets and emotional blocks that have inhibited your resolve and perseverance.

Focus on the step that’s been an obstacle for you, and focus people you manage on the crucial step for them.  Until you develop appropriate and effective mindsets and heartsets, the how-to training won’t be effective.

To get the help you need, call Ben at 1-877-828-5543.