I made an important discovery while interviewing and surveying people for my book Your Belief Quotient: 7 Beliefs that Sabotage or Support Your Success. What I learned was many executives, entrepreneurs and other leaders have really screwed up beliefs around Excellence! I can understand why: Excellence is essential for success in the workplace. But creating that excellence day in and day out takes its toll. Self-criticism, perfectionism, and a host of negative beliefs set in. Instead of focusing on the negative beliefs, I have outlined 5 Better Beliefs about Excellence. Read through, and then select one belief to focus on in the coming week. Write it down and post it somewhere. Check in with yourself and create better beliefs about your own Excellence!
1. Excellence is a process, not an outcome.
Excellence is based on realistic, clearly defined goals, not on unreasonable aspirations. When pursuing excellence, we recognize that it is a journey and not just a destination. Focusing on the process of becoming excellent will yield better results because it allows for course corrections and new information.
Better belief: “I am moving toward excellence every day.”
2. Excellence is a reflection of character, not achievement. Instead of being driven by an unhealthy need to achieve perfection, excellence comes from a healthy sense of self confidence. Excellence brings a sense of personal satisfaction and is not dependent on external recognition. Perfectionism is ego driven, always needing to be fed. Excellence is founded on a grounded sense of self.
Better belief: “I am confident in my ability to be excellent in all I do.”
3. Excellence allows for learning from mistakes, not harsh criticism. Excellence is willing to risk failure and does not avoid situations that may expose a lack of mastery. Perfectionism is haunted by the voice of the relentless inner critic. Excellence has learned to silence the inner critic and make an objective examination of progress and results.
Better belief: “I am learning and growing in joy.”
4. Excellence sees others in a supportive role, not an adversarial role. Perfectionism constantly compares and almost always comes up short in the comparison. Excellence enjoys healthy competition, and is unthreatened by others.
Better belief: “I am working and collaborating with others who support my pursuit of excellence.”
5. Excellence is willing to wait for mastery to be achieved and does not expect immediate results. Excellence is not demanding, but allowing. Excellence adds peace and joy, not frustration or anger. Excellence focuses on a specific area of mastery and accepts that there are areas where excellence should not be a focus because of a lack of aptitude or interest.
Better belief: “I am getting better every day at the things I am working on.”
By focusing on one of the better beliefs above for several days, you can shift your mindset and create Excellence without the pain and negative emotions you’ve experienced in the past.
I’d love to hear back on how things shift for you. Post your comments here, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.