Today, I would like to introduce to you a concept I call “The New Persona Strategy.”

Your current persona is who you are right now. It’s what you believe, what you focus on, how you think. It’s everything that makes you… you.

Your current persona is also the different skills you have right now. It’s your strengths, your weaknesses, your good as well as bad habits. It’s also the things you fear.

The brutal truth is that you are the biggest problem standing in the way of you reaching your goals. But, you are also the solution. And the person you are now is what I call “your current persona.”

The more honest you are with yourself, the easier it will be to change your persona into the new persona you need to reach your next level.

I’ve always found it fascinating when people take different personality tests. The first time they take the test, they feel their results are spot on. But then, when they decide to take the test a few months later, and they get a different result, the typical reaction is usually that those personality tests “don’t work.”

This is total nonsense.

As we discussed earlier, everything in the world is moving and changing. Nothing stands still. Either you’re growing, or you’re dying.

So is it really that strange that, when you take a personality test at a later time, you get a different result? Of course not.

Your current persona, who you are now, is just an image you’re seeing at this point in time. If you want to reach new goals and get new results in your life, you have to change your current persona.

That’s why the whole social norm of “you should just be yourself” really is B.S. Because, if who you are right now is not producing the results you want, why would it make sense to stay the same?

For example, if my current persona wants to lose weight, but everything I’m doing contradicts that goal, I’m never going to be successful. If I eat junk food every day, and I never drink water or exercise, it makes no sense to stay the same.

If you want things to change, you have to change.

Right now, you have to make a decision: You have to decide whether you are satisfied with the results you have now or not. And if you’re not satisfied, you need to change. Otherwise, you’re just going to get the same result as always.

I’ve mentioned this point many times throughout this book, so all this might seem obvious. But again: Common knowledge is not always common practice.

Let me give you an example: One of my clients, during one of our coaching sessions, said he wanted to instill real passion into his staff. But he was having a hard, hard time achieving that goal. We went through a lot of different strategies, but the more he spoke, the more I got the feeling he didn’t even have that passion himself.

You can’t expect other people to have something you don’t. How are you supposed to influence them if you can’t even influence yourself?

If your team is lacking passion, take a hard, critical look at yourself and ask whether your current persona really shows genuine passion. It’s one thing to say that you’re passionate. It’s another thing to show it. People learn more by example than being told what to do.

So show them, instead of telling them.

* * *

This was an excerpt from my book, The TRUST Method: 10 Leadership Strategies That Build Genuine Trust and Influence Anyone to Take Action.

Available in either paperback or Kindle version on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

A few of weeks back, I heard a great story about a psychology professor.

He gave all his students a piece of paper, with a black dot in the middle.

He said, “I want you to write about what you see here for the next hour.”

Once his students were finished writing, he took all the reports and read them out loud. Every single one of his students wrote about the same thing:

The black dot.

Then he asked then, “It’s funny how every one of you wrote about the black dot. I’m curious, why didn’t any of you write about the white part of the paper?”

Here’s what he meant:

In life, it’s easy to focus on our own little “black dots.” Things like health issues, our finances, complicated relationships. And, what happens if we only focus on those black dots?

We feel irritated, stressed, disappointed (not really productive emotions). We often do the same thing when something didn’t go as we’d planned or when we’re afraid to try new things.

We focus on what could go wrong — the black dot — instead of focusing on what could go right.

So today, you’ll discover the same strategy my private executive clients use to effortlessly overcome any kind of failure.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

It’s a simple strategy, but once you internalize it you’ll be able to implement it with your team and your relationship.

The little lies we tell ourselves

Imagine you’re watching a football game, and there are thousands of people are cheering for their favorite team.

Then one of the teams gets the first touchdown.

The crowd goes berserk and the announcer’s scream run through the speakers like a racehorse on steroids. Now imagine all this noise is happening inside your own head.

In psychology, this is your self-talk. It’s that little voice inside your head commenting on your life.

Here’s the thing…

The words we say are usually a lot different from the words we’re thinking. Especially when we’re afraid of something that might fail:

A new business idea, investor meetings, difficult conversations with our team.

We say things like:

  • “Honestly, it’s just not the right time right now. Maybe next month?”
  • “I would love to do XYZ, but I just don’t have time”
  • “I don’t have enough money”
  • “It’s a good idea, but I don’t think it will work in this market”

Are any of these true? The short (and boring) answer is… it depends.

Most of the time it’s just an underlying fear of failing. Disguised as excuses like time, money or experience.

For example:

GOING TO THE GYM

  • WHAT WE SAY: “I’d like to lose the last 5 lbs. But, I just don’t have time”
  • WHAT IT ACTUALLY MEANS: “I didn’t reach my goal the last time I did this. Why would I reach it now? I don’t want to feel like a failure”

STARTING A BUSINESS

  • WHAT WE SAY: “I’ve been thinking about starting my own business. But, I just don’t have enough money to get things started”
  • WHAT IT ACTUALLY MEANS: “I’m scared it won’t work out. I don’t want my family to say ‘See, I told you it wouldn’t work’”

The “invisible frames” that are controlling your life

Here’s what fear of failure really is:

It’s a belief of what might, or might not, happen. I call this “Invisible Frames.”

Think back to the story from before about the black dot. If you only focus on the black dot, you’re trapped inside your own Invisible Frame.

And, when you’re trapped inside an Invisible Frame one thing’s for sure:

You’ll never find a solution to solve your problem.

Instead, what if you could use your fear of failing, as the ultimate form of motivation? Motivation to take more chances, have that difficult conversation with your spouse or finally go to the gym.

Question is, how?

You only need to change your Invisible Frame. Luckily, you don’t need a lot of practice to change it. In fact, you’ll learn how in under 30 seconds.

Failing is not a failure. Failing is feedback

We all have something we keep putting off.

Let’s say you have something you’ve been putting off, maybe a week, a month… half a year. It doesn’t matter what it is, just come up with something.

Then, start off by using The 5 Why Technique.

If you don’t know The 5 Why Technique, it’s dead simple: You ask yourself “why XYZ” five times. That’s really all there is to it.

For example:

The problem: You should prepare your presentation for the next manager’s meeting. But somehow, you always end up in front of the T.V., binge-watching old episodes of The Wire.

  • Why? You’re too tired when you get home and should prepare a presentation for an upcoming meeting
  • Why are you so tired? Your head is spinning because of 10 different meetings during the day
  • Why is your calendar filled up with meetings? You feel it’s important that you attend those meetings
  • Why do you feel you need to attend those meetings? Because you can’t motivate yourself enough to prepare the presentation, so you keep putting it off
  • Why can’t you motivate yourself to do the presentation? You’re afraid everybody thinks the presentation isn’t good enough

True behavioral change happens when you understand the root of the problem. The 5 Why Technique is the perfect tool to find the problem… behind the problem.

Now you understand the problem. Next, you need to get your psychology straight. Let’s dive into how you easily overcome any fear of failing. It’s called The Failure Feedback Strategy.

The best part? It’s simple.

Let’s imagine you have to start a new business. You’re excited, you’re motivated, and then…

You feel your stomach turning. What if it doesn’t work? What if it fails? What if you’re going to look like a failure?

In that split-second when you feel the mental resistance, say this:

The Failure Feedback Strategy: “No matter what happens, it’s not a failure. It’s feedback.”

Essentially, when you feel you’ve failed, it’s only because of one thing:

Your result didn’t match your expectations.

Think back to the famous quote from Thomas Edison.

“ I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” — Thomas Edison
The truth is, failure is only your own interpretation of what happened to you. That’s why getting your psychology straight comes first, tactics come second.

Top performers have a very specific mindset:

They spend 90% of their time on the solution. Only 10% on the problem.

Conclusion

We all fail. The real question isn’t whether or not you’ll fail.

It’s only a matter of when!

At the end of the day you have two choices:

You can let fear of failing control you, or…

You can control your fear of failure, by changing the meaning from failure to feedback

All behavioral change in your life starts with brutal honesty. Remember: when you fear you might fail, that’s only your expectation of what might happen (or won’t happen).

So, to overcome any fear of failure, this is what you do:

(1) use The 5 Why Technique, and then (2) use The Failure Feedback Strategy: “It’s not a failure. It’s feedback.”