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“Whether you believe you can do something, or believe you can’t; You are probably right”.

It’s a great quote, said by Henry Ford but adopted by 1,000s. It relates to self belief, and specifically, the power of the subconscious mind – both of which are the cornerstone of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

The power of the sub-conscious mind is far greater than most will give credit for. It is said that the conscious mind can typically process 9 things at any one time (although some will claim up to 40). The sub-conscious mind can however process between 20 and 40 million things at any one time.

Want to see it in action? When was the last time you couldn’t think of a name? …”It’s on the tip of my tongue….It’ll come to me”? Then seconds later you remember it. That is because you pass the process from your conscious mind to your sub-conscious. Your sub-conscious mind then continued to work on it and within seconds ‘located’ the name.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) gives the ability to bypass the conscious mind and access the sub-conscious mind. It is often seen as something you need to ‘believe in’, a bit like religion. However, the reality is that our lives are dominated by NLP and the power of the subconscious mind – our ability to understand and recognise how to use them for our own benefit is the skill that many spend years learning. But anyone can use it….even before they understand exactly what the subconscious mind is.

Don’t believe it? When my daughter was 3 yrs old, she found a freckle on her finger. She asked what it was and was told it was her ‘Happy Spot’ – a magic spot that whenever she felt unhappy or sad, she could press and would feel happy. She believed it, and since that time, whenever she has felt unhappy, she presses the spot and immediately becomes happy. Ask her to demonstrate it and she will grin and then laugh instantly. Without realising it, she has accessed her sub-conscious mind and learned to control it.

So what has a 3yr old’s happy spot got to do with Henry Ford, business…and recruitment?

The biggest hurdle that just about anyone I meet has in their own career development, or their ability to access a great career advancing opportunity, is themselves. Yet the same thing is the reason why some people I meet have achieved so much so early in their careers.

This country is too good at believing we cannot do things. We joke that the US is the land of “Hell Yeah”, but the bigger joke is that the UK is often the land of “I’m not sure” and “Do you really think we should”.

That is permanently evident in the individuals I meet and interview. The lack of self belief is far more evident than it should be. Bearing in mind I typically operate at senior management level, that fact is worrying. Too many of these individuals scarcely believe in their own ability, let alone have the power to convince others.

Even worse are the number of people in business leading roles, who demonstrate the same lack of self belief and consequently have no desire to continue to learn, develop or look for personal improvement despite discontent with their current role and employment status. These same people will often bemoan the fact that others get preferential treatment when it comes to career advancement, bonuses etc.

What makes two similar aged individuals, with similar educational backgrounds, have such disparate successes in life? What makes individuals have the ability to amass a personal net worth of millions, or achieve amazing positions of authority/influence/leadership when seemingly identical individuals struggle to get by.

Clearly many factors contribute but a common theme amongst every person I have met that occupies either of the foremost positions is their own self-belief. They believe they can succeed. They believe they can achieve everything they seek, and thus structure their lives around doing so.

But it is more than just a dog-headed resolve to achieve, work 18 hour days, 7 day weeks. Most of these people’s sub-conscious is in tune with their beliefs. Their ability to succeed is pre-programmed. Ever wondered why hugely successful individuals that lose everything are able to rebuild themselves? Or why key individuals are able to succeed on a variety of different ventures/projects/businesses? Do they just get several bouts of luck?

Knowingly or not, they use their sub-conscious to lead them to the right results – letting their subconscious mind’s ability to process up to 40,000,000 things, assist their conscious mind’s meagre 9. They believe they will gain the success they crave and literally get up to a million times the energy.

Take a look at any young, self-made millionaire – many will have demonstrated their ability to succeed well before adulthood. Does this mean their sub-conscious is pre-programmed from birth? Or that their parental upbringing has engendered such beliefs?

Likewise the dramatic career acceleration of Millennials (Generation Y in old money). They have been born in a more transient time; their career development shows evidence when they move job every 13 months on average in the first 15 yrs of their careers, compared to even 3 years from Generation X. They are naturally programmed to follow their ‘gut’ more, not be constrained by the status quo around them.

The nature/nurture argument has been the subject of many blogs, and I’m not going to try to resolve that one here, but giving your children, and the children around you, positive messages and unwavering support is a vital component in programming their subconscious.

But it is never too late to influence your subconscious. The first time you do something your conscious mind queries (bungee jump/mathematical calculation/marathon run/etc) your subconscious mind learns that event has become an expected positive outcome.

The first time you make bonus, or sell a business…..or succeed at a job interview that was a stretch for you…..or gain massive benefit from employing someone a little bigger than your business needs, your subconscious learns and reduces its risk aversion – it changes its road map.  The winner of a motor-race is infinitely more likely to win after he/she has won their first race as their subconscious learns to spot and expect success.

Imagine if you could force that roadmap on your subconscious. Condition it to succeed. You can, but self belief is the first step. As the Tony Robbins quote states If you want success, find someone who has attained that success and copy them – you’ll get the same result”.

Back to recruitment. The jobseeker who believes he/she can do more, will be more open to new ideas, more willing to adopt a slightly higher risk profile and more likely to demonstrate hunger for the role that is a double advancement for them – and in recruitment, attitude (and chemistry) are everything.

Likewise when businesses recruit – especially business leaders/entrepreneurs. Ever wondered why some businesses grow so quickly? Or why individuals are able to make the transition from Entrepreneur to Business Leader. They have belief in themselves to find the right people to surround themselves with, to help them run their business, leaving them to focus on their own core entrepreneurial skill of spotting fresh opportunities.*

Case Study: Sir Richard Branson & the Virgin Group. Sir Richard has made a huge success of believing in his own success (and learning from his mistakes and failures) – but his prime success comes from his ability (and conviction) to surround himself with people who are better than he is in certain key areas.

Have you got that same ability/conviction?

If you want to develop into the type of person who is able to very easily attract much better health, wealth and success into your life, your primary task is to use your subconscious mind power to reprogram yourself for success.

“Whether you believe you can do something, or believe you can’t; You are probably right”…….If it can work for a 3 yr old girl, it can work for you.

*NB – helping businesses reduce the external risk of such appointments is at the core of our Guaranteed Search product. Guaranteed delivery in 8 weeks or your money back.