I’ve run a debt collection agency for nearly three decades. Naturally, as a business owner, making money was always a benchmark goal.
The AHA! moment of my career came when I realized that what I REALLY wanted was for the next person I spoke with on the phone to be happier at the end of the call than they were at the start.
That simple shift to creating connection through conscious conversations reframed my entire organization (and personal life). Focused on that, I created one of the most unique collection agencies in the country. My staff members come on and stay for years. In an industry that has a regular turnover rate of almost 50%, you know something different is going on.
Shown below is an excerpt from my best-selling book, Conscious Communications. Along with my wealth of professional experiences as a debt collection owner, I’ve studied neuroscience and have found it fascinating. I hope you find this article fascinating too!
Picture this: you get a brand new computer fully loaded with software that promises to make your hectic life run more smoothly. Your eyes go wide when you start it up and see the desktop - every icon you wanted, and all in one place, your personalized hard drive.
For the purposes of this metaphor, this computer is your brain, and the computer's hard drive is your subconscious programming. Just as each program on a computer can make it either run like a gazelle or crawl like a slug, each belief program in your brain either will guide you to act in ways that connect you to the life you most deeply desire, or will act like corrupted software or firewalls to block and disconnect you from whatever it is you most want to have, be, do or accomplish in your life.
In an ideal situation, each person's brain would come pre-programmed with beliefs that default to seeking out the experiences of optimal joy, love, accomplishment and so on, but in the real world, we're both born a blank slate. Our beliefs are not yet formed since they develop based on the primary influences of family, culture and community, and early childhood experiences.
As life happens, we experience all sorts of things that can range from wonderful to tragic, and occasionally we might adopt a belief that tragic events follow us, or we deserve them or some other version of that belief. When we believe a story that reinforces an emotional blockage, we're also reinforcing a neural pathway. Our beliefs become a barrier that holds us back from achieving our desires.
We adopt these barrier beliefs because we want to protect ourselves from some perceived threat; but keeping a barrier belief that is actively disconnecting us from possible joy in life is rarely intentional.
In fact, I've yet to meet a single person, whether their childhood was idyllic or dysfunctional, whose barrier beliefs were put in place to intentionally keep them from having fun. As it turns out, the bulk of our programming - both conscious and subconscious - happens when we aren't actively seeking out what our program is or could be. In my case, while my childhood home life was challenging at times, my mom did much better for me than her mom did for her. I often told her that marrying my stepdad, Alex, was the best thing she ever did. He brought a grounded steady demeanor to our home that Mom simply didn't have. Alex was raised by hard-working, blue-collar parents, who came from a different era. Their way of teaching Alex was through old-fashioned, strict morals and values, so he passed those morals and values down to me. He always had high expectations for my studies and lifestyle choices. However, throughout adolescence, my interpretation of these expectations were often disconnected from his intentions, which led to harsh self-judgement.
The limiting beliefs I created as a child grew to be a whole system of limiting beliefs that shaped my choices and behaviors as an adult. It kept tripping me up, disconnecting me from my forward momentum, and keeping me from achieving my goals.
Overcoming barrier beliefs
Over time I had to find a way to build a new mind-set so that I could be free from the ways that belief systems hold me back.
Even into adulthood on days when I was down on myself, it was easy to believe that I was inevitably destined to loneliness. Now that I'm in my 40s, I'm better equipped to rise above those early wired neural pathways. But in the beginning, it took a lot of practice, a lot of trial and error, to find a different way of seeing myself. I'm passing the shortcuts I've learned on to you, and these shortcuts have the ability to skyrocket your growth.
What stops a limiting or barrier belief right in its tracks? Taking action, regardless of how you feel about yourself. It seems simple enough, but let me explain.
Action will always be stronger than belief. There is more power in a single step forward than in the most firmly held conviction. In the past, whenever I heard phrases like the ‘power of the now’ or ‘be in the present moment’, I didn't get it. I didn't see how they applied to my life. But, now I do. The power of the now means deliberately making choices based on where you are today - not five or 25 years ago and not from where you imagine you'll be six months from now. Staying focused in the here and now, and taking action from your present moment instead of sometime in the past or future, keeps you grounded and helps you move through your barrier beliefs.
Your power is now, and the heart of this power lies in where you choose to focus.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt taken from my best-selling book Conscious Communications. To learn more about this topic and how to live the life you have always dreamed about, check out Conscious Communications at maryshores.com, or book a call with me today