When I first started blogging over 5 years I set outcomes for myself that I felt were impossible, but at the time, I believed in "˜dream big.' Might as well go for it in a big way. Some of the outcomes I set myself were:
Outcome: To reach 10,000 blog subscribers in the first year
Actual: 670 blog subscribers in the first year
Outcome: To earn at least $1,000 per month in the first year of the blog
Actual: nada, nothing, zilch, zero (actually I earned an affiliate commission of $26)
Outcome: To get readers interacting and have at least 50 comments per post
Actual: Average of 5 comments per post in the first year of blogging
Over the last six months or so I have been looking at how I set my outcomes and had a breakthrough in my thinking.
The reason I did not reach the outcomes I had set myself was that I did not, deep down, believe they were possible. In psychology this is called "˜cognitive dissonance': when your conscious mind says one thing, but the unconscious mind doesn't believe it.
As you know it is the unconscious mind that is the driver for most of our actions, thoughts, and behaviours in life. So, when your unconscious mind does not believe, but you really want to achieve something in life, what do we do?
Marrying the conscious with the unconscious
Going back to the outcomes I had set above, I looked over my outcomes for this year for the blog:
Outcome: To reach 40,000 blog subscribers in 2012
Actual: 31,000 subscribers (an average of 2,200 subscribers per month for the last 6 months)
Outcome: To earn at least $5,000 per month in 2012
Actual: In the past 6 months the lowest figure is $1,700 and the highest is $7,800, average of around $3,500 per month)
Outcome: To get readers interacting and have at least 50 comments per post
Actual: Average is around 50 comments per month just now (comments numbers have gone down across the board in the blogging world so this is good)
I have reached most of my outcomes so far, and in hindsight I should have stretched these outcomes a little more. The reason is that I believe that I can reach the outcomes I have set for the blog. This is happening across my business and personal life.
The reason I can now believe in the outcomes is that I can now see the process and instinctively know what actions to take in order to achieve these outcomes. When you know the process you can take the right actions, when you take the right actions, your belief is a lot stronger, and therefore it is easier to achieve your outcomes.
I have coached many bloggers whose outcome was to achieve a certain target for their blogs e.g. to earn $1,000 per month from their blog, to gain 10,000 subscribers for their blog and so on. However their belief is not there as they do not yet know the process, and therefore cannot see themselves as having achieved their outcome, which means their unconscious mind does not really believe it is possible.
To achieve these types of goals for a blog you need to know how to get traffic, you need to know how to write headlines, you need to know how to write good blog posts that are engaging, and so many more things. When all of these things are in place and you can do them at the unconscious level the money and the outcomes will come much more quickly.
Aligning 100 plugs
We think of outcomes like a plug going into an electrical socket: If we have the two pins (or three pins, depending where you are in the world) lined up correctly and push it gently into the socket, the electricity will flow and there will be power, and we will reach our outcome. However reaching an outcome is more like trying to line up 100 plugs and putting them into the correct sockets at the same time. There are so many variables to reaching the outcome; there is no one thing that will get you there.
We really have to know how to align all the pins at the same time, but we cannot possibly know if we have not experienced aligning them before.
Forcing the issue
We are told that if we just keep trying, push on and take more action we will eventually reach the outcomes we desire. This does not really work, as we are really floundering around trying to learn the process without really getting anywhere and we eventually give up saying "˜I gave it my best shot!'
What do we do to align?
Steve Pavlina talks about aligning with the vibe in order to achieve your outcome. What he meant was get to know what it feels like to have already reached your outcome. If your outcome is to be a successful author, you need to know what it feels like to be a successful author before you can "˜match up your vibe' and really align your conscious beliefs with your unconscious beliefs.
Obviously we cannot experience success until we have got there, and the only way to get there is to experience it "“ bit of a chicken and egg scenario.
The way to do it is to borrow someone else's beliefs and actions.
Borrowing beliefs and actions
I remember, last year, I coached someone whose outcome was to get 1,000 subscribers per month in her first few months of blogging. She was getting around 4 subscribers per day, 120 per month. I gave her one action to take which quadrupled her subscriber numbers overnight, and she was well on her way to reaching her outcome. What she was doing was borrowing my beliefs, knowledge, and actions because I had been where she was, and I was where she wanted to be.
If you want to be writer, hang out with writers who have achieved what you want to achieve, be in their company, and take their courses. Pretty soon you pick up on their unconscious thoughts, beliefs and actions and you can borrow them in order to get you closer to your outcome. If you are around successful people their success rubs off on you. That might sound a little out there, but I believe you will understand exactly what I mean.
Once you have borrowed some beliefs and actions, you can start to visualise more clearly, and believe more deeply the outcomes you wish to achieve. When you do this, you start to take the right actions and things seem to fall into place naturally.
When you begin to reach your outcomes there will be others in your life that are not aligned to what you are achieving and try, unconsciously or consciously, to bring you down in some way. This plays out in many ways, such as envy, neediness, negativity, and a number of other ways. You have a hard decision to make: Whether or not to keep these people in your life.
People don't like change. I like the quote from Wyatt Woodsmall: "People don't like it when you change because the ways they use to manipulate you stop working."
When I've mentioned this in the past a lot of people have a hard time with it. Dumping people in your life just because they are not aligned to your growth sounds harsh. The truth is we are doing it all the time. Think of when you left school, left a job, or became a manager to go on and do bigger and better things. You are perceived differently so there's no choice but to say goodbye to the ties that bound you before.
Doing the work on yourself
As well as others not aligning to your growth you are going to have to grow yourself as a person, which also may be difficult. You're going to drop old belief systems, stop certain habits, and perceive yourself in a new way. This can be tough as well, and it's worth being aware of this.
You will find you will drop old belief systems automatically, as more and more of the 100 plugs align themselves in the correct position.
How to work on yourself and align the 100 plugs
- There are lots of ways to do this. Here are a few suggestions:
- Know what your outcomes are in all areas of your life. I find a simple word document typed up at the beginning of every six months is great.
- Practice guided meditations to help align yourself to the outcome.
- Meet with people who have more knowledge and expertise than you do do so their energy, knowledge and beliefs can rub off on you.
- Take action on everything you learn.
- Write everything down. If you learn something new write it down before it gets lost forever in the back of your mind.
- Practice visualization and see, feel, hear, smell and taste yourself in the outcome situation. Do this on a regular basis.
- Go to seminars, lectures, read books, within the field of your intended outcome.
- Start believing in your outcome. This will happen the more you immerse yourself in it and hang around people who have already achieved what your want to achieve.
There are lots of ways to immerse yourself in your chosen outcome; you will no doubt have your own favourite ways of doing this. It's not the way you do it; it's your intention behind it all.
I remember when I first started to get serious about email marketing. I surrounded myself with people who were already doing what I wanted to do. There are about five people I regularly keep in touch with via Skype, and email and they are people at the top of their game, having around 1,000,000 subscribers between them. My outcome is to have an email list, not blog subscriber size, but email list of around 100,000 by the end of this year. By being around people who are already there, I can learn, pick up on their energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge to get there.
The KIMGRO Process
There is a process for doing all of the above, which is a simplified version of what I have been talking about above, but it will help you to learn the process much quicker.
Know exactly what your outcome is and know why you want to get there. Do this for all areas of your life.
Immerse yourself in the outcome you want to achieve by reading, attending seminars, hanging around people who have achieved what you want, anything you can to start believing that you can achieve your outcome.
Match your beliefs thoughts, actions, behaviours, and feelings in the outcome you want to achieve. This should happen naturally by immersion and growing yourself.
Grow yourself as much as possible, by learning as much as possible about the field your outcome is in, and start working on yourself as much as possible. This may mean a little sacrifice: no TV, no weekend nights out, staying focused on your outcome.
Review your outcome and progress every month with a detailed review every six months.
Optimize the processes, which have been successful for you in getting closer to your outcome.
Okay, I think you get the message by now. One last thing- enjoy the whole process, no point in achieving your outcomes if you're not enjoying the process along the way.
Let me know your thoughts, you know I am always interested in hearing what you have to say.