Jul 22, 2015

What You Believe is No Longer True

“The world is flat”
“You must have wiring to make phone calls”
“It takes an entire room to hold a computer”
“The U.S. will always be the most dominant force in the world”

“Addicts need to be shunned and humiliated to convince them to change”
“Marriage is a life-long commitment”

Whether you agree that all of the beliefs stated above have changed, or not, you must agree that at least some of them have. It’s just a fact that you can now make phone calls without any wiring and the same device you use to call with is a computer that fits in the palm of your hand. I’m also pretty sure the world isn’t flat.

With so much of the world being different from what many of us knew as we grew up, it behooves everyone to reconsider our beliefs. I’m not saying to toss your beliefs out, I’m saying to challenge them in light of change. No matter how much or how hard we want things to be how they used to be, they aren’t and they won’t ever be again. In some of my recent speaking events where I’ve discussed the contents of my new book, I’ve experienced some interesting challenges related to ‘the way it’s always been done or believed’. One person questioned what I teach people as compared to modern psychology. I told the group that, based on my experience working with people, much of modern psychology has got it wrong. (If you would like to know how I came to that conclusion, please contact me) One driving force for me to be so bold about that is a recent TED Talk video about “Addiction”. What the presenter said and shows statistically is that psychology, governments, police, educators, interventionists and almost everyone else has the wrong approach to helping people stop addictions. Here’s the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY9DcIMGxMs. I also believe that much of what is taught about leadership and motivation at universities and colleges is behind the times and need updating. Why? Because recent neuroscience tells a different story about humans and the way we should be led and motivated. I believe that Tony Robbins had it right for decades with his “Six Human Needs” because neuroscience has recently (2008) discovered a motivational formula very similar called SCARF.

It was also interesting to watch on “World News Tonight” (NBC nightly news 7/21/15) that a long-held view of how birth order affects children and their personality has been shown to be untrue. Several hundred children were involved in this study and no statistical significance was shown as to their IQ, wealth, leadership, or any of the other factors people used to believe were involved in birth order. I remember people I used to work with using behavioral assessments and in HR Departments would be so adamant concerning birth order and sometimes would refuse to put a person who was born 2nd, 3rd, or farther down the line in a leadership position. “They have to be firstborn, because firstborn children automatically possess leadership traits!”, was the belief. If I saw them today, I wonder how they would explain their deeply ingrained belief when compared to the new studies?

I’m interested in discovering what beliefs you’ve changed, or have seen changed in the world, that you never thought you would see become different. Please feel free to comment and share.

By the way, I have a few more posts related to changing beliefs which will be focused on specific topics, so be on the lookout for them!

Dr. Edward Lewellen is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.