Importance of Belief

Just how important is belief?


What if I told you that your beliefs are 100% responsible for your results? And when we're dealing with other people, our beliefs are responsible for THEIR results.


It is essential to have an attitude of believing the best in others, but I'm very aware that understanding this concept can have its challenges.


I remember in college, I learned about the self-fulfilling prophecy. It's the idea that when someone creates a belief in something that is not yet true, and expects something with certainty, it will become true. 


When we are talking about our beliefs of people and their behaviors, this means that as we communicate our expectations, they will actually conform and deliver results based on what WE believe.


When working with people, understanding this is critical. 


When you express a lack of confidence in someone, it is returned with mediocrity, however if you believe in them and expect them to do well, research has shown that they will live up to that expectation.


What we expect, all too often, is exactly what we get.


I'll say it again...what we expect, all too often, is exactly what we get. People will live up to our expectations whether they be GOOD OR BAD.



So, let's explore the four key principles of the self-fulfilling prophecy:


  • We form certain expectations - or beliefs - of people or events based on our own perceptions and experiences
  • We communicate those expectations through our behaviors in a way that we would not have done without the belief
  • People generally respond by adjusting their behavior to match
  • The result is that the original expectation becomes reality


Based on these principles, we can conclude that the expectations leaders place on their team determines the quality of the teams’ output.


I have known leaders who have said that they can't understand how their staff even get dressed in the morning, let alone show up to work. And you know what? They performed to that level. 


Let's put it this way...if you truly think someone is a loser and isn't going to get anywhere, are you going to hold onto their hand and link up with them on the road to success?


Would you literally attach your rope to someone that you thought was going to fall down the mountain? No! Of course not! And just like that example, our behaviors toward others will reflect how we feel about them.


I've also known leaders who believed in people and their unlimited potential, even after others had given up on them and they seemed to be underperforming. And you know what happened? Those people rose to the top of the company!

I can tell you this from experience because not only did I witness it with colleagues of mine, but I'm one of them. I was in a position where those around me said the worst things about me RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, they had less than zero belief in my abilities. After offering to quit, I was given an opportunity to work in a different location for someone else who believed in me, in a higher position than I was before, and I was in the top 20 of the company from then on, turned 2 locations around from low revenue to profitable growth, and helped 2 people to get to #2 and #5 in the company, and several others into the top 20, and everyone who worked with me received awards of some kind. It had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with my boss' belief in me, and my belief in my staff and their potential.


A study of 100 self-made millionaires has shown that the most common characteristic in the group was the desire and ability to see the good in others.


They were people builders, not critics.


They empowered and supported their team to be their very best through positive means. 


Believing the best in people is a critical piece of building successful viable relationships.


And business - results, success, or whatever you can imagine about business - is ALL about relationships.

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