From buying and selling home audio equipment aged just 17, to witnessing the growth and collapse of a multi-million-pound renewable energy company, I’ve experienced all the ups and downs of life.
Over the years, the biggest reason for stalled growth or failure I’ve seen in any business venture or idea is our subconscious beliefs and attitudes.
We’re A Product Of Our Environment
As we go thought life, our environment shapes our personalities.
For example, if at six-years-old you were asked by the teacher to speak in front of the class, you made a mistake and everyone laughed, you could react in two ways. Firstly, you could join in laughing at yourself and accept you messed up and act on it. Alternatively, you could take it very badly, get extremely embarrassed and decide from then on public speaking was too risky as you didn’t like making a fool of yourself!
This is just one small example of how our emotions are shaped and coded.
I now want to explore the five main reasons why more than 80 per cent of entrepreneurs either fail or don’t get the results they desire.
 Self Worth/Self Esteem
A study to evaluate the types of comments and their frequency which children received in a typical day revealed that they heard 14 negative comments for every positive one.
So when children hear from their family, friends and other influential people in their lives that they’re ‘stupid’, ‘useless’, ‘won’t amount to anything’ an ‘idiot’ etc then they start to believe it internally. The words may only have used in a very generalised comment, but children will take them as a personal slight.
Over time, this erodes their internal self-confidence and belief in their actions.
 Fear Of Success
Whilst this may sound crazy, it’s extremely common. This can also be viewed as fear of rejection.
This affected one of my mentors – the famous trainer and author Jack Canfield. Jack believed his father wouldn’t love him or accept him if he was super rich. His father disliked some mega wealthy people. Whilst Jack didn’t share this feeling himself, his subconscious was aware of his father’s views and he didn’t want to risk alienating him.
We often fear success because we may be rejected by people we love and respect.
If you have people you care about in your circle of influence, then it’s likely you’ll link their opinions to how they might view you when you succeed. As a result, you’ll sabotage your success to remain within the threshold of a perceived limit.
 The Fear Of Failure
This is the most obvious one for people to understand and comprehend.
When examining this, my favourite analogy is what I call ‘the flee syndrome.’
If you put a flea in a box and put a lid on it, the flea will want to escape. Now fleas are known for their jumping prowess – with the average flea being able to jump around 18cm in height. When you consider that a flea stands around 1mm tall, the ratio compares to a 6ft tall human jumping a clean 18 meters over the Shard in London at 306 meters high!
So when the flea attempts this amazing feat inside the box, it will hit the underside of the lid. Next time it won’t want to jump as hard as it associates this with pain and failure. It will keep banging into the lid until it eventually stems its efforts to the point of just missing the lid. It has now been conditioned so much by its environment that even if you remove the lid it will never escape. Instead, it will believe that if it attempts to go higher it will meet with resistance so what’s the point!
We learn the pain of failure from an early age when we do things for the first time and meet with a painful result. However, if we don’t work through that pain to get to the point where it no longer hurts, then we become conditioned to believe that pain and failure is the only end result.
 The Power Of Association
We might know someone who has a successful business and the lifestyle we aspire to, but who simply isn’t a nice person.
I experienced this through one of my clients. He worked at a company where the top performer was, by majority opinion, an arrogant, self-absorbed egotistical poser who everyone spoke about behind his back. My client’s subconscious then created an association with earning a certain amount of money and being perceived in a bad way.
Once we’ve identified danger, our mind tis always calculating how close it is, looking for evidence to support it, and then taking avoiding action where necessary. This is all done subconsciously changing how we feel about what we’re doing. It’s a soup mix of different chemicals in our body called ‘neural peptides’ which alter our mood and how we process information and respond to it.
How we feel about something changes how we approach it. If we don’t feel good about something, then we avoid or reject it. Conversely, it we feel great about something then we’ll enthusiastically engage with it.
 Belief In What We’re Doing Is Morally And Ethically Aligned
Are you doing something which is emotionally aligned with your core beliefs?
This is an interesting idea. The simple fact is that if you’re developing something and your belief in its authenticity is lacking, then you’ll encounter lots of resistance, especially when coming to promote it.
This lack of belief will come across subtly in everything you do – from talking to clients to writing your copy.
We conduct a test with clients on a scale 1 to 10, where 10 is 100% conviction in what they do and 1 is no conviction at all. We then analyse the results to identify where certain beliefs come from.
Our clients appreciate that we don’t advise or coach them – we simply explain what their subconscious believes.
One of my favourite analogies in personal development relates to a motor car.
If you drive the car with the handbrake on, you don’t just push the accelerator harder. Instead, you take the handbrake off and experience the full vigour the car has to offer.
The same applies to ourselves. When we release resistance, we catapult forward more efficiently and effectively than before.