Most of us understand the concept of muscle memory. An example of typical muscle memory is when you throw a ball you don’t think about all the mechanics of doing so. Your body, mind and arm just make it happen.
"Mental muscle memory" works much the same way. Whenever we need to make any decision in our personal or business life, our brain will go into what we have stored in its "hard drive" to decide what to do. The brain is going to go where we have the most experience and where we are the most comfortable. This dated information becomes what we rely on because it’s what we know.
I like to refer to this as actually "Bad Mental Muscle Memory." Relying on "Bad Mental Muscle Memory" is like a drug. The more you rely on it the more you want to do it.
Some of your mental muscle memory is probably very good because it did get you to where you are today. But, when you allow "Bad Mental Muscle Memory" to control your thinking it tends to shut down your ability to move forward and be able to attack the future.
"Bad Mental Muscle Memory" is the future on hold. Opening up your thinking is the future on steroids. It grows and grows.
Tips for dealing with "Bad Mental Muscle Memory:"
Invest more time, energy and resources in the training and development of you and your staff. The dividends are beyond huge. Quit being penny wise and pound foolish. Take some of that money you are spending in advertising and put it in training and education for yourself and your staff.
Look for greatness and ideas in others. Instead of showing up to let everyone know how great you are, show up to find out how great everyone else is. You don’t have all the answers and even if you’ve had some good ones in the past, maybe it’s time to let others help you tweak them up a notch or two.
Set up an Executive Committee. A very good friend of mine recently came back into the automobile business full time due to some re-organizing of his group of stores. The first thing he did was to set up an Executive Committee to help guide the team toward the future. He knew, that the team knew, he had a lot to get his arms around. What a brilliant move to get the team involved in the decision making process.
Add some fear to your diet. Fear is a great motivator. You should be fearful of falling behind. You should be fearful of the competition getting ahead. You should be fearful of what’s around the corner. Fear will force you to get out of your box and get on with it.
Read and study about the best. Apple, Starbucks, CarMax. Do you understand what they do? Do you understand how they do it? Have you spent any time studying these top performers? Being a leader is like being a great football coach. To be a great football coach you have to have a great scouting report. If you’ve not studied these top players then you should.
Inspire those around you. You may think this is overplayed but it’s not. The more you inspire others the more it creates enthusiasm for change and growth.
Avoid the easy. Go after the impossible. My good friend, great author and speaker, Dave Anderson often speaks of stretching yourself and stretching your organization. You can’t stretch if you don’t reach for the impossible. You will soon find out that what you thought was impossible is very doable. And then you will say "next."
Eliminate what you think are obstacles. Sometimes it’s people, sometimes it’s stinky thinking. The only thing in life you have total control over is your thinking. If you think you can you are right. If you think you can’t you are right.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." I’m going to add to his quote. "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm for change" Now, that’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs