The Client-centred Blog

The biggest lie that holds you back

Do you know what the biggest lie we tell ourselves is?

I cannot change.

This false belief is at the core of why so many people get stuck in a rut, living out the same old thinking and behavioural habits, often for years.

It is also apparent that one of the most common, if not THE most common, challenges in business is how to implement meaningful change and have it stick.

However, something that has also become crystal clear to me is that, on an individual basis, change happens in an instant.

It does not need to take years of thinking about something, waiting for the right time, waiting to feel right or using will power.

If you look back in your life you can always find examples of when change happened smoothly and naturally, and when you understand the mechanism it makes future changes so much easier and pain free.

A brilliant example of instant change came to mind.

I was over in the US, spending two days with George and Linda Pransky of Pranksy and Associates. I have learned a huge amount from them and their understanding of human psychology is right at the cutting-edge.

Linda wanted to do a demonstration of how change works so she asked for a volunteer. She wanted someone who had a particularly persistent problem or issue in their life.

A guy called Andy raised his hand and Linda asked him what he wanted to talk about.

He explained that he had an issue with his father that had caused him a great deal of anger in his life and it all stemmed from one incident (that happened many years previously).

Apparently, when Andy was a little boy of about 5 years old the housekeeper thought it was funny to teach him swear words.

One evening, at the family dinner table, Andy had finished his food and was playing under the table. He started repeatedly saying one of the words he had been taught.

I won’t spell what he said but it had four letters and started with ‘F’. You can imagine the rest.

Well, on hearing this Andy’s father put his hand under the table, grabbed the little boy, yanked him out and put him under his arm whilst striding towards the kitchen shouting…

“How dare you say that, I’m going to burn your tongue off!”

And he opened the oven door as if to put Andy’s head there (which he didn’t do, by the way).

Ever since then, Andy had this intense anger of the incident and towards his father.

Linda asked Andy if he had his own children. He said yes.

She asked if he loved them. He said yes.

She asked Andy if he thought his father loved him. He said yes.

She asked Andy if he had ever got angry in the moment with his children. He said he had.

Linda, whilst acknowledging that Andy’s fathers behaviour was extreme, intense and questionable, asked Andy if he thought it came from a place where he had his best interests at heart?

Andy reflected without saying a word and we all sat there in complete silence. After a couple of minutes he looked back at Linda and quietly said…

“It’s done.”

In a single moment all of Andy’s anger had gone, never to return. Fifty years of it, then gone. Instead peace.

So, what happened?

Andy experienced a leap in consciousness. He experienced a new reality because his thinking no longer looked real to him – it therefore had no power over him.

Whenever we truly change – lose weight for good, give up an addiction, stop playing the victim, become a more powerful coach, adviser, planner, or leader, build a better business, re-invent ourselves, re-build a relationship – it is always when we have a shift in consciousness.

Change very rarely happens when we try to think our way into it.

As soon as we see the connection between our thoughts and our feelings, it loosens the grip that thinking has and allows new thinking to come forth.

This is what happened with Andy. Of course, Linda knows what she is doing but that same capacity for change resides in all of us, all of the time.

Change is only ever one thought away.


Leave a Comment

Related articles

Integrity: It is more important than we think 
As professional people we value integrity, right? We like to think of ourselves as being a person of integrity and we want other people to act with integrity towards us. To me, this seems at the very core of trust.
The most dangerous word in the English language
When we think back to when we were little kids, we never knew what limitations were. In fact, to little kids the very idea of a limitation is absurd. Our imaginations knew no boundaries and we lived in a world of pure possibility. You could be a superhero, be invisible, fly, or travel in time like Doctor Who.  As such, life was full of joy, curiosity, and wonder.
The little understood power of the present moment
In a world where we seem to be so focused upon 'doing' it is so easy to forget that it's our state of mind that determines the quality of our actions, depth of impact, and overall quality of our life experience. For instance, I realised: *To truly connect with other people I had to be fully present with them *To perform better at anything I do then the quality of my attention is the most significant factor *Happiness and contentment are not circumstance dependent; they are a function of how present we are in our lives
Twenty signs you are on the path to truly great financial planning
What is the difference between 'average' financial planners and those who become truly great at what they do? I have been reflecting on this question for a while now and wanted to share my thoughts on this with you. I think it begins with the 'want to'. Do you truly want to become great at what you do?
My favourite Warren Buffett quote and why it matters
Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time and one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. He also has some very astute observations about life. My favourite is his observation that: 'Busy is the new stupid.' One time he was in discussion with another super successful person, Bill Gates, and they touched upon the subject of productivity.
A simple guide to living in flow
Would you like to spend far more of your time in a state of 'flow'? Flow is the experience of being totally absorbed in the moment, when time seems to stand still, and nothing else seems to matter. I was reading about the legendary tennis player Billie Jean King and how she described her experience of a game...
Why I stopped meditating
Last week I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who has a vast amount of experience as a coach and has worked with thousands of people. She observed that in her experience every single person always wants the same thing in the end. Ultimately, we all want to feel clear minded, present, happy, content, and free from the burden of worry and stress. Who doesn't want more of this?
The twelve client-centred mind shifts - part 1
You have worked hard to become a qualified financial professional. You are making a difference in the lives of your clients and your business is steady. This is a big, well-deserved success and there is much to celebrate. Yet at this stage you might also pause, reflect, and ask yourself, “What’s next?”
How to transcend the financial planner comfort zone
Our comfort zone can be very limiting. For instance, it can hold you back from realising your greater potential, making a bigger difference to your clients, and experiencing greater success. So, in this article I explore what a financial planner comfort zone is and what it takes to transcend it. 
How to deal with imposter syndrome
Do you ever feel like an imposter in your role, that you will get 'found out', or do not deserve your success? If so, you are far from alone as this is extremely common amongst business people.
Resilience: An essential key to building a financial planning practice
Have you noticed how resilience has become a hot topic in business? For instance, there are TED talks on it, articles in the Harvard Business Review, and covid brought into sharp focus how unforeseen events can literally change our lives in a moment. This article explores a deeper understanding of resilience and why it is key for building a financial planning practice.
Better time management for financial advisers and planners
As a financial planner are you as productive as you would like to be? Would you like to get more done, in less time, and with none of the stress? In this article I am going to explore the hidden factor that leads to genuinely better time management for financial advisers and planners.
Building a financial planning business - overcoming the biggest obstacle
Building a financial planning business is not easy! In fact, you are far from alone if you find it challenging. This article explores one of the biggest obstacles of all and how to rapidly get back on track.
Why is client well-being increasingly on the agenda for financial planners?
Client well-being is fast rising up the agenda for financial planners. Why is this and is it something you should be focusing upon with your clients? In this article I explore why financial planners and advisers are increasingly focusing upon the well-being of their clients.
Time management for financial planners - why helpful tips are not the answer
How often have you felt like you had way too much to do, way too little time to do it, and you've stressed out as a result?
To succeed you must have self belief... really?
If you have a goal or outcome that is important to you and you want to go for it, then what does self belief and whether you have it or not have to do with it?