A few days ago, a reader of this blog made an observation. After reading the blog for years, he noticed that from time to time I have written that I have changed my mind about something that I no longer believe to be true. This reader thought that this was noteworthy because he believes it is rare for people to change their beliefs, and that it is more noteworthy that I would write it here, where other people could see it.
The truth of the matter is that if your beliefs aren’t changing, you aren’t growing.
Consistency and Inconsistency
Consistency is a critical attribute. It makes you trustworthy, reliable. If people know what they can expect from you, that predictability makes you someone who can be counted on. Having a core set of beliefs and values that are stable over time is also important.
Inconsistency in word and deed can make you look flaky, flighty, and sketchy. It’s difficult to put your trust in people who can’t be counted on from one day to the next. You are unreliable, and that makes you a risk.
But there is something worse than being inconsistent, and that is being consistent when it no longer serves you.
Turn and Face the Strange
You live in a time of constant, accelerating, disruptive change. Things that were once true, are no longer true, and some are just “no longer.” The beliefs that once served you are now dangerous beliefs to hold, and beliefs that would have at one time seemed reckless are now a safer bet. If you are unable—or unwilling—to change your mind, then you are not growing.
The reason I leave the archives up on this blog is because it is a record of my growth since 2008. My writing is much better, and you need only go back and read anything from 2010 to see just how true this is. But more important still, my ideas have gotten better.
As I have had new experiences and made new distinctions. I have changed what I believe to be good, and true, and beautiful. I have changed what I believe about what it takes to succeed in sales, and that belief continues to change over time. I have changed what I believe to be the right approach for prospecting. I have changed long held beliefs about money and success. I have changed my ideas about jobs and works, about the sales process, as well as a lot more personal beliefs.
I keep a running list of all of the beliefs I have changed over time. It’s a way to see the trajectory and the changes over time. It’s an exercise worth your time.
If you haven’t changed something you believed to be true and worth defending in the last couple of years, you are stagnating.