Steve McDermott

You don’t believe what you see, you see what you believe

Why your beliefs will always determine your results.

Northern Soul Santa
Did you once believe in Father Christmas? Have you noticed how, when children believe in Father Christmas, it affects their behavior? Beliefs make you behave in a certain way and how you behave over time determines your results. When people believed the world was flat it didn’t half limited travel. Successful people share a set of helpful beliefs that enable them to achieve outstanding results. For example imagine you knew the beliefs of outstanding speakers and acted like those beliefs were also yours, and true for you, what would that do to the standard of your next presentation?

My son Finlay, when aged nine, confronted me with the big question: ‘Does Father Christmas exist?’ Parents be warned, this was in the middle of Spring, and completely out of the blue. So me and my wife told him, ‘Well Finlay, you are a big boy now, so no he doesn’t, it’s just something parents made up.’ Well, immediately the tears began to flow. And that was just me. Of course, we explained that our intentions in joining this worldwide conspiracy were honourable, but to not much avail. Then straight on the back of this, Finlay puts two and two together and, between gulps for air, looks me straight in the eye and asks: ‘So how about the tooth fairies, they are real, aren’t they?’ ‘Er, no,’ I confess. Anyway, Finlay is tearful most of the night and several hours later when I go to tuck him in bed he says, ‘Dad, I’ve been thinking, no Father Christmas, no Tooth Fairy . . . surely the Easter Bunny is real, isn’t he?’ More explaining, more tears. Here’s the thing. Within moments Finlay had completely reconstructed his belief system and adjusted to a new reality. Next morning when he got up, he was perfectly fine about it all. The exciting news is that you too could totally reconstruct your entire belief system in moments just like Finlay.

Your beliefs act as a filter to how you experience the whole world

Your whole view is determined by what you believe, in fact you don’t believe what you see, you see what you believe! This is why my kid’s references about tooth Fairies were the hardest to shake. Myself and my wife had got into the habit of not only leaving money but also post-it notes covered in tiny spidery writing that the kids thought were from a whole family of tooth fairies. We created a complete world. My notes were always from Billy One Leg who had lost a leg to a cat but had had a wheel fitted so he could still dash around at high speed. Whereas the ones my wife wrote were from a posh fairy called Princess Crystal. My favorite from the Princess was when she wrote, “Dear Megan, I have to do night shift yet again because Billy One Leg is off sick with sticky wings.” The point is it’s easy to change your beliefs about anything just by changing your references. Just like kids do. And by changing your beliefs you will immediately change your behaviour and therefore the results you enjoy.

McTip: Use the master beliefs of outstanding speakers below. Just act as if they are true and see what it does for the standard of your next presentation.

  • I can’t fail – just learn something from the feedback.
  • I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be a “Presenter” just a person.
  • Whilst presenting I have the ability to use anything that happens in a heartbeat
  • They don’t know what I’m going to say – so they won’t know if I said it.

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  1. admin January 17, 2012

    Thanks. I am keeping fit on Twitter at the moment. My fingers are in wonderful shape!

  2. David Milligan-Croft December 24, 2011

    Love it, Steve. Very true and very inspiring.

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