When I practiced law as a litigator, I spent months–and in some cases years–going through evidence to support my clients’ cases at trial. Everybody knows from TV or the movies how this works: the plaintiff or prosecution (depending whether it’s a civil or criminal case) presents its case before the judge or jury and then the defense presents its evidence to contradict or poke holes in the other side’s evidence.
What we don’t usually realize is that each of us has this scenario going on in our own minds every day and throughout our lives, which has a huge impact on how we live our lives and the results we create.
Here’s what I mean. Most of us have an inner prosecutor who is keen to convict us for all of our faults, shortcomings, and mistakes. We also have a much more forgiving defense attorney who is trying to come to our rescue.
Our mind acts like the judge by considering the evidence presented and deciding what it will believe. When the inner prosecutor says things like “I’ll never figure this out” or “I’m such a mess,” the judge tends to believe that and finds evidence that those thoughts are true. (There will always be evidence for those types of thoughts because we’re all human, after all!)
But when your inner defense attorney shows evidence that you actually are capable of figuring things out or reasons why you’re actually doing pretty well, the judge can believe that, too, and can find evidence to support that belief. You’ve figured things out before.
So the question becomes: Are you going to give more weight to the evidence presented by your inner prosecutor or your inner defense counsel? If you’re like most women, you inner prosecutor is far more vocal.
One of the most life-changing things you can do is to start deliberately looking for the evidence to support positive thoughts and beliefs about yourself and your abilities. Here’s how:
- Identify a positive thought or belief that you want to believe but can’t yet fully embrace. For example, “I’m capable of finding work that I love” or “I’m capable of thriving in my career and in my personal life.”
- Ask yourself this question daily: “What are 3 ways that I’m capable of finding work that I love?” Write down different reasons everyday. Keep asking your brain to come up with new ways that that’s true for you.
- Track the evidence. When you watch something, it grows. Start to write down every bit of evidence that you have to support the belief you’re trying to cultivate. I recommend that you buy a small notebook that you carry around with you for this specific purpose. Call it your Belief Book.
- After you track the evidence from your past, create new evidence as you go. Ask yourself on a daily basis: “How can I create evidence that I am capable of this?” This question is incredibly motivating and you’ll find yourself starting to take action to support the belief that you’re the kind of person who is capable of finding work you love or thriving in your career and at home. Record the answers to this question in your Belief Book as well, and watch as the evidence grows.
As long as you stay focused on the right set of evidence, your belief and confidence will grow, which will motivate you to continue taking action and creating more results, which provide more evidence.
Putting these four simple steps into practice on a daily basis has been a life changer for me. It’s one of the fastest ways that I know to get unstuck and start taking real action toward the results you want.
What change do you want to create? What evidence do you have to support that you can do it? How can you create additional evidence to support that belief this week?
Have a beautiful week.