An entrepreneur says, "Everyone says my fees are too high." ,,,
In response, a business coach might say, "Everyone? Exactly how many people is that?"
Could it be everyone he meets? Everyone in his family? Three people, or ten? Either way, it's unlikely that the answer is 100 percent, everyone.
The word, everyone, falls into a category referred to as absolutes. An absolute is defined as things that are guaranteed, exact, precise, conclusive, and unquestionable. There is no exception to an absolute; it is all-encompassing.
Leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence don't operate from a place of bias, which is one of the issues with absolute thinking. It causes errors in judgment about yourself, others, or the world in general. Psychologists say that it can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety.
Words are powerful, and the more we repeat negative statements, the deeper our limiting core beliefs may become. And, these beliefs can easily create an invisible barrier to your success. Be aware of absolutes; here are some further examples.
Back to "everyone." If you hear something from one or two people, it does not mean it's true to 100 percent of the people you meet. When I listen to entrepreneurs use this absolute in reference to their business, I ask who "everyone" is. Usually, it's someone (or maybe two someone's) who aren't in their target audience: a relative, a friend, or an individual who has wrongly taken on the position of advisor.
Of course, we need to pay attention to legitimate signs of concern, but don't jump to conclusions that lead you to short-changing yourself. In this instance, if "everyone" refers to one or two people whom you describe as your ideal client, you may want to revise your description. Your avatar depiction must include the willingness and ability to afford your services or product.
"I always mess up," says yet another business owner.
Always. Wow, it's a wonder this person is still in business--or alive for that matter. If you tend to use this absolute, I would suggest that you keep a running list of the times when it's not true.
"I just pitched my idea to a prospect, but I couldn't close the deal. This is never going to work."
As they say, never say never. Need I say more?
I heard this one just last week: "No one ever agrees with anything I say."
An excellent way to put yourself down. Can it possibly be that everything this person says is wrong in the eyes of others? I doubt that. Perhaps she's hanging out with the wrong people.
As a leader, speaking in absolutes may be seen as a sign of immature, even irresponsible leadership. Life is rarely black and white; leaders must see the big picture, which rarely includes a perspective based on absolutes and bias.
Think you never use absolutes? Well, "never" is absolute, so what do you think? The next time you hear, never, always, or other words of this nature coming out of your mouth, stop and ask yourself, "Is that really true?"