Smart Leaders: Break Up With Doubt

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Brian Biro gives a pep talk to get you off the sidelines

Humans are creatures of habit who can easily get stuck in ruts. Don’t let boundaries stand in the way of being the greatest version of yourself that you can be. It’s mentally healthier to continuously climb up the mountain of achievement and work toward goals than to plateau into what is comfortable and safe, but ultimately soul-crushing.

America’s Breakthrough Coach, Brian Biro, encouraged Smart Meeting Mid-Atlantic attendees to step out of their routine and (literally) break down barriers during a breakfast at Lansdowne Resort & Spa in Leesburg, Virginia, on July 20 (see highlights on p. 48). “Comfort zones become confinement zones,” he proclaimed. “Change the way you see yourself, and the self you see will change.”

Gimme a Breakthrough

Brian Biro is the author of 11 books, including Beyond Success and There Are No Overachievers: Seizing Your Windows of Opportunity to Do More Than You Thought Possible.

Breakthrough moments always start with vision. You have to visualize your plan, strategy, course of action and end result. Additionally, breakthrough moments require follow-through and accountability. Biro stresses taking personal responsibility to remain committed to yourself and your team.

In his keynote address, Biro invited two volunteers onto the stage to karate-chop a wooden board. Without any prior martial arts experience, these rookie ninjas set aside self-doubt and broke the boards in two. This symbolic exercise is a metaphor for a greater life lesson.

“You don’t know you can do it until you do it,” Biro teaches.

Biro emphasizes the acronym WOO (window of opportunity). He believes in carpe diem in every aspect of your life—professional, family and health. Seize every opportunity you’re handed and create new opportunities for yourself. “Today is the greatest gift that we’re ever given,” he says to encourage people to make the most of life.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Being your best self also requires living in the moment and being present. Many of us don’t even realize we are driving on autopilot and ignoring the world around us. When Biro asked the audience what color a yield sign is, the overwhelming response was “yellow.” Yield signs have been red and white for more than 40 years, but many people haven’t noticed. “When we use our memories to see, we do not see what is—we see what was,” he says. “Open your eyes to what’s there right now.”

Acknowledging accomplishment is important to maintain momentum in breakthroughs. As you gain confidence, you’re more likely to keep pushing forward. Celebrate the small stepping stones along the way that lead to the bigger-picture goal. Be as receptive to receiving congratulations as you are to celebrating the successes of other people.
These are all great strategies, but how do we incorporate them into our every day lives? Biro had some tools—words and controllables that can act as guidelines for breaking down mental barriers and living more fully.

Three Breakthrough Words

  1. ENERGY: Radiate a positive energy.
  2. PRESENCE: Give undivided attention so people feel like they matter to you.
  3. BLAME BUSTING: Placing blame on mistakes means you’re living in the past, not in the present.

Three Controllables

  1. FOCUS: Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
  2. BELIEFS: Believe in your potential, not your limitations.
  3. ACTION: Act on your focus and beliefs to enable change.