What determines our expectations in life and business is very complex. Some of it is based on what we've experienced. We then turn our experiences into laws and allow them to govern our decisions and behaviors. And often, there’s a wide gap between these laws and reality.
One common example of this for MSPs is price. I think I've spoken with more than 1,000 MSP business leaders over the years who’ve told me they could never command prices I knew already existed in their markets. According to them, based on their experiences, which were purely anecdotal, it just wasn’t possible. Now, of course, this is just a small example, but here’s the thing: Until expectations change, results can't change.
The bigger issue is what we see in business and life over time. Here's where it gets even more complicated. I've learned that we don’t just develop expectations from our businesses, careers or experiences. Expectations are tied to self-image, which we usually develop somewhat during childhood and throughout life. Some of this is also how we're wired. When you think about it, these are very difficult obstacles to overcome for many of us.
In his book “The Big Leap,” Gay Hendricks calls this the “upper limit problem.” We all have a level of success, money or love that we think we deserve. When we reach those levels, we find a way to blow something up. For example, you start making progress in your business and then you lose your biggest customer or tech. It seems like there's always a new obstacle out of your control.
This is very hard to recognize in life. I’ve watched this play out with some people time and time again for more than a decade. I tend to call this the “banana peels syndrome.” Just when things start to go well, you slip on a banana peel.
So how do we raise our upper limits, increase our expectations and recognize what's possible in our lives instead of being restricted by our self-limiting beliefs?
In my opinion, it first takes awareness that this plays out in all our lives and then a dedication to learning the process of continually raising expectations. Setting goals, joining peer groups, reading, listening, watching everything you can about self-improvement and self-acceptance is a great start.
I believe that choosing who you spend time around is also very important. I see some business people that have team members who have been with them for a long time but are negative and self-defeating. These business leaders get stuck because of a misplaced sense of loyalty or they are worried that something bad will happen if they let that person go. I’ve got some good news for you: Nobody has ever gone out of business because they parted ways with someone who was holding them back.
Now, it’s a given that some people must work even harder to overcome their upper limits. Some people have had success with therapy or meditation. But when you’re passionate and enthusiastic about pushing your upper limits and overcoming your self-limiting beliefs, you’ll reach your full potential.