Unconscious bias: Acknowledging, owning, and overcoming our biases
Learning about our biases is the first step toward overcoming them.
Have you ever wondered why some people are successful, in spite of challenges and uncertainty? Many successful people, and especially successful financial professionals, have good habits in place. Habits such as reading, journaling, and practicing gratitude, are a few habits that Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Oprah Winfrey employ1. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” What habits can you create this year that will help you to not only survive, but thrive?
Habits are routines or behaviors that are repeated regularly, where they become subconscious. Research tells us that over half of our daily activities are influenced by habits2. Activities such as brushing your teeth, drinking your first cup of coffee, and watching the news are habits typically done without thinking.
Ask yourself these questions to understand and create positive habits that will impact both your professional and personal life.
Every habit should begin with a specific goal in mind. Your goal is what you want to accomplish, and it is ultimately your end result. When you think about your practice, what goal will be the most impactful to you and your clients?
Understanding why your goal is important to you is key to creating sustainable habits. When willpower fails, your “why” will inspire and motivate you to keep moving forward. Your why – or purpose – is the driving force behind your actions.
When creating habits, focus on 1-2 actions that are easy and important because you will be more likely to do them. Think of them as low-hanging fruit.
A system for creating habits is needed to help you stay on course and make progress. This system consists of 3 things needed for a habit to be successful:
In addition to putting your habit system into place, you might want to identify an Accountability Partner. This can be a trusted friend or family member who is interested in your progress and will encourage you along your journey.
Start small and build up. If you want to complete a marathon, start small by walking one mile. In other words, make the mini habit so small that you can’t say no to it. Starting with mini habits makes creating a larger habit more manageable and less overwhelming.
Author James Clear refers to this as habit stacking in his book Atomic Habits. Habit stacking involves bundling activities you’re prone to skip with routine activities you are already doing, e.g., jogging in place while you wait for your morning coffee to brew.
Here are some Tips for Success to keep in mind as you begin to create your habits:
As Financial Professionals, what goal do you want to achieve this year? What habits can you put in place to help you reach your goal? Maybe it’s becoming a better listener or asking your clients better questions, or prioritizing. Whatever your goal is, habits are a key element for success.
Working with the Nationwide Retirement Institute® is a great thing to get in the habit of. Whether you’re looking for practice management tips, useful tools or breakdowns of complex concepts, the Retirement Institute has the resources you can use.
Reach out to the Nationwide Retirement Institute’s planning team today at NRIplanning@nationwide.com or 877-245-0763.
Nationwide Investment Services Corporation (NISC), member FINRA, Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide Retirement Institute is a division of NISC.