Want to Shift a Behavior? Learn to Shift Your Thoughts

For the month of September, we will be discussing the importance of being a lifelong learner. What does that look like for a busy professional? Can prioritizing learning really give us a return on that time investment? Molly Fletcher, entrepreneur, speaker, author, and host of the podcast Game Changers with Molly Fletcher, will be chatting with the 4word community throughout our September content to share why she believes we should all set a goal to be a lifelong learner.  

You can listen to more of our conversation with Molly on our podcast, Work, Love, Pray! Listen below or click here to find your preferred listening platform.

Why should professionals make room for learning in their busy lives?

One of the things that I have found with peak performers and people who want to get a little bit better every day is that they’re insatiably curious. They welcome the opportunity to learn. They ask lots of questions, love feedback, listen, and read—learning is part of their DNA. We should make room for learning because it unlocks a pathway to (in my opinion) a better life.

Learning has always fascinated me. Whether it was a college coach that I got to interview on my podcast, who shared with me that he’s constantly picking up the phone and calling executives, coaches he competes with or in other sports, or leaders in industries that have nothing to do with anything that he does at all—and he is asking all of them questions. When you have people at that level who are that curious, it makes you go, “…huh.” If someone has had that much achievement and continues to remain curious, maybe there’s something that we as business people can learn from that. 

What is your favorite way to learn? 

I love to ask questions. We had a guy from Brazil redoing the floors in our house, and what was supposed to take 30 minutes turned into about a two-hour conversation of me learning about his past and just being curious about his move to the U.S. and his transition here: how he did it, what he did, his level of curiosity to be here and do what he’s doing at the level that he’s doing it. It was remarkable. Having the confidence and the courage to just ask people questions are important to me in terms of continuing to learn. Anytime I interact with someone, I love to ask questions so that I can learn about them, which then drives a connection with that person. Asking questions helps you understand what motivates someone and what matters to them.

Will you look incompetent if you ask a lot of questions?

When I meet somebody and they ask a lot of questions, to me, that transcends to confidence. The message that I see inside of someone asking questions is this person is confident, curious, and comfortable enough to know that they don’t have all the answers. None of us do! Once we recognize that, we can learn and grow. 

One of the ways you describe learning is that it can look a lot like embracing a limitless mindset. Can you unpack that more? 

Mindset drives so much of our behavior and how we show up in the world. For me, I try to embrace the mindset of believing in what’s possible and looking for the opportunity inside of the obstacle. Oftentimes, a gap in the way that we’re showing up in our lives is anchored in the story that we’re telling ourselves about our circumstances and about the situation. I often encourage people to pull back and say, “What’s the gap in my life?” What’s a story that you’re telling yourself that’s potentially keeping you stuck in that place? 

If I had a baseball player that was 0-30 at the plate, and he was stepping up to the plate saying, “I can’t believe this. If I strike out every at bat tonight, I’m gonna be 0 for 34.” That’s not what we need him to tell himself, right? We need him to shift his mindset, shift the story that he’s telling himself to something more like, “I’ve done this. I’m a big leaguer. I’m an all-star. I can do this.”

The stories we tell ourselves change the way we show up. When I played tennis in college, if I stepped up for an important serve to close out a game, and I thought, “Whatever you do, don’t double fault.”…Guess what happens? We have to tell ourselves the right thing, and that’s a mindset shift that has to happen often throughout the day. We think about 80,000 thoughts a day and like 90% of them are automatic. So we have to be intentional about shifting the thought if we wanna shift the behavior.

Hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN, Molly Fletcher made a name for herself as one of the first female sports agents. During her almost two-decade career as President of CSE, Molly negotiated over $500 million in contracts and represented over 300 of sports’ biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA TOUR golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers.  

As a World’s Top 50 Keynote Speaker, she delivers her inspiring message to audiences around the world. She is the author of five books, including The Energy Clock and Fearless at Work, and her latest TED Talk, “Secrets of a Champion Mindset,” has more than one million views.

Molly is the founder and host of the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast, where she interviews experts and celebrities in every field including Arthur Blank, Dabo Swinney, John Mackey, Matthew McConaughey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Simon Sinek. 

Molly recently launched her first on-demand course, Up Your Game, to help people unlock their drive and up their game. Her company Game Changer Performance Group helps clients unlock peak performance through training experiences on Energy, Negotiation and High Impact.