In the Bible, the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse evokes vivid imagery of end times. There are quite a few different versions, but they typically represent War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. Like these 4 horsemen, we have 4 mindsets that can derail our life, our impact and our joy. I call these the 4 Mindsets of the Apocalypse. Let’s uncover these Mindset warlords and regain our power!
The first mindset of the apocalypse is Judgment. Judgement sees things in a binary way, and is hyper critical. In a challenging situation, this mindset assesses – “It shouldn’t be this way, this isn’t right; it isn’t fair.” Judgement resists and criticises how things really are. We all do this from time to time, but the longer we stay in judgement, the smaller our room to move becomes.
Acceptance neutralises judgement. Judgement hates this!! It kicks and screams ‘whaaa? We just gonna let this happen?” Acceptance cuts through. It transcends liking or disliking. It does not lose focus on wishing things were different. Acceptance owns the terrain we currently move on, and chooses an empowered response. To access Acceptance, instead of judging, blaming and whining, ask yourself, ‘Given this is how it is, now what? What’s my next action?’
The second mindset of the apocalypse is Worry. Worry keeps us in a loop of thoughts like ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ ‘Why did I say that? I’ve blown my chance at …’ ‘How will I get through my week/year?’ Worry is always based on a future scenario, which is the very thing we can’t control! Worry sometimes feels like we’re doing something, but we’re not. It’s a big lump of rock tarted up with gold paint. When we’re worrying, we aren’t actually working on the situation – we are recycling old fears and ideas.
A Service mindset short circuits worry. Instead of asking, “What’s going to happen to me?”, Service asks “Who can I serve? Who can I help?” Serving others contextualises our problems and shifts the focus. It moves the locus of concern outward and away from me-me-me.
The third mindset of the apocalypse is Scarcity. This is the belief that “I don’t have enough. I’m going to run out. We can’t achieve our goals because we don’t have enough ….” I write and speak on this a lot because it’s so prevalent (so check out here, here and the video below as a starter).
The lie at the heart of this mindset (and what gives it so much power) is the belief that our greatest resources lie outside us. It’s in the share price, or the number of dollars in a bank account. Actually, our most significant resources lie within us – in our resourcefulness, go-get-it-ness, compassion, community, creativity, ingenuity, and boldness. The mindset that challenges scarcity is Enough. We have enough and we are enough in any situation to lead, to live, to love and to choose.
The last mindset of the Apocalypse is Resignation. This is the belief that I might as well give up. “It’s all over. I can’t do anything.” It is passively waiting for an external situation to change. In the villages where resignation was prevalent, people would say to me, “We’ve always been hungry. This will never change’. In organisations people might say ‘There’s nothing I can do. This is just how we do things here.’ This mindset is killing our chance to solve the huge and urgent problems facing humanity and all species with ‘it’s too late, or the governments are so corrupt, nothing I do matters.’
The mindset that transforms resignation is Possibility. The word possible has its origin in Latin, and means able to be done or achieved. We can access a possibility mindset by asking ‘What’s the opportunity in this? How can we see this differently? What might we imagine?’
This works because resignation is past based. It has us looking to the past for how things never changed and then bleeding that into the future. Stopping that train of thought, and actively looking at what can be created or done right now, helps build the motivation and the momentum to turn things around.
These mindsets of the Apocalypse can be every bit as deadly as its Biblical counterparts, but the power is ours to banish them. Every moment we can choose to respond with mindsets that bring us clarity and power – Acceptance, Service, Enough-ness and Possibility!
Strap those to your metaphorical horse, and lets giddy-up to a future that is ours to create!