Mindset is at the heart of creating any meaningful lasting change. Without understanding this, your goals, your projects, your dreams will be harder to achieve. Plans wither on the vine. A bright spark of innovation will splutter out.

You thought it was just you – some innate fault that was the blocker.

Or your team – you just don’t have the right people who ‘get it’.

What if it’s not you, or your team? Consider it’s the mindset at play that’s applying the brakes.

In the villages around the world, with people who were hungry, not educated, ground down – it would be normal to try a work-around that didn’t involve them. “They just can’t do it” – for so many reasonable reasons.

(We do this in our own lives too, coming up with justifications.)

Yet the fault in both cases isn’t the person – it is the mindset – the stories, beliefs, assumptions lying underneath the behaviours, that were the biggest obstacle.

Get on top of these and you can change the world. (Which is actually what THP has done, with millions lifting themselves out of poverty through addressing their mindset).

When I think of all we need to accomplish in our lives, and make right in the world – our ability to do this is powered by a rigorous owning and reckoning with our mindsets. These old blindspots and beliefs we hold on to, are holding us back.

The approach to working with mindsets is one of questioning and discovery. You can’t be told about your limiting mindset – you can only discover it for yourself. In my work with clients all over the world, the process is dialogical: using conversation and inquiry to discover meanings that might not be obvious. This encourages the wisdom and curiosity of the person or team, and together something new and surprising can emerge.

Part of understanding our limiting mindsets is to look at the ‘box’ we are each in – the context and boundaries that shape our thinking. Like a mental prison, when we are inside this box, we cannot see any other possibility. In fact, often cannot even see the box!

Parameters of the box might include ‘it’s not possible’, ‘I’m not clever or confident enough’, ‘there’s not enough time’, ‘it’s just not how we do things here’, ‘it’s not my fault’, ‘I’m not responsible.’

When we name them as mindsets (and not truths), we begin to see the prison we are in – the box that holds our old limiting version of ourselves in stasis. We can then ignite new possibilities through a process of inquiry, questioning and awareness. This accesses one of humanity’s great gifts – metacognition – our ability to think about thinking.

In a world where it seems we need more tricks, tips and technology to succeed, we overlook our biggest asset – our mindsets. Harness that power, and we can change the world.

Till next week,

Much love

Cathy

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