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We all have annoying beliefs that get in the way. They may not be there all the time, but when something challenging happens, they pop right up and make life harder.

Like you, I grew up with my own baggage – those set beliefs that keep me small and discontented I didn’t even know I’d laid down. I’ve been figuring these out all my adult life. Meditation helped (and still does). But understanding mindsets and how they work has been huge.

When we are mired in difficulties or facing hostile external conditions, we usually react and look for ways to fix it. This might be swinging into action – or anger – without thinking. Or it might be telling yourself that things are too hard, that the circumstances are overwhelming, and giving up.

This is because we humans are conditioned to believe that our problems are rooted in what happens outside of us – in the externalities and the circumstances – and can only be solved from there.

As a result, in every challenge facing us, we overlook the true source of power – the power of the human spirit – and a person’s ability to lead, create and transform. This is equally true in an organisation as it is in your own life. Without even realising it, we all get locked into beliefs and assumptions about the world we live in, the people we work with, and our own limitations. These end up defining what we do and don’t do. As a result, we hobble our ability to change the narrative and the prevailing view. It keeps us stuck and frustrated.

These old beliefs govern the choices we make about every aspect of life.

Mindsets focus us on what we can control, and the research proves this. According to Stanford Professor Carol Dweck in her landmark book Mindsets‘the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?’

How indeed!

I’ve written a book about mindsets – what they are, their role in leadership, and how to overcome the ones that hold you back. I developed a 4-part process to change them called The Mindset Process™. It helps you separate what happened from what you’re making it mean, and reclaim your agency and power.

The Mindset Process™ is:
Notice: Observe the mindset. Bring awareness to what I’m thinking, feeling, believing or saying about my situation.

Question: Bring curiosity to the mindset. Ask: Is this true? What am I getting out of holding on to this story? What is it costing me? Given this, now what?

Choose: What mindset would most empower me now? Choose it. ‘I always have a choice about how I show up.’

Action: Take steps for the new mindset to stick. Practice the new mindset. What next action will I take that empowers me?

This process is simple – and needs practice and courage. But it works.

We are all capable of and deserve lives and careers that keep us growing and are fulfilling. Often what’s in the way of that is not be what we first think.

My question for you this week – What have you given up on or not explored because of a decision you made long ago?

Much love