With the recent global disruptive changes since the pandemic hit, developing a superior mindset is vital for managing uncertain times. Building greater skills and resilience helps future proof ourselves in times of great disruption. Furthermore. for business owners and employees, the old way of operating, and the once ‘normal’ routines have changed forever. Moreover, as change necessitates feeling uncomfortable, tapping into our greatest asset, to discover our untapped strengths and talents is essential. Discovering exactly how we deal with change; what we think and feel, and how this influences our behaviours is vital.
Next, learning new ways of managing our thoughts, self-talk, emotions and feelings is crucial. This requires skills that will ultimately develop a superior mindset. Ultimately, when we develop our inner skills we build resilience, confidence and what I call GRIT. Furthermore, this helps us to better lead our businesses into the future and to ensure they thrive. Unlike governments, who have printed around 11 trillion dollars of extra money, business owners do not have the means to do this.
Necessity is the mother of invention
While disruption creates space for entrepreneurs who love creating, not everyone has limitless innovative skills or a business which suits being digitalised overnight. While according to Plato, necessity may well be the mother of invention, history shows that most people prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Staying here leads to stagnation, not growth. The opposite of what is required today.
Many years ago, when I was competing in ultra-distance triathlons, I was supremely fit. Training daily, sometimes twice a day, was the norm. Running 10 kilometres after a long ride and spending seven hours on my bike on a Sunday was part of my week. As was resting on a Monday and having a well-earned massage. However, one day, all of this changed. Like the pandemic which shook millions of people’s normal routines upside down, my body decided enough was enough. In an instant I had to stop my sport. Coping with this catastrophic news left a vast hole in my life, and I was left wondering what to do. With a mindset focused on competing, a regime that consisted of daily training, physical exercise and comradeship, I was left on the sidelines, feeling deflated, in pain and frustrated.
Shifting expectations is part of upgrading to a superior mindset
Like any change thrown upon us, a shift in thinking and expectations is required. Slowly, I adapted to my new normal, although it was not easy. Exercise was now a simple walk, gentle swim or none at all. Even though my mind was still focusing on training rides and competitions, there was no way my body could perform at this level. After internal battles, uncomfortable struggles and some minor despondence, I realised I had a choice. I could simply choose to change my thinking. To reframe the meaning of the event and embrace superior mindset skills. Better thoughts, new activities and a long term focus that saw me back in my sport. All of this made the journey easier.
The more I learned about myself, the greater awareness I gained. I listened carefully and observed my behaviours with curiosity. With these deeper insights came new perspectives and then new possibilities. The end result of this and ultimately, the greatest gift was setting up my business, Mindset for Success. Without embracing a superior mindset, I would have been stuck in the past. Resentful because I could no longer compete but with nothing else to replace it with. If I was a business I would be struggling or going broke.
Einsteins famous quote supports embracing a superior mindset
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
In exactly the same way as I had to shift my thinking and change what I was doing, businesses have had to do the same. Since the pandemic enveloped us, digitisation has created an imperative for companies to reconfigure their operations and an opportunity to transform them. According to McKinsey, “Greater productivity has been experienced and is expected.” (McKinsey, 2 Jan 2012.) Changing how and what we do is the way to obtain new results.
Here are seven steps to create a superior mindset to thrive in challenging times.
Become curious and discover more about yourself and who you are as a person. Moreover, what you think, how you feel, and what drives your behaviours. Do people look up to your guidance and depend on you? Are you are an effective leader? As a business owner or entrepreneur it is imperative to build resilience and grit to stay strong in the midst of adversity and change. The clearer you are about what is important and what you stand for, the greater your personal power and confidence. Leaders must be rock solid and authentic.
2. Embrace possibility as part of a superior mindset.
Focusing on solutions and viewing obstacles or problems as challenges on the way, rather than in the way, is key. We have a natural negativity bias in our brain and a somewhat addictive propensity to watch news. As most of the news is negative and focuses on disasters, you can see why there is a growth in mental health issues globally. Ensuring you focus on a cup that is full is I believe the new phrase to replace the common one referring to a glass half full or empty. Eyes wide open and a focus towards solutions and possibilities is key.
3. Be curious and ask better questions.
Curiosity is a key ingredient in developing a superior mindset. Asking thought-provoking questions that expand your thinking and steer the energy of your mind in a new direction is key. Instead of ruminating on what went wrong or why something happened, ask a question such as, “What else could this mean?” Or, dig deeper and ask, “What assumption do I have that causes me to think like this?” Clear the assumption or belief and you will open up new solutions and possibilities.
4. Have a clear long term vision.
Create a long term vision for yourself. One that keeps you focused on the long term. Too often we are drawn to instant gratification rather than delaying reward for the long term. This is a skill that requires practice. We have an innate propensity to be motivated away from pain and towards pleasure. Achieving long terms goals requires the opposite. Keeping your vision at the front of your mind will future proof yourself from being sucked into other people’s agendas. Furthermore, you will build immunity from negative news and being drawn towards by bright shiny objects.
5. Being authentic is a key ingredient of a superior mindset.
While authenticity has become a highly popularised concept in recent times, the pandemic has created wide distrust of leaders and governments. With a plethora of misinformation, conspiracy theories and fake news, people are struggling to know who to believe and trust. The recent 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Report highlights this fact. This year’s study shows that business is not only the most trusted institution among the four studied, but it is also the only trusted institution with a 61 percent trust level globally. Furthermore, it is the only institution seen as both ethical and competent.
From an individual level, what this means is you can choose to step up, strive to be authentic in everything you do and say. This is the key for building trust. Moreover, if you are a business owner, you have a fantastic opportunity to build a greater community due to being trustworthy. If you say you are authentic, make sure you really are.
- Do you do what you say you will?
- How do you behave when no one is watching?
The greatest way to check your authenticity is to clear the cloudy lens of old patterns that are playing out in your life. Those hidden in the depths of your subconscious mind. Write down what you value and what being authentic means and looks like to you. What behaviours are required? And what would you value? Now is a great time to step up, take a stand and commit to being real and authentic. Be known as a leader that others can trust.
6. Live with compassion for self and others.
Mindfulness has become something of a hip word in the corporate world, which is good news, because compassion is heart based. Developing a champion mindset or superior mindset requires us to go deeper into ourselves than our overthinking heads. Compassion for others and showing empathy occurs when you have a greater understanding of emotions. Both in the subtle feelings and the words used. As Lisa Feldman Barrett in her brilliant book ‘How Emotions are Made’ – The Secret Life of the Brain,’ says, “Emotions are your constructions of the world. Instances of emotion are no more out of control than thoughts or perceptions or beliefs or memories.” Developing emotional granularity, or more commonly named, emotional intelligence is the key for greater leadership and success.
7. Adopt an attitude of collaboration and abundance.
Even the toughest of athletes in the loneliest of sports like long distance running, know they can’t achieve the level of success they want on their own. Embracing a mindset of collaboration helps to focus on others. To champion others and ask for help will achieve greater results for everyone. Moreover, adopting an abundant mindset. A scarcity mindset is the old way of doing business. “What’s in it for me?” “Profits first.” People are sick of greed and corruption, and only by consciously embracing an abundant and collaborative mindset for success can this old paradigm be released.
So there you have it. Seven Mindset skills for building a superior mindset for managing yourself better. Furthermore, if you are a business owner, for thriving rather than surviving. Check which of the above seven you could focus on more. Commit to cultivating a superior mindset. Know yourself, learn, be curious and open-minded and embrace innovative ways of doing things. Champion others and most of all remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself. When you fully embrace these skills I believe they are your greatest allies against fear, negativity and from falling into a negative mindset. Moreover, they are the keys for embracing change and thriving in challenging times.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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