Growth Mindset. Motivation. Willpower. Mental Strength.
A great many self-help books share mindset tips like these that you can adopt to fulfill your potential. Think a certain way, and you will succeed. Believe it, and you can achieve it.
Psychology Today defines mindset as a “belief that orients the way we handle situations – the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do. . . When our mindsets become habitual, they define who we are, and who we can become.” Mindsets are indeed powerful. They frame our world view, and guide our actions each day.
The Power of Mindset
Each time you learn about new ways to show up in the world, you can bring those ideas, tricks, tips and hacks into your consciousness. In this journey, you are trying to create a mindset. You consciously look at your external circumstances, and choose a mindset to deal with those conditions. Mindset is something you can choose, develop, and practice.
Adopting a fresh mindset can revolutionize your career and your personal life. The right mindset can help you embrace challenges, bounce back from setbacks, and find joy in the learning process. Why then, with all the reason in the world to adopt a new mindset, is it so hard to actually do?
The Other-than-Conscious Mindset
Almost all self development work is focused on showing up with a new mindset. Authors and Ted-talkers tell us it’s a choice, and that’s true! We can choose a new mindset – unless there is an other-than-conscious mindset resisting the change.
For example, consider being on the bus from the movie Speed. You want to stop the bus so you can escape the route it’s taking. Consciously, you know exactly what you want to do. However, you can’t hit the brakes, because if you do a bomb will explode. Our other-than-conscious mindsets are at work just like this scenario, only we don’t consciously know about the bomb! We want to do something differently, but encounter internal resistance that says, “Something bad will happen if you take this action.”
So, what is this other-than-conscious mindset that holds us back? It’s what psychiatrist Karl Jung defined as “shadow”: the parts of ourselves that we hide, repress and deny. When a part of us is in shadow, it’s not really something we consciously recognize – yet it still exists as a belief that we hold about ourselves, the world, or our relationships.
The other-than-conscious mindset develops in response to things we experienced and learned from the words and actions of people when we were little.
Why Real Change is Hard to Achieve
When you don’t address your other-than-conscious mindset, or those parts of yourself that hide in shadow, change suffocates. The shadow resists the new actions you want to take, and before you know it, you’re back to old habits. It’s to blame for countless failed New Year’s Resolutions. Although you make your very best efforts to reach new goals and become someone new, the other-than conscious mindset sits back and chuckles, “Ha, good luck!”
No matter how strong your conscious choices may be, it’s an uphill battle the whole way. At some point, you may begin to think to yourself, “I always do this, but I don’t really know why!” The part that’s driving the bus is not in your awareness, though it directs your every behavior.
Discovering Better Theory
Your other-than-conscious beliefs are in shadow, but they can be brought to light. You can address your other-than-conscious mindset and shift the resistance that holds you back from healthy new habits.
In breakthrough coaching, we call the process of reframing the theories we have about ourselves, “Better Theory.” We seek Better Theory by exploring the beliefs we hold about ourselves, asking when they began to show up in our lives, and questioning whether there are better theories to serve us knowing what we know now. We stop Google-searching our minds for the question, “Why can’t I. . .?” and learning, “Because you always fail at this.” Instead, we ask, “What’s at risk?” This helps us shift beliefs about ourselves to something more like,”It’s just a risk. Am I willing to take that risk?” In doing so, we open a door to process past experiences that contributed to today’s other-than-conscious mindsets that hold us back.
Mindset Coaching with Engaging Breakthroughs
If you struggle with making real changes in your life, you are not alone. It takes time to shift the other-than-conscious mindset by unwinding it and getting clarity. At Engaging Breakthroughs, we create space and ask the right questions for people who want to bring beliefs from the other-than-conscious mindset into the consciousness. In doing so, they create an energy shift and experience more confidence at work and in relationships.
For those looking for high-quality support to make significant changes on their career journeys, our new transformational leadership program, Crush Your Career: Communication Bootcamp, was designed for professionals who are ready to show up more powerfully at work. They may fail to speak their mind when it counts, get run over by their calendars or email inboxes, or feel fear or anger with coworkers or superiors. Despite best efforts to make significant change, it’s hard to do alone. We can help you break through the barriers that hold you back. This exciting new transformational program makes it safer to take steps and become the person and professional you want to be. Apply now!
|Written by Craig Tennant
Founder, Engaging Breakthroughs
Transformation Architect and Breakthrough Coach
At Engaging Breakthroughs, Craig Tennant delivers