In the last year, I have been talking relentlessly about mindsets.
Your paradigm. The box you put yourself into.
It guides everything. It feeds off your perception. It influences what you value and don’t value. It re-enforces beliefs. It doesn’t really take the form of good or bad. It doesn’t really take the form of right or wrong. Many times, it takes the form of negative or positive.
Optimistic or pessimistic.
Yes…you fall into one or the other, positive or negative. You might not even be cognizant of it.
But be aware that it not only determines your entire outlook on life and how you handle situations, but also your relationships and the types of people you invite into and withhold from your life, work and influence.
Here is the most important thing:
You can’t expect positive outcomes with a negative mindset.
Whatever you believe and expect with emotion becomes your reality.
Here are 5 negative mindsets I encounter in people who want to improve, have better outcomes or be better leaders:
1. They need to change. I am just fine.
Some people have the mindset that it is always up to others to make adjustments toward them. They have nothing to change. As a matter of fact, from their mindset, they are who they are and they don’t see any need to change. This might be the toughest one to work with, because only that person can change their mindset, not you. You can not force anyone to change. You can only try to get them to see it for what it is, recognize it and want to change it. Without doing that, they will more than likely not change.
2. I am going to ignore this feedback because they just don’t understand me
Ignoring feedback because you have determined they don’t understand you is still your problem. Perhaps communicating more clearly where you are coming from, your wants and needs. Also communicating your strengths and weaknesses as you see them. I will agree that unsolicited feedback should be ignored. Some people just want to tell you what they think. However, you should not do that with your boss or someone in authority, as they are expecting you to respond in some way or change in some way. Not acting on the feedback at all usually leads to an ending of the relationship.
3. I am not going to change because that’s just the way I am
In this mindset, we have entered full-on victim land. We might as well shrug our shoulders and say “it’s not my fault” or “I can’t help it”. We are human beings with the power of choice. Every choice has rewards and consequences and we have to own our results, whatever they may be. A lack of change over a long period of time diminishes your relevance and therefore your value as a leader.
4. I want and need everyone to like me
These folks typically have a propensity to please people. They go overboard to avoid the pain of someone not getting along with them or thinking negative thoughts about them. They have a lower self esteem that needs to be affirmed and stroked to the finite degree. If you don’t carry around enough energy as a leader, these people will suck you dry to try to win you over. As George Castanza once said on Seinfeld, “EVERYONE MUST LIKE ME!”
5. i am going to wait for opportunity to come to me
This negative mindset is driven by fear. The absence of energy directed toward movement and a goal. The fear of looking silly. The fear of making a mistake. The fear of not doing it well. If you want to get over this mindset, always be the first to volunteer without knowing what is required. Shoot your hand up. What’s the worst that can happen?