During my interactions with clients, I often find them sharing their anxieties, struggles, and challenges. It’s common for individuals to experience anxiety, particularly in the face of current challenges and an uncertain future. When confronted with such situations, I have a favorite question that I like to pose:
“What quality or skill has been the cornerstone of your success in your life or career?”
The responses I receive are nothing short of fascinating, and what’s even more remarkable is the immediate shift in their energy that I witness. However, it’s the follow-up question that indeed unveils the depths of their inner selves:
“Why do you think so? Could you provide an example or a personal story illustrating how this particular quality or skill has served you well?”
This question possesses an almost magical ability to heal and empower. It strengthens their belief in themselves and, more importantly, redirects their focus from dwelling on ‘limitations’ to embracing ‘possibilities.’ It shifts their perspective from ‘problems’ to ‘solutions’ and from a mindset of ‘not having’ to ‘one of having.’ It encourages them to change their inner narrative from ‘Why is this happening to me?’ to ‘How can I overcome this and thrive?’
In our daily lives, professionally and personally, we are no strangers to adversity and challenges. The linchpin differentiating success in the face of such trials is our mindset. When our mindset is centered on notions of lack, blame, and judgment, it hinders our ability to tap into our inherent greatness.
Drawing from years of experience working with numerous accomplished senior leaders, I’ve come to a profound realization—the ultimate differentiator in one’s success is one’s mindset, more precisely, a positive mindset.
A focus on abundance, possibilities, acceptance, and attainment characterizes a positive mindset. Leaders who embody these qualities operate at their highest potential, consistently inspire those around them, and fulfill their potential.
So, the next time you find yourself grappling with a challenging situation, whether in your personal life or your professional journey, I urge you to consider reorienting your mindset by asking these two potent questions:
- ‘What quality or skill has been the cornerstone of your success in your life or career?’
- ‘Why do you think so? Could you share an example or a personal story that illustrates how this particular quality or skill has served you well?’
At the heart of this discussion also lies a fundamental truth—the power of choice. Our mindset is a choice! Our mindset is not imposed upon us; our circumstances do not predetermine it. It’s a choice we make, often unconsciously. Yet, when we realize our power over our mindset, we unlock the potential for profound transformation.
Consider this: daily, we are bombarded with stimuli, challenges, and uncertainties. These external forces have the potential to shape our mindset, but they don’t have to dictate it. We can choose how we respond.
When we face difficulties, we can choose to see them as opportunities for growth. When we face setbacks, we can choose to view them as stepping stones toward our goals. When we feel overwhelmed, we can choose to seek support and practice self-compassion.
The power of choice extends to the narratives we construct in our minds. Are we telling ourselves stories of limitation and defeat or weaving tales of resilience and triumph? The stories we tell ourselves have a profound impact on our mindset.
Let’s explore this further by considering a few key aspects of the power of choice within the context of mindset:
Perspective Shift: From Limitations to Possibilities
Imagine standing before a daunting mountain. You can choose to see it as an insurmountable barrier or as a thrilling challenge. The mountain remains the same; it’s your perspective that changes everything.
In times of adversity, we often default to viewing our circumstances through the lens of limitations. We see obstacles as roadblocks and challenges as burdens. This mindset can be paralyzing, causing us to retreat in fear or frustration.
However, when we choose to shift our perspective, we transform limitations into possibilities. Instead of seeing obstacles as barriers, we see them as opportunities for creativity and problem-solving. Challenges become invitations to grow stronger, wiser, and more resilient.
The power of choice allows us to reframe our experiences and embrace a mindset of possibility. It’s a choice to view every situation as a potential source of growth and learning, no matter how challenging. This shift in perspective empowers us to approach life with a sense of curiosity and optimism.
Problem-Solving: From Problems to Solutions
A negative mindset often fixates on problems. It tends to magnify difficulties and dwell on what’s wrong. This fixation can lead to a sense of helplessness and despair.
On the other hand, a positive mindset is solution-oriented. It acknowledges problems but focuses on finding solutions. It’s the choice to approach challenges with a problem-solving mindset, seeking opportunities for improvement and innovation.
When faced with a problem, individuals with a positive mindset don’t see it as an insurmountable barrier. Instead, they see it as a puzzle to solve, an opportunity to learn, and a chance to grow. This mindset shift enables them to navigate challenges with confidence and greater resilience.
Abundance Mindset: From ‘Not Having’ to ‘Having’
In a world that often emphasizes scarcity, it’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘not having enough.’ We might think we lack resources, time, or opportunities. This mindset of scarcity can breed anxiety and dissatisfaction.
Yet, the power of choice allows us to adopt an abundance mindset. It’s the choice to focus on what we have rather than what we lack. It’s recognizing the wealth of resources, talents, and possibilities surrounding us.
An abundance mindset doesn’t deny the existence of challenges or limitations; instead, it reframes them. It’s the choice to believe in the abundance of opportunities, the abundance of potential, and the abundance of solutions.
We become more resourceful, appreciative, and resilient with an abundance mindset. We recognize that even in challenging times, we possess the inner and outer resources needed to thrive.
Self-Compassion: From Self-Criticism to Self-Compassion
Another crucial aspect of mindset is the way we relate to ourselves. A negative mindset often involves self-criticism, harsh self-judgment, and unrealistic expectations. This internal dialogue can be brutal and demoralizing.
In contrast, a positive mindset includes self-compassion. It’s the choice to treat ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we extend to others. It’s the recognition that we are human, and as humans, we are imperfect.
Self-compassion allows us to acknowledge our mistakes and setbacks without dwelling on self-blame. It encourages us to learn from our experiences and grow stronger. It’s a choice to embrace self-love and self-care as essential components of our well-being.
Resilience: From ‘Why Is This Happening?’ to ‘How Can I Overcome This?’
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It’s a quality that is closely tied to our mindset. When faced with setbacks, individuals with a positive mindset don’t waste time asking, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Instead, they ask, ‘How can I overcome this?’
This shift in questioning is profound. It moves us from a stance of victimhood to one of agency. It acknowledges that adversity is a part of life but empowers us to respond proactively.
When we approach challenges with a resilience mindset, we become more adaptable, persistent, and capable of facing life’s ups and downs. We view setbacks as temporary and focus on the actions we can take to move forward.
Our mindset is not a fixed attribute; it’s a choice we make every day. It’s a choice to see limitations as possibilities, problems as opportunities, scarcity as abundance, self-criticism as self-compassion, and adversity as a chance to build resilience. Our choices will help us embark on a transformative journey toward greater personal and professional fulfillment.
The power of choice extends to every aspect of our lives. It shapes our attitudes, influences our actions, and ultimately determines our outcomes. It’s a choice to cultivate a positive mindset, one that fosters growth, resilience, and success.
Speaking of a positive mindset, I would like to introduce you to the empowering world of Positive Intelligence through our group coaching program: The Positive Intelligence Boot Camp. In the immersive environment of this program, we delve deep into the concepts that guide participants to choose a positive mindset consciously. Through transformative experiences and targeted exercises created by Shirzad Chamine (prominent C-Suite Advisor & author of the New York Times bestselling Positive Intelligence), participants learn to embrace challenges as opportunities, develop problem-solving skills and practice self-compassion. This program is designed to equip leaders with the tools they need for personal and professional success, ensuring they emerge resilient, empowered, and ready to thrive.
Connect with me to explore more about Positive Intelligence Boot Camp and embark on a transformative journey toward a more fulfilling self.