Perspective Matters-Part II
5- Steps to Enhance your Mental Perspective and Maximize Your Opportunity
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you’re right,” Henry Ford.
How you think impacts your performance and your results! Having the right mindset really changes everything. It completely changes what’s possible for us and it even changes what’s actually happening to us in the moment.
During this Coronavirus pandemic with all of the uncertainty around what is happening and what is going to happen it’s really important to make sure we are staying conscious and actively directing and focusing our mindset in order to minimize the impact of our situation and maximize the potential opportunity.
I remember many conversations I had with my clients during the Great Recession. I spent countless hours talking with these business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, bosses, sales managers, husbands, wives, and parents about everything that was going on in their businesses and their lives. We talked about what we thought was going to happen. We talked about what didn’t happen and what could have happened.
For me it was six to twelve hours a day.
One conversation after another.
What am I going to do with my business? What am I going to do with my house? Why didn’t I spend less? Why didn’t I save more? Why didn’t I make more? When is this going to end? What is this going to do to my family? Why didn’t I take care of that when I could have? How do I deal with this staff person? Should I declare bankruptcy? Should I close down? Where will I get the money? What should I do with the money I have? What do I do? How do I handle this?
I had so many conversations with people that stemmed from fear and anxiety and frustration and pain and worry and confusion and uncertainty. And do you want to know how we came to solve each and every problem that they were dealing with?
We didn’t! We didn’t solve them.
We didn’t even know how to solve them.
In fact, so many of the problems that people would bring to me that they were stuck with had no good options…we just didn’t solve them.
I didn’t have answers.
They didn’t have answers. In fact,…no one had answers.
Don’t get me wrong. We tried. I tried. Heck everyone was trying.
This was a phenomenon we had not ever experienced before. Businesses were closing, houses were being lost, and families were breaking apart because of the stress and pressure and loss. It brought up situations we had not thought about yet. And then that is where things started to get good!
You see, once people started to realize that there were no previously laid out solutions. That the problems they were facing had no good answers. And that the “normal” way of doing business and the “normal “way to win at the game of success was no longer valid, the mindset shifted.
It’s like we were all sitting in this room full of garbage and stench and then we just decided to get up and leave the room and go sit in a clean room with a great view.
Once that shift happened people started coming to me with a whole different type of conversation. Instead of focusing on the problem and trying to come up with a solution and being scared and worried and afraid…the fear was gone.
The worry was gone.
There was a resignation and an acceptance. There was a release of the fear. I might lose my business. I might lose my home. I might lose my family. But NOT before I run through every single option.
See, this was the shift that mattered.
The reality was that we did have answers.
We did have effective solutions. We did have brilliant creative ideas that were potential game changers.
What we were missing early on was the focus and mindset that said, “This will work, or I will change. And I will keep working and keep changing until it works.”
Mindset changes everything.
Coming from a place of fear will put a filter on your thoughts and on your view of ideas and possibilities which will prevent you from executing them at their true potential. Coming from a place of open belief and trust that if this doesn’t work, I will learn and adapt, and a new path will emerge.
This mindset will allow you to see a greater range of possibilities and give you the edge you need to adapt and adjust as necessary.
So How did we get there?
How did I coach them through this process and help them to enhance their mental perspective so they could maximize their opportunity?
Here are the 5 Steps that we used and that you can use even today to help you navigate your way through all of the uncertainty and emotion that is surrounding this COVID-19 pandemic.
Tactic #1 - We had a lot of conversations.
We had structured, deliberate, purposeful conversations. We talked it through. We looked at every angle. They would bring up a question or a scenario and we’d talk about it. We’d talk pros and cons, possibilities and opportunities, strategies and tactics. And at first nothing worked. Which brought up more questions and more confusion, fear, and worry. So…
Tactic #2 - We talked about their fears, worry and confusion.
With that we brought awareness and consciousness to their memetic patterns. Memetic patterns are recurring habits of thought. These thought patterns actually drive our actions. In essence they are like a song or a story that plays on repeat over and over in our head and impact our behavior.
It’s extremely helpful to be conscious and aware of these memetic patterns and the recurring conversations we have with our self especially when we are dealing with uncertainty. Those who have great memetic patterns are often consistently growing and improving while those with negative or limiting memetic patterns are regularly stuck and can’t seem to find an effective solution to move forward.
Tactic #3 - We set focus mantras.
A mantra is basically a word or statement that we repeat regularly. It’s often used in yoga and meditation practices to help focus your mind and narrow your thoughts.
We all have the ability to choose our thoughts. We don’t have to just let our mind wander and free roam in any direction. In fact, during times of uncertainty or challenge its best to not let our mind wander. Especially if we have not been diligent about training our memetic patterns. A wandering mind often wanders to the edge of an imaginary cliff creating more fear and anxiety than is actually necessary.
So, we decided to pick and choose deliberate thoughts, good ones. We picked mantras and positive focus statements that positively fit the situation and allowed them to keep moving forward and not dwell on problems or limitations. This is how we focused and trained the right mindsets (or memetic patterns).
Tactic #4 - We kept a consistent meeting rhythm.
One of the problems we have with mindset is that we don’t tend to notice when it’s falling off track. As long as we feel good, we don’t really worry about it. Except for the fact that the results we get are lagging indicators of our mindset and our memetic patterns.
We feel good and are performing well today because of the mindset momentum we have built over the past days and weeks. Not realizing that we have shifted our thinking and our memetic pattern today and waiting until we feel the pain weeks from now is a root cause for the radical up and down success roller coaster that so many of us experience. It’s like we’re rolling along great and then all of a sudden things shift and then we ride a low for a while. Then we work and work to get back to the good feelings and good results to then just drop again a few days or weeks later.
Unfortunately, most people do not seek help or seek coaching until they are at a low point or are feeling some pain. What we should be doing is maintaining a rhythm of coaching and keep a regular schedule.
This is the tactic I pushed for through the recession that allowed us to work through any immediate pain or situation and more importantly allows us to get to work on the next levels…which are the true growth and breakthrough levels.
Tactic #5 - We reset a lot.
Throughout my life I’ve played a lot of golf and a lot of tennis. One of the key mental tactics to both of these games is to realize that after you hit each shot or after each point ends…it’s done.
It’s over. It’s gone.
There is absolutely nothing else you can do about it. It’s time to let go of it and focus on the next point or the next shot. I use the phrase “Begin again.”
There’s a positive energy around beginning something. It means we have a clean slate. Nothing of the past matters any longer. It’s a new day. A new point. A new focus. It’s a reset and we can be free of all of the past when we “begin again.”
It was just about every single meeting where we had to reset the focus mantras and the mindset. It’s so easy when we’re dealing with so much uncertainty to get lost. We can set out with the best focus and intention but then as the day and week progresses, we can easily lose our focus and commitment as we get enveloped by the overall energy of everything.
So, we spent deliberate time during our meetings to reset and “begin again.” We would reset the focus for the week, declare the mindset and the mantras for the week, and let go of any lingering mental baggage that needed to be talked through and discarded.
These are the 5 basic steps I went through with my clients to help them to enhance their mental perspective so they could maximize the opportunities they had. Many of them bounced back beautifully and they came back much stronger and in greater position for growth than ever before.
They also bounced back faster.
A lot of them were well ahead of the rebound curve by the time we started climbing out of the recession as a whole.
Right now, during this COVID-19 pandemic we can use a lot of what we learned through the last major global crisis to minimize the impact and maximize the potential opportunity. Use these mindset tactics to help keep your mind sharp and focused.
Remember, you have the ability to choose your thoughts and to choose your perspective. So, if you aren’t seeing what you want to see…adjust your mindset and adjust your perspective. There is opportunity right in front of you.
Speaking of Opportunity— stay tuned as the final article in this Perspective Matters series will be focused on the Opportunity Perspective.
Do you realize that some of the greatest fortunes were made coming out of the Great Depression and the Great Recession?
I’m not sure exactly what we’re going to be calling this situation, maybe the Great Pandemic…but I do know that some really focused and creative people are going to win big.
Will you be one of them? This could be your opportunity for breakthrough success.
Stay tuned and I’ll reveal some key strategies for creating maximum opportunity during this epidemic.
P.S. And as always, if you want or need to dive more deeply into any of these topics to help you gain the edge you need to drive your business to the next level and maximize your opportunities reach out and get into one of our Excellence In Progress private one-on one consulting sessions. Click here to Get a Free 30-minute coaching consultation.