In our last coaching meeting, you said that some people believe they can control their environment, while others believe they’re controlled BY their environment. I tend toward the latter. How does one change that mindset?
Interesting question. I’m committed to the first philosophy, and try to plan my actions accordingly. A few framed quotes in my office remind me that individuals can be positively powerful:
One person can make a difference, and everyone should try. John F. Kennedy
Fortune favors the bold. Virgil
You always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Wayne Gretzky
You cannot find peace by avoiding life. Virginia Wolf
Mindset is not an easy thing to change. Start by substituting the word “influence” for “control”. Control implies complete authority, and none of us have that. Now we have a new angle: some people believe they can influence their environment, while others don’t put much stock in their power to affect their relationships, careers, reputation, etc.
You’re shielding yourself from the pain of rejection and defeat, and thus limiting your opportunities to enjoy the rewards of GOING FOR IT more often. Growth demands surrender of security, easier for people with risk-embracing personalities, but not impossible for you.
Mindset, or way of viewing oneself and the world, is the result of many influences. Personality type, upbringing, life experiences, mentors (or lack thereof) play a contributing role. Regardless of upbringing, at any age, we can seek mentors who inspire us to take intelligent risks to push our boundaries and live a larger life.
In our coaching interactions, we’ve learned that you are by nature (DNA and upbringing) a risk-averse person. You dislike conflict and go along to get along. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that approach, but it sounds as though you desire opportunities you haven’t yet been able to seize or create. A smart next step might be to experiment with risk-taking. Interpersonally, say what you’d normally obscure. At work, volunteer for a project outside your comfort zone. The rewards aren’t knowable or guaranteed, but they will happen. Each victory will hook you on the empowered feeling that comes from facing your fears.
I know you’re a diehard Colts fan. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck would not be considered best in class if they didn’t embrace the mindset that their efforts matter, no matter how far away the come-from-behind win might seem. Spend time in Q1 documenting opportunities you hope to see materialize in Q2 through Q4. Then work backward to develop measurable, specific goals as a foundation for success (“attend 3 networking events per month”). Reward yourself for each milestone completed. The fear will subside slowly, leaving you with increased self-confidence and a new way of viewing your ability to influence your world.
Have a question for Michelle?
Fill out the form below and your question may appear in the next Coach’s Corner.