Hand Breaking Through Glass

Break Through Mindset Shifts (Pt. 3 of 3)

If you have yet to read part 1, please start here.
If you have yet to read part 2, please start here

It has been a real fun, challenging, and engaging opportunity for me to select these 9 “break through mindset shifts,” and to think about them in this interconnected way that I wouldn’t have if I did not commit to sharing them with you through writing this series. You can be certain that I saved the best for last!

7. Instead of fearing and trying to overcome imposter syndrome…SAY YES TO IMPOSTER SYNDROME

“The value of art is in your willingness to stare down the risk and to embrace the void of possible failure”

Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception

Again, I reference Seth Godin’s insight with this mindset shift. Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you do not belong. It is based on the worry that you will be “found out” as not good enough and fraudulent. Imposter syndrome is further exacerbated when you are amongst peers you perceive to be highly accomplished and well-regarded. However, Godin’s point is that imposter syndrome is not something to get over, it is something to be embraced because it points to being on the edge of a literal break-through. Anyone that is committed to exploration, discovery, improvisation, and flexibility will HAVE TO pass though the imposter stage because they are choosing to forgo a script for the BEAUTY that comes when originality, perspective, passion, and curiosity intersect. This is what makes The Grateful Dead so unique. Their set lists and songs are ALWAYS arranged and played differently. Why? Because they choose to fly close to the sun, and their fans (myself included) LOVE not knowing where the band will take them; nonetheless, we, deadheads, trust in their stewardship.

“You are daring to fly close to the sun. You are doing the new thing, the thing no one has ever dared to do before. You are saying what hasn’t been said, touching what hasn’t been touched. Of course you are a fraud. What could possibly qualify you to do this?” 

Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception

If you wish to be innovative, then you better be feeling like an imposter because “innovations rearrange our sense of what is possible” (Daniel Goleman, Focus). If you resist taking part in situations that might cause you to feel like an imposter, then you miss out on the opportunity to shine a light on what you don’t know you don’t know. And it is this insight that gives you the wings to soar higher than you have previously. When you begin to experience the sensation of soaring higher and higher, you realize that the “voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes” (Marcel Proust). You gain these new eyes by letting go of protecting the need to be authentic, and choosing ADAPTABILITY.

8. Instead of protecting your authenticity… CHOOSE ADAPTABILITY 

Two of my favorite psychologists, Brian Little and Adam Grant, have spoken and written about this idea that clinging too hard to authenticity can impede your growth and contribution. 

“Authenticity is not a singular thing. In fact, there are alternative ways of being authentic, and these are not fixed traits of people but flexible strategies for engaging with ourselves and the world”

Brian Little, Who Are You, Really?

Context gives meaning to content. The problem with authenticity is that it often rejects context. Imagine a golfer that would play all 18 holes with only one type of club because it was with that club that he felt most authentic. It is obvious that this golfer’s performance would end up being very poor. Instead, good golfers learn to be exceptionally adaptable on the course, meaning they use the club that will best support the situation of where they are on the hole, and how they can best accomplish the goal of getting their ball in the hole. 

“Your authentic self is not who you currently are, and it is not who you used to be. Your authentic self is what you most believe in and who you aspire to be”

Benjamin Hardy, Personality Isn’t Permanent

By choosing adaptability you give yourself the opportunity to go further and farther because you are living intentionally and aspirationally based on a set of values and vision. Thankfully there is a lot of time to advance your vision by evolving the range and depth of who you really are. 

9. Instead of viewing life as short… REMIND YOURSELF THAT LIFE IS LONG

Contrary to popular belief life is NOT short. Life is long. This is the main difference between cinema life and real life. Life goes on after the 3rd act. There is another day of just you and your thoughts/feelings. After the credits roll on “happily ever after,” there will still be a lot of menial and mundane activities that have to get done. There will still be valleys. There will still be plateaus. AND, there will be more PEAKS.

When you view life as long, you prioritize the pursuit of self-mastery. Because without it, you risk being at the mercy of life’s habit of repeatedly making you suffer until you learn the lesson you are needing to learn. When you reinforce the narrative that life is short, you justify your complacency. You justify settling. You justify staying in your comfort zone, as opposed to leaning into the discomfort of temporarily feeling like an imposter in order to test your ability to create something from nothing. Life does feel short when it is on autopilot. However, when you regularly punctuate your life with new experiences and experiments, you use your long life to GROW.

“Change is inevitable, growth is optional”

Kenny Kane

Only change occurs over the course of a short life because you end up embracing a mindset of “what’s the point… I am too old to get married, or I am too old to go back to school, or I am too old to travel.” Whereas, growth occurs over a long life because you are choosing to take the time to not just consume BUT INVEST

Invest in the long life in which you say YES to being an imposter, so you can be that much more adaptable, and, therefore, more in control of living a life by designdriven by vision with no finish line, as opposed to a life by default, which makes your long life that much harder to endure because you lack the inspiration to be grateful and thrilled by the opportunity to live another day. 

The next time you find yourself in break-down looking to BREAK-THROUGH…This is your road map!


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