Updated: Sep 24, 2022
For over a decade, I worked in the wellness industry. My job was simple: help people get where they wanted to go in terms of health and wellness. Of course, as we said before, the principle may be simple, but the application isn’t always easy.
Inevitably, there were always clients who just weren’t willing to do the work they needed to do to reach their goals. They would tell me they wanted it, they would say they were all in, they would commit to doing whatever I asked of them. But ultimately, it never worked for them. And that’s because they were operating with the wrong mindset.
See, we all tend to think that changing our behaviors and seeing results will ultimately change our mindset. But when we operate this way, we’re starting from the wrong place. In order to change our behaviors and ultimately see the results we want, we have to first change our mindset. Since our actions follow our thoughts, we’ve got to begin with our minds.
I had one client who simply couldn’t get motivated and stay motivated to put in the work. But when his brother had a heart attack, everything changed. Formerly he operated out of a mindset that improving his health was something he would fit in if he had the time, but now, he chose to make time for his health as a service to his family. That new mindset drove him to new behaviors that ultimately led to great results.
Isn’t this something we all fall victim to at times? We want to change our behavior to get the results we want, but we don’t consider the way our mindsets impact both. Until we recognize our mindsets and make a move to shift them to a new, better place, we won’t see the lasting changes in our behaviors or the results we want long term.
That’s true in life, and it’s true at work.
Maybe you want to show up on time more consistently, but you can’t seem to get yourself motivated in the mornings to make it happen.
Maybe you want to be more patient with customers on the phone, but you always seem to answer exasperated.
Maybe you want to be a better team player on your shift, but you struggle to get along with your coworkers.
Maybe you’d like to get promoted, but you just can’t figure out how to add more value to your organization.
Each of these examples are behaviors motivated by mindsets. So, until you change the mindset you’re working with, you won’t experience the results you want.
It reminds me of the great quote from Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or you can’t. You are right.” In other words, your mindset determines what you get.
So, if we know we have to start with the mindset that is driving our behaviors, how do we identify what that mindset is?
Here, I think an assessment can be helpful.
Start by asking yourself this question: What is my mindset right now? In other words, what mindset are you operating with at work?
To help you, try answering these questions with your first reaction. Don’t sit and linger too long. Just go with your gut!
What’s the first thing that crosses your mind when you see a customer walk in/call in?
When you think about your coworkers, what words do you use to describe them?
What currently frustrates you about your job?
If you could wave a magic wand, what is one thing you would change about your customers/employees/coworkers/boss?
What are you usually thinking when you’re on the way to work?
Now, building off what you just answered, take a few minutes and think about the thoughts you have regularly toward…
Yourself at Work:
Let me give you some mindset examples to jog your thinking here.
My employees just can’t get it right.
My employees are superstars and simply need reminding of what matters.
My employees are watching my choices, so I need to model what I want them to do.
My coworkers are here to make my shift better.
My coworkers are lazy.
My coworkers need my encouragement.
My coworkers are people I want to learn from.
My boss is someone I can learn from.
My boss is who I support with my good work.
My boss doesn’t care about me.
My boss doesn’t understand.
My customers are a joy to serve.
My customers are rude.
My customers value the work I provide.
My customers could care less about me.
Yourself at Work:
It is a privilege to have a job.
I can make an impact in my work.
I hate this.
I can’t wait until my shift is over.
All of these thoughts are indicators of where your mindset may be right now. Based on our past experiences, our mindsets are slowly established over time. Eventually, they become so ingrained in us that we don’t notice them or the fact that we certainly act from them.