When Our Thinking Is Broken
It’s easy to tell when a tool is broken. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t function quite as it should. We know it needs fixing or replacing. If we work with a broken tool, the work that we do will take longer or be less effective.
The way we think can be like a broken tool. We face a familiar decision, and we respond in the usual fashion. But, if we’ve changed and the world has changed too, the way we view ourselves and world is out of focus. The resulting decision could be the wrong one.
It’s a harder to tell when our thinking is off, when it works against us. It’s harder to realize when the premises and assumptions that back our decisions are faulty or broken.
4 Sure Signs It’s Time to Change Your Mind
How do we know when our thinking is off? How can we tell it’s time to change our mind? Here are 4 sure signs.
- If I look around and everyone is lucky or smart — except me — I need to change my thinking.
- If I look around and everyone is a jerk or lazy — except me — I need to rethink what I’m seeing.
- If I seem to be the only one who cares, who tries, who does or doesn’t anything, it’s time to change my perspective.
- When I start not liking myself or what I’m doing, it’s time to change my mind.
Me against the world is an awfully stuck place to be in. Wanting the world to change or questioning it has changed are sure signs that it’s time to change what we’re thinking. The most important thing we can do is take action.
The band, Sister Hazel, said it simply
If you don’t like how you’re thinking, change your mind.
And it simple. Changing our mind is matter of replacing an old belief with a new one.
How to Change Your Mind Completely and Powerfully
We usually recognize a broken thought by a behavior that isn’t working. If we take the time to identify the behavior and the broken thought that drives it, changing our mind can be immediate, complete, and powerful. I know. I’ve done it.
Recently, I faced up to a behavior that wasn’t working. I needed to be more direct with clients about what I charge for my time. I had to change my thinking. I went at it logically and step-by-step so that the change would stick and stay. Here’s how to do that.
- Identify the behavior that isn’t working. In this case, it was that I wasn’t charging for my time.
- Verify that the behavior is problem. I talked to people I trust about the issue. They confirmed my problem.
- Identify the thinking behind the behavior. This was the hard nut to crack. I had to make a commitment to change my thinking. I had to unravel beliefs about generosity and define a solid offer people would understand, value, and pay for. The process worked in stages.
- First, I looked to current disconnects. I realized that I was had trouble identifying “salable chunks.” Rather than define a clear offer — it had been easier to give the work away.
- Second, I looked to past successes that used the same skill set — I’d use these to fix the disconnects. In the past, I had negotiated well and enjoyed the process. I compared then with now. Then, I had felt an equal contract. Now, the “equal” felt missing.
- Third, I faced the facts. Fact: I give my work away; I’m agree to that contract. Fact 2: I can change that.
- Replace the old thinking. I found a successful model in my personal life for deciding who gets how much for free. I slid that in the place of the old thinking.
As Drew McLellan would say, totally true.
I used this process to change my mind. The results have been complete, powerful, and immediate. As a matter of fact, it’s had an impact on my entire outlook. The world and I are on the same team again.
Are you using old thinking habits to make new decisions? Is time to change your mind?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!