The #1 Thinking Trap All Leaders Face
President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™, Kim Ades, describes the #1 thinking trap that impacts leaders and business owners.
“It’s not what you do that creates success, it’s what you think that creates success.” -Kim Ades
As a leader, you always have a long list of things to do. Business strategies need to be developed and implemented. Products need to be conceptualized, created and delivered. Clients need to be served and their concerns need to be addressed. People need to be hired, fired, trained, mentored, managed and paid.
When you’re in the midst of all this work, it feels like no task is actually getting completed or that business growth is happening at a glacial pace. You tell yourself that you’re not doing enough. But this is actually a thinking trap that is keeping you stuck.
Listen or read below as Resilience Radio host and President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™, Kim Ades, tackles this topic with producer Doug Foresta.
The #1 Thinking Trap that Impacts Leaders
Doug: We have a question about an episode that we did, Episode 45 with Dr. Kevin Coughlin, who is a dentist. In that episode, he talked about how he has 14 dental practices and that, by many external markers, he’s very successful, but he doesn’t feel successful. One of our listeners says, “I can relate. Not that I’m doing as well as Dr. Coughlin, but no matter how much I do in a day, I never feel like I’m doing enough, and at the end of the day, I feel like I failed and then the next day comes and I feel like I’m starting all over again.” Do you have any thoughts for our listener who feels like they’re never doing enough?
Kim: This is a very interesting question. What they’re saying is, “I’m doing all the things, I keep doing, I keep filling up my activity list hoping I will make some progress, but it doesn’t matter what I do, I will still feel unsuccessful.” And so, therein lies the thinking trap or the interesting dilemma. It’s not what you do that creates success, it’s what you think that creates success.
Very often, we get trapped in thinking that we just need to do more and that we will feel better once we do more and accomplish more. But it’s very important for everyone to understand, those of you who are listening, that the way you feel has nothing to do with what you do. The way you feel has everything to do with what you think. And you have control over what you think. Unfortunately, you’re not always aware of how your thinking is impacting your emotional state or your feelings.
It’s a bit of a catch 22, but once you start to feel better, you achieve more. People think it’s the other way around. [They think,] once I start to achieve more, I”ll feel better. I help people turn that formula around and take complete and utter ownership for the way that they think. Once they think differently, something magical seems to happen. Life opens up and their ability to achieve things happens with greater ease.
For the listener who doesn’t feel like they’re achieving anything, start looking at how you think and start to understand that there is a deep and very direct relationship between your thinking and your outcome. If you’re not happy with your outcomes, don’t start doing different things, start examining your thinking and shift your thinking so that it’s aligned with the outcome you’re looking for. Then your “doing” will lead you to the outcomes you’re looking for.
3 Thinking Strategies of Extraordinary Leaders
Doug: You know, you’ve said this on previous episodes, Kim; people who are looking for business advice have asked you, “What are the three things I should do to be successful?” And you’ll often say, “It’s not about that. Get your thinking right, and if you get your thinking right, everything else will fall into place.”
Kim: That’s right. And let’s talk about three thinking strategies that extraordinary leaders tend to have consistently.
Kim: So instead of the three things that people do, let’s look at the three things that people think.
Doug: Sure, that’s great.
Kim: 1) They challenge their beliefs.
Extraordinary leaders are always challenging their thinking and challenging their beliefs. When they feel stuck, they ask themselves a question, and the question goes like this, “How am I thinking about this that’s causing me to feel stuck?” And then they start to challenge their thinking. They always understand that their thinking leads to their outcomes, so if their outcomes aren’t working out, they look at their thinking and ask themselves, “How can I think about this differently?”
2) They leverage their resources.
They never imagine that a resource is not accessible to them. Everything is accessible to them. They ask themselves, “What resource would I love to have in this situation?” They don’t believe for a minute that the resource isn’t something that they can acquire. They ask themselves, “What resource do I want? What resource do I have? Who can I ask? What can I leverage? Who could help me?” and they think in terms of never doing anything alone, but always leveraging the resources.
3) They focus on what they want.
Very often, especially the highly-driven population, they get excited by ideas. But extraordinary leaders don’t get distracted, and they focus on exactly what they want, almost with blinders on, and they head toward their goal come hell or high water.
Doing more won’t necessarily lead to success, but addressing this thinking trap will.
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