Last year, amid the pandemic, we wrote an article on the story of the Choluteca Bridge. We detailed how a storm brought about great changes that changed the flow of the river to map a course away from the bridge, essentially rendering it useless.
In the story of the Choluteca Bridge, there was a lesson that we wanted to highlight: A story of change and adaptation, and how we must always be prepared for the unexpected in both our personal lives and our businesses.
Today, we’re drawing on the principles of that lesson and applying them to how to change the world.
Change is difficult. Change is uncomfortable and uncertain. Some flourish with change and others avoid it where possible. But change is what makes us grow and evolve, and if we can leverage the power of change, we can use it to become better people, better leaders, and to create a better world.
Some leaders constantly prepare for change – coining what they call “Bus Plans”. That is, rather crudely, what would happen if someone on the team got hit by a bus, or what would happen if a bus crashed into the workplace. The idea may seem lighthearted, but the mindset behind it is entirely serious. Consider briefly your own business-facing one of these scenarios. What would need to change? How would the team pick up the workload? How could the business adapt and evolve to overcome the situation?
Perhaps COVID-19 is one so-called Bus Plan that not even the most adept of leaders could have planned for, but it has pushed forth an agenda of change. Our work lives have changed, our social lives have changed, and even how we interact with others has changed.
But in that change, we can find opportunity: The opportunity to change the world.
COVID-19 has also provided us with plentiful opportunities for business growth, which you can find out more about in our blog on the subject here.
How do we change the world?
Firstly, we must realise what we mean by changing the world. Changing the world starts with ourselves as people and as leaders, and to instigate change, we must change our conventional thinking by utilising the power of our mindset and thoughts.
Our thoughts, and subsequently our mindset, is the most powerful thing we own. If we truly believe in our ability to do something, we can do it. It’s called Orenda.
Orenda refers to a supernatural, omnipresent force first identified by the Iroquois Native Americans. The force is so powerful that should an individual seek to connect with it, they can use its energy to empower themselves to create positive change in the world through changing themselves.
In our mindset blog, Death of Local, we included four questions that employers can use to challenge their conventional thinking and change their mindsets.
In this blog, we’re going to accompany those questions with 7 ways to channel Orenda and change our mindsets to such that will leverage change, promote evolution and result in growth.
Change starts with us
1. Changing our internal dialogue
The conversations we hold with ourselves and the things we believe about ourselves ultimately reflect our mindset. If we constantly hold negative conversations with ourselves, we limit our potential by falling into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As leaders in the workplace, these internal dialogues can negatively impact our teams. To thrive, a team needs a growth mindset and a leader who instils positivity and optimism. Where possible, the glass should always be half-full, not half-empty. So, by changing our internal rhetoric – switching from I can’t to believing that I can, we can bestow this self-confidence and belief on other people, allowing them to access their full potential.
Just imagine the potential for the world if we have a collective vision of the things we can achieve, and the positive changes we can make.
2. Changing our diction
Once we change our thought patterns by altering them from negative to positive, we need to then watch how we communicate with others. Closed-mindset phrases such as “I’m always doing this” do not allow for the seeds of a growth mindset to sow. Stay open. Try things like “I’ve done this previously, but going forward I would like to…” Allow for change to seep in, and to impact members of your team.Employees can be encouraged to model their way of thinking on your example. An employee who has previously struggled with a particular element of their work and has resolved that they are always destined to struggle, may be more inclined to alter their way of thinking and experiment with a new method or style of working through the cultivation of a growth culture.
3. Adopting our desired mindset
We’re all familiar with the aphorism “Fake it till you make it”. Whilst it might seem shallow on the surface, and just something people say, the figure of speech does hold some truth. Its principle: to imitate possessing confidence, competence and optimism, is something that we can adapt when it comes to choosing the mindset we need to achieve our goal.
Say your goal is to hook a big client, and you need to come up with an incredible pitch. What mindset do you need to channel to make that happen? Is it a mindset of confidence, self-belief and optimism? Then act like you already possess those attributes embedded within yourself. Tricking our brains this way is effective because it reinforces the thinking pattern by associating it with an action.
4. Continuing to learn
Learning shouldn’t stop when we leave the classroom. Without learning, we can’t grow because our minds are not open to other alternative solutions and resolutions.
Learning is especially encouraged and important when in the world of business. Learning from the teachings of others is a way to make us more knowledgeable, resourceful and skillful and these three attributes can have positive effects on our business. By becoming better at what we do, we can use our organisations to make big changes both in our niches and industries, ultimately altering the wider world view.
5. Finding our people
We often outgrow friendships and relationships because our values somehow no longer align. This is especially true of business owners who find it difficult to maintain friendships and relationships where mindsets are perhaps closed and non-ambitious.
To combat this, and to constantly evolve, we can seek out those with whom our ambitions and values do match. Success indeed breeds success, so networking to find successful leaders and visionaries in your field can expose you to mindsets, routines and habits that are guaranteed to bring about change to your existing mindset. We can then bestow these changes on other people, repeating the cycle and ultimately forming a community that learns, adapts and evolves from one another.
6. Changing our habits
Habits are a double-edged sword: They are both easy to set, and hard to break. But habits play a huge role in our mindset.
An individual changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset will need to schedule a time for learning, as well as making a note of the daily goals they achieve. Setting habits in such a manner will eventually form a routine that will exacerbate shifting our paradigm to the one we desire.
A change in habits can also be passed down by team leaders onto employees. Set aside chunks of time in meetings to take part in learning frameworks, for example. Soon enough the team will begin to feel the benefits brought about by introducing a new habit, and new individual mindsets will be adopted.
7. Leaving our comfort zones
There’s a famous quote on comfort zones, and it is perfect for this blog. “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”.
This profound quote summarises exactly why we must accept our comfort zones, but not live in them. To achieve true growth means to take risks and accept the outcome of the changes we will make. It means channelling our anxieties into energy that we can use to empower ourselves and our decisions.
Ben Francis, the founder of the UK’s largest growing company, GymShark, said himself that to revolutionise and to continue to grow his business to the behemoth it is today, the business had to take risks and there were times when it “risked everything”. Whilst it should not be recommended to take uncalculated gambles, it is a recommended example of how businesses must take calculated risks to evolve, adapt and grow.
To change the world, we must change our conventional thoughts. We must break free of invisible binds and we must find the shining light in opportunity. Changing the world starts with changing ourselves and our perceptions, and then using that change to empower other people so that eventually the residual effect is a momentum that keeps growing in the positive direction that we want it to.
At Growth Idea, we know a thing or two about change. And we’ve worked to empower business leaders who wanted to embrace change and benefit from the results it could bring. If that sounds like you, then book a free business strategy review call with us today and let us help you change the world.