C H A P T E R 4
Two kinds
of mindset:
resourceful and
limiting
S
o you know about mindset and mechanics. We’ll look in
more depth at mechanics in Part Three, where you will
find a toolkit full to bursting with tips, strategies and ‘ways to
do things’.
In Part Two we’re concentrating on the old grey matter. It is
a very simple idea that your thinking affects how you behave.
But a hugely powerful one. If you are aware of how your
thinking is affecting your actions, suddenly you have choice
and that opens up all sorts of opportunities for you. The
main one is the chance to edit your thinking so you can gain
more effective behaviours and hence better results.
So let’s start with a little bit of simple psychology. Our brain is
a clever old organ good job too as it’s in charge of running
things around here. Throughout our life it keeps track of our
experiences and, to make things simpler, it codes things so
PART TWO MINDSETS34
that we can respond quickly to the same situation the next
time it occurs. That code becomes a belief.
The most dramatic example of this would be a phobia.
These develop when we experience what we perceive to be
a life-threatening situation. Often they aren’t, but because
most phobias have their roots in childhood experiences the
perception is what matters. The brain codes that experience
and creates a mindset that leads to the belief that if that ever
happens again we will feel completely terrified and avoid the
situation altogether.
These little bits of code are ingrained into our brains about
almost every part of our lives. They inform how we relate to
other people, how we perform regular tasks and how we
respond to everything, from pleasure to pain. Each time a
situation is repeated the code gets reinforced and becomes
a mindset which is then installed in our day-to-day operating
system as a shortcut to how we behave.
It works in much the same way as the operating system on
our phones or computers. And isn’t it frustrating when that
goes wrong! Our gadgets and apps stop working properly,
because, of course, everything is dependent upon its fast
and effective performance.
The analogy holds good for us: if you don’t think you are
worthy of that senior position that will hold you back and
hamper the work you are putting into your CV and interview
preparation. A poor operating system leads to poor results
for us humans as well as our little electronic devices.
CHAPTER 4 TWO KINDS OF MINDSET: RESOURCEFUL AND LIMITING 35
Can we pursue the analogy? I mean by that, can we ‘upgrade’
our operating system to the latest version? Yes!
There are two kinds of mindsets. There are those that help
you, e.g. If I come across as mature enough, there is no
reason why I will not seem the perfect person to be given
more responsibility in the team.’ These we will call resourceful
or positive. The former is a better word. And then there
are mindsets that hold you back, e.g. Because I am new I
cannot contribute to the planning meeting.’ These we will call
limiting or negative. Again, the former is a better word.
Remember how useful that analogy with the operating
system was? We can take it a stage further: poor code leads
to a poor operating system on a mobile or a PC. Exactly
the same can be said for our brains. Poor code? Yes the
words we use, the sentences we speak and the paragraphs
we write all constitute the code that creates our personal
operating system.
Here are some further examples of resourceful mindsets:
1 If I put the work in, I can get a new job.
2 By doing more research, I am bound to find a company
that is still looking for tele-sales operatives.
3 I need to create a great story around my MBA to show
that I am more than just another unemployed MBA
graduate.
4 Im not going to let the prejudices against women in
finance block my career path.

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