As we head full speed into the holiday season and the final quarter of the year, it’s only appropriate to consider how a person’s state of mind impacts their ability to move towards the achievement of goals or outcomes they desire. In working with my clients that are Sr. Leaders to C-Suite Leaders I see a continual trend. They all their minds to continually find holes in ideas. This skill is built in the corporate world to mitigate risk.

However, this type of thinking will only stifle creativity and innovation. Why? This type of thinking puts our brains into a reactive state thus forcing us into the oldest part of our brain. This part of our brain is responsible for flight or fight, it is often the area that we don’t consciously use. The funny thing about behavior is that if we want a diff erent outcome, which requires different behavior, we need to intentionally choose to make that behavior change. Goals are usually something we are stretching for, something we might not have ever done.

So how…? How do you get to a new goal, that you’ve never done…that you don’t have all the information on… Or better yet, you have the information…you just don’t know what the next step is…. We have to be able to calm our flight/flight/freeze response so that we can tap into the prefrontal cortex of our brains.

This part of our brains carries creativity, innovation, and emotional intelligence.

There is a process to get there. You try ( beta test), break things, get your hands dirty, and learn. Wash and repeat! Your mind then shifts from only seeing the holes to seeing what you learned from the process and what that shows you is how to innovate.

This is the essence of having a growth mindset.

The trouble is our brains like patterns and these patterns create neuropathways. If we want to get different results, we have to interrupt those pathways. Often I work with my clients on interrupting these pathways and establishing new ones that support their longer-term goal of being able to be innovative and live on the bleeding edge!