How many times are you making up rules which cause you to fail? Sadly, the average person is getting in their way and sabotaging their success more often than you think. You may not know it but you are carrying around a lot of unnecessary rules. Heavy bags of outdated ideas that are restricting you from funning free.
I recently held a new ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset’ development session and in the first session, I asked them to form small teams and come to the next meeting with a boat made out of anything they could find.
The rules were that they must place their ‘boat’ in the lake at the front of the venue and we would see who could get their boat to touch the other side of the lake first. There were no other rules (except that no one was to jump or fall into the lake of course).
They arrived at the next session with plastic bottles taped together, some U-shaped wood, a leaf, a ball and various other floating items. Before we began the race, they took the time to judge which way the wind was blowing to give them the best assistance at crossing the lake – they were taking this very seriously. Once decided, everyone placed their racing boats in the water along the side of the lake. I placed my plastic coffee cup in the water next to them, counted down and the race was on.
I’ll never understand why shouting at an inanimate object is supposed to help, but the noise was loud and exciting – I was impressed with their enthusiasm. As the mayhem continued I lifted my coffee cup out of the water and casually walked to the other side of the lake just before the first competitor arrived (quite sometime later) bent down, touched my cup against the lakeside – and won.
Why Do We Make Up Rules?
They had all mentally added their own RULES to the competition by assuming that the boat must stay in the water. ‘That’s what boats do right?’ But this was not a requirement. I clearly stated that there were no rules. They all lost because of their limiting actions.
Unfortunately, this is how we are taught to think, by our family, friends, schools, colleges, Universities, managers etc. We are bombarded by rules (many of them outdated and pointless) and we are often told not to question them.
If you start asking questions about procedures and the person in charge says…”We do it this way because this is how we have always done it!” Then it’s time to make changes or possibly leave before the place shuts down!
5 Steps to free your mind
The main issue any entrepreneur faces is overcoming these limiting rules, freeing the mind and finding that amazing imagination you had when you were young.
- Recognize the rules that you follow and start to question them.
- Question your actions and your thoughts.
- Every time you do something, ask yourself why are you doing it this way.
- Try to come up with better ways to do things.
- Watch others and think about ways you could improve their processes.
Practising these small acts every day will get you to develop a questioning brain that will lead you into the entrepreneurial mindset you need to develop your next great idea.
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