So far in this theme of creating a change-mindset, we’ve considered how the words that we use and the stories we tell can define and even influence our change-related experiences. But where do those words and stories come from?
The origins of mindsets.
Today we’ll explore how mindsets are created, and how a feedback loop can develop from our perceptions, beliefs, behaviors and experiences. I call this loop the Mindset Feedback Loop. I’ve discussed the conception of this model in an earlier post, but the main points are that:
Confused? Let’s look at this in terms of how we interpret our experiences.
The Mindset Feedback Loop explained.
When we have an experience, we receive what is happening through our own personal filtering system, which is programmed to reject, ignore, question or accept certain information.
This filtered information then goes through a wash and spin cycle, which transforms the information into something we are able to absorb and own as a part of ourselves.
The wash and spin cycle transforms experiences into into perception (how we internalize and identify with that experience). As perceptions are reinforced with additional experiences, they are fluffed and folded into beliefs. Those beliefs then direct our behaviors, which then influence our experiences, resulting in a feedback loop.
Alas! A feedback loop is created. But what does this have to do with transition and change?
Mindsets, feedback loops and change.
When we encounter a change, whether welcomed or not, we are unlikely to adapt smoothly and quickly unless a shift in our mindset is made.
For example, let’s say we decide to move from the city to the suburbs. We initially welcome this move, because it aligns with our principles of safety, privacy and community.
We do nothing to shift our mindset because it seems as though we are closely aligned with our change.
However, once we’ve moved, we realize that we are expected to meet and talk with our neighbors - a very different experience from our urban dwelling days. Although friendly, we notice how vigilant many people are and learn that they're always watching.
We also find that where we had taken for granted in our ability to walk to any activities or events in the city, we now have to drive to. In fact, it is unreasonable to expect to walk anywhere, because the suburb we’ve selected isn’t designed for pedestrians.
Some of these new experiences clash with our previous mindset that reinforced a sense of anonymity and close proximity. If we do nothing to shift this perspective, we will likely begin to perceive these new experiences as negative.
Now some of this is slightly exaggerated for purposes of making the point that what we might initially accept, we later resist or become distressed by because our mindset hasn’t shifted to our new reality. That’s where using the Mindset Feedback Loop can help. Here’s how:
A. Recognizing the current feedback loop.
Questions to ask at this point:
B. Shifting the feedback loop.
Being intentional with our mindsets.
Mindsets are created when experiences are replicated and reinforce our perceptions and beliefs, thus resulting in behaviors that contribute to the same or similar experiences happening over and over.
To have a mindset geared for change requires our ability to shift out of old patterns in order to create new patterns that more closely align with and reinforce our desired change.
The more intentional we are about creating these shifts, the more successful and smother our transition and change are likely to be.
This is a lot of information to take in with one blog post. In the wrap up of this theme about creating a mindset for change, we’ll walk through an example to help bring these concepts to life.
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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