Your thinking creates your reality.
It can also remove reality.
For most of human history our cognitive biases kept us safe.
But right now, some of them are likely to be holding you back from the success and impact you truly desire…
It’s your awareness of these biases that is your first step in loosening their grip on you.
Today, I want to help you handle some unique mindsets that trap top performers, in particular. (By the way, you’re already a top performer. And top performers need your coaching more than you know…)
1. The secret club mindset
There’s always a secret club that you can’t yet get into…
Ned’s Club is set in a former London bank. Its Roof Bar has a retractable roof and views of the City of London and St Paul’s Cathedral. In the basement, behind a 20-tonne, two-metre wide circular vault door is The Vault bar, which is lined with thousands of the original safety deposit boxes.
Disney has a secret club, called Club 33, with a 14-year waiting list for new memberships. And The Wilfandel Club, founded in 1945, is the oldest black women’s club in Los Angeles. It was known for its high-class parties and high-class guest lists.
The solution to the secret door mindset is the rather liberating idea that it’s time for you to create the club that you would struggle to get into!
2. Spotlight syndrome
Spotlight syndrome is the tendency to believe we are being noticed far more than we really are.
The solution to spotlight syndrome is to remind yourself of the rather liberating fact that basically no one is thinking about you…
3. The “Pick me, pick me” mindset
“Pick me. Pick me…” describes a tendency to crave the attention, acceptance and approval of a certain group or individual.
The solution to the “Pick me, pick me” mindset is to remind yourself of the rather liberating paradox that the most likely way to be chosen by others is the moment you stop caring whether or not you are chosen by others.
4. Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome is a tendency—very common in high-performers—to doubt your abilities and feel like a fraud.
The solution to Imposter Syndrome is the rather liberating decision to stop trying to get rid of it and instead to get good at it. In fact, if you don’t feel like an imposter, you’re probably not playing big enough…
5. Pedestal thinking
She makes more money than me…
Their relationship is perfect…
He is better than me…
Everyone loves her…
Putting someone on a pedestal doesn’t just mean exaggerating their good qualities. It also involves attributing characteristics that they don’t even have and being blind to their weaknesses.
Instead of seeing a flawed human, you consider another person as perfect, infallible, and superior—to you and everyone else.
Pedestal thinking creates self-doubt. When you hold someone as higher than yourself, you automatically deny your own greatness.
The solution to pedestal thinking is the rather liberating choice to build your own pedestal. That’s right. Celebrate yourself. Tell yourself how proud you are of you. After all, it’s not bragging if you’ve done it.
The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club
David Dunning is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. He has spent over 20 years studying flaws in human thinking.
The eponymous Dunning-Kruger Effect refers to an overestimation of your own skills, knowledge or achievements.
As he explains, “The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.”
The challenge for high-performers is that these thinking flaws are just as prevalent no matter your intelligence, wealth or prior success.
In Dunning’s words, “this is a phenomenon that visits all of us sooner or later… Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition. The problem with it is we see it in other people, and we don’t see it in ourselves.”
As Charles Bukowski put it, “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
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