Suzanne Mercier

This year (2020) has been a year unlike any I’ve ever experienced in my many years on this planet! In Australia – the land of contrasts – we’ve had floods and drought in the back end of 2019, the Black Summer of bushfires from June last year through to now and of course a pandemic from February.

Without intending to diminish the impact all of these disasters have had on people, communities, wildlife and business, there are positive outcomes as well.  

We’ve drawn closer and cared for each other, watching out to make sure our vulnerable people are OK. We’ve smiled more at people we don’t know. We’ve shared resources, creativity and humour. We haven’t let self-isolation or lockdown impact self-expression and the arts. People have come together online to share music, ballet, live readings of plays. My heart soars when I see how our human spirit has found ways to reach out and touch each others’ lives in love and support.

There’s no doubt we’re experiencing a watershed moment. Everything we’ve held as constant is thrown up in the air for re-evaluation. We can more easily replace what’s not functioning effectively with new, creative ways of working, interacting, loving and living.

Many of us have been asking soul searching questions. Am I happy? Do I find meaning and fulfillment in what’s around me at the moment? Am I spending enough time with people who are important to me? Those kinds of questions. 

Questions are emerging around our work choices, whether we’re doing what really lights us up, how to resolve the fair or unfair division of labour in the home. We’re questioning the role business plays in society and its responsibility to give as well as take – genuinely give, not token giving as a marketing tactic.

Pre-pandemic, we saw Purpose adopted – and I use that word purposefully – into business. Now we’re seeing more conversations about Purpose needing to guide and align every aspect of business. As an inspiring purpose becomes the organising principle in business, brought alive in every decision and daily action, we’re going to see bigger changes. 

I believe women have a major role to play in the changing face of business. The ‘feminine’ values of ensuring wellbeing, inclusion and belonging, empathy, resilience, consultation and collaboration are finally being recognised as pathways to the more measurable business drivers. Research has shown that more women at senior levels significantly impacts bottom line, Return on Investment and Return on Equity as examples.

For more women to step up, we need to deeply understand the value we bring, to let go of perfection, to recognise opportunities and feel confident to go for them. 

It all starts with mindset. And mindset accounts for 85% of our success in any endeavor. We may have an exciting vision, aligned goals, the willingness to put in lots of hard work and to persist in the face of challenges. Which is positive, right? But it’s not enough. 

If your mindset doesn’t support you, you will not achieve the vision in the same way that you could if your mindset was there 100% behind you. 

To help more women and those with a naturally feminine approach to take advantage of this watershed moment, I put together a series of seven videos. 

One will be released each week. Today, the first video takes a look at mindset and why it’s so powerful. Subsequent videos explore how we create our mindset, identifying whether our mindset supports us or not, exploring how we can change our mindset if it is not 100% behind us, how we can embed those changes and integrate them back into the workplace or any other life context. 

Mindset consists of the values, beliefs and attitudes we hold, formed as a result of our life experiences and the way that we’ve interpreted the reality around us. Once a mindset pattern is triggered by an external situation, it drives our behaviour, and therefore the outcomes that we achieve. 

In the process of creating our mindset, we essentially eliminate most of what we’re exposed to. 

Typically, our mindset is unconscious and we’re unaware of the process that created it. Two things arise from that position.

  1.  We think we understand what reality is when, in truth, we haven’t a clue what’s going on. It’s important to recognize that we don’t see reality as it really is because nobody can. And I’ll explain that in the second video. 
  2. We think that our mindset is concrete. It’s set in stone. We can’t change it. We now know how powerful our mindset is and how a change in understanding can alter our bodies, improve our performance and set us up for success or failure.

My first experience of the power of Mindset was reading ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’ (1974) in my advertising days. The book was about the mental side of peak performance and essentially proposed that the game was won or lost before the players ever got onto the court.

Since then, there has been so much scientific research and literature supporting the power of our mind. Norman Doidge talks of ‘The Brain that Changes itself’ introducing the concept of neuroplasticity where in the face of brain damage, peoples’ brains rewired functionality to operate as a whole brain replacing the damaged parts. Bruce Lipton shares the “The Biology of Belief’. He talks of the relatively new field of epigenetic where scientists are now ratifying the power of our interpretation of the external world – based on our beliefs – to impact our health and wellbeing.

In her TEDx presentation “Change your Mindset, Change the Game”, Dr. Alia Crum discussed a personal experience of the power of mindset and 3 scientific studies demonstrating that power: 

  • The increased pain relief after thoracic surgery when a doctor delivered the morphine instead of the timed release via computer. 
  • The decrease in body weight, body fat and increase in energy and wellbeing experienced amongst the test group of hotel room attendants simply as a result of being told they were experiencing the daily requirement of exercise to be fit and healthy.
  • The significant drop in grehlin (hunger hormone) and increased feeling of fullness when drinking a shake labelled as Indulgence, described as smooth, rich and delicious with 620 calories, 30 grams of fat and 56 grams of sugar compared with Sensi-shake with zero percent fat, 140 calories, no added sugar shake. 

We now know that the brain creates our reality in every area of human endeavour.

Bringing that knowledge back into the workplace, what is possible if we flipped our mindset, changing the way we see the world and ourselves. We would see opportunities that have always been there, right in front of us, but out of our minds eye. We would embrace diversity more readily, knowing that the other person simply has a different piece of the same jigsaw puzzle.

Just imagine what could happen if we actually start to see that what we bring is unique and immensely valuable. 

Just imagine.

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