Outside the Box Thinker

You’ve undoubtedly heard a statement like, “She’s a real outside the box thinker”, right? The truth is everyone is in a box when it comes to their thinking. The question becomes one of how did that box get created and is it realistic? My contention is that most people think within a box that is largely self-constructed and based on faulty assumptions. I’ll get to that later, but first let me set the stage.

There Really Is a Box

If you believe in an all-powerful God then you likely believe there are limits that we violate at our own peril. For example, there are certainly physical constraints and most would agree that there are moral limits. So, in essence there is a box within which we must operate, but the issue becomes whether the limits we believe exist really coincide with reality. That said, let’s explore why people often confine themselves to a box that not only fails to agree with reality but also hinders their progress.

Past Experiences

Failure is one of the main reasons people construct a limiting box. They begin to tell themselves things like, “I never get a break”, “This always happens to me”, “I can’t do anything right”, “I knew this was too good to be true”, “You always say or do that” and so on. In essence they are thinking in self-limiting ways that serve to keep them in a box of limited opportunities. They become fearful of trying new things, believing that they are doomed to failure. They are the exact opposite of what we think of when we hear the term outside the box thinker. Besides failure, other past experiences influence people to think in limiting terms. Have there been significant people in their lives like parents, relatives, teachers, coaches, friends, bosses, etc. that have fed them lies like, “You’ll never make that work”, ”Face it, you’re just not a good student or athlete, or employee or whatever”, “You fell short the last time and I don’t see any reason this time should be any different”, and on and on? These kinds of experiences, coupled with certain natural tendencies, serve to create negative thinkers.

negative thinker

Why it Matters

If a company is going to be successful one of the first things to be grasped is that success is not guaranteed. Likewise they need to accept the fact that failure is part of succeeding. Add to this the need to believe that with perseverance, persistence, and a willingness to learn and adapt that success is possible. It is also important to understand that success may actually look quite different from what was originally imagined.

In the end it is important to believe you can succeed, view failures as temporary, see setbacks as learning experiences and an opportunity to regroup and try another approach, and be deliberate about how you think. When you realize you are thinking negatively change your thoughts. What lies are you telling yourself? If you are a business owner or manager then it is imperative that you be on the alert for negative thinking by employees and address this as soon as possible. Don’t restrict yourself or your company by living in a box constructed of negative beliefs, but rather deliberately be an outside the box thinker.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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