Caged in your own ‘Identity Mindtrap’?

Each of us have significantly evolved from the phase of teenager to adulthood. We tend to believe that we have changed quite bit in the past, and the identity we gain will remain. As the rate of our personal changes have slowed down, we are unlikely to change much in the future.
Hardcore preconceived beliefs quickly turn into false notions and we get comfortable with the person we have grown into. We unknowingly develop blind spots about our shortcomings, and our view towards difficult situations.

I came across an interesting article by McKinsey titled ‘Understanding the Leader’s Identity Mindtrap‘, that shed lights on how we can become unconsciously attached to our opinions, principles and beliefs. The author states that “If you’re shackled to who you are right now, you can’t recognize - or reach for - who you might become next.”

In this article, I explain how our own minds can create an identity trap, limiting our views and slowing down our growth.

Forms of mind

As humans, we develop certain mind forms that shape our behavior, it helps us understand ongoing potential evolve and our inclination to get stuck.

  • The Self-Sovereign Mind - This is a huge developmental leap forward from a child’s mind to a teen’s mind. However, the mind restricts to black and white judgements and often fails to look at other’s point of view.
  • The Socialized Mind - This phase allows us to internalize social norms and align with the expectations of others and society. Here individuals rely on the validation of others and are focused on pleasing others.
  • The Self-Authored Mind - A person in our own right with a powerful sense of self and a set of hard-core beliefs we constantly strive to be the best version of ourselves. We may become blind to our faults and are fixated to one’s success at the expense of others. Most leaders and entrepreneurs are into this mode.
  • The Self-Transforming Mind - A mind that never stops learning and is marked by mature confidence along with humility. We are no more defensive to anything that challenges our beliefs or sense of worth. Instead, we relish such challenges and believe that life can be rehearsed and perfected. We spend less time justifying ourselves and more time letting life transform us.

A leader with a transformational mind has the power to transform the organizations they lead. Being open to a much larger purpose beyond yourself and your privilege, you become a servant leader. You are open to learn and grow with your team, competitors and the industrial fraternity.

Now that you are oriented to a mind that never stops growing, it is time to recognize our way of life and open ourselves to whatever life has yet to teach us. This improves our ability to deal with our own complexities - and lead organizations with more empathy and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Have you introspected what your blind spots are? How did you break-free from your self-made restrictive principles? Let me know your interesting stories of transformation.