Are you king or queen of your own mind? Lindsay Taylor thinks on

The 16th Century English poet Francis Quarles famously stated “my mind is my kingdom”. If we take time to think about Quarles’ meaning, in essence we are creating a rich kingdom in our own minds and ironically substantiating his claim.

Interpreting Quarles’ quote further if we consider our mind to be our own kingdom we are ultimately the “King” or “Queen” of our domain. We have complete control and authority over it – we can rule our kingdom as we see fit. But do we?

Understanding the power of our own thinking and tapping into our mind can be highly beneficial, indeed a necessity, in being successful in our everyday lives and achieving all those things we want or need. Hold the belief that “I am in charge of my mind and therefore my results” and understand that, crucial to our overall success is the recognition that

• sometimes the way our mind operates can be unhelpful to us
• and we have control over our own mind and can “reprogramme” it accordingly

We all have “voices in our heads”, internal dialogues and conversations going on in our mind. Sometimes these voices can say some pretty unhelpful things – we can hold beliefs and thoughts that can limit or stop us from doing things. These are what we call limiting beliefs.

Henry Ford famously said “If you believe you can or believe you cannot do something, either way you are likely to be right”. It’s true – by saying you “can’t” do something you are already setting yourself up to not do it!

It’s important to notice when the voices in your mind are talking and then take control of these voices (as if we have a giant personal remote control in hand). We can pause the voices, we can turn down the volume and, more importantly, we can reprogramme these voices. We can reprogramme the limiting beliefs to something much more useful – we can presuppose something to be true and hold enabling beliefs that will help us to achieve things.

Enabling beliefs can be inspirational, powerful and motivational – they can help us “unlock” our thinking and be curious about a situation so we can get a different perspective. We can hold a belief to be true in certain situations to help us and others – to enable us to move forward and achieve our objectives, goals and outcomes.

We can experiment with our own thinking and this can give us flexibility in our feelings and behaviours. At times when we feel stuck or confused with various situations we are faced with we can hold an enabling belief.

The following are just a handful of motivational enabling beliefs, two with corresponding narrative to their potential use and others for you to think about yourself – employing the strategy that Your Mind is Your Kingdom.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”

If something isn’t working and you are doing the “same old thing” over and over again you will get the same result. By doing something differently it might give you an alternative (and maybe better) result. By seizing an opportunity to try things in a different way you are opening up all sorts of possibilities – and if you don’t try things in another way, how will you know what you are missing out on?

This is where knowledge sharing and networking comes into greatest effect. You can learn from other admin professionals by sharing knowledge and best practice. In the interactive world of the internet, there are some amazing resources out there – all available at the touch of a button on your laptop. Resources (such as this very magazine!) can be inspirational sources of information and a catalyst for putting into practice this enabling belief.

“There is no such thing as failure, only feedback”

Many of you will have a formal appraisal process at your organisations. Recognise that feedback is crucial to your overall success and high quality feedback is given for your own career progression.

Those voices in our head may receive certain feedback with a response along the lines of “well, you failed there didn’t you!”. Sound familiar? This is not a particularly useful internal dialogue to have.

By holding the belief that “there is no such thing as failure, only feedback” will open up more opportunities and possibilities for you to learn from feedback. So, the project you’ve worked on may not have gone as well as you liked or hoped – so what can you learn from it? Knowing what you now know, in hindsight, what could you have done differently? If you were to run a similar project again, what could you do more of? Less of? What will you replicate? What will you do differently?

And here are some other enabling beliefs for you to think about – remembering that Your Mind is Your Kingdom:

“Choice is better than no choice”

“If one person can do something then anyone can”

“The person with the most flexibility in thinking and behaviour has the most influence over any interaction”

“I am in charge of my mind and therefore my results”

Lindsay Taylor is the Director of Your Excellency Limited. A former EA herself, she appreciates the challenges and diversities of the role. Lindsay is a preferred training provider with The Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), one of the oldest ... (Read More)

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