I thought it was about time to give practical advice about what it means to “work on your mindset” and all of this stuff I bang on about regarding the transition from physio to clinic owner that many of us have either gone through (feeling hope for the future), are going through (feeling confused and frustrated) or will go through (feeling satisfied but oblivious of what is to come).
 
Such a term as Mindset can mean so many different things to different people and is rarely defined given its broad interpretations.
 
I would like to define mindset in our context as the transition from physio to clinic owner.
 
When you are a physio you love treating. You get your highest validation from results with clients. You sometimes can’t imagine yourself doing anything else.
 
When you are a clinic owner you are thinking your own growth and your team above all else (apart from those things that are your highest values). You are driven by your clinic’s community, making an impact, working on the challenges in your clinic, opportunities, plugging holes in your skillset, the juggle/struggle of business ownership and family, and the dichotomy between leaving a legacy and enjoying every day (to quote one of my coaches Mike Reid who has a very podcast on the topic!).
 
Mindset for me can be simplified to 4 concepts:
 
  1. Who you are
  2. What you want
  3. What is stopping you
  4. How to get it
 
If you don’t master 1) you may never feel at peace.
If you don’t master 2) you may follow someone else’s goals for you.
If you don’t master 3 your weaknesses will come back to bite you.
If you don’t master 4) you will end up a dreamer with regret.
 
 
And this is why mindset is so difficult.
 
How do you actually learn these skills?
 
  1. The first step in learning more about yourself is wanting to. My first reference below could be a familiar one to you – Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The top of the triangle, self awareness (or self actualisation as the infographic says) is the metaphorical top of the mental tree for human beings. For me this has been a 15 year journey of thinking, courses, mentors, psychologists, hypnotherapists, contemporaries, personal trainers, family, and an insatiable hunger to know myself. I think this was borne from growing up in a working class community where I saw people plugging away in their jobs, living for the weekend to sit down and watch the footy and drink beer – only to feel that Sunday evening dread. (Don’t worry – I like beer and football too, I just think alot).
  2. Learning about what you want generally starts with you living up to others’ expectations of you. At least until you get sick of this. Then you question what you want. Sometimes you plan, set goals, write things down. You then either hit some goals, miss them, wonder why, try again, change your approach, or give up. This is where you can feel confused and frustrated. But this is good – you are thinking. Allowing yourself to question what has brought you to this stage. Keep going. Now move into this stage:
  3. What is stopping you. The soup going around in your head that limits you and tells you ” I can’t”. A complex meshing of your history, childhood and upbringing, environment, key people in your life, society, the media, and anyone you have looked up to. It is everything they taught you, both good and bad, and the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that were created in the 6 inches between your ears. How much of this stuff do you believe you need to unlearn to be the person you are capable of being, but you may not actually want to be yet due to the discomfort it creates? Not just in you, but in your relationships with the people around you? Going deep into this stage can be confronting. I have had some dark times in this place. But it always passes and I come out the other side with a new perspective.
  4. How to get it. The magic of habit and accountability. Without it goals remain as dreams and end up as regrets. As a teenager at university exposed to a different group of people at a university college I saw what was possible in life and the lives people were living and aspiring too. Being in this environment made me believe I was capable of living a fuller and more impactful life than I had previously believed I could – and that was from nothing more than a simple change in my environment. Call it a “system upgrade”. I saw people who seemed to have it all – but sadly did nothing with it. This gave me desire – to squeeze every last drop out of what I had. To make sure I never had regret.
 
So how did I make this happen for me?
Like every step above I had to go through the 4 stage learning process I can also credit Mr Maslow with below.
 
 
The oblivious beauty of unconscious incompetence – you don’t know what you don’t know. Until either something happens to you, or you reach such a level of dissatisfaction that you realise something needs to change in your life.
 
I have heard it said there are 2 massive triggers for this in life – meeting the person you love, and having a near fatal experience. Both of these happened to me in 2005 within 2 months of each other. Kickstart massive change!
 
 
The darkness, frustration and confusion of conscious incompetence. This is where you know exactly what you don’t know. And ain’t it frustrating! Feeling like you are in the dip, struggling, putting in crazy amounts of work, and often actually seeing worse results in your life, your business, and between your ears. I have heard this called so many things – the dip, the desert, storming, and I call it “transition” in my physio clinic owner journey below.
 
You need 2 things to get you through this stage:
 
  1. Help from a mentor
  2. A new environment that will lift you up
 
As you can see below, when you are a physio clinic owner going through this stage, your stress spikes, your effort peaks, and your profit drops.
 
Don’t walk through the desert on your own – ask for help.
 
 
The next stage starts to feel good – conscious competence.
 
For those of you who have caught a wave before whether on a surfboard, SUP, boogieboard or just swimming in the surf – the start of this phase feels like when you feel the wave surging around you and you feel your board shifting forward under you.
 
This is exactly what it feels like in business. Results start happening despite you doing nothing different from exactly what you have been doing in transition.
 
SO MANY PEOPLE QUIT ON THE CUSP OF THIS PHASE. IF YOU ONLY GET ONE THING FROM THIS POST – WHEN YOU ARE GOING THROUGH HELL, KEEP GOING.
 
And finally, unconscious competence. My best analogy for this is Keanu Reeves at the end of the first matrix. As he fights all of the Mr Smiths, he is so much faster and more skilled than them that he feels energy, hope, and is looking ahead to what is next – but without the cockiness of ignoring the challenge right in front of him.
 
 
Thankyou for bearing with me through this long post.
 
I would like to know 2 things from you
 
  1. Have you experienced “the dip”
  2. What did it feel like for you?
 
 


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