How to change your mindset during times like these

How to change your mindset during times like these

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What's the best mindset for times like these? Ligia Koijen Ramos from in2motivation, an Amsterdam-based personal and professional development company, shares her views on mindsets during the corona crisis. 

"It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times like these you learn to love again
It's times like these time and time again”

It seems like the Foo Fighters knew something about this pandemic before it all happened. I have the feeling that we are still trying to find out what is really happening, I still hear some people looking for justifications or explanations. Honestly, I think that we need time to get a little bit more sense of what “this” is all about.

For those who are very curious about human behaviour, days like these give us lots of information; we can really learn about what motivates people and what promotes their ability to adapt.

In this article, I, of course, generalise and simplify the analysis, and yet you will probably still recognise yourself or others in one of these two patterns:

Effect mindset

The fundamental belief that everything that is happening is a consequence of something else and normally, it is not you but someone else who is responsible. Someone saying, “this is happening because….” is the best way to detect that someone has this mindset.

Cause mindset

This corresponds to the mindset of someone who always takes responsibility. Someone with this mindset believes that if things are happening, they probably created the conditions for it to be happening. “What is my responsibility in all of this?” is something you will hear from people who have this mindset.

Juggling both patterns

During these days, you can easily see that most of us are juggling with these two patterns. And that is ok. But the question is, in what pattern can we create more flexibility and adaptability?

Yes, that’s right. The only mindset that promotes flexibility and adaptability is the one that takes responsibility for all the parts that are within one's individual control.

I cannot change the high level of consumption in the world by myself, but I can control what I buy and from whom. I also cannot change the pollution around the world, but I definitely can change my own environmental footprint.

Taking responsibility is taking action

Often, people who have the effect mindset tend to have a lot of opinions about what others should be doing, but they don’t do much themselves. Taking responsibility also gets us the result that we want.

One simple exercise that can give more awareness about our preference in each situation is to pick up a piece of paper and write down situations that make you feel bad or less comfortable. After that, write down your first thought about them. Then write a "C" for Cause, if your first thought was about you, and put an "E" if the thought was about others or external contexts. Then decide what you want to change from "E" to "C" - for me, that's everything!

As a coach, this is the beginning of my work: shifting from an effect to a cause mindset. People who mainly have a cause mindset are the ones open to moving and doing something different!

Ligia Koijen Ramos is a life coach and motivational speaker at In2motivation, offering personal and professional training courses to optimise individual and group motivation and performance. Follow In2motivation on Facebook to find out about future events!

Ligia  Koijen Ramos


Ligia Koijen Ramos

Master coach and founder of family dynamics at in2motivation. With more than twenty years of experience in different countries and contexts, Ligia has the profound belief that simplicity and dynamics...

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SusanneVester2 16:25 | 7 August 2020

Very helpful read.. especially during this crisis. I will definitely try the exercise out. Thank you!

Mielan 16:30 | 7 August 2020

Thank you. Please share with me your results I will very ha[[y to hear from you. Ligia