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Rewire your brain to focus on value and success, not failure and imperfection — excel in product management.
Our discussions here all about helping product managers become product masters and being a product master means we also need mastery over our minds — what many people call our mindset. That is why I asked a mindset master, and my personal mindset coach for the last year, to be our guest today. His name is Dr. Nima.
When I started mindset work, I thought it was a complete waste of time. It did not resonate with my mental wiring as an engineer. But, I started seeing value, which is what we talk about.
Dr. Nima has had a busy schedule and he stopped into a coffee shop for us to talk. Consequently, there is background noise, but the discussion is worth putting up with it.
Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers
[4:40] How can we get out of our own way and be our best selves?
Everyone wants to have the ability to show up unperturbed by external factors, or being trigger proof. It’s about having a sense of regulation and control that’s not dependent on approval from others. Many of us spend our lives trying to earn admiration and praise and seeking to avoid criticism, which means we’re not in control of our own mindset and are constantly subject to triggers. To change your mindset, you need to commit to showing up as your best self and create an outline of what it actually looks like.
It starts by asking good questions and taking the time to control where you’re putting your thoughts and attentions. Think about who you are serving, what their values are, what they need, and what do you want them to be left with. These questions get you out of your unconscious past, which is where we spend 95% of our days. Innovation comes from being present and conscious and acting with intention.
[16:55] How do you deal with people who are skeptics of your work and your approach?
My father’s an engineer so I’m used to the skeptical brain. I’ve had to prove myself to him all my life. He came to one of my talks earlier this week and registered into one of my workshops because they were so blown away. This work is about questions of the soul, which is challenging for an engineer to talk about. I recommend that people write a list of 100 benefits the work that you do and the problems you solve. It’s a great way to overcome impostor syndrome.
[23:03] How can addressing limiting beliefs exercise help rewire our brains?
I call this the “FU” strategy. Whenever I feel stuck, I start to examine what I’m stuck about. What are the stories that are running through my mind? We’ll never run out of limiting beliefs, but sometimes they have more of an influence than others. I’ll write down things like “I’m not effective as a coach,” “my marketing funnel is a complete waste of time.” I bring unconscious thoughts into focus and write down the stories I’m making up. Then I’ll cross each one out and put “FU” next to it. Then I’ll replace it with a more affirming thought toward the direction of the outcome I want. Then, I’ll look for evidence that the new belief is true. Over time, you’ll begin to see transformations that occur as a result of this thinking.
[30:04] What happens after you do that?
Log and find evidence of incremental progress every day. You get to experience a feeling of pride when you make incremental progress and your confidence starts to go up. You’ll then start to look for and find more evidence of your awesomeness. This is a conscious effort to rewire your brain to focus on your attention and what you do well, rather than what’s wrong in your life. You become what you think about —it’s a conscious choice that requires reprogramming.
- Find out more about Dr. Nima at his website
- Trigger Proof video series
- The Art of Powerful Alignment Facebook group
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it on your favorite social network.