How to Avoid the Downward Spiral

We tell ourselves stories that construct our personal senses of reality. These stories are defined by our Mindset, and Mindset can be easily influenced by the downward spiral. The downward spiral is a series of thoughts or actions that negatively feed into themselves, causing a situation to become progressively worse.

Benjamin Zander came to Studio/E and shared with us the following insights on how to battle the downward spiral:

  1. Develop awareness of it in yourself and others. Now that you know what it is, you’ll recognize it.
  2. Shift your Mindset by:
    1. Remembering it’s all invented (by you). This refers to the frames of reference and the stories we carry in our minds when looking at the world. Our frames of reference and stories (i.e., Mindset) can limit our ability to live in possibility. 
    2. Asking who am I being? This causes us to shift from blaming others to changing ourselves to achieve the outcomes we desire.
    3. Giving everyone an A. When everyone starts with an A, they work hard to prove they’re worth the good grade. This unleashes others’ potential by having them set their own goals and aspirations.
  1. Remember Rule 6*: “Don’t take yourself so damn seriously.”

Studio/E Mindset Icon

Extra Credit: When was the last time you fell victim to the downward spiral (i.e. chose winners vs. losers instead of embracing possibility)? Next time you find yourself thinking that way, give Benjamin Zander’s suggestions a go and see if they help you navigate around the downward spiral.

*From his book, The Art of Possibility, which he co-wrote with Rosamund Stone Zander.

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