How can shifting your mindset help you in business?

As a Business Coach in Dorset, I work with mindset all the time.  


Working as a Business Coach in Dorset, I work a lot with people who want to get the most out of their team (and themselves).

One thing I see quite a lot of is Imposter syndrome. If you haven’t heard of it, imposter syndrome is the phrase given to someone that lacks confidence in their role or position. It refers to the feeling you have when you think you are faking it.

Imposter syndrome isn’t actually a syndrome. It’s a mindset. A mindset made up of self-doubt, anxiety, and a lack of confidence. 

Have you experienced Imposter Syndrome?


When I first became a leader, I couldn’t believe they were letting me in charge of a team! I thought they must have got it wrong!

It’s common for new leaders, new professionals, new entrepreneurs, or new anything, to experience imposter syndrome, and it often fades in time. With time, comes experience, and therefore confidence. But imposter syndrome can sometimes stick around.

Imposter syndrome feels uncomfortable. We are constantly on the lookout for things that might expose our incompetence. We are ‘faking it until we make it’.

One thing I’ve learnt and want to assure you of if you currently have imposter syndrome, is just how common it is.

And here’s the thing, we all want confidence.

But confidence comes after, not before.

Confidence comes after we take action. So, what we need is courage.

Courage to take the steps, give the presentation, apply for the position, or whatever it may be.

The confidence will catch up with you. I promise.


In a time when it’s hard to find the ‘right people for the job’ understanding how to motivate people is key.

An open mindset is one of the best psychological tools we can have when it comes to adapting and changing with the times.

With the climate being as it is, in order to survive, and even thrive in business, we gain by being open to new possibilities.

So what makes the difference between surviving and thriving?

Change can be stressful and that stress can sometimes leave us feeling that we are surviving, rather than thriving.

We won’t use the word surviving however, we might more relate to firefighting, or ‘getting by’, or just stress. Trying to stay afloat and live.

You know when someone is in this problem-focused mode when you give them solution after solution, and they just keep coming up with “yeah but…”. They are is a problem-focused mindset, and won’t budge.

It can feel like change happens to us. And this takes away our feeling of autonomy, which is incredibly important in thriving in business.

If we feel we have no autonomy, we can shut down and enter survival mode, and what I call a fixed mindset.

A fixed mindset is usually passive, and lets events happen to them. An open mindset is usually active, and even proactive and goes out and makes things happen, or takes ownership wherever they can.

When something happens to us. We have two choices. We can sink back and think that we are powerless to do something. We might say “what’s the point?”

Or we can take the open mindset and take whatever action is within our power.

The first feels disabling. The later feels freeing.

A fixed mindset is filled with resistance in change. An open mindset looks for possibilities and opportunities.


One example of resistance I often use is with Blockbuster. Remember walking to the local shop to hire a VHS or DVD?

They lost most of their business to LoveFilm.

Blockbuster could have moved with the times, but they had a fixed mindset.

Imagine if they could have followed LoveFilm’s business model?

That would have worked for a while.

Imagine if Blockbuster could have still been here instead of Netflix?

Well here’s a fact it could have been. They said no to buying Netflix because they didn’t think it was a feasible idea.

Hence, a fixed mindset doesn’t do well in changing times.

This resistance comes from survival mode. A mind state that leaves us fighting the struggles, rather than creating opportunities and seeing possibilities.


I recently worked as a business coach with a business and shop owner in Dorset who wasn’t making a profit. She told me that when we started her business she will filled with optimism, motivation, and creativity. Now she is seriously worried that her business won’t survive.

When I was referred to her for coaching, she was sceptical. “How can a coach help me?” She asked.

My job wasn’t to convince her, but to show her. So we had a couple of complimentary coaching sessions.

One thing I knew that she didn’t was how the brain works, specifically when we view something as a problem, the best problem-solving tool we have shuts down.

Our brain.

I’ve always been fascinated by two things. Business. And psychology.

And when I trained as a Psychologist, I learnt how the brain works.

When feel under stress or threat, we move into survival mode and certain parts of our more intelligent brain literally don’t function.

With the loss this business owner was making, she understandably viewed this as a threat.

When we are in this survival mode, we become more reactive, and less proactive. We react to circumstance, rather than respond. We become problem-focused, rather than solution-focused. All of our mental resources go into trying to keep ourselves afloat and survive.

This is understandable given the stress of the pandemic, struggling to find the right staff, rising costs of just about everything.

But there is when we are in this mode, we don’t see what is really possible. We lack creativity, we lack inspiration, and energy.

When our brain is able to step away from seeing the situation as a problem, more of it comes back on line.

It’s called the Default Mode Network, and it’s the part of the brain that is creative, and it is our best problem solving tool.

So with my coaching, I helped her bring this part of her brain online. I helped her get back in touch with the part of herself that had hope. That was motivated, inspired, creative and energetic.

We didn’t leave the room until she came up with twenty ideas to boost her business.

And when we checked back in two months later, she had increased turnover by four-fold.

This is what coaching does.

Coaching helps people see what mind states are available. We can move to a space that is in flow state, that is solution focused, creative, proactive, productive, responsive and efficient.

And this is where growth happens, both personal, and professional.

I would say that this is needed right now in business. People are so busy surviving, that they don’t look at how to thrive.


I draw my from my time in the corporate world, business coaching training, and my extensive training in psychology. Oh and working with some of the best coaches in the world.


If you are based in Dorset and would like to tap into your own creative mindset, and you are open to exploring where you might grow, you can book a free coaching session with Chris. Chris works face to face in Wimborne, Poole, Bournemouth and surrounding areas in Dorset, and online anywhere in the world.

Chris Finn, Coach