• Kevin Shabaar Smith

The Red Rope Mindset

Many people are aware of the influence their environment plays in everyday life - but maybe not to the extent necessary for effective business breakthroughs. In fact, every day we are subject to influence by an army of thousands of ideas, suggestions, opinions and perspectives without realizing the negative impact they have on growth and progress and the freedom that is supposed to come with entrepreneurship.  Although it is typically known on some level that thoughts dictate behavior; these destructive outside forces often remain unguarded.

Without a certain level of awareness – as during childhood - we tend to adopt the dominant belief system of the environment we find oursevles in the most. This is why parents often ensure their children are shielded from others who may be “bad influences” – to prevent children from developing the same characteristics.  This is because it is understood that children are impressionable – meaning their environment more easily impresses ideas onto their “non-thinking” mind and those ideas become part of their belief system.  This is also why if a child is told he is “dumb”, “ugly”, or “stupid” the idea often sticks with him forever – or until he gains a greater sense of self- awareness.  In other words, our environment significantly impacts our belief system. 

As we move through life, we naturally place ourselves in environments aligned with the belief system we have already developed and along the journey we find saboteurs who wish for nothing more than to keep us in the bubble of our shared belief system and prevent us from growth.

The Friendly Saboteur

The truth is that others – and often those who are the closest - have a vested interest in seeing you fail.  These saboteurs are often those considered friends and confidants and they sabotage your efforts by creating - or fortifying your already existing - self-limiting beliefs. 

This is not to suggest they wish you harm or intentionally sabotage your interests. They are often not bad or untrustworthy people. They have simply fallen into the same other-than-conscious “autopilot mode” as everyone else They very will may not consciously know they are doing it.  Make no mistake however that many of those around you are indeed saboteurs nonetheless. They discourage your efforts, encourage the status quo, damper the flames of your passion, or simply pass on the time-tested negative mindset that has been passed on to them through the generations.

The reason for this sabotage is simple, but cunning. It is subtle and yet blindingly obvious once one becomes aware of it.  This stunting of progress – this thwarting of your fullest expression by those closest to you serves a mighty purpose to the saboteur – self-protection. They do it because progress on your part reflects to the saboteur, the lack of progress of their own.

Every step you take forward reminds the friendly saboteur, even if only in their other-than-conscious mind - that they too can be, do, and have more, but have failed to take the actions necessary action for growth. And so they create a comfort zone in which they feel both of you must reside. Perhaps you have even heard some of their verbal tools of their trade:

“You’re crazy, I would never do that at your age”

“A bird in a hand beats two in a bush”

“Are you sure you want to do that, what’s wrong with what you have”

“Do you have any idea how difficult that is going to be?”

“I know someone who tried that – she hated it”

The friendly saboteur offers little support, no solutions or contributions for success. Instead they plant the seeds of doubt, fear and anxiety that is eventually nurtured by other crafty saboteurs – the environmental saboteurs

progress on your part reflects to the saboteur, the lack of progress of their own.

The environmental Saboteurs

Sometimes those who sabotage your efforts don’t even know you. They creep into your daily lives and take residence in your mindset. They act as a constant barrage of how impossible it must be to navigate the world. The invisible saboteur can come in the form of news media, television and radio programming, conversations, and many other subtle activities that nurture the negative seeds that have taken residence your current believe system.

Again, belief systems are rarely, if ever, developed from sound reasoning, self-growth and critical thinking – but rather mental “hand-me-downs”, environmental influences of childhood, and social observation that we continue to nurture over time.  It is our natural tendency to welcome into our mindsets those ideas that reinforce our existing belief system. We tune into news that supports our existing world view. We latch onto conversations that match our limited beliefs. We work away - blissfully unaware that background “noise” is consistently playing while our mindset is discarding any opportunity for growth while ushering in support for the status quo and self-limitation. We simply create an environment for ourselves that will not allow us to grow.

So who do you let in?

To experience growth and live the to the fullest expression, one must be on the lookout for those who are trespassing on the growth journey and develop a red rope type mindset in regards to the people allowed into one's world.  You should reassess and ask “who have I let into my life?”.  Consider this to be a mindset that allows into your life only those who wish to support and invest in our success.  And when someone must enter for reasons out of your control, ensure they are ushered out at the first sign of sabotage - returning only for the most minimal periods of time possible.

One should also be certain to create an environment that nurtures growth. When you allow your environment to become a place of negativity, doubt, and “noise”, you are basically taking the seeds of self-growth and placing them in toxic soil. This is why you should do your best to fill your surrounding with things that are in alignment and harmony not with the status quo, but with your vision for your future.

Questions to Consider

Consider these questions regarding the environment you have created for yourself:

  • With whom do you spend the majority of you time with outside of the work place?

  • How have the people you spend time with the most influence your personal or professional growth?

  • What results have they achieved to earn the right to influence your growth.

  • What do you watch on TV, what news do you watch, what do you listen to in the car, what do you read?

  • Do these things support your personal growth or simply reinforce your current belief system?

The people one invites into his life and the environment create for oneself have significant impact on he becomes. Consider establishing a red rope policy for yourself and create the soil in which the seeds of growth can flourish.

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