Trapped inside a concept’: how this could impact your entire career

Your unconscious thinking patterns matter more than you probably realise.

Esther Perel has done more to evolve the institution of marriage than anyone I’ve come across. Her book Mating in Captivity is an incredibly helpful myth-buster about relationships and I have benefited personally from having my own preconceived ideas about that aspect of my life healthily challenged.

Whilst listening to one of her podcasts last week, she used the phrase “Locked inside a concept” when referring to how people ‘set up’ or conceptualise, relationships in their minds and how that mental construct can limit the possibilities within a marriage.

Her word choice – “Locked inside a concept” – jumped out at me because it’s something I’ve been banging on about for years in a business context but lacked the acuity of her language.

The point I’ve been trying to make is that most CEOs I’ve encountered have unconsciously formed a fixed idea of what their CEO career can’t / can’t be.

This ‘story’ – or mental narrative – could be the difference between 50 years of toil and 50 years of exhilaration.

It’s that impactful.

  • So, check your story.
  • Check what you think is possible.
  • Check what you’ve disallowed for yourself.
  • Check whether you’re suppressing a desire for something different.
  • Check your possible over-obedience to social morays.
  • Check whether there isn’t another way that you haven’t noticed.
  • Check whether your fatigue isn’t clouding your perspective.
  • Check whether you haven’t possibly lost hope.

This topic means so much to me as a practitioner that I’m happy to connect informally if any CEOs in this tribe feel a desire to shake their foundations and re-imagine a better way of being a CEO.

Happy weekend to you all.

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My weekly missive, CEO Sundays, is published at 5pm every Sunday evening. The writings cover CEO topics exclusively: how-to’s; thought starters; leadership insights; reflection opportunities; research.

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