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Fight back against Loss Focus

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

What we do as Mind Forge is critical in today’s world. This week I saw stressed business owners who are trapped in a deep loss frame around a downturn in the economy.

Gain Frame and Loss Frame was a concept first discovered by Danny Kahneman in the 80s, which has since been developed as a tool coaches use to support clients to move from a closed-minded state to an open-minded state. This ability to use a positive affect to shift your thinking mode is supported in the book Mindwandering by Researcher Moshe Bar.

You see, Human beings evolved during an ice age, so our thinking processes are heavily biased to amplify the fear of loss. This is a wonderful trait when you are in a scary environment where that anxiety drives you to hunt and store food for famines. Unfortunately, that same trait also makes higher thinking tough during stressful modern times, in which we actually need a big-picture view to survive. When faced with business troubles, it is the ability to see opportunity in the disaster that keeps us afloat, moving forward and even leading to greater success than we thought possible.

But there is another downside to the loss frame. It is infectious. I stood in a room of business owners talking about their situations and saw it spill from one person to another and another, spreading like an illness. The symptoms of that illness don’t stop with a pessimistic perspective on the future that limits your thinking; it flows over to other aspects of someone’s life. First, you might be short with an employee, causing them to feel disempowered. This state leads them to disengage from their work and decrease the quality of service they offer.

Then you can find yourself and your employees impacting the customer who decides to go elsewhere. Negativity is not an attractive trait. People don't come back to a service that makes them feel bad. Employees don't think of their customers first when they fear for their jobs.

Most tragic of all is when that loss frame reaches your partner, causing them to feel devalued, or your child, causing them to feel alone. You see, work stress doesn't stay at work. It follows you home. A while ago, I walked out of a stressful meeting into a situation with my son. Because I was already feeling unappreciated and frustrated, I had very little patience for my boy when he made a mistake. When I reflected on the situation with my coach, it dawned on me what I had done, and I came back to apologise and tell him that I had not acted fairly.

Therein lies the power of what we do at Mind Forge. When I could see my actions in the light of the bigger picture, I could reverse the damage I had done. However, violating someone's psychological safety is not a tiny thing to repair. It can take years for positive experiences for them to change their belief about you.

We work tirelessly to stop and reverse this illness that can have such a dire impact on your life. Our mission is to make every person feel valuable, purposeful and empowered, and that mission is now needed more than ever. If you are ready to stop this disease from affecting your business, mental health and family life, Join our Executive Program.

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