Think Outside The Box: What Box? 

Laura Mariani

There is no box but the one you put yourself in ... #SmashYourCeiling to Smash That Ceiling.

Think outside the box. I hate this expression: it implies that there is an actual way of being, doing things and that, somehow, we are different by "thinking outside the box”.Societal rules, family rules, religious rules are fluid and relative things that change in time. WITH time. There is no box but that one you put yourself in. Time to smash that too….


After you have determined what your deepest needs are, how you can satisfy them, and you know your price, it comes the time to take practical steps to move up that famous career ladder. Or whatever it is that you want. And think/go outside that box. If you want to be CEO of a (Global) Company or Director of Paperclips (whatever takes your fancy), you need to map out how you can get there. So what is your career map?

Think The Part

Each role from junior management to leadership/board level has different " thinking" requirements. From the here and now action-oriented operational to the tactical/fluid and strategic/long term way of thinking, anticipating what customers might want whilst staying original and true to the brand. Depending on where you are in your career, you can see how many steps along the way whilst keeping an eye on the end game.

Look The Part

According to Malcolm Gladwell in Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, people make up their minds about people they meet almost instantaneously or in two seconds. Talking about The Power of First Impressions or what? First impressions do matter for both good and bad depending on if the first meeting was fine or not. Like a halo effect. Our appearance makes a statement about who we are and what we are about. Are you aware of what you are projecting right now? Is this aligned to the "new role" ( as identified in your career map)? Whether you know it or not, you have been "branded" already. People have an opinion already. So instead, define your own brand in line with who you want to be.

Act The Part

Confidence has a huge effect on performance. Pretending you are confident until you have acquired the experience and tools necessary and is real allows your brain to "rehearse" new ways until you have actually learners them. Professor of organisational behaviour HerminiaIbarra wrote in the Harvard Business Review - "By viewing ourselves as works in progress, we multiply our capacity to learn, avoid being pigeonholed, and ultimately become better leaders. We're never too experienced to fake it till we learn it". But how do you bridge the gap? “You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with” Napoleon Hill. "If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do, and you'll achieve the same results" Tony Robbins. Finding and connecting with people already there, asking questions on their decision-making process - what, why, when, how they make decisions-critical paths. Research mimicking ( NLP Mirror and Matching technique ) people who already display the required skill set and behaviours ( and/or looks) is beneficial. This blog is an extract from my book "STOP IT! It is all in your head" Part III: Think Outside The Box: What Box? You can find more details and an explanation of the Think, Look and Act The Part Method in my book. To read an extract from: Part II: Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want. Part I: Blah, Blah, Blah To see how the book was developed/written: "What is the best way to write a book in 30 days."
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Laura Mariani Best Selling Author, Content Creator and Change & Transformation Expert

Hi there, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please do provide me with feedback.

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Laura xxx

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