“Those who choose to adopt an infinite mindset are better equipped to manage the unknown. In fact, they are able to find opportunity in uncertainty.” – Simon Sinek
Over the last decade of working with clients, helping them create more empowered lives and secure connections, I have seen some themes show up on repeat. Themes that don’t serve their highest good or the relationship they seek to create.
At the heart of so many struggles I’ve seen in my clients’ relationships is the idea of anxiety and insecurity, which tend to trip them up and keep them stuck in this negative loop they have a hard time breaking free from.
Can you relate?
My attempt here in this email is to open you up to a new paradigm of thinking, where you begin to see your life and your relationship through a different lens — one that allows you to source your security internally, rather than externally, on things that are out of your control.
At the heart of this paradigm is the idea of infinite versus finite thinking, and in my own life, I’ve seen it almost magically solve so many of my own anxieties or fear-based thinking, opening up solutions in an almost miraculous way.
Here’s what it’s about:
Essentially, finite games are those with clear rules, where the goal is to win and beat your opponent.
I’m sure we are all familiar with games like these — literally, every sport is a finite game, and we are indoctrinated at an early age into this kind of thinking in so many ways in our society.
Infinite games flip the script:
The rules are less clear and the objective is not to beat your opponent but to keep the game going. Very different, right?
How does this relate to relationships, you might ask?
Well, I believe the core of the fear or anxiety we feel in our relationships stems from approaching it with a finite game mindset, and if we can just tweak our lens a bit to see it through an infinite mindset it can give us the tools to deal with that anxiety in a completely different way or eliminate it completely.
We must recognize what finite thinking looks like in a relationship. One way it might manifest is something like this:
You’re in a new relationship and you find yourself wanting to define and label the connection — are you a couple? Boyfriend/girlfriend status, or what? Or maybe that box is checked, but now the next step is marriage, and you’re wanting to move towards that.
Now, inherently there’s nothing wrong with either of those things — wanting to define the relationship or the desire for a deeper commitment.
Where we run into trouble is the associated anxiety of not being in a certain place, and thinking, “Well, once we’re there, I can finally relax; it will be official and then I will feel secure.”
This is a problem because when we do this, we’re putting our sense of security on circumstances outside of our own control, on societal “mile markers” that really are just arbitrary. It’s not a stretch to see how this kind of thinking can breed a sense of powerlessness.
So here’s how to maneuver out of that:
First, we need to realize there is no end game in the relationship. The infinite player isn’t focused on a label or a destination, because they know that’s not where real security lies.
Put another way, 50% of marriages end in divorce, so is that status truly secure?
The infinite player puts the focus on who they are becoming in the relationship. They are focused on the qualities they are developing in the crucible of the relationship. They realize that security is not going to come from outside of themselves, and if they feel anxious, it’s an opportunity to create the security they seek inside of themselves rather than looking for that from their partner.
In turn, they bring that sense of security as an offering to the relationship, instead of a need looking to be fulfilled.