As a Mindset Coach and Hypnotherapist I believe that it’s not the events that happen in our lives that’s important, but rather the meaning we give those events and what we choose to do as a result of them.

The concept of ‘Above and Below the Line’ enable us to take a step back and uncover how we are ‘being’ in relation to what is happening in our life at any given moment.

When we are above the line we are empowered with a ‘Growth Mindset’. We accept our responsibilities and commit to growing, learning and taking action. When we are below the line we are disempowered with a ‘Fixed Mindset’. We tend to blame, make excuses for our results and others and become ‘stuck’ and stagnant.

Let’s take a deeper look…

When we are above the line, we:

  • Are optimistic, inclusive, collaborative, inquisitive and creative
  • Become open to new perspectives, ideas and possibilities
  • Question our beliefs with a sense of curious detachment
  • Enjoy learning and growing through our experiences without the need to know everything or be right
  • See new ways of doing things
  • Find acceptance and hope
  • Sound like “I choose to…”, “I could try…”, “I can…”, “I will…”, “I prefer…”

    When we are below the line, we:

  • Are closed, defensive, opinionated, reactive, entitled and judgemental
  • Assume we know everything, have all the answers and feel that we are right
  • Believe there’s not enough of what we assume we need Eg. time, money, space, energy, love
  • Feel threatened, out of control, helpless, fearful and insecure
  • Ignore, block, try to control the uncontrollable or focus on failure
  • Are inflexible and ridged about how things should be
  • Sit in victimhood and put the responsibility on others to ‘save’ us
  • Sound like “I must…”, “I can’t…”, “I have to…”, “If only…”, I won’t..

It’s important to understand that it is normal and natural to fall below the line from time to time. As humans our prime directive is to survive, to do this we are programmed to perceive threats. The problem is our nervous system reacts in a similar way whether there is a real threat to our survival or a perceived threat to our comfort zone, identity or ego. The fight, flight, freeze or appease response is initiated, stress hormones are released into our system and we get tunnel vision. This survival mode inhibits our ability to think clearly and rationally.


Recognising when we are below is the first step towards more resourceful thinking and behaviour which allows us to build resilience and grow into a better version of ourselves.

Questions to Rise Above the Line:

What is this situation trying to teach me?

What skills do I need to learn or improve upon to move through this?
How is the way that I am thinking and talking about this situation holding me back?
What are other ways I could view this situation? What could I be missing?
What would a resilient, resourceful person believe, think or do in this situation?
If I had nothing to prove and nothing to lose, what could I do?
What is it about this situation that I can’t admit to anyone?
What changes am I willing to and not willing to make?
Do I need to ask for personal or professional help, support or advice from someone? What are all the big, bad, silly, crazy, boring, simple, extravagant options available to me?

So, now knowing what you know about above and below the line, where are you and how will you choose to move onwards and upwards?

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