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Are You Above the Line or Below the Line?


Jan 17, 2020
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You’re never neutral in a situation. You’re either a positive influence or a negative influence. It all comes down to mindset: do you have above the bar thinking, or below the bar thinking?

When you are thinking above the bar, you see opportunity. You’re open to new ideas and curious about exploring new topics. You’re excited about learning.

Above the bar thinking allows you to see everyone as an ally supporting your growth. It helps you to be a great listener and to question your own beliefs so that you can grow.

When you think above the bar, you say things like:

  • “I take responsibility for my part in whatever is happening.”
  • “I am open and coachable. I have an outward mindset.”

When you’re below the bar, everything and everybody is a problem. You’re closed off from others and from new opportunities. You’re defensive about your choices. You are uninterested in anything other than being right.

Below the line thinking is triggered by fear that there isn’t enough, whether it be time, money, resources or whatever else the situation needs. You feel threatened and don’t want to give up control. You take situations too seriously and are quick to blame.

When you think below the bar, you say things like:

  • “Why doesn’t everyone just do what I want?”
  • “I’ve tried that. It won’t work.”

At any given moment, you’re either above the bar or below the bar. This type of thinking doesn’t just affect your business. It also affects everything and everybody in your life.

Sometimes the problem isn’t the problem, but how you’re thinking about the problem. Do you want to be above the bar, or below it?

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is the Founder of ACT Dental, a customized coaching company for dentists. He has invested his entire professional life studying the top dental practices in the world and the leadership that guides them. As the founder of ACT, his vision is driven by the commitment to provide highly personalized care to the dental profession. By creating a talented team of experts, Kirk and his team continue to positively impact the practice of dentistry one practice at a time. His personal mission is to use up every ounce of his potential. He lectures all over the world to help individuals take control of their own lives. Kirk has been recognized as one of Dentistry Today as one of Top Leaders in Dental. Dr. Peter Dawson called him “THE best motivator I have ever heard.” He loves cycling, basketball, stand-up comedy, and most of all, spending time with his wife, Sarah, and children Kinzie, Lily, Zoe & Bo.