Mind your Mindset

Mindset is a word we are hearing thrown around a lot at the moment, but what does it actually mean?

When I ask my clients what they think Mindset is, I would say 9 times out of 10 the response is ‘positive thinking’.  Yes, positive thinking is great, but getting your mindset right is so much more.

So what is Mindset?

Mindset is essentially our attitude and the way we think.  Our mindsets determine how we experience our world and how we experience events. Carol Dweck (I love that name by the way – can’t stop saying it once I start) has been the real pioneer in this area and has defined Mindset into two categories – Growth and Fixed.

Fixed Mindset

Definition – “In a Fixed Mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them.”

Signs you are sitting in the fixed mindset seat –

  • You worry about not being seen as intelligent or are afraid of saying the “wrong” thing.
  • Challenges or difficult situations are something you avoid because you hate the possibility of failure.
  • Constructive criticism or negative feedback is something you avoid at all costs!
  • You like to play it safe.

Growth Mindset

Definition- “In a Growth Mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

Signs you are sitting in the growth mindset seat

  • You’re eager to ask questions and learning from others even when that means admitting not knowing something.
  • When faced with an obstacle, you persist and may even find that it motivates you more.
  • You consider criticism to be a learning opportunity and understand how it can be constructive.
  • You embrace change.

Do I have a Fixed or Growth Mindset?

Now here is where it is time to get really honest.  I have met a lot of clients who would consider themselves to have a Growth Mindset.  Yet when we dig a little bit deeper, it becomes evident that they are realise that they are perhaps quite fixed in a lot of their attitudes.  It is also important to point out that it is not uncommon to have more of a fixed mindset in one area of your live and perhaps a more dominant growth mindset in another.

You may be reading this and perhaps struggling to admit, that you spend a large chunk of your life in the fixed chair.  This may come as a surprise to you as you may have always identified yourself as a “positive person”

There is of course no right or wrong.  If sitting in the fixed chair serves you well and brings you happiness – why would you move?

But here is the thing.  Shifting your backside into the growth chair opens up opportunities to you that you may never have even considered.  Not only that, you start to let yourself (and others) off the hook meaning that life becomes a little more enjoyable.

How do get (or super charge) a Growth Mindset?

  1. You have taken the first step already!  How easy was that!  Just understanding the difference between Fixed and Growth Mindset has opened up doors in your mind that were perhaps closed just 10 minutes ago.
  2. Believe – Having the belief that you can change the way you think is half of the battle.  I’m not saying it is necessarily quick or easy to do, but if you have the belief that you can see obstacles in life as challenges that you can overcome positively, your outcomes will change!  Adopting the belief releases the resistance and the momentum towards the Growth Mindset can really get going. 
  3. Tune in – What are you saying to yourself when life gets tough?  Yes – we all talk to ourselves and you are not the only one with a voice (sometimes several) in your head!  Are the things you are saying to yourself allowing you to see positive possibility or is it dragging you down to the depths of the worst-case scenario. Interrupting that negative voice as soon as it pipes up is the first step.  Literally shout “STOP” in your own mind and redirect your focus.  If making your new focus positive is a step too far, just make it a neutral one.
  4. There is no failure only feedback – Really get behind this! This one of the major presuppositions of NLP and I spend a lot of time discussing this with clients.  To ‘fail’ implies a blunt end to something. It also implies that we have no control – that we are powerless to the outcome.  I call BS on the word failure!  Things may not go as we had planned or hoped but how lucky are we to have the added information on what doesn’t work to use as added intelligence when we stand back up and go again!  Yes, that may be hard to swallow in the precise moment of that perceived failure, but you are the one who gets to choose what you do with a situation. Which leads me nicely to the next point…
  5. Responsibility – Take back control.  Recognise that how you respond to any given situation is a choice. Ok, so I know there will be scenarios where we can’t help but feeling angry, hurt or even devastated, but we do have a choice as to how long we sit in those emotions.  Understanding this and regaining that control has a huge impact on how you move forward and on a far greater scale, how you experience life.

There has perhaps been no bigger or more unexpected obstacle in our lives recently than the global pandemic of Coronavius.  It hit us out of left field and challenged us both personally and professionally. Whether you are aware of it or not, your Mindset has taken the spotlight!

If you want to take back control, determine your mindset and learn how to live your life to its full potential, book a free consultation with me to find out how we can work together.