As many of you know, I am a big believer in the Growth Mindset. While I still work on staying true to it myself sometimes, it is my guiding drive. Some of the people I work with already possess this Mindset and that is exactly why they seek me out. They are focused and determined to take their lives to the next level!
Some get introduced to the Mindset for the first time in our work together and the "ah ha" moments can be riveting. You can learn and teach this Mindset. (Check out the book "Mindset" by Carol Dweck)
Here are some of the ways that together we've come to see it.....
There are several mindsets or perspectives on life that guide our actions. The Growth Mindset is one that values constant challenge. It prioritizes learning and improving. Success is measured by seeing a challenge, getting excited by the opportunity to overcome, and going for change!
Can you imagine thinking, “that would be so hard to do...how exciting!” versus "this is so hard - clearly I'm not meant to do this; it's not for me." Can you imagine viewing everything (success or failure) as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, gain more tools for the next adventure, and setting your sights higher?
If success or failure did not have a good or bad connotation (because it said nothing about you as a person) but rather triggered a curious feeling in you, it would lead to breaking down the core beliefs in your head that something is not worth the effort. That you are not worth the effort.
The opposite of all this is the Fixed Mindset that values “you’re either born with it or not”; ”you have it or you don’t” which is determined by “was it easy for you”?
The Growth Mindset exclaims, “if it’s easy for you, you’re ready for the next challenge!” While pain is never the goal, discomfort is. The discomfort signals the possibility to evolve, transform and take your life on a new trajectory.
For some of us, the discomfort comes when going for that dream job, asking that person out, trying to make new friends in the neighborhood, starting meditation, letting go of the past, starting to exercise, moving homes, or seeking real emotional intimacy with anyone. Sound familiar? Whatever the stimulus is, it's your body and mind that are telling you to beware. That is the attempt at self protection.
When you are fear based, you heed those warnings and stay clear of the challenge - holding on to routine and predictable outcomes. Perfectionism and anger can be indicators of this. BUT, when you teach yourself the Growth Mindset and practice it, you thank your body and mind for the attempt to keep you safe but then you are able to take the next step to assess real danger versus emotions.
When you value growth, you will feel discomfort and you will learn to be excited by it rather than afraid. Like the burn after a good workout, you will know that you are investing in your future self. You will develop a relationship with yourself based on trust and inspiration - one that says, “I can handle it. I can do this. Bring it on!”