Part of me doesn’t really know why I am writing this.
‘Maybe I can document this journey’, a voice says in my head - to keep myself accountable, so I can help others see that ‘figuring it out’ is possible… and because sometimes writing things down feels a little like untangling the knots of your headphones (pre wireless); that way you can neatly wrap them around your phone.
‘But’, says another voice, ‘what is the point. When you have barely started and already you can see it’s not going to work’.
But I promised myself (and my sister) I would listen to the former voice more than the latter and that I wouldn’t give up just because it feels hard. So here we are.
I once did a course that looked at the science of ‘mindset’ (I’m trained as a nutritionist, personal trainer and yoga teacher, and mindset is important within all of those things) and learnt about the idea of growth vs fixed mindset. Part of succeeding, part of going after the things we want, part of growing and improving and not giving up is a 'growth mindset’.
Growth mindset is about accepting challenges, and persevering in the face of failure; whereas fixed mindset is feeling forever stuck, it is giving up easily, and avoiding challenges. Most of us experience both in our lives, for instance you might find when it comes to your favourite hobby you are great at acknowledging your weaknesses and love to work on improving, but in your career it feels like everyone is criticising you and their is no fruit to be found from your hard work.
The most important thing to remember is that much of this shift between the two is about perception - and not reality.
MOVING FROM FIXED TO GROWTH …
1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset voice.
Pay attention to the voice in your head - awareness is so important. You will most likely find that pops up when you face a new or particularly daunting challenge. This can also be related to HVRT (habitual voice recognition technique): often we have repeated these phrases and words to ourselves so often they become automatic.
2. Recognise that you have a choice.
You do not have to listen to the voice in your head and jump down the rabbit hole of stories it tells you, instead you have a choice. You get to decide how to interpret and respond to challenges, setbacks, and failure.
3. Respond with your growth mindset voice.
When making the above choice choose to counter the ‘fixed mindset voice’. Perhaps it says, ‘are you sure you an actually do it?’ To which you perhaps respond, ‘I can learn to do it work time and with effort’. Do whatever you can to challenge that fixed mindset voice and encourage the growth mindset voice.
4. Take growth mindset action.
Feel the fear and do it anyways.
Taking growth mindset action means:
Taking on the challenge wholeheartedly - in spite of fear
Learning from your setbacks and criticisms
Taking constructive action.
A fixed mindset is how I often feel about my work. My goal is to change that.