Growth Mindset

What is a Growth Mindset?

First, we want to think about ‘mindset’.  A mindset is a mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations.  Based on the research of Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford, there are two basic types of mindsets. 

  1. Deficit or Fixed Mindset (the way we’ve been wired) – leads to a desire to look smart, thus a tendency to avoid challenges and obstacles; gives up easily in the face of setbacks; sees any effort as fruitless or even negative; ignores negative feedback
  2. Growth Mindset – leads to a desire to learn and therefore embrace challenges and obstacles; persists in the face of setbacks; sees a path to mastery; look and learn from criticism

Which one do you use more?

How Can You Develop a Growth Mindset?

  • Catch Yourself – be mindful, find yourself in a negative mindset (his takes practice!)
    • As you observe through your senses – your eyes, ears, nose, it hits your brain and you start thinking. That thinking tends to conjure up certain feelings. Those feelings then send in certain actions that you take, which get results.
    • What is your state of mind? What are the feelings that you have at that particular time, and what feelings or emotions might you be experiencing?
    • When you look at something and get triggered, ask yourself, “What do I believe? What are my assumptions?”
  • Reframe It – what can you believe that shifts into a positive mindset?  What assumptions can you drop or change that are more positive?
  • Create New Thought Habits
    • Set the Intention
    • Pay Attention – observe yourself and observe what happens when you do take certain actions
    • Reflection – Ask, “Am I in a fixed mindset right now? If I am, then how do I move to a growth mindset by following some of the points I’ve made?
    • Practice with a coach

As an example, let’s say a person that you’re having difficulty with, a person with a personality that just doesn’t jive with you.  When you see that person, it automatically sets off a certain feeling.  Seeing that person conjures up a negative feeling in you, which is what you’re going to have to rewire.  Go from that current state to your desired state.  What do you want to get out of this relationship with that person? How do you want to be able to work with that person? Consider what you want to believe so it creates a positive reaction.  Turn the current state (your view of the person) by saying, “Okay, we both have to accomplish something here. My thought of that person is getting in the way. How do I change that?”  You want to change what you believe about that person.

New thoughts elicit different emotions which bring about different (more positive) results.  It takes a willingness to let go, to “get off it”, in order to open a different possibility and outcome.  Our ego holds on tightly and this is what we need to pay attention to.

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