Mindset- what comes to mind when you see that word?
An athlete attacking the final stretch of a race? Perhaps a motivational speaker up on stage, sharing the age-old mantra ”It’s mind over matter”? One would be forgiven to believe Mindset only has business with the high performers of the world, in truth though, Mindset affects everyone of us. You and I included.
I can’t write an article about Mindset without first mentioning the biggest concept when it comes to Mindset…
Fixed Vs Growth Mindset.
In the renowned book, by Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck, ‘Mindset- The New Psychology of Success’, the distinction between the two are as follows;
Bill has a Fixed Mindset. Bill believes his intelligence, his skills, his talents are as they are and cannot be changed. This belief causes Bill to avoid challenges and obstacles. Bill stays safely in his Comfort Zone where it’s safe.
Betty on the other hand, has a Growth Mindset. She holds the belief her intelligence, her skills and talents are not fixed. Betty believes she can improve and so actively pursues growth, approaching challenges and obstacles with an attitude of resilience.
Bill says, ”I can’t do this.”
Betty says, ”I can’t do this, yet. I wonder how I can learn?”
This simple difference has huge implications for every one of us, both personally and professionally.
If we can consciously cultivate a Growth Mindset, who knows what we can achieve?
I’m now going to share 3 Mindset attributes to help cultivate a winning growth Mindset, so whatever your goals are, be it write a Book or learn a language, you’ll be able to do so with less stress and doubt, and more joy and ease.
1. Understanding the difference between Instant results vs long term gains.
In modern life, so much is Instant.
Hungry? We can order food over the phone and it’s delivered to our house within minutes.
Need information? Google will have the answers in seconds.
I can’t help but feel as a Society (especially the millennials among us), that we’ve become a little impatient and expect instant results in all areas of life. This isn’t reality. Fitness doesn’t come from one workout.
An inspirational Teacher I knew had a great poster on his classroom wall that read; ‘If It comes easy, it’s probably not worth having, and if it’s worth having, it probably won’t come easy’. Being mindful of this can help when impatience creeps in. If we can’t have it instantly, then the desire can wain…but some things just aren’t achievable quickly. Keeping the mindset to – ‘the goal is worth the effort’, and understanding constant action is required, then when we reach that goal, it’s all the more glorious when we achieve it.
Remember: Instant results vs long term gains. A good question to consider is- what would 5% closer to my goal look like and what do I need to do to make that happen?
2. Understanding it’s not all about you!
This mindset idea is great for overcoming Fear and comes from a mentor of mine.
When we make our goals all about us, it’s easy to experience Fear and Doubt. Staying in our own head, we become trapped. The solution? Think of the bigger picture. Let’s say you want to host a Seminar. By focusing on yourself, the mind will do what it does best, worry, and start considering, ”What if I forget my content?” and ”What if nobody turns up?”
This feels quite nerve wracking, right? Notice how it feels to shift the Focus by thinking of the bigger picture. What if instead, we considered; ‘What an amazing opportunity I have to serve and inspire other people’, and ‘What if what I share today is life changing for someone?’ The pressure melts away as we come from a place of Service, which is simply not possible when we stay in our head and only consider ourselves.
Remember: Get out of your own way or fear. The world needs your gifts. Acknowledge any fear of doubt you may feel but take action regardless, bearing in mind the impact you may have on the lives of others.
3. Developing a Heart-based Mindset.
This may seem a bit of an oxymoron – Heart-based Mindset, but bear with me.
We have to understand; the mind’s number one job is survival. It’s designed to keep us safe and talk us out of doing anything that could potentially bring us harm. What’s bad news for us is, doing or trying anything new the mind processes as a potential threat. The fear we feel when stepping out of our comfort zones is just our ‘lizard brain’ protecting us from potential harm. However, recognising our fear is from our mind, and instead focusing to our ‘truth’ (our reason for being) the action required is to widen our comfort zone.
Remember: We need to move away from our minds and into our hearts- after all it’s our heart that contains our truth. Below is a simple exercise for moving from the mind into our heart- we can use this in moments of doubt and fear.
- Capture the voice of the mind, what specifically does the mind say? If the Mind were a person, what would it say?
- Now, If the heart could speak, what would the Heart’s response be to the Mind’s concern? What wisdom would it share?
Doing this can bring about some incredible insights. I recently completing this with a young woman who aspires to be a Film actress. I asked her to capture the voice of the mind (the fear). After a few moments of silence, she looked at me and said ”What if I don’t make it?” I replied, “What does your heart say to that?” Without hesitation, she said, “I can do anything I set my mind to.”
Notice the language… “Anything I set-my-mind-to.”
In other words, her Heart had absolute faith in her and her aspirations, it was just a matter of setting her mind, to what she wanted and cultivating the right mindset.
Try this simple exercise the next time you notice your mind holding you back. And remember; you could be offering someone a lifeline when you share your expertise. Don’t be self-centred notice your mindset, aim for growth and push yourself – after all, fortune favours the brave.
Thank you for reading,
Will Aylward loves to help others and spends his days coaching people all over the world to become more confident in who they are and their ability. Will loves are; travel, drinking good coffee, turning strangers into friends, and making music. Will currently resides in Germany with his partner (in crime), Yvonne. Visit him at www.willaylward.com