Imagine you are stuck in the morning traffic jam. Again! Do you quietly seethe? Are you getting more impatient and frustrated with every passing moment? Are you stunned by ALL of the lousy drivers on the road in front of you? Or do you mentally shrug it off? Perhaps you choose to turn on the radio and enjoy listening to music or that podcast while you wait.
Our response to situations is determined by our mindset. ‘Mindset’ is defined as that group of beliefs that determine our behaviour, outlook and mental attitude. It’s how we interpret and experience every situation we encounter. Our mindset begins to develop very early in life. It is shaped by our upbringing. Specifically, our experiences, what we were taught and what we were exposed to. This creates a framework from which our mind perceives, interprets and reacts to circumstances. It is this structure that identifies what we believe is possible. It also defines the limitations we place upon ourselves.
Carol Dweck is a Psychologist and a Professor from Stanford University. She is perhaps best known for her book Mindset: How You can Fulfill Your Potential and as the winner of the largest prize in education circles of $3.8million to continue her research into ‘the ability to learn’. Carol has studied thousands of students and has shifted many of those from a fixed to a flexible mindset.
When our mindset is fixed we have a tendency to:
- Believe that we are born with our skills and intellect
- Think that challenges are unnecessary and to be avoided
- Focus on performance, outcomes and results
- Avoid feedback and tend to see it as personal criticism
When we are dependent upon this structured mindset and its inherent rigidity, there is a tendency to feel that we have no control over our circumstances. It seems like things are always happening to us.
In contrast, when we have a flexible mindset, we tend to experience life as a continuous opportunity to learn and grow. We view setbacks as a chance to improve. We’re better able to take responsibility for our decisions and actions. We develop resilience and gain confidence in our own abilities. This, of course, empowers us to create the life we want. Practicing a growth mindset allows us to:
- Believe our skills and intellect can be built and developed
- Think that effort is valuable and a useful learning tool
- Focus on the process of getting better
- Welcome feedback and practise self-compassion.
Most of us are somewhere along the continuum between fixed and flexible mindsets.
Dweck would agree that the key to unlocking a life of unlimited possibilities is to develop the awareness that we can consciously choose our mindset for any given situation. The question is how? Join me at Dynamic Visioning, a four week leadership and mindset program that teaches you how to turn your biggest challenge into your biggest win!
Dynamic Visioning uses a specific guided meditation to help you recognize and change your fixed mindset. Would you like to hear more about our unique six-step template? It shifts your mindset and perceptions, allowing you to leverage the results and outcomes so that you can experience increased success and live a life of your own design. Please call to book a 30 minute phone session with Simone Usselman-Tod, Dynamic Visioning Coach, Certified Life Coach & Business Coach and Certified NLP Master Practitioner. Don’t forget to ask me about about my new signature program! Learn more about Dynamic Visioning.