It can be tough to talk mindset. Sometimes people think you’re being personal and get defensive if you challenge them. Others are very grateful for the help. As a coach, with this knowledge my primary concern is helping others, so when I see an opportunity to help, I try my best to do so.

The reality is that all sorts of things affect our mindset and can put us off our game. It can be hard to push yourself and stay positive all the time, sometimes we are so busy just surviving.

Work, environmental factors, the people we choose and don’t choose to spend time with (in both work and social circles) can influence us and impact on how we think and feel. We can see this as positive and negative. Our health, coming back from illness or general fatigue can knock us off course.  So, it’s always good to check ourselves, become aware of our mindset and, when necessary, get back on track with more useful patterns of behaviour.

Here’s some valuable info which will get to recalibrate:

Our mindset is influenced by beliefs, which manifest in and lead to a specific set of behaviours. These are either enabling and empowering (growth mindset) or limiting and ego-protective (fixed mindset). Mindsets can be context-dependant, so for example, we may have a different mindset in our fitness and lifestyle to our approach to work.

Prof Carol Dweck is an expert in motivation. The diagram in the main pic is a summary of her work and excellent, thought provoking book, “Mindset.”  The image shows two different mindsets and attitudes which lead to very different results. Take a look and see which one feels most familiar…..Think about an area of your life with which you are feeling unsatisfied and consider which mindset you are operating in.

Fixed mindset- leads to a desire to look smart

When you hold a fixed mindset, deep down you believe that intelligence is static- so you believe you can either do something or you can’t.  This leads to a desire to look smart and pursue things which you are good at. So if you’re holding this belief, if you’re not a “natural” at something it’s almost an insult on your intelligence. There’s no point in knuckling down if you don’t think that you’re ever going to get it, so you don’t commit. You quit sooner, you lose focus. For example, you might hear someone say, “I’ll never be able to run.” They might avoid it at all costs- or do it but moan and not put the effort in. Beliefs are self -fulfilling prophesies you see. If you believe that you can’t, you subconsciously make it so to prove yourself right.

Growth Mindset- leads to a desire to learn

When you’re in your growth mindset, your underlying belief is that intelligence can be developed, you believe you can work to become smarter. This leads to a desire to learn.  This belief drives a whole set of positive behaviours which drive you to put in the effort to learn and grow. In your growth mindset you can cope with failure as you see it as part of the process through which you grow. When you believe that you can learn anything, you seek out the opportunities which will help you to achieve your goals as opposed to avoiding the things which you find challenging.

As a person with a growth mindset you are not driven by the desire to look smart, so you can try new things, you can enter big competitions, you can commit to learning that new skill- no matter how long it takes. You can finally crack your diet, you can fail and fall without fear of getting ‘found out’. You have nothing to hide.

In the growth mindset, it is ok not to get it right first time as you don’t need to be a natural. You can take on feedback and advice from others (as you don’t have to know it all) and you are prepared to put in the work that is required to achieve your goals. In doing this you develop grit and a relentless attitude which serves you well in many areas of your life.

Here are 10 signs that you may need a mindset reboot.

  1. Inability to take feedback
  2. Inflexible behaviours- it’s my way or the highway
  3. You only do the activities which you’re good at and you avoid the harder tasks
  4. You know it all- or have to be right all the time. You’re convinced that you’re right and you know the most.
  5. Rather than say you don’t know, you hide the fact. You avoid asking for help.
  6. You have to be in charge all the time and you won’t take anyone else’s ideas/ perspective on board.
  7. You avoid challenges, or you only take on the challenges which you know you can win
  8. You avoid and even alienate the people who challenge you
  9. You see effort as fruitless
  10. You feel threatened by the success of others

It’s great if you have recognised any of these traits. Awareness is everything. You don’t have to be stuck in the fixed mindset, liberate it! Know that you can re-boot at any time!

Give me a shout if I can help you and let me know if this article has been helpful please share it 🙂