camelon, coach, community, development, Our Place, resilience, Support, tamfourhill

What kind of mindset do you have?

Welcome to my latest Community Coaching blog. It’s been encouraging to receive some interaction from these posts – it’s good to know at least some people are reading them and finding them helpful!

The text on this week’s Monday Motivation graphic said “Focus on doing right thing for the right reason and don’t buy into the lie that it can’t be done”. This got me thinking – and so the theme for this week’s blog was born!

It’s so easy to listen to others who try to put you down and tell you it can’t be done. As a result, you could potentially miss out on a great opportunity for yourself. It’s also easy to listen to the voice in your head saying you’ll never be able to do something. Your surroundings can also affect your way of thinking. Okay, statistically Camelon and Tamfourhill is an area of deprivation. So what! You are still you and deserve the opportunity to reach your fullest potential. Just because others around you, even your friends and family, have chosen not to pursue a dream, does not mean that you have to go down that path too. The Camelon and Tamfourhill area is full of assets – and you are one of them.

We could leave this blog right there! Be encouraged to be the person you were made to be. But if you’ve got the time, please stick with me for a few more minutes as we look a bit deeper at this.

Whether you’ll be able to achieve what you want or not, is partly down to how your brain is geared – what your mindset is. In short, do you have a fixed, or a growth, mindset? It’s relatively obvious which mindset is better but here’s a little further analysis:

Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
A belief that intelligence, skills and talents are fixed – “I’m not good at this now, and never will be.”A belief that intelligence, skills and talents can be developed – “My skills have come a long way, and I know they can be better with some guidance.”
A focus on outcomes or targets rather than progress – “I’ve failed completely. I missed my sales target by 10%” (ignoring your much improved sales pitch).Everything is a learning opportunity – “This is going to be a challenge, but I’ll break it down and tackle a bit at a time.”
Talking yourself down, feeling threatened by others or giving up in the face of setbacks or failures – “Clearly all this feedback means I’m no good at writing. I’ll ask someone else to do it next time.”When you fail or suffer a setback, you believe you just can’t do it yet – “I can see now that the way I set this up wasn’t quite right, so I’ll take an alternative approach next time.”

Now if you find yourself in one particular column, don’t presume that you will stay there. We all shift between a fixed and growth mindset, depending on our situation. Someone coming at a completely new task or role might be prepared to learn, and expect some setbacks as they go through that process. They have a growth mindset. On the other side, in promoting someone who has used a growth mindset to learn and progress, this might mean they now see themselves as an expert with little more to learn. Suddenly, they have a fixed mindset.

I like to consider myself as someone with a growth mindset and as such I can recognise this problem. In previous development roles, I have recognised a point where you can actually create so much growth that you end up being in danger of creating something or someone that is unmanageable. But you still need people that are at least willing to learn or change – as the need arises. People that are so fixed in their ways – the ‘aye been brigade’ – need to be shown a better way and often that happens best by ignoring their criticism and committing to your own growth. Actions – and results – speak much louder. Their attitude is the enemy of progress, encouraging us to cling to what we know even when it falls so far short of our expectations and potential. It has been described as a self-imposed straight-jacket disguised as a safety net that in short, simply restricts and fails others. Use your determination to grow to show them a better way.

Our brain’s structure is not fixed. It constantly changes in response to our external and internal experiences, and we can choose to make use of this to improve our skills and intelligence. By adopting a growth mindset, we decide to use a range of strategies to tackle tasks or challenges, and find learning opportunities in mistakes, setbacks and failures. Confidence and resilience are the consequences of a growth mindset. Developing a growth mindset is a journey of self-awareness and of conscious learning. It takes time and practice, so set your expectations accordingly, and regularly take some time to reflect on the results.

Let’s recap with the help of this short video:

In time, we’ll be developing some training courses that will help you with this and other personal and organisational development topics. For now though, we have this blog and the chance for me to engage directly with you to help you grow. If you want to know more or simply want to chat through an idea, then please get in touch.

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