“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” – Carolyn Dweck
Growth Mindset is one of my core values and one of the three values of my work team. While I hold it near and dear to my heart I don’t live it as fully and completely all the time as I’d like to. There are moments when my mindset slips to fixed and I need to take a deep breath and flip the switch back to growth.
A few years ago my partner Norm suggested that I watch for those moments in which I’m in a Growth Mindset and a Fixed one and look at what the triggers or primers were that helped to put me in that place. I’m certainly not perfect at it, but I’ve been more and more conscious of those triggers. As I’ve started noticing them I’m learning ways to help either keep me there or push me out of the wrong mindset.
Becky and I went to yoga tonight and our favorite yogi, Nick, was teaching. As usual he started off with a little story and something to keep in mind while we practiced tonight. Funny thing was that even though I hadn’t gone in well over a month I had what felt like one of the best yoga sessions I’ve had!
Everything flexed a little further. I was able to focus a little better. My muscles all felt stronger than they had any right to. As we cooled down and I took it all in I smiled and realized that much of the reason for feeling so awesome was that I was able to get into a Growth Mindset. I felt like a beginner, I trusted my teacher, I tried new ways without any fear of failure. Sure, I stumbled and tumbled a couple of times, but I felt awesome!
When I thought back to the beginning of the session I realized that Nick helped me tap right into the learner in me and judged me into a Growth Mindset. He started off class by telling us all of something that he learned from a friend of his recently. “If we don’t push against normal, what we’re used to, it’ll always be the same. We need to push a little, stretch a little, and see what else is possible.” As he spoke I nodded and took it all in. It triggered my mind to think like a total newbie and try what I hadn’t tried. Chance of failure? Bring it on! I was primed and ready with a growth mindset..
One simple phrase and my mindset was primed and ready, how crazy is that? The next time I feel the Fixed Mindset starting to sink in I’m going to think back to this story and smile. Sorry Fixed Mindset, but your way cooler cousin, Growth Mindset is here and I’m going to chill with her instead. We’re going to try some cool new stuff that may or may not work out, but regardless of the outcome ILLC be better off in the long run.