Do You Have a Fixed or a Growth Mindset? You Are Who You Choose To Be.

Do You Have a Fixed or a Growth Mindset? You Are Who You Choose To Be.

“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”
-Carol Dweck

Not long ago a former colleague, emailed me out of the blue. She was excited about the work I’ve been doing over the past year and wanted to support my new business. 

She posed a question, “Would I be interested in developing training and facilitating a workshop for a mixed audience of about 30 people, for a 2-day off-site team development? It did not matter that I was an SME in the generation of the content, she would help me with the training development. Their main interest was to have an external facilitator, someone not on their immediate team.”

 It is amazing the type of contemplation and self-doubts that can rush to your brain in a split second! I had a couple of immediate thoughts…. 

1.    I was thrilled that she’d thought of me!
2.   I was familiar with the topic but not I felt, to the extent of actually developing it, and
3.    Of course I’d trained ‘mixed’ audiences before, but now with my new business, I was focusing, primarily on female audiences.

 I said, “Can I think about it for a few days, and get back to you?” 

 Pause.

 “Wha—wha-what???” (I am sure you are saying). 

“Girl…here you are growing your own To Be Business. A business you love and are passionate about, yet this is something you have to think about?? What in the world is going on with that?? 

Exactly. What in the world is going on with that? 

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So actually, what IS going on with that?

Mindset. For a hot minute my mindset impeded my thought process and (almost) limited my potential growth ability. Self-doubters got in the way of my own personal knowledge, about myself. 

 I may not have been overly familiar with the training topic but an initial fear of my “maybe” lack of knowledge without doing any research on what it actually was, made me pause. 

I may no longer be solely focused on presenting training to mixed audiences but an initial thought of, “this is not a frontline goal I have with my new business focus” made me pause.  

 An initial fear of something “maybe” unknown almost made me say no. Being rigid to a strategic goal for “when I make it but am not there yet” almost made me say no. And that is utterly ludicrous because it simply is not how I operate.

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Carol Dweck, Stanford psychologist and acclaimed guru behind the growth/ fixed mindset philosophies says, “People with a fixed mindset believe they are born with a certain intelligence, skills and abilities that cannot change. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges because they believe they can learn from experiences, develop their skills, and improve their practice – all of which can lead to greater achievement.”

 In a nutshell, a person with a fixed mindset will concentrate on replicating what they know. They tend to believe their strengths are inherent gifts that cannot be developed and so they focus on perfecting the talents they already have. This type of person tends to avoid failure and new challenges, as they seek perfection in what they already know. They believe their fundamental qualities like intelligence or talent are merely fixed traits. 

 A person with a growth mindset will concentrate on improving how they do what they do. They believe their strengths can be expanded and enhanced with effort, ultimately reaching higher levels of achievement and ability. This type of person is an everyday learner who seeks out development and growth. They believe that their most fundamental abilities can be expanded through dedication and hard work, brains and talent are just the starting point. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, because brains and talent are just the foundation. 

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Throughout my life I’ve traditionally been very open to trying new things. I often dive into exciting, yet unfamiliar adventures without full comprehension as to what the big picture may entail. 

 After I graduated from high school, I worked in salmon cannery in Alaska for two summers and slept in a tent with an axe under my pillow. In my late 20’s I decided to learn Spanish so I quit my job and moved to Spain. Following my overseas adventures, I moved to D.C. and begin a new consulting position with IBM. And as of recent, I left a safe day-job to create my own company.

 In all of the above undertakings the new challenges were exciting to me. Rarely did I know people in the places I moved to. I wasn’t afraid of being judged, not at all. I simply dove in. The fear of failure wasn’t ever a thought that crossed my mind. 

In my recent example however, when I took a step back, really paused and did some soul searching about why I was reluctant to immediately say yes. I was surprised that what was holding me back was an initial fear of failure. A thought of, “was I good enough to do the job?” because it was me out on my own, representing my name and my company. 

When that realization hit me I got good and mad at myself, “Damn straight girl YES, you are qualified! You’ve done this before. This is what you’ve worked so hard for, it’s your to be path. What is wrong with you for thinking this way?!?”

 And that’s when my growth mindset kicked back in. Yes. I embrace challenges and have the desire to learn. I believe that you can develop any ability, even if there are setbacks. It just takes perseverance, dedication and hard work.  

In case you are wondering, after I’d done some research and reviewed the content and materials available, it turns out I did have knowledge of the topic. It was something I was quite familiar with I just knew it under a different name. Not only was I very comfortable with the training topic, I was actually excited about it!

 Of course, I called her back and said yes.

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Your personal mindset can make or break you. It can make a difference in your ability to grow and develop, it can also hold you back. Do You Have a Fixed or a Growth Mindset? Are you struggling with challenges and set-backs that are prohibiting you to be on your true, to be path? You Are Who You Choose to be. I can help you with that. Email me for more information at amber@tobecoachingandconsulting.com.

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