I love how entering a new year ushers in that opportunity to initiate a ‘RESET’…everything from your health and fitness goals; parenting and relationship goals; personal development and business goals; to decluttering and organisational goals.
The reality is that such a ‘reset’ can take place at any time at all. We don’t have to wait for the end or the beginning of a new year, month etc. What is most important, regardless of the time….is that you are prepared…not to enter into something that you perceive to be unsustainable or only for the select few….but prepared to commit to a new habit, a lifetime pattern and commitment to improving, and moving forward – not from a place of beating yourself up – but from a place of learning to love yourself to an ever-increasing degree, where self-love is your ‘normal’….as opposed to something you’re always struggling to attain!
So this year….the beginning of 2018….there are many of you wondering where to begin. Perhaps you’re wondering what will make this attempt at achieving ‘goal-reaching’ success any different to any other year before now. So here it is….this ONE thing….can make all the difference for you this year! Again….I’m not into quick-fixes….because they most often are NOT at all sustainable! And leave you more disappointed and disillusioned than ever before. What I do advocate is genuine, sustainable change that positively impacts on your life long into the future!
So here it is…that ONE THING that can the world of difference to the way you approach the year ahead is to get serious about developing a ‘GROWTH MINDSET’. This is not just some buzz word, or pop psychology floating around at the moment. It truly is a concept that we’ve come to understand as determining the difference between those people who move forward in life (any facet of life), and those who remain stuck. There are no requirements or limits on who can develop such a mindset….except that they be willing and committed to move forward regardless of their situation and circumstances.
A large part of what I do is work with people who are suffering loss, grief, stress and anxiety. For the most part, people come to see me because they want to move forward from where they currently find themselves in life. Some of those people however see me with an expectation that I will fix their problem…and that somehow by seeing me it should be easy for them to find their way forward. I never promise a ‘quick-fix’…mostly because I don’t believe there is such a thing. But what I do promise is that if an individual wants to move forward desperately enough, and is committed to implement and take the necessary steps to move forward, that significant change is absolutely a reality for them.
Developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ has nothing to do with your personality type either. It is not an innate trait some are born with and others are not, but as it’s name suggests, it is something that can be GROWN. Author and researcher Carol Dweck published her decades worth of findings around the ‘Growth Mindset’ in 2006. For this I am incredibly grateful. (C. Dweck. ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ 2006).
The opposite to a GROWTH MINDSET, is the FIXED MINDSET. We may not even be aware of our own mindsets, but based on our behaviour, the mindset from which we’re operating can be quickly discerned. Our reaction to failure especially emphasises the mindset from which we’re operating.
Have I mastered the ‘Growth Mindset’? Absolutely not! But I am committed to growing in it every single day! There are areas of my life that I display a growth mindset more than others. But as soon as I realise I’m operating from a fixed mindset, I determine to never find myself in that same place again.
I am always going to be on the journey, because as long as my heart is beating, I am always going to be learning and growing…learning and growing!
I was reminded just this week when I experienced something that tempted me to wallow in self-pity and feel like a complete failure…to remind myself that I had learned a valuable lesson…to pick myself up out of the mud…and to keep moving forward. Anyone can give up! But it takes strength and tenacity to embrace challenge, persist through the obstacles and apply even more effort where necessary. Learning from criticism, no matter how well or ill-intended it may be and to always allow myself to be inspired, not threatened, by the success of those around me (and beyond). This is not an approach that comes naturally to most…but it is something that can be achieved by ALL should the choice be made.
People with a fixed mindset absolutely fear failure, because it is a negative reflection of their abilities. Growth minded people don’t really mind or fear failure as much because they realise their performance can be improved and that learning often only comes from failure.
Which areas in your life could do with a good dose of ‘growth mindedness’? Which areas of your life are you perhaps already operating out of a growth mindset? Celebrate those, and commit to growing in every area of your life regardless of how accomplished (or not) you may already be. You may need some encouragement and accountability on the way. In fact, I’d recommend it!
This is not about seeing things through rose-coloured glasses and being in denial about the challenges you face. But it is about the perspective you choose.
These two mindsets play a vital role in every area of our lives. Dweck stated that she believes the growth mindset actually allows individuals to live life with reduced stress and greater success. Now I know what kind of life I’d rather live. And I’m passionate about helping guide others in the direction of living their lives to their fullest potential.
At the beginning of this New Year I’d like to urge you to do some of your own research around the ‘Growth Mindset’. Challenge your old, fixed-minded responses. Revisit those dreams. Create a plan to see it happen. Break it down into achievable steps. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER, that you can never ‘fail’, but you will LEARN something that will take you one step closer to being the BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF.
With you as you discover your ‘Freedom to Rise’,