If, like me, your universe since March has centred around trying to work from home, whilst home-schooling, cooking and cleaning, then this term may have passed you by. According to Carol Dweck in her seminal book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, a mindset is a particular way of thinking about things that determines our behaviour and attitude. This attitude then has an enormous impact on our personal satisfaction with our lives and in fact how we choose to live our lives. It can affect what we choose to do with our lives, more importantly what we choose not to do and ultimately our own realisation.
With my curiosity piqued, I attended a workshop by Mira Khreino at Triyoga, where she furthered these ideas. She argues that in order to achieve what we want in life we need to have clear ideas of what we want from life and specifically how to get it. This can encompass a variety of qualities but one of the key ones is motivation.
Motivation is the drive to get things done. It can be fuelled by certain personal characteristics for instance, by seeing problems as challenges and essentially by adopting an optimistic mind frame. You know, the glass is overflowing type thing. Pessimists see life as something out of their control, where problems are personal and difficult to overcome. Life is on a fixed negative continuum and change is just too hard.
Conversely, optimists believe that adversity can be overcome, that these are temporary setbacks and not personal. Criticism is seen as feedback, so optimists are more willing to take risks, and persist in the face of failure. For instance, if an optimist gets knocked down, they are more likely to rise up again, and again and again. This then leads to two key terms that I feel are so much needed now under the shadow of Covid, resilience and hope - hope that things will and are getting better and resilience that we will survive. This is known as a growth mind-set.
Ok so let’s clarify it further and put it into terms of fixed verses growth. A fixed mindset sees that things are set from birth, some people are naturally more talented, intellectually inclined, sporty etc. Whilst a growth mindset acknowledges that things can be achieved through hard work. A fixed mindset avoids challenges and gives up easily and is threatened by other people’s success. A growth mind-set refuses to give up and takes inspiration from other people’s successes.
Therefore, a person’s outlook will have an automatic effect on their mindset, which then can have a positive or negative affect on their actions and reactions. It’s how we see the world, what we achieve and create. a growth mind set allows us to do just that, grow.
So, I ask you, if you could change your mindset, what changes would you implement?
And then…what would it enable you to do?
Thanks to Mira Khreino and her workshop Cultivating A Growth Mindset. If you want to know more please go check out her website. She really was quite phenomenal!