It might seem like you’ve been thrown a number of curveballs in life, any single one of which could stop a person in his or her tracks.
Maybe you’ve experienced a near-total loss of income because your job was cut back or eliminated or you were laid off through no fault of your own.
Maybe you had to completely reinvent your business to find new ways to serve customers. I talked to a woman who has a dog grooming business. She created a safe environment to groom dogs during the recent lockdown. Instead of having several dog groomers working in an open room, she partitioned the room into four closed sections. Receiving dogs was staged at intervals of no less than 10 minutes apart. The dog groomer who wore a mask came to the car waiting at the front door. The dog groomer took the dog to the closed section, where it was groomed and returned to the owner at the specified time.
Maybe you are/were isolated from friends and loved ones and are seeking new ways to stay connected. With dozens of ways to stay connected, it sounds odd that isolation is an issue. However, the issue with quarantine is the change in freedom of choice. Thus, the loss of freedom of choice prompts people to choose a sense of isolation as a way to cope as a mechanism.
With the unforeseen and unprecedented challenges one encounters in life, it might all seem never-ending.
Some people are doing well. They’re adapting to a revised schedule and way of doing things… and thriving.
What is their secret?
Discover the secret – 5 Steps to Transform a Fixed Mindset into a Growth Mindset
- Are you thinking about what you “have to do” instead of what you “will achieve”?
The fixed negative mindset underlies your inability to change. It sees your traits as fixed and unalterable. You have heard people (perhaps yourself) say something like “I’m a pessimist, I can’t help it”. Well, guess what? You can! Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck says that by developing a growth mindset—i.e. the belief that your traits are changeable through deliberate practice—you set yourself up for success.
2: Learn to hear your fixed mindset “self-talk.”
When you decide to tackle a new challenge, what kind of “self-talk” are you utilizing? You might say, “Are you sure you can do it?” or “What if you fail?” or “What will you do if you fail?”
If you encounter an obstacle, you might hear, “If only you had talent,” or “I told you it was too risky.”
Every life and business coach knows about the inner self-talk saboteur. It’s the self-talk that undermines so much of what we do; the inner critic that judges you and your work.
The inner self-talk saboteur is the “fixed mindset”.
Once you know you have a fixed mindset, you can anticipate the self-talk saboteur in advance. Then, simply listen for it. If you hear your self-talk saboteur you can say, “Stop.”
3: Recognize that you have choices.
You can interpret the self-talk in two different ways: Challenges, setbacks, and criticism can be a sign that you have fixed talent and ability.
Or they can be a sign that you need to challenge yourself, step up your effort, change your strategies, and continue to develop.
The former is obviously the fixed mindset; the latter is oriented toward growth.
The key here is to shift out of the framework of judgment (fixed) and into the arena of growth.
4: Talk back to your negative inner critic with a growth mindset voice.
As you approach a challenge, the fixed negative mindset says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”
The growth mindset answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I know I can learn with time and effort.”
Fixed mindset: “What if you fail? You’ll be a failure.”
Growth mindset: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”
As you hit a setback:
Fixed negative mindset: “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”
Growth mindset: “That is so wrong. Basketball wasn’t easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn’t easy for Thomas Edison. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.”
5: Take the growth mindset action.
Once you hear the negative fixed mindset self-talk and respond to it with a growth mindset self-talk, you then determine how to take the necessary action that will lead to growth.
This might include taking on a new challenge, learning from setbacks, persisting without exception, adjusting your actions based on feedback, and so on.
No matter what challenges you are facing—relationship issues, a lack of money, unfulfilling work, health challenges—your success or failure lies in your beliefs and thinking.
Some people have a mindset that keeps them trapped by their self-perceived or indoctrinated and conditioned limitations.
Other people have a mindset that helps them deftly meet challenges and shake off setbacks or failures.
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the level of thinking that created them.” –Albert Einstein
By Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD
About the author: Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D. is a successful influencer in the public and private sectors. As a consultant, coach, and keynote speaker, she brings 30 plus years of global experience to leadership development, behavioral change, and human potential.