Changing the way you think, to fulfil your potential?

The following themes are taken from the book Mindset by Dr Carol S Dweck, if they are interesting to you I suggest you buy the book. When I first read Winning by Clive Woodward it was the first time I had heard the expression “energy sappers” in relation to some people who have a negative mindset., let’s see where Dr Dweck takes us?

“Where does Mindset come from? Most experts agree it’s not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there’s a constant give and take between the two. In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist, put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly. People may start with different temperaments and different attitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way.

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 that you value. How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life? Believing that your qualities are carved in stone – THE FIXED MINDSET– creates an urgency to prove oneself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain amount of personality, and a certain moral character – well, then you better prove that you will have a healthy dose of them. It wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.

THE GROWTH MINDSET is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. Although people may differ in every which way – in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow their application and experience.

When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world-the world of fixed traits-success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other-the world of changing qualities-it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.

Benjamin Barber, an eminent political theorist, once said” I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the success and the failures …I divide the world into learners and non-learners. Lurking behind the self-esteem of the fixed mindset is a simple question – If you’re somebody when your successful, what are you when you’re unsuccessful? Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from. Beyond how traumatic a setback can be in a fixed mindset, this gives you no recipe for overcoming it. If failure means that you lack competence or potential-that you are a failure-where do you go from there?

Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start to catch themselves when they are in the throes of a fixed mindset-passing up a chance for learning, feeling labelled by failure, or getting discouraged when something seems a lot of effort.

What is success? Those with the growth mindset

Found success in doing their best, in learning and improving

Found setbacks motivation. They’re informative. They’re a wakeup call

Changing Mindsets

Mindsets frame the running account that’s taking place in people’s heads. They guide the whole interpretation process. The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is focused on judging: “This means I am a loser” “This means that I’m a better person than they are” This means I am a bad husband” “This means my partner is selfish

People with a growth mindset are also constantly monitoring what’s going on, but their internal mindset is not about judging themselves and others in this way. Certainly they’re sensitive to positive and negative information, but they are attuned to its implications for learning and constructive action:” What can I learn from this?” how can I improve?” How can I help my partner to do better?

Step 1 The first step is to embrace your fixed mindset. Let’s face it, we all have some of it. We’re all a mixture of growth and fixed mindsets and we need to acknowledge that. But even though we have to accept that some fixed mindsets dwells within, we do not have to accept how often it shows up and how much havoc it can wreak when it does.

Step 2 The second step is to become aware or your fixed mindset triggers. When does your fixed mindset “persona” come home to roost? It could be a challenge/a struggle/a failure/somebody better than us

Step 3 Now give your fixed mindset persona a name! (I am not sure about this maybe I have a fixed mindset!)

Step 4 you’re in touch with your triggers and you’re aware of your fixed mindset persona and what it does to you. It has a name! What happens now? Educate it. Take it on a journey with you!!

This is where you might have to buy the book as I remain to be convinced. With saying this however, we have millions of filters to our brain so by just being more aware, is halfway to a solution. I was coaching somebody this week who was concerned about the lack of letters after their name, when he had just spent the previous hour talking about  all of his successful activities and generally they have a very positive mindset. On this one occasion however he still has an energy sapper, which I am sure we will tackle at our next session, when he has gone through the above steps. When do you have a fixed mindset? If you want to work on your mindset get in touch with me, or have a look at my website

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