Do your clients struggle with a fixed mindset? As I have been pressing forward as a life coach, learning about a fixed vs. growth mindset, especially through the research of Carol Dwek, has made a big difference in my own personal approach. I believe her insights will help you professionally and personally.
What is a fixed mindset? It’s the belief that if we don’t have the smarts, gifts, or talents to do something, we give up trying. What is the opposite of a fixed mindset? It is a growth mindset that says persist in the face of setbacks or challenges, because effort and perseverance pay off. The brain grows when we persist, persevere, and use failures as growth opportunities.
How does the brain work for you to grow?
The brain actually acts like a muscle. The more activity you do, the more neuron connections you make, and the brain becomes more and more complex. What you do in life physically changes the way your brain looks. It is very plastic. According to scientist, John Medina in Brain Rules, you can wire and rewire your brain, based on the simple activity and focus you choose to do – musician, professional sport, college professor.
How do you move into this growth mindset?
Pursing your passions, like coaching, will help you move in this direction. How is coaching part of your God-given purpose? The growth mindset helps you believe the effort you put forth today will move you forward tomorrow. The growth mindset is compatible to the coaching framework as well. The growth mindset says you have all you need to move forward. That growth minds builds your emotional resiliency as well.
Conversely, a fixed mindset will hold you back. It says, “I don’t have what it takes to get to where I want to go. “It is much easier to give up with a fixed mindset.
Growth takes time, effort, and a lot of hard work. For example, Mozart was not an overnight sensation. He labored for more than ten years before he produced the work that we admire today. What are the ways that you and your clients grow best?
For example, I am a kinesthetic learner. For me to focus on what I am learning, I need to type notes, underline phrases in a book, or physically interact with the materials I am learning. I also need time to practice and give myself grace to learn from my mistakes.
To grow, what messages are you sending to yourself?
To move forward in a growth mindset, you must pay attention to what you are telling yourself daily. Listen to these messages. Are they growth-oriented or fixed? For example, instead of focusing on the mistake you made, reframe it. What can you learn from the incident? What challenge is in front of you? Now what happens when you think of the incident? How do you feel when you reframe it in a growth mindset?
Think of reframing each time you notice those fixed messages coming into your head. What happens to your body, your mind, your spirit? Look for ways to move yourself and your clients forward, regardless of the circumstances.
Growth is where and how we look for it.