What is it that frames success or failure in any given activity? It’s your mindset. Your mindset governs the things you know, your mentality in pursuing things you don’t know yet, and how you perceive the world and your place within it.
Which is all well and good, but what does it mean? And if you find the right mindset, how do you put it into practice? People talk about the ‘right’ mindset for achieving positive results, but what do they really mean?
Come with me: Let’s look at the murky mindset muddle.
What is ‘mindset’ anyway?
The thing that we refer to as mindset is your complete set of assumptions, methods, and frameworks for approaching the world. It’s how you show up.
Have you heard the phrase growth mindset? Or, perhaps fixed mindset? These two terms were coined by the researcher Carol Dweck. You may not realise that they actually explain not how we approach the world in general, but how we approach failure, specifically. You can read more about that at Wikipedia if you want more detail.
Your mindset is challenged every day by loads of information: Facts, figures, opinions, gossip, rumours, and even our own internal voices and sense of intuition. In the digital age, we are lambasted with it from all sides.
It is particularly the case with this exact topic: ‘Mindset’. There are articles, books, blogs, TV shows, YouTubers, podcasts, and more. All of them have something to say about putting your best foot forward, and showing up in the ‘right way’… whatever ‘right’ may be.
Work out how you approach the world
Knowing that mindset is about how you show up in the world, let’s work out how you approach it. Once we know this, I can give you some suggestions about what you might do if you don’t think that yours is going to help you hit your goals.
1: Figure out whether you’re growing… or not
Do you choose to grow, or are you afraid of growth?
There always seems to be a good reason for being afraid of growth. On the one hand, it’s easy: You can simply stay the course and remain just as you are. Because growth is hard. It is challenging, at times frightening, and occasionally even painful.
You might not want to examine your faults and your flaws. You might not be interested in being open to the criticisms of others. You might even be afraid of personal growth if, in the past, it’s caused you to find new friends or partners.
Criticism is the main reason why many of us resist change. Even if a critique is constructive, our first impulse is often to go on the defensive. However, to do this is to make a conscious choice to remain just as you are. Not better, not worse. Just the same.
You have two options here. You can choose to be fixed- or growth-minded. The former means that you will interpret criticism as a sign that your talents are fixed, and lacking. It rubs on your sense of being a failure. The latter means that you will acknowledge that criticism is merely a sign that you need to expand the abilities that you have.
If you are chasing down big goals – a promotion, a pay rise, starting or growing a business – you simply have to choose to grow. If you don’t, then you will significantly limit your ability to be resilient when you face difficulties, challenges, or (sometimes) the cold hard truth.
How to change your growth approach. An example: Feedback
If you are not in a growth mindset right now, really listening to feedback will be your biggest challenge. But getting feedback is important in so many ways. It helps you understand whether you’re on the track; whether you’re providing value; whether you are helpful, nice, friendly… or not.
You can stat your journey by doing a very simple thing: Accepting feedback. Accepting feedback in person means being quiet, listening while being fully attentive, and breathing deeply if it affects you. Accepting feedback in writing means taking the time to really pay attention. Then, ask yourself what you could do differently next time?
One little piece of feedback at a time, this will help you to become someone who sees feedback as an opportunity to develop, rather than run.
2: Understand whether what you’re doing matters to do you
As Paul Millerd points out in this piece at Medium.com, we are living in a time when ‘work’ plays a different role in our lives. Money is no longer a key motivator for most modern workers, and in any case may not make you happy. Instead, he suggests that you ask yourself:
- Does your work bring you alive?
- Are you creating value for other people?
- Are you doing things that matter to you?
This is the beginning of what Millerd calls the Mindset Assessment. The assessment helps us determine our overall perspectives, motivations, and general compass.
How to add depth and joy to your work
If you frame the world in terms of financial reward, seniority, or how often your boss chooses you to lead a project, you are missing opportunities to feel great about the other parts of your life.
Instead of a short-sighted, singular perspective, start embracing your work for the ways in which it energizes you, creates visible value for others, and includes those things that matter most to you.
One way to do this is to consider that one task that you really love to do, and how and why you’ve developed this joy. What is it about the way you talk about it to yourself? What is it about your focus? How do you relate to it? Then think about what other things you could be doing that also give you this joy, for the same reason.
Step 3: Work out whether you’re in a rush… and slow down
Are you in a big rush to achieve your goals, follow your pathway, or change your life? It might pay to slow down, and take smaller steps. As in all things, change takes time. And changing your mindset, which very well may have been entrenched in the core of your very being for years, if not decades, isn’t going to happen with a snap of your fingers and a click of your heels.
As our clients at Happy Co relate, real change in workplaces takes time. We spoke to Isaac Mann at the software solutions company. They provide solutions for property management and real estate. As Isaac explained to us, can be a stressful business, involving literally thousands of rental units spread out over numerous clients, while tailoring solutions for each of them.
Isaac was looking for a means of improving his team’s resilience (which we’ve also covered before), and sought out The ORANGES Toolkit. This program is based on positive psychology, neuroscience, and emotional intelligence, using research conducted at leading academic institutions. It has been developed into a ‘toolkit,’ with a measurable component that businesses like yours can use to turn their corporate cultures around. It’s also a valuable tool for adapting and changing mindsets.
But as Isaac says, you need to give those changes time to take hold organically. Change can never be rushed.
‘Learning those habits to make that change, it’s not a fast process. Incorporating these things is not for me just, roll it out and off you go guys,’ he said. ‘It’s a learning process. You can’t just build a team overnight.’
How you can slow down and embed change slowly
One fantastic way of reorienting to a slow-growth way of thinking is to know that you have time, as the first thing you do.
As Sophie Scott](https://www.sophiescott.com.au/), national medical reporter for the ABC says in this article on changing your mindset as a means for changing your life, ‘…telling yourself you have time in your life, and the ability to achieve whatever you want, really is the first step to making it happen.‘
So, know that you have time. You can achieve everything that you want to achieve.
Training x Design uses The ORANGES Toolkit to help teams like yours to change their mindsets, and grow!
To learn more about how ORANGES can help you and your business, read our previous case study. Then give our experts a call to find out how we can help you. Contact us today by email, or call 1300 662 907.