So after reading my post about growth mindset, you might be thinking about how to ensure that you are living with a growth mindset and not a fixed one.
I have a few suggestions.
Try New Things
I have found that being clear with my communication helps keep me away from a fixed mindset. Clear communication took a lot of practice and felt super weird in the beginning, but once I got started with it, and my family and friends got used to it, it was a game changer. I really regret that it came into my life so late, it would have been an amazing tool while the kids were growing up.
I am experiencing so much more curiosity as I go along this path. I want to clearly understand the other person (or people) that I am communicating with, so that means I am listening to them with the intent to understand and not to just respond. (Ok I am human and sometimes, I start formulating my response part way through their message). This curiosity really helps me remain in growth mindset, helps to keep my ideas open and less fixed on the one idea for how this situation will go.
I have a system that I use occasionally to ‘catch my thoughts’ especially when they are going down a negative or fixed path. I look at the thought and decide if it is valid or not. My thoughts sometimes run the same neuron pathways that I created as a child when I was often left thinking and feeling that I was not good enough, or capable enough or smart enough and that those things were something that people are born with. And that I was not born with good abilities. My brother had a ‘talent’ for drawing, But my sister and I did not inherit those particular genes.
I have come to learn that, while he may have had a ‘talent’ for art, he also often hid away from the chaos in our home and drew, or read, or he left the house to do a sport. So he had a ton of practice with those things. My response to the chaos was to either dissociate or read a book, so I became a super good reader. And super good at shutting down my mind to the world around me.
Learned to Cope as Best We Could
I started looking at the ‘practice’ my brother had - and thought that maybe practicing something would help me have a growth mindset. So this system of thought catching has been a game changer for me. When I ‘catch’ something in my mind that sounded/felt like I wasn’t born with that, or I can’t do that, I reframe it and say I can’t do that YET.
Another useful way to help switch to a growth mindset is to consciously learn something new. It can be a language or type of cooking, you could go to dance lessons or learn to knit. Anything really. Remember, that when you are learning something new, you don’t know what you don’t know, so find someone who does know and ASK! One of the biggest tricks is to take criticism as a way of learning from, rather than an ‘I am not good enough’. I personally am working on a new language currently - and this one is one of the most challenging that I have ever tried. I am using the word YET an awful lot. As in I am not sure of the correct case for that form YET.
I think that there are many reasons to try to maintain a growth mindset, and I want to keep learning in my life. I hope that you decide it is worth it to join me on this pathway, and begin being conscious of when you are using growth mindset, and when you are stuck in a fixed one.
I am always open to hearing from you - and a DM on Instagram @wyllow.franklin or Facebook @WyllowFranklin would be lovely.
This is part two of series #001. So much more to come ~ Watch this space.