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“Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE. The word itself says I’M POSSIBLE!”

- Audrey Hepburn

It’s all About Mindset


Mindset: the established set of attitudes held by someone.


Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about something.


Is everything a forgone conclusion or is anything possible?


An interesting question that highlights the huge importance that our mindset has on our motivation and performance. We often tell ourselves we cannot achieve a specific outcome. We may tell ourselves we do not have the right skills or temperament. We may have tried in the past and fallen short and so assume the same will happen again. Fear of failure may result in our abandoning the whole venture.


In fact, our achievements are more influenced by our mindset than our innate abilities and when we recognise this and cultivate a Growth Mindset we will be immensely more successful.

Professor Carol Dweck has been at the forefront of research into the power of mindset. She defines a growth and fixed mindset as follows:


Growth mindset – “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”


Fixed mindset – “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”


Professor Dweck’s work has shown that a growth mindset can encourage us to embrace challenges, carry on despite setbacks, view effort as essential, learn from feedback and criticism rather than be discouraged and be inspired rather than threatened by the success of others. Clearly such attitudes will result in higher attainment. A fixed mindset can give rise to anxiety where a growth mindset can reduce the symptoms of both anxiety and depression


How then do we cultivate a growth mindset?


Try this:


Know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, your values and beliefs. Recognise that there are aspects of the Self that can influence our responses. When we are aware of them we can decide whether to let them run or not making our responses conscious - see our book How to Rise for more on this.


Set clear intentions that align with your values


Reframe core beliefs to ‘I can’ – when we belief we can achieve something we are more motivated to do what needs to be done to accomplish it.


Change your language; align it with your belief of I can so “I can’t” becomes “how can I?” A question automatically invites you to start formulating answers


Move away from judgement. When we judge ourselves and others we are adding emotional weight to an outcome. The outcome of a situation is simply a fact, information that we can use to build our skill set.


Recognise criticism as a gift. All feedback is useful and allows us to view things from another’s perspective which broadens our world view.


Reframe challenge to opportunity – when we view challenges as opportunities we are more able to generate responses to them which aids us in finding solutions. Viewing a challenge as a negative stimulates negative body responses including the release of stress hormones which cloud our thinking and hinder out recovery.


Be inspired by others, celebrate their successes and learn from their mistakes


Reward effort not results


Read How to Rise – A Complete Resilience Manual for details on making all your responses conscious and you will RISE.


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