Like it or not, we all have our own mindsets. You may not be aware of yours, or how it impacts your day-to-day interactions and behaviour, but it’s there. It’s there in the shape of the way you think, formed by a combination of attitudes, values and beliefs.
There are three main influences on your mindset:
Environment. Politics, society, the media. All of the external inputs you receive from the world around you.
Relationships with others. All of your social interactions, particularly with those you’re closest to.
Your inner voice. ‘Self-talk’ or the conversations you have with yourself in your head.
Throughout your life, these influences are likely to change; the world won’t remain the same and your friendships and relationship with yourself evolve and develop over time as well. Just as your values and purpose (more on this in a future post) fluctuate with life events, so too should your outlook.
Growth vs fixed mindset
The flexibility to amend the way we think and therefore behave is known as having a growth mindset – being agile enough to adapt our beliefs according to circumstances. A typical growth approach to mindset sees the person responding positively to change and embracing new ideas.
At the other end of the scale is a fixed mindset – rigid, defensive thinking that is resistant to change and unwilling or unable to accept that things shift and move on. Showing yourself some self-compassion, particularly when your inner voice is ushering in unhelpful thoughts, can play a large part in opening up your way of thinking towards a more flexible approach.
This flexibility and the emotional resilience that accompanies a growth mindset are fundamental to the psychological agility we all need to thrive. Being able to refresh our attitude so that it remains updated alongside the changes in our world and our lives ensures our thinking is always relevant and responsive.
There is a fundamental optimism to an open mindset which allows you to remain alive to opportunities that present themselves. This in turn promotes more productive action from you, both at home and in your work.
Invest in gradual change
Working on your mindset is a long-term process, there’s no quick fix here. One of the most important features is an emotional investment in the process. As with most things, if you’re just going through the motions in an intellectual sense, any changes you do make are unlikely to stick. It’s an emotional connection with the change that drives sustainable growth and development.
Don’t be put off though – the benefits of this work are vast. Developing your approach to become more agile will enhance your psychological resilience to change and therefore your ability to deal with stress situations, wherever they show up in your life.
If you want to learn more about achieving a growth mindset and my approach to handling stress, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07837993241 and let’s get the conversation started.