Whether you are in the starting blocks of your goals, or whether you are basking in the rewards of your efforts, for any progress to happen in your future, change must become your constant companion.
Change is universally at the core of all development and progress. Now, more than ever before, change is the only constant and this is true for all of us in all aspects of our lives in both the workplace and in our personal lives.
Therefore, the ability to adapt to new circumstances and challenges and the ability to thrive in unceasing change is a hugely desirable, if not vital skill that we should all cultivate to the best of our abilities.
One of the keys to facilitating change for oneself is to hold a growth mindset.
What, you may ask, is a growth mindset? A growth mindset, as defined by Prof. Carol Dweck, refers to a resourceful belief that intelligence and talent can be developed over time, and that one is open to the discomfort of stretching past ones perceived limitations. It essentially describes a willingness to try and apply oneself to new perspectives and approaches in order to overcome old challenges and achieve new results.
By contrast, a fixed mindset describes the assumption that talent and intelligence is fixed and finite; and this produces resistance and avoidance.
Whether a person has a fixed mindset or not shows up in every aspect of their lives and more especially in their reaction to failure. Fixed mindset individuals dread failure because it is a negative statement about their abilities and ultimately impacts their self-worth and limits their self-belief and identity. For them, the risk of failure out-weighs the prospect of success.
Growth mindset individuals conversely don’t mind failure as much because they realise and act on the realisation that their performance can always be improved and that learning and failing do hand in hand.
Most people hold a combination of growth and fixed mindset beliefs and are generally unaware of where they are on this mindset continuum in the various aspects of their lives. Also, more often than not, most people are unaware of how their mindsets serve or sabotage them. The quick assessment below is a powerful tool with which to identify your unhelpful beliefs about you potential and pave the way for you to adopt new beliefs that support change and generate progress.
Mindset Assessment and Worksheet
Answer the questions as rapidly as possible with your first and most intuitive response. Resist the temptation to respond with what you believe the most socially acceptable response should be. This is after all about creating new and useful awareness for You.
Tick the statement from each pair that feels most correct to you at this time.
|☐||Intelligence and talent are static and can’t be changed||☐||Intelligence and talent can be developed|
|☐||Constructive feedback means that I have done a bad job||☐||Constructive feedback is a chance to learn|
|☐||Stretching beyond my comfort zone is risky||☐||Stretching beyond my comfort zone is a way to improve my abilities|
|☐||I am motivated by approval||☐||I am motivated by Mastery|
|☐||I like to do things I am good at||☐||I like to do things that allow me to learn|
|☐||The success of others feel like a threat||☐||I can learn from the success of others|
If you’ve ticked predominantly on left column, you may have a fixed mindset and will undoubtedly benefit from the activity below. If you’ve ticked mostly on the right column, give the activity below anyway so that you can enhance your growth mindset.
- From the assessment above, choose the belief that you feel is least helpful in your work and life
- List any other beliefs that may be limiting your growth and shutting down opportunities
- Question your beliefs
- Choose your new belief
Brainstorm 3-5 new beliefs you might like to have instead
- Identify 1 new belief that you would like to work on right now
Try the belief on for size. How would you be at work with this new belief?
How would you be in social situations?
How would this belief make you feel?
How would you handle the toughest situation you can imagine if you had this belief?
How is your ability to handle this situation different now that you apply this new belief?
What is now possible in your life?
- Make your new belief stick
List 3 ways you can remind yourself of this new belief
Write down how and when you will practice it this coming week
We hope this exercise sheds some light on where you may becoming stuck and that it will help you expand what is possible for you. Let us know how you have fared. If you would like some more support, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.