Ep. 259 Do you have a growth mindset?

do-you-have-a-growth-mindset

In this week’s episode, Anna looks at embracing change and adapting as you go.


“The only constant is change” as the saying goes, and perhaps this has never been more true than it is now. The world is changing at an ever faster pace and adaptability is a more important trait than ever.

In this week’s episode, we look at…

  • The stagnation and missed opportunities that can come from resisting change
  • The advantages of flexibility and evolution in solving problems and staying relevant
  • How you can develop your adaptability muscle

Tune in for more on embracing change and adapting as you go.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

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Growth Mindset

Hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast as we look at the importance of a growth mindset today, and this is an art series of thinking like an entrepreneur, whether you’re an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or anything in between. So this idea of a growth mindset comes from Carol Dweck, her TED talk, and her book, aptly named mindset. And my own personal experience of this fixed mindset is very much at school, when you’re told, You’re good at this, you’re not good at that, you know, and basically, there’s no point in trying, because you’re just not natural at this sport, or you’re not good at languages, you’re not good at maths. And lots of studies, you know, found that if you put a problem in front of someone’s child, let’s say, and I assume the same as a grown up with an adult, you know, if you have a fixed mindset, I put this math problem in front of you, you’ll go, oh, I can’t do it. I can’t do math. There’s no point trying.

If you have a growth mindset, you say, Oh, this is quite hard. I haven’t learned this before. But maybe I can apply what I learned in a different area to this, how can I learn?

Maybe for next time, I’m going to try and study more, or read this or ask for help, and so on, right? So the growth mindset is really embracing challenges and opportunity to grow. I don’t know yet. But I will find out. Finding a way to overcome the obstacle, taking feedback, not like dying, a sad death, because we take it so personally, but also not ignoring it. But really seeing the wisdom finding the nugget of truth in that feedback and using it to learn and grow. And also seeing other people’s examples of success as an almost like role models, or certainly inspiration, rather than a threat. It’s so easy to look at people on social media to see people and go, Oh, I can’t believe how can they have so much success, I’m better than they are at least as good. It’s so unfair, right? This resentment, and that’s not particularly positive or fair, you have no idea what they’ve done to get to where they are, right? You don’t know from what you’re seeing. And also, instead, isn’t it so much more powerful and positive to go, wow, look at what they’ve achieved, I can do that too. And double down on getting there yourself as well. So the problem with this fixed mindset that I think we get from school is, as ever, that we need that kind of stagnation, there’s a limit, right? For what we can achieve. Because I’m not good at this. There’s no point in trying, oh, I’m too old now. Anyway, um, you know, so I can’t learn any new skills. We forget about all that neuroplasticity, and everything we forget about all those examples of people who have had huge success and learned and pivoted when they’re older, and just think it’s too late, I can’t do it. I’m not good enough. That’s just not my thing. I think also the fixed mindset can foster a fear of failure, foster a fear of failure, so that quickly 10 times. And it holds you back from taking those calculated risks that we’ve been talking about the last few weeks. And embracing failure is a really important learning opportunity in entrepreneurship. And I again, I use entrepreneurship quite loosely, because, of course, we’re not going to succeed the first time, of course, we have to make mistakes, as we learn as we try things as we look for the right way to do things, right. So and we need to get better. We need more experience, we need help the market needs to evolve, whatever it is. So that fear of failure actually makes things even worse.

We don’t even try, we stay in that comfort and comfort or sort of apathy zone and don’t try to stretch ourselves and grow. And this, just this, this is all coming together, right? We talked about adaptability a couple of weeks ago, the fixed mindset obviously gets in the way of that, because we’re not going to pivot our strategies, we’re not going to respond to change in the market dynamics. We can’t because this is what I’m good at. This is what I’ve always done. I see this again, again, and people who want to change roles change industry or start a business they’re like, but this is my job title. This is what I do. It’s an it’s no criticism is just you know, natural that something will be done for so long. We sort of compensate shrinks around that and and we think that’s all we can do. As we you know, when we’re on parental leave and come back to work, and oh, my goodness, we’ve been home and can I still do my job? And so of course we can. It’s just different what we’ve been doing. So it just takes over that fear, right? And if we’ve, if we hold on to that fixed mindset, and that’s really going to keep us back.

On the other hand, the growth mindset is when we really feel empowered to embrace challenges, as I said before as opportunities for growth.

We can tackle those complex problems, we see it as kind of a almost a fun thing to do, right? Oh, and let’s get to grips. This is a really tough challenge. Let’s see how we can solve this right? I’m very sort of, you know, solutions focused. Let’s dig into this intricate problem and find a way positive can do attitude. I don’t know, I always have to say that an American accent. So in the very bad one at that. And lifelong learning. I say this all the time, but it’s such an important value for me. It doesn’t have to be and I remind you all as I have to remind myself for more learning, we don’t have to go back and do PhD or an MBA, or even, you know a degree, of course, whatever we can do. But it’s not about the formal qualification. You know, it’s reading as listening as learning and say what I’m so actively seeking out new knowledge, kind of cross fertilizing from other businesses, other industries, or the fields to enhance your own personal development and your business as well. And then, of course, the growth mindset is so important for the other important traits like resilience and grit and perseverance, we have to persist through those inevitable setbacks and obstacles, we have to use our growth mindset to overcome those challenges, because otherwise, we’ll give up at the first hurdle. And that’s where we see people who, you know, who don’t Yeah, who just give up too soon, who don’t give it a chance. And unfortunately, I think the world is kind of missing out on their potential there as they are themselves. So okay, what can you do in practice? Well, I would encourage you to, as I do myself to seek feedback and critique, this is something we’re really missing actually are solopreneurs. And we don’t really get feedback, because we don’t have the boss, the manager, the mentors and peers necessarily automatically, at least as we would in an organization. So if you’re in quite an isolated role, or if you’re working for yourself, I’d really encourage you to seek that out whether you join a mastermind, you create a mastermind of peers, where you’re not paying anything you’re all taking in terms, and you look for mentors in your organization, externally, previous managers you’ve worked with, you look for people in your industry.

Now, those of us who do keep coaching and mentoring as a paid thing, you know, you can’t ask necessarily for things like that for free. But certainly it’s important to look out, you know, seek out those people who will give you honest feedback, and critique because we just don’t get that automatically. Unfortunately, when we’re working for ourselves, as much as I can criticize myself a lot all the time. You know, we actually want real external perspective on things. And if you have the growth mindset, that will really help you to see that feedback as an opportunity for growth, to get the vibe insights for improvement, rather than take it personally saying, Oh, how dare they say these things. You know, certainly, if you’re asking for feedback, you need to graciously accept it when it comes. Of course, you can choose to ignore it, that’s also your prerogative. When it comes to setting goals and stretching yourself, you know, it’s really important, if you look into the sort of the goal setting research to set goals. They’re ambitious, and aspirational, and exciting, but achievable. And it’s hard to know what achievable is right. But if I’m not earning any money, where business and I go, I’m gonna earn 10 million, maybe that’s achievable the long term, but it probably isn’t from where I am with zero clients to imagine even a million, even 100k At that point, right is quite tough.

So try to focus on getting your first 1k, your first client, your first five clients, your first 5k, your first five, 5k, whatever that immediate milestone looks like for you.

You know, if you want to publish a book, maybe don’t start with a book, but rather start with publishing a blog article or writing a little bit every day, break it down, we’re not motivated. This is what the research says we’re not motivated if the goal is so ridiculously stratospheric, that we just don’t think we’ll ever get it. Also, nobody can hold you accountable, right? Because if I go, I’m gonna do this amazing thing that no one’s ever done before. And it’s huge. And, you know, you asked me, how’s it going, I can’t even tell you because it’s so huge. There’s no way of holding you to account for that goal. On the other hand, if I’m to like, Oh, I’m just gonna Yeah, I’m gonna get one new client maybe next year, or I don’t really need money because all and then then that’s going to be not very motivating either, right? So you really just set milestones that challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, stretch you, if you’ve got one client, try for three, if you’ve got three, try for five, etc. Right? So look for that next level, in whatever role organizational leadership you have now, how can you set goals for yourself and for your team that are ambitious, stretching, but still achievable. And then we need to find some kind of learning routine, you know, when we’re talking about kind of working from home routines and schedules and things, especially if you’re either completely autonomous and have have complete full freedom over your schedule as a as a business owner, or if you’re an organization as a leader in theory, you know, we do still have control, we have choice over saying no, and so on, you might have a CEO coming in and say you’ve got to get your bum in here right now and come to this meeting. But generally, as grown ups, we are allowed to say no to meetings, oh, we don’t have to check our email on Friday night, etc. Right? So try to really create a routine where you are learning as a matter of you know, that’s part of your development. I have shared before my my five L’s model, which I feel are the five different areas of life that are important to address to set goals in to kind of keep those spinning plates spinning ongoing, although they will require more or less focus over time in your life. So the five pillars are live, love, learn lead love, live is your health and well being love is relationships and belonging. Learn is what we’re talking about here. So that development and growth lead is your career and impact and laugh is your fun and hobbies and spontaneity in all those crazy things you can do.

So, certainly, if you have your own business, and certainly if you’re a leader in an organization, your job description has to include learning and staying in touch with, again, market trends is not really where I’m too fussed about, of course, we can learn that we can, you know, read those updates and so on, but rather, where is the future of work going?

What are other companies doing with em hybrid and so on? And how is my you know, how is coaching evolving technology in this space? And what do people need, ask for feedback from your own clients? Find those mentors and peers around you and so on. But really find a way okay. In fact, every year when you set your goals for the year, you can decide okay, what is your goal in that learn category? Right? So is it this year, I had an or psych organization, how cool Am I shortening it Organizational Psychology course that I did online. During COVID, I did a positive psychology course. Otherwise, it can be books, it can be being in a coaching program, mentoring program. You know, whatever it is that you want to focus on, sometimes it could be sales skills, sometimes it could be showing up on video, sometimes it could be therapy, but there are different areas for you to learn and grow as a human, as a professional as an expert. As a business owner, as a leader, maybe it’s a mental health first aid, of course, you want to do a course on psychological safety for your team, you know, always be looking for those both formal and informal learning opportunities, having a mentor, getting the feedback, again, you know, the 360 feedback that that we always get in corporate, I hope you get to maybe you don’t get it yet in your startup, or in your business, working for yourself. So look for ways that you can still get that kind of feedback, literally and metaphorically, as it were. So you can continue to see your blind spots to have that self awareness, which we talked about last month, and to understand where your opportunities for growth are. So that’s all around growth mindset. We’ve only got a couple more episodes in this series of thinking like an entrepreneur, we’ve got ownership and accountability next week, and then resilience as well to finish things off. So hope you’ve been enjoying the series. Maybe you’ve been dipping in and out, but we’ll be talking about ownership and individual accountability next week. That’s an important one for me as well. See you then. Bye for now.

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