Learn to be Optimistic
‘Keeping an open mind’ is more than just an expression. It’s a way of being and growing that’s super powerful – especially in the context of work and lifelong learning. At mwah., we absolutely believe that a more human way of working starts with a mindset. A Growth Mindset about how we turn up every day. By understanding our own mindset better we can absolutely ‘own’ how we turn up in really positive ways.
The original concept of a Growth Mindset came out of the research of Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She is the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
To sum up a Growth Mindset:
‘Individuals with a fixed mindset are people who believe their basic qualities – their intelligence, their talents, their abilities, are predetermined & finite. They have a certain amount, and that’s that.
Dweck’s research shows these individuals tend to achieve more than those with a fixed mindset. This is because they’re not always worried about how smart they are, how they’ll look, what a mistake will mean. They challenge themselves and grow.
A growth mindset experiences challenges as exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh no, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow. Do you find yourself afraid of challenges? You can get yourself into a growth mindset by thinking about all of the growth potentials in following this opportunity. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone. If you react to a setback defensively, wanting to hide it, wanting to make up excuses for it, you’re in a fixed mindset. Instead, ask, what can I learn from this experience that can help me to go forward next time?
In the fixed mindset, you’re so focused on the outcome. Will I look good? How can I live up to my reputation? Can people still see my brilliance? However, in a growth mindset, you’re focused on the process. The reflection, learning, and development process that you engage in, to bring about your successes. If you feel yourself sinking into a fixed mindset – thinking, worrying about a challenge, feeling measured by a setback or worrying about the outcome rather than the process. Shift yourself over into more growth mindset thinking.
Cultural change, progressive ideas and the ultimate success of any business lies in the ability of a team to display a progressive and growth mindset. This is harder to change in adults (rather than children) but can be the focus of a strong team leader, to foster this optimism in their team. It should be core to the tasks and planning created for every project and ultimately linked to the Company Mindset. See our mwah Way of Working for Leaders and Employees for a new approach to work.