I’m a long-time advocate of growth mindset – the belief and attitude that any skill can be mastered with the correct mindset, method and effort. In my own life, moving towards a growth mindset in regards to anxiety and public speaking phobia was really the key to unlocking career progress, job fulfilment and in many ways, life fulfilment.
In fact, I used to head up a secondary school subject based around building life skills and learning to learn, something which makes what I’m about to say all the more embarrassing…
Because after much soul-searching over the past few months, I’ve realised that I’m nowhere near as growth orientated as I had thought. At least, not outside of my professional life.
In various areas of my personal life, I’m very much stuck within a fixed idea of who I am and who I’m not, what I can and cannot do.
I’m not someone who can fix a flat tyre! I don’t have the attention span or confidence to speak a foreign language! I’m not interested in playing chess – I’d rather watch telly! I can’t cook, sing, play guitar or tennis – so why would I bother learning?!
I thought these were just aspects of my personality – my character. That’s what I told myself when I was refusing to try, making excuses to do the same things rather than try new things, when I was sulking at being forced to play chess then losing anyway.
What I see now though is that I’ve been fighting to keep my limitations, because I was uncomfortable, afraid or simply stuck within a frame of ‘how things are’ rather than considering ‘how things might be.’
That isn’t who I want to be. I don’t want to close myself off to opportunities and experiences, before I’ve given myself a real chance to see whether they are for me or not.
So more and more, I’ve been pushing myself to learn new things, whether this means practising guitar instead of watching telly, reading a book rather than my Facebook newsfeed or simply trying to work things out for myself before I go to someone else for help, or google it.
And you know what? I’m already feeling more capable, curious, grateful and interested in the world around me.
What could you begin learning today that might result in a similar shift in perspective? Let me know in the comments below!