Seriously. Shove it right up there and don’t talk to me about “growth or fixed mindsets”. They’re both just crappy terms some other business coach came up with to sound clever. I hate talking about mindsets with a passion.
Because they’re so overused, they’ve become clichés. Talk to any other business coach, and it won’t be long before your mindset comes up in the conversation. And I guarantee they’ll tell you all your problems stem from you having a fixed one.
So that’s nice, isn’t it? Off you pop and do something about your fixed mindset and life will be sweet.
But it won’t. Because you don’t understand what a fixed or growth mindset is actually about. Your mindset is simply the way you think about something, and it’ll be either awesome or crap. Why don’t we just say that instead? Let’s talk about having an awesome attitude and a crapone and see if that makes it all a bit clearer. Try my Cosmo-style quiz to see where you land:
Have you got an awesome or crap attitude?
- When you have to do something new, what do you do?
- a. Attack it. This is a massive opportunity to learn and develop myself.
- b. Have a go then give up if I can’t do it immediately.
- c. Give to Steve, the work experience kid, to sort out.
- If you fail at something, what are you most likely to say?
- a. How can I learn from that?
- b. I don’t need to do that anyway.
- c. Bloody Steve let me down. Kids these days…
- How do you approach problems?
- a. Relentlessly. I’ll keep going until I solve it.
- b. Avoid them. Things tend to sort themselves out eventually.
- c. Blame Steve then threaten to sack him if he doesn’t solve it quickly.
- How do you take criticism?
- a. I welcome constructive feedback. It’s how I get better.
- b. Me? Wrong? Never.
- c. Yeah, Steve must have ballsed that up. He’s young and learning. Soz.
- What do you think about the success of others?
- a. I love seeing other people succeed and try to find inspiration from their wins.
- b. They probably cheated or lied to get where they did.
- c. Steve will never succeed at anything. He’s crap at most things, but at least he turns up every day.
How did you do?
Mostly a’s: Congratulations. You have an awesome attitude. You love to learn new skills and see challenges as opportunities to better yourself. You embrace feedback because you know that nobody has all the answers and learn from others’ success. Overall, you know that you control your life and can make incredible things happen.
Mostly b’s: Sorry. You have a crap attitude. Your daily life must be painful. You don’t take responsibility and, instead, blame other people when you fail. You see problems as more stuff you have to deal with, on top of everything else. You’re jealous of other people’s success. Overall, you’re a passenger in life and let it happen to you.
Mostly c’s: You’re the worst boss in the world. Get ready for a tribunal from Steve.
Ok, joking apart, there is a serious point. Our attitude determines our actions. The only problem we have as humans is that we think we shouldn’t have problems. But every problem has a gift inside. That gift is learning. So if we embraced our problems knowing that we’ll learn and grow, they wouldn’t be problems. They’d be opportunities. As soon as you see problems that way, you’re on the road to developing an awesome attitude.
Of course, things are never that black and white. It’s rare for someone to fall entirely into either category. People usually have a crap attitude to some things and a less-crap one to others. The key is to pinpoint the crap ones and work out how to make them awesome.
And that awesome attitude isn’t limited to the world of work. You can apply it to your personal relationships as well. People with a crap attitude look for friends and partners who’ll agree with everything they say rather than challenge them. They’ll stick with the activities they’re comfortable with and can do well rather than trying something new, failing, then trying again.
When you develop your awesome attitude, you’ll want to talk to people who challenge your thoughts and beliefs. You’ll also find you’re happy to be proven wrong about some things because you know you’re going to learn something fantastic and grow as a person.
Your outlook on life changes completely. And it’s the best feeling ever. Imagine knowing that you’re in control of how you react to everything that happens in your life. Frankly, it’s awesome!
Remember, life is done for you, not to you.
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