This week our focus is on “Mindset and Strengths.”
With Week 7 we are in the home stretch, this week and next week will put a bow on the ZTD course. It has been an intense period of study with each week building on the previous one. Over this time I have learned and gained some valuable insights and reminder about not only aligning my goal stack, but grit and learning about leverage as well.
To kick this week off there are two kinds of mindsets: growth and fixed. Both mindsets are founded on our beliefs which precipitate our behavoiurs. Our beliefs are a crucial precursor to our behaviour. Each time I have expanded my belief in myself or my abilities my overall self concept improves, which feeds my growth mindset. Each time I doubt myself or my abilities I’m feeding my fixed mindset.
“A mindset is a self-perception or self-theory that people hold about themselves.” – Dr. Carol Dweck. When I’m in a fixed mindset I tend to avoid challenges, give up easy, see my efforts as fruitless, I tend to ignore useful negative feedback, and feel threatened by the success of others. I have recognized that I plateau early and achieve less than what I’m capable of, which only confirms a deterministic view of the world.
When I’m in a growth mindset I embrace challenge, persist in the face of setbacks, and see effort as a path to mastery. I am open to learning from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration from the success of others and ended up reaching even higher levels of achievement. I have found this provided me a greater sense of free will and that my intelligence can be developed.
Over the last twenty five years I’ve found myself at times in both of these mindsets. The times when I realize that I am in a fixed mindset it takes both mental and emotional strength to readjust my thinking to a growth mindset.
Strengths are defined as: “a pre-existing capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking or feeling that is authentic and energizing to the user and enables optimal functioning, development and performance” – Linley 2008. Strengths are distinguishable from skills and talents. I know from personal experience that I have a hard time identifying my strengths. The reason for this as I’ve learned is that they feel so natural to us that they stay outside of our conscious awareness, a fact that I can definitely attest to.
One of my strengths that I have been able to identify is “resilience” but it is so natural to me I just take it as me and don’t see it as a strength. Consequently I forget that it’s even there which can take me awhile to remember that I can draw on it. Now that I’ve identified it as a strength I am able, when life becomes challenging to access it. So instead of becoming anxious or frustrated I can remind myself that even though the situation may be challenging I have a quality to my character and the resiliency to work it through through to a satisfactory resolution.
I’m thinking another one of my strengths is my curiosity and my insatiable desire to learn, hence taking this course, my website and this blog etc. This is a rabbit hole I’m still discovering and exploring. Even though there is only one more week left all the first seven weeks have done is wet my appetite to learn more. It has shown me that developing a strength based approach to my life can help me develop what are called meta-skills. Skills are temporary but meta-skills: creativity, resilience, self-awareness etc. are permanent and can be applied across every spectrum of our lives and in all situations. I will sign off with this quote from Tom Rath in that regard: “you cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a whole lot more of what you already are.” Strength and mindset two foundational building blocks to a life of continuous success!
You can find out more about me at https://www.lornedavidson.com .
See you again soon.
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