Learn and Help Learn – Using A Growth Mindset and Mental Toughness.


Every single day, we are presented with challenges. But every single day, these challenges also present us with opportunities to grow.

We have a choice as to whether we see these challenges as threats, or whether we see them as ways to learn more about ourselves, how to build mental toughness and not just survive in the face of challenges, but to thrive.

When we see others who we care about, (family, children, friends, work colleagues) grappling with these challenges, we also have an opportunity to help them grow.

We need to recognise though that mindset change is just not about picking up a few pointers here and there, implementing them, hoping for the best and then reverting to our default position after we get a few successes. I see many individuals, teams, relationships work hard to instigate some changes, and as soon as those changes occur, they revert back to old behaviours, often being annoyed or angry as to why all their hard work went up in a poof of smoke.

What we have to really get through our scones is that a change to a growth mindset is not a temporary affair. We need to move from a judge-and-be-judgedframework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. And this new framework requires constant attention not just temporary attention.

So the question then becomes: how can we remember to look for the chances for us to grow every single day?

Consider the differences between a fixed and a growth mindset:

Fixed Mindset

Leads to desire to look smart and therefore a tendency to:

·        Avoid challenges

·        Get defensive or give up easily

·        See effort as fruitless or worse

·        Ignore useful negative feedback

·        Feel threatened by the success of others.

As a result individuals achieve less than their full potential.

Growth Mindset

Leads to desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:

·        Embrace challenges

·        Persist in the face of setbacks

·        See effort as the path to mastery

·        Learn from criticism

·        Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.

As a result individuals reach ever higher levels of achievement.

So as Carol Dweck (author of Mindset) poses, we need to ask ourselves:

What are the opportunities for my learning and growth today?

For myself? For the people around me?

As you think of these opportunities, start to form a plan and ask:

When, where and how will I embark on my plan?

When we embrace the C of Commitment within the Mental Toughness framework, we start to develop goal setting opportunities and stickability for these goals.

The inevitable obstacles and barriers that might pop up along the way are not a reason to abandon the plan, we then just aim to formulate a new plan and ask a new question:

When, where and how will I act on my new plan?

And finally, when you have achieved your goal, ask yourself:

What do I have to do to maintain and continue the growth?

Want to know more about adopting a growth mindset and developing mental toughness? Send me an email at michelle@bakjacconsulting.com to enquire about training and coaching.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Wellbeing Strategist, Leadership and Wellbeing Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness Practitioner.  Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.  You can find her at http://www.bakjacconsulting.com or michelle@bakjacconsulting.com

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