Adopting A Growth Mindset

On Saturday, I spent most of the time at a place called Muyenga in Kakamega County, sending off one of my closest relatives Selina! (Shine on your way Mama) And in the midst of all the eulogies, I picked up several learnings. Based on the number of lives she has touched, I picked my better five and  we went into conversations on how good she was at advising others to look for growth. To many, she had a knack for continuous development and self realization. Her core tenets were hardwork and continuous growth.  We canvassed with the members of the security council where she works and I picked up a number of learnings that I feel I should let you know! So today allow me to come into your spaces to talk about having the right mindset and specifically a growth mindset.

Having a mindset is one thing but having the right mindset is the other, without the latter one then we all live in a world full of limitations which could be as a result of our own creations than the environment we live in or vise varsa. Now there are two mindsets,the fixed one and the growth one!. A growth mindset means that you believe your intelligence and talents can be developed over time while a fixed mindset means that you believe intelligence is fixed and cannot be changed at all.

I see these a lot amongst my direct and dotted line reports, there are those that believe they are good at something and for processes that have worked before they wouldn’t want to change anything as this will complicate things. And we have the stars employees, who are not contented and would look for possible process improvements or constantly look for new challenges to better themselves 

Often in the office, when reviewing performance or process mapping these two sets would respond very differently. Fixated minds would be, “This works, I am good, I have finished the report, I find nothing with the process, it works for us” while with the same words a growth mind would say “ This works for now, I could be better, I find nothing with the process at current, its works now, what if”.  Before this conversions, I could not see anything different with the two sets but the more I discuss on this topic with them ,I then tend to realize that the second set of growth mindset related staff are saying that to them its does not end there, it’s never complete, the journey ought to continue at some point. This as a lead gives me room to explore, be limitless on the options I can offer them since they are open to discover more, do more, learn more etc. Now that’s enhance growth, both at an individual level (people) and processes.

How can we have a growth mindset or rather change from a fixed mind?

First, most of us live in a fixed mindset  and it limits us from fulfilling our purpose in life. To get into a growth mindset means that as individuals we need to learn to become uncomfortable and be able to be comfortable to be uncomfortable. This will  push one to a new zone, with new challenges and then one has to find ways to solve the same challenges. In doing this, we are able to improve ourselves on new skills and thus, growth.

Secondly, you can have a growth mindset in an environment of scarcity and the limitation of your mindset is still the environment that you are in because its scarce environment. Growth journey is  never complete but has to be on an abundant environment. Find new roles, dare to work on  projects. Remember the harder the execution the advanced the skills one might need and this is growth. The environment  you are in can change you if you fail to change it. For instance, you cant hang out with school drop out and expect to speak great English, you sometimes got to move even if it feels uncomfortable!

My advice is to have a mindset of growth by dedicating your time with people who feel that there are better ways to do things than how they have been done previously. What fast tracks this is the association with people who already believe that you can offer more than what you are currently giving them and that you are much more. Force yourself into the environment of abundance and not scarcity and surround yourselves with conversations and people who understand what is potentially possible , not only what has been achieved in the past.

© JMS 2023

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