Have you ever been advised to work on your mindset?
As a coach, I’ve worked with “mindset” and clients certainly find it helpful to know that they can change it if they want to. They can develop a “leadership mindset”, or an “entrepreneurial mindset” and let go of the “employee mindset”.
I’ve seen clients go from overwhelmed by external expectations as a good employee to owning their time as their “own boss”. For example, Dr E went from overburdened with work responsibilities to working from home part of the time and moving to the country to set up her consultancy. The funny thing is she was offered a promotion she’d wanted for a while, in the process of letting go of expectations she no longer wanted to accept…
Growth versus liberation
Stanford University psychology professor, Carol Dweck, uses a helpful distinction between “Fixed mindset” and “Growth mindset”.
However, if you think “growth mindset” sounds a little like an oxymoron, that’s understandable. The word “mindset”, by definition, suggests something fixed – like a personality.
But what if there was nothing fixed about you? We know that our brains are neuroplastic until we die. What if your work was just to stay in the fluidity of the present moment? In my experience, that’s where you meet the endless possibilities and true freedom and fulfilment that your life has to offer. But most people are stuck in patterns. Their thoughts are 95% repetitive. And their lives stagnate as a result.
Fluidity is freedom
I’ve spent the past 3 years coaching a growing community of professionals and leaders who want to break out of the high achiever paradox and live with more freedom and fulfilment. I’ve met students starting out on their career journey and billionaires on to their next world-changing venture. Both just as giddy with excitement.
It’s become clear that it’s not the attainment of a specific mindset that’s of value. It’s the fluidity of mind that creates the magic. The ability to think outside the conditioned box. The courage to meet whatever life presents you with in the moment and create something new out of it, using your potential (not your fixed mental habits) to do so.
Let go of the need to get everything done perfectly and for people to behave the way you want them to. It’s a hopeless task.
Whether you want more spaciousness in your work, more ease in your relationships, more calm and quiet joy in your life or just to say goodbye to the constant low-grade anxiety and disorientation of toxic environments, all I know is this: what you want is closer than you think.
A single transformational conversation can be all it takes.
And the best thing? When you set yourself free of fixed patterns of thinking, working and living that cause you unhealthy stress, you give others permission to do the same. You change. They change. The world changes. Isn’t that a freedom-fighting social movement, if there ever was one?
Have a great week, Amina Liked it? Subscribe to Wise Wednesdays - weekly wisdom to live by + updates.
p.s. Join us at The Leaders Circle on the 24th of October at Harley Street. If you feel it’s time, come and transform your career and life for more freedom and true success with a small group of kindred spirits. If you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone find out more here (a simple application process) or email me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title: Possibility.