Mindset: it’s the set point of our attitude, it’s the set point of our thinking, it’s the set point for the frame of mind that we incorporate in almost everything that we do. We can be open, receptive, observant, aware, mindful, calm, curious, excited to learn, joyful, poised, positive – or not. Our mindset can also be stubborn, critical, negative, hopeless, punitive, revengeful or even obstructive.
The only guaranteed life experience that we can count on is change. We grow older, our bodies develop, we acquire skills, have life experiences – and change is always a part of that. For developing athletes we level up in age group or move from one level of competition to another. High school athletes dream of playing in college. Collegiate athletes endeavor to become professional. Those changes are expected, even anticipated.
But sometimes we incur bumps in the road, maybe even giant pot holes. Change is oftentimes uncomfortable. There is uncertainty in it and many times there is fear. The changes we experience do require us to make adjustments. And our mindset is in large part responsible for “how” we make these adjustments. The value of a Growth Mindset CAN NOT not be overemphasized.
Being able to breathe into the moment, being able to engage in the NOW, applying 2-3 centering breaths, relaxing the parts of the body that tend to become most tense. Being flexible, being resilient. These are all important components to the growth mindset. Carol Dweck, the Stanford researcher has spent a career studying the growth mindset. And those that are able to embrace it benefit their entire life through.
When one is ready, willing and able to make mistakes, to try on new things to experiment with certain behaviors, with certain different methods for accomplishing the same task and then take the time to inventory how those adjustments worked, or didn’t. The evidence is clear and there is a tremendous amount of scientific research that illustrates how people who engaged in a growth mindset become more capable, more flexible, and more resilient. They fully embrace the grind and work through things diligently. They also tend to be more relaxed and they also tend to become peak performers. A Growth mindset – don’t leave home without it.
Dr. Stephen Walker is an award-winning sport & performance consultant whose clients have reached the Podium in world championships, the Olympics and, performed in the Kennedy Center Philharmonic, in their chosen endeavors.
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