The first set of videos have been recorded during the outbreak of the Corona Virus. What I have found hugely interesting at this exceedingly worrying time is how we have all been forced to practice Growth Mindset in so many ways, some big moments, some on a smaller scale but nonetheless still significant in finding ways to cope and deal with this crisis. Because we need to find a way of coping.
This is a great opportunity to explore and unpick different facets of the Mindset theory and come to form an understanding of what it means in practice to have a Growth Mindset. I am not aiming to cover a lot about being Fixed Mindset as I think there is so much GM going on that there will be enough positive stuff going on to illustrate being Growth and I haven’t been focused on fixedness – it is Growth that has caught my attention and the way the world has, perhaps unknowingly, shown strength and solidarity by practising strong growth mindset. It has been universally recognised that it is these behaviours that are the ones most likely to result in success and achieving the end goal – beating this invisible killer.
The Mindsets that we fall into can hugely affect our mental health and therefore being able to control our Mindset at a time like this can be hugely beneficial. My understanding of Mindset has been a massive support to me personally as I navigate myself and my thoughts through this unprecedented time of uncertainty. Mindset is about change. Being in a fixed mindset is about having the belief that the brain stays the same in relation to intelligence – what we are born with is what we have – things are fixed and cannot change. As recent neuroscience has shown us, they can and do change, much like the situation we now find ourselves in.
However, the way this global pandemic really connects with Mindset theory is in seeing it as a learning situation. It is a massive learning curve that each and every one of us is on. Even the experts are out of their comfort zones on this one. The pandemic and even understanding the virus itself is a global challenge that experts around the world are working on to help us solve this incredibly vulnerable situation in which we find ourselves. And there will be setbacks but if we give up, there’s no telling what would happen. Perseverance, finding strategies to get around the problems and setbacks that continue to present themselves, finding inspiration in the work and success of others, listening to feedback, reflecting on where mistakes have been made globally and learning from them, putting in effort to learn new things, collaborating, being creative, coping with vulnerability and risk, finding courage and determination, and exploring our curiosity – these are all facets of the Growth Mindset that I have noticed going on in abundance and whilst we are living through scary times, we are also living through a time of learning and awakening which I think we can all agree was needed. I have heard words such as determination, strategy, perseverance, courage, hard work, collective effort, inspiration, self-discipline, resolve and challenge used over and over and all this language is at the epicentre of the Growth Mindset.
But there are also microcosms of society at work on their own mindset behaviours. Pockets of Growth Mindset are at work the world over in different countries, in different counties, in different industries, in different companies, in different organisations, in different communities, and in different families. We are having to work together in a way that many of us have never had to before. In teaching children Mindset skills, we teach that we need to make ourselves vulnerable and put ourselves out of our comfort zone, we need to feel the bumps and the messiness that is learning because otherwise it isn’t learning and we achieve very little. Rather than be scared by the bumps we are experiencing right now, let’s recognise how focused and driven we are being as a species. We will survive this and we might just learn a thing or two along the way.