Times are changing. Bob Dylan already knew when he sang:
If your time to you is worth savin'
And you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'
More than ever we’re confronted with all kinds of changes in both our personal and professional lives. Changes we can more or less predict, but also with changes we weren’t prepared to, e.g. Covid and the sudden international lockdown or the war in Ukraine and the sudden energy crisis.
If we don’t want to ‘sink like a stone’, every time we’re heading to another changing situation, we better find ways to cope with it.
My way to cope with disruptive times, is using my personal survival kit activating my ‘Change Mindset’, as this mindset is THE most accurate mindset when we’re being challenged to adapt to changing times.
Don’t mind the change, change your mind
A mindset stands for a belief system that guides the way we handle situations. It’s how we figure out what’s going on and how to react to it. Our mindsets help us to spot opportunities, but they can also trap us in self-defeating cycles.
According to Carol Dweck, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, mindsets are responsible for our self-awareness, self-esteem, creativity, ability to face challenges and our resilience to setbacks. Our mindset is the view we have of our qualities and characteristics, where they come from, and whether they can change.
In this framework there are two extreme ends on either side of the spectrum:
● A fixed mindset comes from the belief you have qualities which you can no longer change. You are who you are. Characteristics such as intelligence, personality and creativity are fixed traits which can’t be developed.
● A growth mindset comes from the belief your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort. Everybody can change and grow through practice and experience, knowing that human beings differ greatly in their talents, interests or temperaments.
Going from one extreme to the other is what I call the Change Mindset. It will take time and effort, but I believe we can all change our mindsets if we put our minds to it.
But how then?
There are three pillars to developing a Change Mindset:
* Being aware of your own mindset - Yes and Act.
* Suspend your judgement and learn to look at the world from different perspectives
* Turn to action
Let’s explore the first step in this blog: being aware of your own mindset.
How do you look at the world?
Are you committed to embracing a different mindset?
Do you want to change your own reality?
As already mentioned, mindsets are beliefs: beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities, like your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Are these simply fixed traits, carved in stone, end of story? Or can you cultivate them throughout life?
Suspending your judgement is the first ingredient for allowing change. Idea killers - expressions like ‘yes but…’, ‘we don’t have money’, ‘we already tried this’ - are the main reason why change is so hard to accomplish. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t say ‘no’ anymore, but if the goal is to generate new ideas and give change a chance, we have to suspend our judgements sometimes. Combine this with dreaming big and we have the building blocks for a successful change process. A good question to explore when you look at your big dream is: ‘What am I willing to fight for?’
Switching perspectives is a great way to broaden your reality. The world can be experienced in many varieties and shapes. If you can flip your perspective from a problem to an opportunity, suddenly many ‘realities’ are possible. There are several creative methods which will help you generate hundreds of ideas in a short amount of time.
Suspending your judgement and switching perspectives to generate new ideas are two crucial ingredients of the Change Mindset. That being said, their value diminishes quickly if you don’t add the third ingredient: action. Your plan will always be different from reality. Start with taking small steps to see if you’re going in the right direction. Sometimes things will go wrong, so adapt a ‘fail fast, forward and often attitude’ to increase your success rate.
Have I piqued your interest with this first blog and first part of my survival kit?
Well, thank you and watch out for parts 2 and 3, in which I will tell you all about creativity tools, the three minute rule and banano actions with more detailed methods!
Want to learn more, get inspired on a fixed base and/or receive some help in creating a growth mindset in your organisation or company?