We chatted on a previous page on this website about our commitment course and training on how to have a business mindset and today we are going to talk in
more detail about one specific aspect of a business mindset, which is a growth mindset.
Growth mindset is something that can be learned. It is not something that you are born with. Some people due to their upbringing have had a growth mindset taught since childbirth. Other people must adapt to learn this as they age. Regardless of this, what is important is that it CAN be learned.
Growth mindset training is largely neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity teaches that we can grow new neural networks. As we learn things, we literally change our nervous system. This is not just in relationship to skills we learn, but also in relationship to thoughts we think.
Why is Neuroplasticity relevant to Growth Mindset Training for Business?
Whatever thinking patterns you have that got you here are NOT the same thinking patterns that are going to get you to your next stage of business. Creating more of a growth mindset is a SKILL that will have to be learned. Just like any skill, this growth mindset will require new neural networks to grow. What this basically means is that when you continue to practice thinking in patterns that are oriented to growth, you will literally grow new neural networks.
Remember learning how to ride a bike (or another skill)? Any skill like riding a bike that you have done a bunch and put down, when you pick it back up you will still have the working memory. You may be a little rusty, but the memory will be there because the neural network is in place. This is essentially what we are going for here, a level of repetition on the mindset around growth that eventually neural networks are grown, and the thinking pattern becomes so normal, that it replaces old neural wiring. There is a saying that nerves that fire together, wire together. This could not be truer!!
Hopefully you are catching onto the concept here that to really have growth mindset in business, one must PRACTICE having a growth mindset.
What Exactly Does One Practice Regarding Growth Mindset Training for Business?
The first thing to say is that training really takes place WITHIN. You can access our page on How to have a business mindset to learn more about what it takes to have a business mindset. Growth mindset is ONE aspect of having a business mindset. To have a growth mindset consider the following:
- What do you want you and your business to grow into? What does that future you and that future business look like? Now, imagine you as your future self, working on your future business. What sort of actions do you take daily? What do you think?
- Start to implement the things your future self would think and do. Part of how we grow and become the person we want to be is to act and think like our future self would. The same goes for our company. What daily actions would your future self be doing without a doubt to ensure that the company is growing? Whatever you say here, is likely something you should be doing daily.
- Practice something hard every day. The purpose of this is to train the mind that it can do hard things. Having a growth mindset means realizing that one can overcome challenges. For me personally this is athletics. Pushing myself through rigorous workouts (I do take off days) is a way of accomplishing something hard every day. It trains the mind. In fact, when I am struggling to finish my workout, my internal dialogue sounds something like this, “You’ve got it BOSS. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS.” If you are not into athletics, that is okay, but I encourage you to challenge yourself every day to do something hard. Another example could be learning a new craft or hobby. We want the brain to learn about how it can be successful at overcoming challenges so that when you face hard times in life, your brain sends a message to your body that says something like, “you’ve got this!”
- Again the more you practice these sorts of things every day, the more you grow your neural networks and make this new way of thinking largely your ONLY way of thinking.
Growth Mindset Training for
Females in Business
Since this site is geared towards female entrepreneurs, I want to touch on some differences between women and men regarding growth mindset.
Allison Armstrong is someone that has done immense work on studying the different ways that hormones cause changes in the male and female brains. Her work is so impressive (highly recommend) and she teaches so much more than anyone I have ever studied on this topic.
The way Allison describes men versus women is that men tend to have more focused awareness and women have more diffuse awareness. Now of course both of us have both but there is a predominance of one depending upon gender. This presumably is a result of hormones, so if someone has transitioned gender, they would likely have more of the brain orientation of their new gender due to the increase in the hormones associated with that gender.
So how does this relate to business and growth mindset? Growth mindset for men may be something that men tend to be able to focus on more deeply due to their ability to hyper focus. Women have more diffuse awareness, which is likely a survival mechanism, as we are usually the physically weaker gender and need to have a heightened awareness of our surroundings to survive.
While men may do better at intense focused activity regarding neural reprogramming, such as meditation and focused visualization on themselves, women may find it easier to build such techniques into their day and into their diffuse awareness. There certainly is benefits to both strategies for both genders, but the point here is that women may have more success holding the vision of their future self when they are also tending to the tasks of the day. For example, if the task is making dinner, how would your future self do this? Would you batch cook more? Would you make simpler meals? Would you order a meal delivery service?
Due to the diffuse awareness of the surroundings, due to the presence of estrogen, women may find more ease in doing such a moving visualization and meditation. Again, this is not to invalidate sitting visualization, but instead to bring awareness to some of the uniqueness of women.
Another area we must practice extra awareness as women regarding growth mindset training is when it comes to empathy. Empathy is an amazing skill and a gift, and while experienced by both genders, sometimes is felt more strongly by women. We absolutely want to use empathy to relate to others and to help them feel loved and supported.
The fine line is the difference between empathy and victimization. Say someone threatened you (I can speak firsthand about this as I was thrown against a wall and held against my will once), then you are absolutely a victim.
Receiving empathy from others and practicing gentleness towards oneself is a useful part of healing. However, there is still responsibility. This basically means we can live in the victim mindset, or we can take responsibility to heal from it and to put the work in to not live in the fear state. This is where the growth comes in. It is HARD. Real hard. I bring this up as I see this tendency sometimes to live in the state of empathy for things that we have been victims over. BUT, living here does not help us grow. Again, it is good to TRAIN for creating a growth mindset. When we train our brain to overcome challenge, it can get through anything.