In my previous post, I talked about what a growth mindset is and what it's good for. I'd like to continue here with additional possibilities of not only having a growth mindset but a beefed up one - ie juiced (figuratively speaking of course). What if we were to create environments around ourselves, our loved ones, and even our work places to get everyone into a mode to readily learn new things, process them, and rigorously exercise trial and error to improve, develop, and achieve radically creative / innovative solutions? More importantly, doing all that without the relational shackles caused by insecurities, needs for approval, and dysfunctions driven by fear. What would happen to our hearts? Our homes? Our organizations? Our communities and cities?
When we can recognize mistakes (especially the ones that we feel humiliate / shame us) as things to learn from rather than avoid, we're able to leverage the power of vulnerability. Initiating without fear of rejection, risking without fear of loss, moving forward without need for certainty, allowing ourselves to be deeply seen and known, courageously believing that we are worthy of love and belonging totally apart from what we do - these are all necessary to being truly alive, passionate, and full of desire and love.
When we are free to embark on the adventurous journey of living whole heartedly, we are on the path to authentic and powerful validation. Rather than settling for what has always been done, what is safe and lifeless, or just breadcrumbs of profound love, joy, and peace, we can boldly explore where love and desire want to lead us. A vibrant life is one where we are growing, learning, and changing to become better connectors, spouses, parents, and leaders who serve and develop future generations to do greater things with increased freedom, compassion and justice. We have yet to see what would happen if every individual were substantially and dynamically validated, empowered by empathy to have a fortified growth mindset, given the freedom and courage to creatively and meaningfully come up with profound and impactful solutions.
With a strong growth mindset would come greater values of collaboration, communication, and community because fear of not being, doing or having enough would not have the ability to cause jealousies, dissensions and manipulations (and other dysfunctions) - ugly and toxic politics. The growth mindset is not hungry for approval and it recognizes the joy and power of everyone succeeding; it's not threatened by others' successes. With consistent focus and attention on what it takes to improving together (working with emotional and relational health), there is the safe space needed to learn from mistakes which paves the road to real wisdom. And this wisdom is what truly brings us together in authentic unity.
With greater collaboration, communication and community comes greater diversity. With the validation of each person's uniqueness, the bonding through increased valuing of each other, we can experience the beauty and power of differing capacities, perspectives, and leadership. When diverse members of an organization, especially the leaders, are growing and developing truer personhood, partnerships, and presence, everyone benefits because there will be the reciprocity of feeling uniquely understood and valued, the constituents by the leaders and vice versa. Challenges become opportunities for innovative solutions. Collaborative creativity increases the likelihood of seeing what is most important to bring more positive impact and value to more people.
With greater diversity of individuals collaborating, there is an environment conducive of a grander vision. When more perspectives can come together, able to see and synthesize with each other's strengths and differences, there will be deeper understanding into problems and challenges. In addition, with meaningful trust in place, there is a foundation for rigorous communication to explore and discover new best practices, solutions, and ways of being and working. Grander visions set direction for the profound change, impact and sustainable transformation our world desperately needs.
A strong growth mindset is what we all need, regardless of life stage. "You can't teach old dogs new tricks" is an unrecognized default caused by finding our worth in what we do rather than who we are. Benjamin Bloom (creator of Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning) concluded from 40 years of research "What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.” To create conditions of learning, we need to get rid of the insecurity, anxiety and fear caused by the performance based mindset, and instead, center our worth on unconditional love, emotional health, and strong relationships. With this shift, we will find that to grow, learn, change, and improve in almost anything simply requires time, instruction, development, effort and of course, mistakes and failures!