Can we benefit from having a neutral mindset?

So far in this month of March Mindset Matters, we’ve looked at the most commonly known traits of the fixed or growth mindset.  Maybe you have recognised where you tend to naturally sit within these.   But are there any other alternatives? And can we benefit from having a neutral mindset?

When it comes to our personal growth, we know that our mindset can have a huge effect on how we approach life.   And we know that having a growth mindset, and actively seeking out new experiences can help us to keep learning.

We’ve also seen how having a fixed mindset can be detrimental to our personal development, and how it can hold us back.  But if we are ‘go go go’ all the time in a growth mindset phase, we may be missing out on the most important bit.  And that is ‘learning’.

I would suggest that sometimes it can be helpful to slip into neutral and do nothing.  To wait and see. Or at least assimilate what we have learned.  Can we really benefit from having a neutral mindset?

In order for us to grow and develop, we need to try new things, or take on new experiences or challenges.  Sometimes we’ll be successful and sometimes we won’t, but either way the experience will have taught us some key things.  What went well, what didn’t go so well, what would I repeat next time, what would I do differently next time.   And in order to assimilate and understand, we need a period of rest and reflection, so that learning can then ‘bed in’.

Likewise, if we are full steam ahead on a particular goal or target, we need to pause along the way and check in with our progress.  This helps us recognise how far we’ve come (along with ‘what’s working/what isn’t’) but also to check that where we are heading is still in the right direction.

We need to assess whether what we are doing is going to get us to where we want to be.  Or maybe where we want to be has changed.

A motivational quote about personal growth

How can a neutral mindset help me?

A journey of personal growth might just open up new goals that we hadn’t previously thought possible.  And as we prove to ourselves what we are capable of, and we develop new skills, we build the confidence to think bigger.

Time for self reflection is crucial to allowing this process to happen.  And of course, we need rest to recharge our batteries.

But what if I feel guilty for taking a rest

The idea of rest is a tricky one for some people. If you’re used to being on the go, slowing down or coming to a halt, can feel as though you’re missing out. Or worse, being lazy. But this is far from it.

Our bodies, and especially our minds, need rest to make sense of what’s going on and to regenerate, so if you’re finding it difficult to allow yourself permission, try reframing it as a period of review or reflection instead, to consolidate your learning!

So if you’re on a journey of growth and you’re feeling a little jaded or foggy about where you’re going next, try slipping into neutral for a while.

For more discussion on monthly themes of personal growth, follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/startalittlefire  or check out my podcast, Sunday Night Motivation.

 

Photo credit:   Alok Sharma on Unsplash

Is procrastination really the thief of time?

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I happened to notice that today is “Fight Procrastination Day”.  That’s a great topic for a post I thought…if only I could get round to writing something.  I jest of course!

But it did get me thinking – has procrastination become a bad word?  The idea of nominating a day in which we all dress up as superheroes to wrestle with our wandering minds and distractions left me a bit confused.  It’s like when you were a child at school and were told to stop staring out of the window and daydreaming (that’s a whole other blog post!).

Procrastination is often seen as coping mechanism which we use to avoid (consciously or unconsciously) events or actions which we perceive to be challenging.  We’ve all experienced it – knowing we need to make an important phone call but we keep putting it off, or needing to meet a deadline but we can’t get started.  Often it is because we are focussing on the possible outcomes and we start to project our fears onto how it may play out…what if I give my opinion and they don’t like it, what if I submit this work and it’s not good enough.  It can become problematic when we repeatedly avoid or delay situations by giving in to those fears.  It can affect how other people view us, and it also leads to greater frustration and doubt within ourselves.

But I also think that procrastination can be helpful. It’s like having an inner alarm that sounds when we are about to do something new, and makes us that little bit more cautious.  When we have something that is really important to us, taking that pause to think about what we are going to do, and considering it’s possible implications can be a good thing.  Listening to those fears can highlight where we need to do a little more preparation or learning, which can in turn increase our confidence.  It can stop us going gung-ho into situations and not giving it our best attention or efforts.  And it can also help flag up when we are getting into something that we might not be entirely on board with.  Often in these fast paced times, we do things on autopilot, and have little time to sit and reflect and think, actually is this job/relationship/whatever making me happy?

Whoever said ‘procrastination is the thief of time’ may well have been on to something…but spending time on something which isn’t truly meant for you, can be equally as wasted.

Photo credit:  TK Hammonds via Unsplash