Managing Self Neuroscience

7 Signs that you need a new mindset

Written by Milisa Burns
  1. you say to yourself “I’m not a math/athletic/ [or insert another description] person”
  2. you have an “all or nothing” approach – e.g. if you can’t do your full workout, you won’t work out at all that day
  3. you are feeling stuck, hemmed in
  1. you don’t take a lot of risks, for fear of failing
  2. you feel envious of others
  1. you hate being criticized
  2. you are feeling generally drained and demoralized

If you identified with any of the above signs, adopting a “growth mindset” (also known as a “get better mindset”) could really change how your life feels and looks, for the better.

A mindset is a belief that biases how you think and act, like a filter you see everything through. (Kelly McGonigal: Upside of Stress)

Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford, discovered through her research “a simple idea that makes all the difference” – that our mindset affects our ability to fulfill our potential – to grow and learn, take risks, bounce back from adversity, to build healthy relationships.  Carol Dweck writes that, if we have a “fixed mindset” and believe our qualities, including our intelligence, are carved in stone, we behave in one way.  If we have a “growth mindset” and believe that we can cultivate and grow our basic qualities, including our intelligence, we behave in an entirely different way.

I can personally attest to the truth and power of Carol Dweck’s assertions, having shifted into a growth mindset in a number of areas of my life over the last 6 years since reading her book. My clients have also greatly benefited from shifting into a growth mindset.

A mindset change is powerful; it gets to the heart of the matter – how we are showing up/being, which then affects what we do/how we behave, which in turn affects how our lives look and feel. It’s not another big to-do on your list – this is an internal shift to practice day to day, as part of your day.   So, if you want to change how your life looks and feels, giving you different answers to the questions above, I strongly suggest you dive into this topic a little more deeply. Your return on your investment of time and energy here will be high!!

Ideas for Next Steps:

  1. Show up (in person or online) for the Ontario Bar Association’s June 1 Mindful Lawyer Program Avoid Burnout: Train for Resilience – Allison Wolf, the creator of AWAL and I will be the speakers
  2. Read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck
  3. Watch researcher Heidi Grant Halvorson’s video, The Incredible Benefits of a Get Better Mindset
  4. Read my blog post, A Growth Mindset: Why We All Need One.



About the author

Milisa Burns

I practiced law for 6 years, and was an at-home parent, before founding Strategic Evolution Coaching & Consulting, in 2006. Through my “Making Room For You” programs, I boldly and tenderly support professional women as they create success for themselves, on their terms. My clients are very "successful", but inside they may initially be very stressed, full of questions, possibly bored and no longer fulfilled. They are yearning for more. My clients are amazed at how quickly they create peace and contentment while achieving at even higher levels than they previously imagined. I have 3 children and am married to my law school sweetheart.

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