To recap, a growth mindset allows for possibilities to emerge through the belief that we have the capacity to grow in skill and ability, as well as to transform what is ...
To recap, a growth mindset allows for possibilities to emerge through the belief that we have the capacity to grow in skill and ability, as well as to transform what is now into a more desirable what's next.
A fixed mindset thinks in all or nothing terms. It will try to convince you that, if you are not seeing the results you want, that no amount of learning, effort, or new approaches can make a difference.
This week, we shine a light on Judgment-Free Awareness (JFA for short), since it is a key component to any growth journey. By nature, growth is challenging, as it requires that you stretch beyond your current comfort. It will invite you to think, do, and be something different than you have previously thought, done, and been. This can be unsettling, to say the least.
For more ease and positive outcomes, we learn to become participant observers in our lives. This means to begin seeing the world as it is, from an objective perspective, instead of just through the subjective lens we are used to seeing everything through.
Our brains are meaning-making machines. Information comes in and we make associations, draw conclusions, and decide immediately how we feel about the input. We are constantly scanning the environment, determining relative safety and danger. The thing is, that over time, we learn to judge in ways that are initially intended to keep us safe, but in reality limit us, when we are not actually in danger.
One of the basic human conundrums is the simultaneous urge to create greater and to play it safe. When we have the urge to go for our dreams, grow in new ways, choose new things, our protection mechanisms sound the alarm, warning us to go back to what we know (even if we don't enjoy it).
When we practice JFA, we slow down and notice our thoughts and feelings that arise in response to expanding our comfort zones. We observe them with curiosity and interest, like a scientist collecting data. The more practiced we get, the more we are able to see, not only what we are thinking (i.e. worry, fear, doubt, unsupportive self-talk, etc.), but also what we are doing as a result. From this place of awareness, we can consciously choose whether to continue with the default behavior, or begin practicing a new response and taking a new path.
If we allow greater awareness, and then immediately judge it up and down, we block ourselves from the important growth opportunity that exists when we change our automatic responses into more conscious ones, coherent with the outcomes we actually desire.
Do you notice where you judge yourself and the world around you?
In what ways does it serve you?
Today, start to see if you can use your JFA to notice your internal and external environments. If you notice yourself judging what you are noticing, notice that too. Observe. You might even make some notes. This is a practice. Like with any practice, we begin simply by recognizing that we have new choices available to us, playing with them, and learning through the process.
P.S. Practicing JFA is one of the greatest kindnesses you can gift yourself and others!
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