By John Gronski
The world can be a crazy and distressing place at times and it is easy to get discouraged. It seems like there are so many things that are beyond our control. We must focus on the things we can control and two of those things are our mind and our thoughts.
In turbulent and challenging times, it is essential for all of us, and especially those who lead others to stay positive. That got me thinking about the importance of mindset. However, the thing about mindset is that it can work for you or against you depending on how you orient your mindset.
The good thing about our mindset is that we do have the power to control it. However, if we have allowed our mindset muscle to atrophy it will default to negativity, scarcity, defensiveness, and will become fixed. But we can improve and strengthen our mindset just as we can strengthen any other muscle in our body that has weakened. It just takes time and work, and the benefits are plentiful.
I will discuss three types of mindsets and point out the advantages of choosing the mindset that will help keep you emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually fit.
Positive vs. Negative Mindset
A person with a negative mindset has a “glass half empty” mentally. They could be an energy sponge by sapping energy from everyone they meet. They focus on their trials and tribulations rather than their blessings. This is not a healthy mindset to engage in.
A person with a positive mindset exudes positive energy, even when times are tough. A person with a positive mindset is optimistic which means they believe tomorrow will be better than today and they have a believable plan to accompany that optimistic outlook. They are a person who brightens up a room when they enter unlike a person with a negative mindset who brightens a room when they leave it.
A person with a positive mindset attracts and motivates high performers. They are the type of person most people like to be around. They have a confident air which is backed up by competence that is a result of discipline and hard work.
Offensive vs. Defensive Mindset
I am a believer that we must stay on the offensive. We should assume a posture of moving forward rather than one of retreating or hunkering down. People with an offensive mindset are aggressive. This does not mean they are unkind, but it means they focus on being proactive rather than reactive.
People with an offensive mindset do not wait for opportunity to knock. Instead, they break doors and barriers down and they look for and seize opportunities. They have a can-do attitude and believe they will succeed.
Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset
A person with a scarcity mindset believes they will never get ahead or become successful or if they do achieve a victory, it will be fleeting. They believe everyone is out to get them and there is never enough of everything to go around. They have a win-lose mentality in their dealings with others. They are biased toward hoarding everything they have, and they are not very generous because they believe once they part with something they will never have it again.
A person with an abundance mindset believes there is plenty of everything to go around and if you are willing to apply yourself you can attain what you desire. They believe the best way to get what they want is by supporting others and helping others get what they want. They believe in Proverbs 11:25 which reads, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will refresh himself”. Those with an abundance mindset believe they can reach their dreams with the correct focus, determination, and work ethic and there is enough of everything to go around so everyone has an opportunity to prosper.
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
A person with a fixed mindset believes that the strengths or limitations they were born with will never change throughout their life. They believe we are born with certain abilities, and we can never improve upon them. Whether it be leaders, academics, or athletes, people with a fixed mindset believe people either have a skill or they don’t.
A person with a growth mindset believes they can learn anything they put their mind to. They believe they are a work in progress and any skill or talent can be learned and mastered if a person really wants to. They do not believe in a glass ceiling based on ethnicity, race, or gender, and any other similar disposition. They believe leaders, academics, and athletes are made and not born. They have a propensity to never stop learning and never stop growing.
Thrive Rather Than Survive
To thrive rather than simply survive we must master the four mindsets of positivity, offensive, abundance, and growth. Yes, we all begin life at different starting points based on where we were born, mental or physical maladies, the family we were born into, and various factors. The point is that by developing a positive, abundance, and growth mindset we can all create a better life for ourselves. To do this we must believe there are things within our control and mindset is one of them.
One thing you will notice about the four mindsets is that they have an overlapping nature. Many of the attributes of those four mindsets are similar.
We need to define what success means to us. Success means different things to different people and is not simply about how much money we accumulate but it is about the life we choose to lead.
So, I encourage you to cast away the thoughts of negativity, scarcity, and the belief that you can never improve. Our minds are something we can control. Now it is up to you.
About John Gronski
Major General John L. Gronski (U.S. Army Retired) is the founder and CEO of Leader Grove LLC, a leadership consulting firm. John is the author of two books, “Iron-Sharpened Leadership” and “The Ride of Our Lives” and he is an international and Fortune 500 speaker. Learn more about John Gronski at https://johngronski.com/
Continue To Learn
Speaking of a growth mindset, John Gronski created a great online leadership development program. You can take online leadership development courses including Cultivating Trust, Introduction to Emotional Intelligence, and Conflict Management. Once you complete a course, take a short quiz, attain an 80% score, and download a certificate of completion. Find out more and enroll at Store.LeaderGrove.com