Promoting a Positive Mindset
How has the Coronavirus and social distancing highlighted the importance of positive thinking?
Coronavirus is consolidating its status as the core focal point within our lives.
While the scale of the virus is unprecedented, adopting a positive mindset is essential, as we seek to restore social normality.
Adopting a Growth Mindset and Following the Path of Possibility
Carol Dweck’s outlines two philosophies in Two Mindsets: a fixed mindset and the flexible mindset.
According to Dweck, intelligence within a fixed mindset is static. Individuals adopting this stance avoid challenges and fail to overcome difficulties. Advocates of this mindset render considerable effort as pointless, while constructive criticism is ignored. These factors often result in a person not fulfilling their potential, with such features correlating with the mannerisms that characterise the path of limitation.
Conversely, the growth mindset is characterised by a yearning for knowledge and progression.
It’s natural for our thoughts to be drawn to the negative in a situation and dwell on the bad aspects, as we are wired like that from an evolutionary perspective.
However, when you find yourself in that space mentally, it can be helpful to ask, ‘what’s the best that could happen’, rather than think about what’s the worst that could happen.
If you find yourself thinking, ‘we can’t achieve that’ flip the question and ask, ‘what may be possible?’ Sharing positive outcomes from negative experiences with colleagues can help us realise and identify that sometimes good comes from bad; we also identify tools and techniques that helped us.
If we focus on what we can influence and adopt a solutions mindset that can help us step into that growth mindset.
Unlike those assuming a fixed mindset, people who display signs of growth welcome new challenges and are more resolute when completing tasks.
Moreover, an effort is seen as a prerequisite whilst pursuing success, while criticism is viewed as a valuable tool that can be used to stimulate performance. Advocates of a growth mindset draw inspiration from other people’s achievements and learn new skills, prompting higher performance levels.
Similarities can be drawn between this mindset outlined by Dweck and the path of possibility. The path of possibility places a strong emphasis on strength and personal successes that can be achieved via the establishment of collaborative networks. Moreover, establishing solutions to problems generates positive emotions and facilitates avenues of choice, driven by energy-boosting habits.
Those on the path of possibility discover a sense of meaning that may otherwise have gone unnoticed while maintaining a connection with their close networks and the wider community.
Enforcing Relevant Measures in Pursuit of a Positive Mindset
Positive thinking is essential for members of senior management to protect staff morale.
While some will naturally have a positive mindset, others will apply exercises to steer clear of the path of limitation during the self-isolation/social distancing phase.
For example, breathing exercises are often considered an effective tool that can alleviate anxiety, while scheduling regular breaks outside the house is a simple, yet beneficial way to cleanse the mind.
Moreover, others choose to implement innovative, practical methods to boost positivity. For example, a Gratitude Journal can boost well-being, self-esteem and reduce stress.
Negative Messaging and the Human Race
During the pandemic, the human brain has been inundated with pessimism.
While many can remain optimistic, historically, the human species has been moulded by its relationship with negative messaging.
When confronted with an obstructive or challenging situation, human beings seek positives as a means of counteracting negative effects and any subsequent turmoil that may prove detrimental, further down the line.
The influx of current cynicism has prompted many to crave familiarity as a coping mechanism to nurture them through a period characterised by uncertainty. However, regular sources of support are inaccessible, prompting adverse emotional and chemical responses.
Coronavirus continues to impact our lives, with ties to friends and family severed, as well as a capability to embrace cultural elements that form the essence of our character.
Such challenges can generate a web of negativity, whereby factors such as control are compromised; this has heightened the need to implement a positive mindset, to navigate these bewildering times, successfully.
Evading the ‘Negative Spiral’
Coronavirus has highlighted the importance of embracing a positive mindset. We’re all prone to cynical tendencies centred around a lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, in turn, hindering our capacity to connect with other people.
These traits have the potential to contribute to the development of serious psychological conditions such as depression, self-harming or addictive behaviours. If negativity plays a prevalent role in our lives, this stunts overall engagement on a societal, psychological and professional level.
The Perils of the Path of Limitation
It’s essential to embrace a positive mindset and focus on the potentially exciting opportunities that may arise.
Currently, many are deviating down the path of limitation, with Coronavirus acting as a detrimental situational trigger.
During the pandemic, the temptation to explore this avenue has intensified, with the threats posed to normality provoking negativity.
Our haven, whatever that may be, has been compromised, with access to family and friends restricted. Subsequently, many have begun to express signs of self-doubt and have even considered whether the parts of their lives that they once deemed trustworthy can still be depended upon.
While it’s a natural human reaction to feel a sense of loss, it’s impossible to generate a positive mindset whilst demonstrating the traits affiliated with the path of limitation. Therefore, adopting a growth mindset and embracing the path of possibility is crucial.
Do you need support and advice on how to establish a positive mindset for you and your team? Contact Co-Creation to speak with a member of our specialist team. We’d be delighted to offer our advice during these difficult times.