Emotional Intelligence: Changing negative mindsets

Behaviour change can be hard but this programme will provide you with reminders (triggers) to change your behaviour.

“Very gifted people, they win and they win, and they are told that they win because they are a winner. That seems like a positive thing to tell children, but ultimately, what that means is when they lose, it must make them a loser.” - Joshua Waitzkin

In previous lessons we have looked at the impact of your beliefs (the B in the ABCDE model) on your emotions and your behaviour. This week we’ll be talking about the power of a mindset.
What do the following statements have in common?

“I’m not good at math.”
“She’s a talented writer.”
“You’re a born leader.”
“You don’t have what it takes.”

The answer is that they’re all examples of a fixed mindset. But what is a fixed mindset? What is mindset for that matter?
Mindsets are beliefs that shape your reality, including objective physical reactions (McGonigal, 2015).

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., first popularised the idea that your mindset (your beliefs and attitudes about something) can have an enormous impact not only on your behaviour, but also on what’s physically happening in your body.

The mindset underlying the statements above is that things should be easy for you if you have the talent. If it takes effort to do something it means you are not supposed to be doing it, and that no amount of effort will make you good at it.

Watch the following video created by Trevor Ragan presenting some of Dweck's findings about the differences between fixed and growth mindsets, and how it can impact our lives.

The impact of fixed and growth mindsets are not only limited to how kids perform, but also has implications for marriage, sports teams, and business leaders. The lesson here is that focusing on the process, and the effort you put into an activity (instead of only the outcome) will lead to better outcomes.

But what does this have to do with emotional intelligence?

When we develop our emotional intelligence we spend a lot of time working on our beliefs and self talk (the B in the ABCDE model). This allows us to respond to the environment in a way that will better serve us and those that depend on us. Mindset underlies much of the self talk that we identify in the ABCDE model. Once we update a mindset, it can cause a powerful chain reaction in our thinking, our behaviour and our emotions.

The fixed and growth mindsets are not the only two mindsets you can have. In future lessons, we will take a look at some other mindsets that have been studied and proven to be useful.

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This article is adapted from JvR Academy’s EQ Lessons programme, provided for free to all of our delegates interested in developing their emotional intelligence.

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