Growth, Growth, Growth: How To Sustain A Mindset Over the Long Haul

by Trish

in Create Now! Revolution, Reframe Your Possibilities, writing

Perfectionism

So true, right?

Sometimes there’s very little light.

In a world in which stepping out and asking “Wait, why are we doing this again?” is seen as being troublesome, as stirring up trouble, as making mountains out of molehills.

You know what I mean. It’s very hard to live in this world and keep a growth mindset, to keep in mind that just because we can’t see everything, doesn’t mean we have to shut down and operate from a place of fear, or as Carol Dweck describes it, a “fixed mindset.”

Sure, we have to be sure in our thinking, determined to see things through, but having a growth mindset, being whole-hearted (as Brene Brown challenges us) is the ability to stop, change course, stop, start again, and generally, operate as if you know you’re going to succeed, even if you don’t.

Just thinking about that makes me stress.

I don’t like not sticking my landings.

I’m a Type A, after all. I’m strong, I’m courageous, I’m sure.

And when I don’t stick the landing, I feel small, insecure, and usually completely lose all ability, at least momentarily, to keep pushing forward.

I think mindset is the most important piece of a creative process.

Duh.

I know, I’m preaching to the choir.

But bear with me, please?

We’ve got to get this. This is the pinnacle of existential scaffolding. This is why I have started this site, why I blog, why I develop products. The point of all of this is to help creatives embrace the right mindset so that they can become more successful, better at their creative goals, and begin to set bigger and bigger goals every single time.

I know.

Everyone says that.

But I’m going to say it again and again and again.

First though, listen to this podcast episode hosted by Elizabeth Gilbert with special guest, Brene Brown.

I’ll wait.

Are you back? Wasn’t that amazing? Talk about mindset. Talk about the RIGHT mindset.

Did you hear when Brene answered the question about the women who was angry at inspiration?

That our inspiration is THE THING that must guide us through.

That’s the right mindset.

You can say, “No, Trish, the right mindset is when you are calm and centered and handle things in a methodical manner.”

Um, bored. <ensue snoring>

If we don’t have inspiration, DIVINE INSPIRATION, we are done. DONE!

And what I mean by divine inspiration, is that we are feeling like we want to stretch, we want to try something we’ve never tried before and it was given to just us, JUST US, divinely, and to no one else. It was embedded into our DNA in this way for us to try.

Sure, Elizabeth Gilbert talked about in her book, BIG MAGIC, that she had an idea and that if she wasn’t open to it, someone else would be. She had a great example.

I’m totally okay with that working for her, but I have ideas that are MINE. I REPEAT, MINE. They have been a piece of me since birth, and it is my job to send them out to the universe.

But what if I have an idea that someone else should be writing?

I don’t think it was mine to begin with. That’s the issue I have with Elizabeth’s story. Here’s the thing. I do not disagree with her, but I choose to view the ideas in the universe in a different way. And guess what?

That’s a growth mindset!

<Happy, Snoopy dancing ensues!>

I love how Brene talked about about inspiration.

My childhood was hijacked by people who talked a lot about divine inspiration, but never about their ideas, about ideas from God. Ideas that are given to us in the Bible.

That’s the only scenario in my childhood in which divine inspiration was celebrated. The prophets, the biblical scribes, they all were divinely inspired.

Great! But that does not mean that no one else was.

I believe in divine inspiration. I believe I was handed a message to deliver and not that I’m a prophet/prophetess, or a savior, or a biblical writer.

Nope. NO. NO.

I am not interested in starting another cult, trust me. Been there, done that.

I just believe that God speaks to me, through Sophia, or wisdom, the Holy Spirit, who before those divinely inspired biblical writers got a hold of her, was a big piece of our culture. I LOVE the idea that the one voice that has never gone silent, has never guided me wrong, is translated as wisdom, as Sophia. (If you want to learn more about this, see Sue Monk Kidd’s DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER.)

I believe whole-heartedly in divine inspiration. And I believe this leads us to the mindset we must have in order to thrive as creatives.

The right mindset is not one in which there’s only one way to our goal. There are lots of ways.

The right mindset is not one in which there’s only one creative process. There are lots of differing processes.

The right mindset is learning to not stick the landing, and then get back up again anyway.

It’s learning to trust inspiration. To trust that your muse/inspiration has great plans for you. It’s what gets you to move, to try, to stretch.

Inspiration is the thing to guide us through.

Now, there are a few potholes. See if you have fallen into any (or all) of them.

  • If I don’t repeat the exact environment from my first attempt, I’ll fail.

  • If I could just pretend I am writing my first novel all over again.

  • I am such a stickler for a better story; why won’t it come together faster?

  • I’ll just keep doing what has always worked; no pushing forward.

  • It’s the editor/publisher/agent’s fault my last book didn’t make a bigger splash.

Any of them sound familiar?

And I’m not picking on anyone, really. I think these to myself too. I get weary, lose my mojo, and blame the mailman for being on time when I’m running to get something in the mail.

I blame my poor dog when he gets in my way when I’m trying to answer the phone.

So, saying this from a position of having fallen into all of the above potholes and . . .true confession, just sitting there for awhile, in the mud and rain. I’m human. I like to feel sorry for myself.

We do this, right? We let go of the mindset and put our brains on neutral. But it’s not really neutral. It’s sliding back into a self-talk that is going to direct us right back to the fear of failure. And we’re so sick of that story. <boring>

Neutral mindset feels like rest. Except it isn’t. It’s never neutral. It’s always, oh crap, look at what you’re not doing. We’ve got to quit resting in neutral and learn to rest in a wholehearted growth mindset.

And we’ve got to start ASAP. This is killing our creative juices, people.

We can’t keep doing this to ourselves.

If we are still trying to rest while giving ourselves the above excuses, we’re just self-talking right back to square one. There is no other way to say it.

And self-talk about fear of failure is pitiful, dull, brain-splitting boring, and stale. Like so stale. As in, you bite into an Oreo and it’s been sitting out on the counter for a week. Ew.

So what do we do when we fall into these little pity party holes, when we’re in neutral, when we think we’re resting?

We use the “reframe to rest” technique (yes, I made it up; got a better title? Tell me!).

  • I have done as much as I can do for today/this week/on this project. I’ll get back to it on Monday/tomorrow/next week, because if I don’t push myself to do something better, I’ll fail.

  • I’ve made lists and planned and my inspiration is so happy right now. I’ve got my notebook and will keep it with me 24/7. I know inspiration is with me; this is going to blow people’s minds!

  • Whew. That was a lot of hard work. Nice job! I am tired, but I will give this creative work the time it needs and I’ll accept that it needs it.

  • When I look back on everything I’ve accomplished already with my creativity, I’m floored. Look at all this awesome stuff that’s now in the world. But I don’t want to rest on my laurels! I want to fly.

  • This past year has been really tough. The thing is, the power is with me, not with others, because I can always write a new book to get back into the game.

Today, for instance, is Friday. I’m really tired. I’ve pushed all week long.

And I want to feel rested and ready for Monday, so I will use the “reframe to rest” in order to not use self-talk that reverts me back to fear of failure. I so have fear of failure’s number!

For me:

  • I have done as much as I can do for today/this week/on this project. I’ll get back to it on Monday/tomorrow/next week, because if I don’t push myself to do something better, I’ll fail.

  • I’ve made lists and planned and my inspiration is so happy right now. I’ve got my notebook and will keep it with me 24/7. I know inspiration is with me; this is going to blow people’s minds!

  • Whew. That was a lot of hard work. Nice job! I am tired, but I will give this creative work the time it needs and I’ll accept that it needs it.

  • When I look back on everything I’ve accomplished already with my creativity, I’m floored. Look at all this awesome stuff that’s now in the world. But I don’t want to rest on my laurels! I want to fly.

  • This past year has been really tough. The thing is, the power is with me, not with others, because I can always write a new book to get back into the game.

You got it. Now steal these five bullets for you. What did you get done this week? How much have you accomplished? Has the past year been just dreadful?

Reframe to rest.

It’s the mindset.

It’s divine inspiration at its best.

If you have a comment, or want to leave feedback, check in at the Facebook page.

If you’d like help creating more ideas you absolutely love, contact me about creative consulting services.

 

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