how to develop a growth mindset – guest blog by James Dickie

James Dickie, Strength and Conditioning Coach for The Hurricanes and Wellington Lions, tells us why developing a “growth mindset” is crucial to achieving results on and off the field. As a coach for New Zealand’s rugby talent at the highest level, James’ approach to achieving greatness is an invaluable tool to help you succeed at what you do. He tells us how… 

The first thing to know is that a growth mindset is not about physical strength and skill set, but about mental toughness and application. Success in the workplace is a result of mental strength – and how you achieve this depends on your capacity to grow and adapt. 

As a coach working with professional athletes, it became increasingly obvious to me that mental strength is the most superior asset of a successful athlete, more important than physical ability or experience. To explain, mental toughness is any set of qualities that help deal with different situations effectively. This can be anything from resilience to calmness; all successful people are first and foremost mentally tough and operate a “growth mindset”.

A growth mindset enables people to mentally stretch themselves and their capabilities. People with this mindset are not afraid to make mistakes and take calculated risks in order to learn and get better at what they do.

On the other hand, unsuccessful people are more likely to have a “fixed mindset” and set their goals on simply being the best, without any flexibility about what that means and how they will get there. People with a fixed mindset often avoid confronting new opportunities and therefore miss out on chances to improve their skills and grow in their role.

But don’t panic. If you have identified a fixed mindset in yourself, it is possible to transform your way of thinking into a growth mindset by implementing the right attitude and techniques. 

What do you need to develop a growth mindset?

1. act like you are in control

The first thing you need to do is act like you are in control of your actions – own everything you do and make it yours. Think of ways you can maximise your job capability to make yourself more productive and efficient. The most successful people make their own luck and never depend on other people to achieve their goals. Think about the areas where you have control and the opportunities you can make for yourself. 

2. nail your role

Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing (and things that you can’t impact) and start focusing on getting your role right. In the right environment and with the right colleagues, everyone should be able to succeed at their individual role and as a result contribute to the greater success of the business. The best way to do this is to build up trust with your colleagues that they will do their job correctly and accept that there is only so much you can affect from your position. Just make sure you nail your role.

3. tap into your full potential

A number of exceptional pro-athletes could be even more exceptional if they could tap into their full potential. This may sound like an obvious one, but it all comes down to how willing you are to grow, learn and get better. One way to train yourself is to implement 100% effort in everything you do as a habit – it doesn’t matter how small it is. 

Another great exercise is to establish what your internal drivers are – what makes you tick and determined to succeed? It could be anything from providing for your family to achieving something great in your work life. Find out what it is and create a visual prompt in your workplace to help you to implement 100% effort into everything you do. 

My final tip for developing a growth mindset is to set some key goals for what you would like to achieve and gain from your new mental toughness. Be ambitious but not unrealistic. Perhaps you would like to get better at achieving your deadlines or streamlining your processes, whatever it is make sure you apply a growth mindset to get there – learn, develop and succeed!

James Dickie MSc, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Wellington Lions and Hurricanes Super Rugby Franchise 



 


James Dickie MSc, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Wellington Lions and Hurricanes Super Rugby Franchise 
 


 


James Dickie MSc, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Wellington Lions and Hurricanes Super Rugby Franchise 
 
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