Flexible vs Fixed: Growth Mindset Language and You

Q. Can you explain Growth Mindset Language and why it is linked to spiritual development?

A. Depending on who you ask, Growth Mindset Language (GML) is either a life-affirming tool used with fluency by Millennials and those who consider themselves “other,” or simply a newer version of social and political correctness.

Every generation has a message to share with previous generations. Over the last few decades, we have learned that a one-size-fits-all approach to growth and learning doesn’t work anymore, and perhaps never did. This time around, Millennials are reminding us that we may want to rethink our idea of what it means to be successful and lead an accomplished life.

Growth Mindset Language underscores values, specifically the value of process and progress over end results. Our social language acknowledges imperfections, but GML embraces them, using the brain’s plasticity to create newer and healthier pathways.

Not so long ago, we believed that we were born intelligent, or not. Today we know that intelligence can be grown and developed. According to GML, failing is just a part of learning. Setbacks and mistakes are pathways to improvement. Growth Mindset is not an entirely new language, but it is the opposite of a fixed mindset; it is open-ended.

As children, we wondered what sort of person we would grow up to be. Back then, our (group) mindset seemed to exist outside of us. It told us how and what to think and reminded us that our choices were limited. Today, better communication skills and more flexible (inner) mindsets are helping young minds find new pathways.

Growth Mindset Language is not “positive feedback.” It is higher-level communication based on mutual trust and a desire to grow rather than achieve or over-achieve. GML rewards perseverance, whenever possible avoiding comparison and competition. It demonstrates how to dream beyond cultural, societal, and political norms.

GML is also not “kiddo” language. Athletes who engage in GML have noted improved recovery times, faster healing from injuries, and a renewed interest in their chosen sport. GML’s inclusivity makes everyone part of the process. The steady stream of risk vs. reward scenarios may finally be marking a retreat.

Before answering the second part of your question, here are a few examples of GML:

Pepper: I suck at Newsletters. This is the third month in a row they have gone out late!
GML: I am glad I take the time to share from the heart. I haven’t missed a month yet.

Pepper: I failed another test.
GML: Let’s see which ones I got right. I know something good will come from this.

Pepper: I’ll never be like everyone else. I’ll never fit in.
GML: Fitting in might mean looking exactly like someone else and doing the same things they do. I think I can still be myself and fit in when I want to.

The last few decades have also seen an exodus from traditional religions and other entities that demonstrate a fixed mindset. More often than not, members have strayed from these organizations because they no longer felt welcome. In his book The Universal Christ, Father Richard writes:

Humans and history both grow slowly. We expect people to show up at our doors fully transformed and holy before they can be welcomed in. But growth language says it is appropriate to wait, trusting that a change of consciousness can only come with time—and this patience ends up being the very shape of love. Without it, church becomes the mere enforcing of laws and requirements. Without an evolutionary worldview, Christianity does not really understand, much less foster, growth or change. Nor does it know how to respect and support where history is heading… For the planet and for all living beings to move forward, we can rely on nothing less than an inherent original goodness and a universally shared dignity. Only then can we build, because the foundation is strong, and is itself good.

In the meantime, spiritual but not religious, has become an affiliation of sorts – an inclusive way to remain unattached to mainstream beliefs. Modern language has not caught up with how fast our landscape is changing. As we move further into the Age of Aquarius, we will see sweeping changes in religion. Established religions will join together, merge and fold into one entity, only to divest their interests and members, and dissolve altogether a short time later. Aquarius is not a fan of religion. It is a Humanist sign. It will lift the roof from churches, temples and other institutions, separating the hollow from the holy. (More on this some other time). I mention this now, because it will be interesting to watch for a defining shift in language.

The inclusive, uplifting nature of Growth Language is exactly what the (New) Age of Aquarius has prescribed. As an air sign, Aquarius will uplift and undo some of the damage that is common when extensive Zodiacal change is present. As such, there will be more acceptance of exceptional people and alternate lifestyles. Growth Language, a new and needed fluid mindset is exactly what we need now, especially given the year we have just concluded.

If you are interested in finding out more about Growth Mindset Language, here is a link you may find interesting. https://www.developgoodhabits.com/growth-mindset-examples/

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