Our mindset often initiates many of our unconscious behaviors. This podcast explores a mindset continuum that moves from fear to learning to growth. Reflect on where your mindset falls at different times and select some conscious behaviors you my want to take to stretch into learning and growth. How can some conscious behaviors develop family members’ mindsets?
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Steve: 00:34 A mindset during COVID-19. I found a diagram that labels indicators for assessing one’s mindset along a continuum from fear to learning to growth, as it relates to this time during the COVID-19 quarantine and pandemic. Reflection allows one to decide what conscious decisions one wants to take to generate the desired mindset. You’ll find a link to this diagram in the lead-in to this podcast. It’s structured in three zones. The first zone called, “the fear zone” is identified with these statements. In the fear zone, I grab food, toilet, paper and medications that I don’t need. I spread emotions related to fear and anger, I complain frequently, I forward all messages I receive and I get mad easily. When I enter the learning zone, I start to give up what I can’t control. I stop compulsively consuming what hurts me, from food to news. I identify my emotions.
Steve: 02:15 I become aware of the situation and think how to act. I evaluate information before spreading something false. I recognize that we are all trying to do our best. Moving to the growth zone, I think of others and see how to help. I make my talents available to those who need them. I live in the present and focus on the future. I am empathetic with myself and others. I thank and appreciate others. I keep a happy emotional state and spread hope. I look for a way to adapt to new things. I practice quietude, patience, relationships and creativity. As I thought about the three areas of fear, learning and growth and reflected on my own behaviors, I decided that overall, I’m pretty much in the learning zone and I’m trying to consciously stretch to the growth zone as frequently as I can. I know that my fear zone is triggered by my inability to travel to my daughter’s family.
Steve: 03:49 My grandkids are growing so fast and being in Switzerland while they’re in New Jersey has meant that for both of them having birthdays this past month, I had to watch presents that Amazon delivered being opened on FaceTime. I’m pretty sure that I complain too frequently. Having spent the last 35 years rarely having a week that I wasn’t on a plane, the last eight months of no flights feels pretty strange. Time for reflection is important for me to be working in that learning zone. Fortunately, being quarantined in Switzerland, there’s forests and a culture of walking present. My daily hikes that were initiated as a weight control strategy have developed into a time for the examination of my emotions and a time to be aware of the situations and think about how I’m going to act. I believe that thinking about and helping others is probably my personal strongest pull into the growth area.
Steve: 05:15 While reflecting on the areas of fear and learning and growth on the continuum, I made a connection to earlier work and writing that I did around the topic of optimism. You can find my blogs and podcasts about optimism by simply searching the term optimism on my website at barkeleypd.com. I read the book called, “The Power of Optimism” written by Alan Lloyd McGinnis and he pointed out that if you consciously implement the behaviors of an optimist, you can begin to be optimistic. See, that was important thinking for me, because I thought it was being optimistic led you to the optimistic behaviors. But what he shared was when I’m not feeling optimistic, if I took on those optimistic behaviors consciously, in other words, I acted them out, it created that sense of optimism for me. I think the same is true if I look at that list of behaviors for the learning zone and the growth zone. If I consciously take on a behavior, such as making my talents available to those who need them, there’s a good chance that other growth indicators like a happy emotional state and spreading hope will emerge from having taken on that other behavior consciously.
Steve: 06:50 If I consciously look for ways to adapt, I believe that I tap into my creativity and discover changes that I can make in my practice that may lead to things being better than they were even prior to the pandemic. I believe there’s many families that consciously instituted some behaviors during the pandemic that they’re going to want to hold on to as family behaviors and events when things return to some sense of “normalcy.” Beyond guiding our own reflections, we can use the fear, learning, growth diagram to provide a way to identify and empathize with our children, family, and community members. Consider what ways you can create opportunities for the people that you’re supporting to consciously practice a growth behavior and to gain the reward of new, unconscious growth area outcomes. One school that I partnered with arranged for the members of their staff to join together in school shirts and masks and distanced to take part in a local cancer fundraising walk. I’m certain that growth elements emerged from consciously taking part in that activity. I wish you well as we navigate these times. Learn and grow. Thanks for listening.
Steve [Outro]: 08:45 Thanks again for listening, you can subscribe to Steve Barkley, ponders out loud on iTunes and Podbean. And please remember to rate and review us on iTunes. I also want to hear what you’re pondering. You can find me on twitter @stevebarkley or send me your questions and find my videos and blogs at barkleypd.com.