How willing are you to try new things and potentially “fail” or “get it wrong”?

Or are you happy to give it a try and maybe learn something from the experience?

The answers to these two questions are a good indicator of your mindset – Fixed or Growth oriented.

Of course mindset is often situational dependent. You can be all about growth in training but fixed in competition for example. Or growth in work but fixed in riding. If you have a Growth Mindset then you believe that anyone can be good at anything; that their abilities can be developed through dedication, perseverance, and the right strategy. Yes in our sport we have to take into account the ability, attitude and health of our horse/s. That we have to accept as any other sport involving a partner (ballroom dancing, pairs figure skating or really any team sports) – that the others team member/s are willing and able to participate, train and develop too. Although sometimes it can be all too easy to blame our results (or lack of) on our horse. This in itself can be an indicator of mindset.

However, if you have a Growth Mindset in your riding then you are able to embrace challenges and develop strategies to overcome setbacks – whether in your own skills or that of your horse. You believe you will find a way, work it out or change something to make it happen. You have a desire to learn and so can see these things as simply ways in which to do so.

“Effort is an essential part in the path to mastery” (S. Jeffrey).
When you love the process of learning then you are happy to put in whatever effort is required to reach a certain goal or standard that you set. You actually embrace the opportunity to put in effort and get much more back from it too.

Another other great part about a Growth Mindset is that you are very likely not to spend any time comparing yourself to others but instead you are inspired by them. You want to know what it is that makes them great? How they managed to achieve things? What you can do to become more like them? The flip side of this is explored in part 2 of this blog – all about the Fixed Mindset.

People who show more of these ways of thinking tare proven to achieve more, persevere for longer, reach peak performance and achieve what they set out to do.

Do you agree with these statements?
You can always learn and develop, no matter how good at something you already are.
There is always something new to learn from any type of experience, even the “bad” ones.
If you do then you are more likely to have a Growth Mindset. Great! Keep on learning and discovering more.

Part 2 of this blog will explore the Fixed Mindset so you can start to identify if you have any of these traits and become aware of  them, their effects and how to make changes…