Basecamp for Men E31: Adopting a Growth Mindset

E31: Adopting a Growth Mindset with Special Guest Hylke Faber

My guest today is author Hylke Faber and he is an expert on mindset.

There has been a surge of interest in recent years on mindset and psychology, and with good reason. Understanding the software that our brain is running and being able to upgrade it to something more powerful and uplifting, makes good sense for us human beings.

Our culture in the west has long had a strong emphasis on success and achievement and this has indeed produced results. However, it has also given rise to what is referred to as a fixed mindset. In a fixed mindset, you will be focused on the results only, no matter the cost.

Because of this, you will tend to avoid risk and upsets and will do your best to not have anyone see you fail or struggle. A fixed mindset is marked by fear: fear of failure, fear of uncertainty, fear of being seen as foolish or in your humanity. It’s also a mindset that is driven by ego and status.

One of the traits of a fixed mindset is a sort of rigid binary thinking: right/wrong, black/white, good/bad. It’s the egos attempt to control things by neatly putting them in boxes. If the ego thinks that success must be had at all costs and even small setbacks are seen as “bad”, then the ego will subconsciously convince you to create a frontman. A persona that will act the part of a successful man: always confident, never letting them see you uncertain or afraid, and don’t let them see the details of your particular challenges lest they see you as weak.

I believe that this kind of thinking will ultimately be seen as a relic. An outdated way of approaching life that doesn’t suit our tribe. It‘s not that the fixed mindset is BAD per se. It’s just that you aren’t optimizing your learning about life or yourself. To continue with the software analogy, the fixed mindset can be seen as an earlier version of ourselves. A software that had some bugs we needed to work out- fear, inauthenticity, separation, and ego. The new version of our software is vastly improved as you will see as you start to use it.

The new version is often referred to as the growth mindset. This is a mindset that is marked by curiosity, authenticity, and learning. In a growth mindset, the ego is taken out of the driver’s seat in service to larger themes such as learning and contributing to a sense of our shared humanity. A growth mindset also allows collective wisdom to emerge. You look at situations clearly and share your challenges with others. This has the impact of accelerating the learning for everyone as we all learn to share in more authentic ways. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Enjoy the interview and thank you, listeners!

Tony