Anxiety And The Growth Mindset
I find no coincidence that the most common fear people have when talking to new folks also has its own place within the Growth Mindset learning model.
I remember when I was first starting to learn about how to talk to people I was constantly looking for answers to resolve my social anxiety. The countless stories of other people trying to find a solution to their anxiety flooded my search results.
People read books, watch videos, and scroll through blogs trying to find that magic pill that would make their anxiety evaporate. However, time and time again their problems would remain – many couldn’t get over their fears when it came to executing in real life.
All the advice, videos, how-tos, and information that gave them the confidence to go out in the first place would fly out the window.
To be honest, this happened to me more times than I care to admit. In fact, I would argue it happens to everybody at some point!
The question I wondered was, what made overcoming this anxiety easier for some than others?
The Little Stinker We Call The Amygdala
We have this funny piece of ourselves that hasn’t quite evolved in a way that corresponds with the modern world. I find the hardest obstacle in achieving a growth mindset is learning to balance this prehistoric piece of ourselves.
What I speak of is the “fight-or-flight” response and although it is phenomenal for dealing with predators or making scary movies more well, scary, it has it’s flaws. One such flaw is dealing with non-life-threatening situations like talking to new people.
The reason this happens is because when this response is triggered our amygdala (a little area in our brains responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response) gets all powered up! On top of that, our prefrontal cortex (a different area in our brains which responsible for higher-level thinking) takes a back seat (HBR). This article goes more in depth!
Basically, our abilities to think through and make complex decisions (like handling a conversation) are traded for ability to have ninja-like reflexes. Pretty cool. Not that pragmatic.
Think about how this works in real life. Ever see somebody get so worked up that they lose all reason? Our prehistoric brain in action!
Let me ask then – if we are too worked up to think critically, how are we supposed to learn? The short answer: in that state, it’s a whole lot harder!
The Growth Mindset
This is why in order to learn the best we need to get to a point where we are not comfortable but not completely anxious. This golden area is known as the growth zone (NRICH).
Where this area is for each individual is different. However, the principle is the same. If we are in a comfort zone, we are not challenging ourselves enough to learn. If we are in the anxiety zone, we are flooded by the functions of our prehistoric brain to think clearly enough to learn. But if we find that perfect bowl of porridge right in the middle – baby we’re golden!
Finding Your Growth Zone in the Growth Mindset
For me, I had a a really awesome group of friends who would constantly push me to go out and face my fears. Having that group was the make it or break it detail. In my last article that dealt with the loneliness epidemic, I talked about how ubiquitous it is to find people who feel alone.
Many of these folks feel ill-equipped to talk to new people.
With that said, there are a few options to start off with!
First, find a friend who wants to grow with you. If you are having a hard time finding folks who share your mission, join the Galhad Community Forum and ask around. We are all here to learn and it’s totally free!
Second, if you want a step-by-step curriculum on how to talk to other people, grab a copy of my Amazon #1 Bestselling book Communications Crash Course. It’s filled with different level difficulty challenges to help you stretch into your Growth Mindset!
With that said, learning to talk to strangers doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience! If you can find that perfect zone for growth, you will be golden!
Keep on rockin’ – see you next time,
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