One of the most frequent topics on this blog is around the importance of our own mindset in reaching our full potential. As the Book of Proverbs reminds us, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
The importance of an upbeat, learning and growing mindset is not only critical to our overall emotional and physical health, but as we view those around us with an initial impression of open and honest compared to secretive and deceptive, we begin to build the foundation for heathy relationships.
What we see in our mind’s eye is the first step in reaching our full potential.
If I were to synthesize all of the academic research, the influence within most families, and the impact of our society on the development of our mindset, it would be this:
We are more than we think we are
We will split this blog into two parts. Research and our own practical experience would suggest there are some different mindset limitations between females and males. We will cover females today and males on the next blog. As a male, I realize I am stretching more than a bit to say I understand the female mindset, but I have done my best to incorporate a vast amount of published work and my own life experience to draw some conclusions. I appreciate your understanding if I fall short.
The Dove Real Beauty Sketches series touched a nerve with over 60+ million people. I would highly encourage you to view the short 3 minute video.
Over time, there have been other studies and resources that help give us insight into the environment that has the potential to be a significant driver to some hardwired thoughts in the minds of women, both young and old. Here are just a few examples:
- Outward beauty and appearance correlate to a wonderful life
- Leadership and innovation in science, technology and business are beyond practical reach
- Physical and emotional strength may not be sufficient for all the challenges in life
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, an important aspect of reaching our full potential is to understand the attitudes and behaviors of the environment we live in, understand how those attitudes maybe deep seated in our subconscious, and continually work to rise above a limiting mindset to see a more fulfilling, productive path to reach our full potential.
Similar to the initial statement above that “we are more than we think we are,” if I was to consolidate all the research, family influence, school yard (and workplace) dynamics just for the mindset of a woman, I would say:
You are stronger and more brilliant and beautiful than you think you are.
Those words were chosen specifically because of a few key realities:
- Despite having numerous examples of tremendous emotional, mental and physical strength around us, the mindset that many girls grow up with is that they are not strong enough.
- In our world, we often don’t mix brilliant and beautiful in the same description. It is one or the other that is highlighted. Despite numerous examples of women driving scientific and technology discovery, there is still the predominant framework that the fields of scientific discovery and business innovation will be dominated by men. Also, as evidence of the impact of the Dove beauty sketches, the perception of personal beauty still impacts the mindset of women.
- One additional thought and suggestion…every father should remind his daughter (s) that they are stronger and more brilliant and beautiful than they think they are…and never stop reminding them of that fact as they will be continually bombarded, beyond the middle school playground to include their own journey in relationships and family, that they are not strong enough or brilliant and beautiful enough. Start today.
As we work hard to proactively build an effective mindset that we are more capable, talented and brilliant and beautiful than we think we are, we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our full potential. This week we addressed women and next week we will address men…stay tuned.