Hearing mindset “voice”

In the last week of September, I attended a five-day seminar on psychology in London, which was very inspiring and interesting. The topic of the seminar was more related to the practical exercise of personal development, rather than academic matters.

We learnt methods on how to identify a “fixed” mindset (a set of assumptions held by one) and what could impact our self-esteem. I actually dug out much of my “fixed” mindset, which just struck me.


Two Types of Mindsets – Carol Dweck

People with a “fixed” mindset believe that qualities such as intelligence and talent are inborn, fixed and unchangeable. Those with a “growth” mindset, on the other hand, believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened with effort.


“What myth am I living?” – Carl Jung

Thankfully, choosing to cultivate a “growth” mindset is possible for any person, by hearing your mindset as a voice. All you need is a notebook and a pen.

Some of my mindset on my work ethic was too rigid and harsh! I asked myself “What is included in MY work ethic?”

I answered:

I must not waste company money and human effort.
I must produce something useful and efficient (otherwise I would fail…)
I must respond to clients immediately, 24/7 (otherwise I would fail…)
I must use inclusive language (“We will…”, “Shall we…”, “Let’s…”).
I must stay late at work (otherwise I would fail…)
And so on!

These were my exact priorities in my work in Tokyo. I truly think these are not necessarily great, and I do NOT like doing them!

The reason why I strongly believed that I must not waste company money is very easy to identify: I was an accountant. This mindset of mine on work ethic is based on the principles of an accountant, having worked at a company in Tokyo. Years later, this still profoundly affects my teaching job in the UK.

I’ve been digging into it, because this surprised me a lot over the week. I wouldn’t have found these aspects of the inner self, but for the opportunity of the seminar.

The peer I met there told me that I should release the mindset and allow myself to be freer and use more imagination. It’s true!!


Here are some resources which I found so interesting:


During the seminar, I stayed in Dulwich, in south London. There was a lot of green space there, and sweet little local shops in the town. I loved the Italian restaurant, Rocca Di Papa, and had a lovely stay in a quieter environment for five days.