If you’ve ever battled stage jitters or felt daunted by an impending speaking gig, you're not alone. But here's the good news: a growth mindset can change the game for you. Instead of focusing on how hard public speaking can be, zero in on how rewarding and improvable it is. With a growth mindset, you can achieve unshakable confidence in public speaking and turn every speaking gig into an empowering experience. Even if you are already a confident speaker, a growth mindset can help you achieve greater heights. Let’s delve right in!
What is a Growth Mindset?
Coined and popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is the empowering belief that your skills can be developed with effort and learning. In the realm of public speaking, this mindset can help you to achieve unshakable confidence in the face of challenges. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty by looking at a limiting belief, a growth mindset reframe, and then why it matters specifically regarding public speaking.
Growth Mindset in Action: Your Inner Monologue
Facing Fear of Public Speaking
Limiting Belief: "I'm too nervous to speak in public."
Growth Mindset Reframe: "Being nervous is a natural reaction, and it's something I can learn to manage."
Why It Matters: Acknowledging that nervousness is normal and surmountable opens you up to strategies for overcoming it, like deep-breathing techniques or focusing exercises. (My free “Overcome Your Fear Training” specifically uses a growth mindset with a simple formula anyone can benefit from.)
Limiting Belief: "I always forget the third point in my presentation."
Growth Mindset Reframe: "I can remember the third point; I just haven’t figured out how yet."
Why It Matters: This reframe shifts your focus from the problem to the solution, giving you space to explore memory aids or rehearsal techniques that can help.
Limiting Belief: "This topic is too complex for me to present."
Growth Mindset Reframe: "This topic is challenging, which makes it an excellent opportunity for me to grow."
Why It Matters: Viewing challenges as growth opportunities enables you to engage more deeply with your material, potentially turning a complex subject into one of your strongest talking points.
Being Open to Learning
Limiting Belief: "I've been doing this for years; there's nothing more for me to learn."
Growth Mindset Reframe: "There's always room for improvement and new perspectives to consider."
Why It Matters: No matter your experience level, there's always something new to learn in public speaking—be it audience engagement techniques, slide design, or storytelling methods.
Effort and Practice
Limiting Belief: "I don't have a natural talent for public speaking."
Growth Mindset Reframe: "Public speaking is a skill I can develop with effort and practice."
Why It Matters: By attributing success to effort and practice, you're more likely to invest the time needed to improve.
Inspiration from Others' Success
Limiting Belief: "That person is so much better at public speaking; I'll never reach that level."
Growth Mindset Reframe: "Their success is inspiring; let me find out how they achieved it and adapt it to my style."
Why It Matters: Using others' success as a source of inspiration rather than a point of comparison can motivate you to aim higher and explore new avenues for growth.
Your Career Deserves Your Best Voice
In any professional arena, whether you're a lawyer, coach, artist, or activist, your voice matters. When you cultivate a growth mindset, you empower yourself to become a better communicator and, by extension, a better professional or artist.
How to Start Cultivating a Growth Mindset Today
1. Recognize Limiting Beliefs: Catch yourself when you slip into self-defeating thoughts.
2. Reframe with Growth-Oriented Language: Turn those limiting beliefs into growth opportunities through positive self-talk. You’ll be amazed how motivating and inspiring positive self-talk can be!
3. Take Action: Begin today. Tell yourself that you can improve your public speaking (and any other area in your life) with a growth mindset. (“I can improve my public speaking with a growth mindset.”) Voila!
Final Thoughts: The Power of Positive Speaking
As you journey through your public speaking career, remember: "A growth mindset is not just about effort. Perhaps the most common misconception is simply equating the growth mindset with effort. Virtually all great people have had these qualities." - Carol Dweck.
What limiting beliefs do you have and would be open to sharing? Let’s keep the conversation going by adding your thoughts and sharing below.
Keep speaking, keep growing, and embrace your true potential! 🌟🎙️