MINDSET: Leadership: On Your Marks | Great Health Guide
MINDSET: Leadership: On Your Marks

MINDSET: Leadership: On Your Marks

‘Leadership: On Your Marks’ by Kelly Swingler published in Great Health Guide (April 2017). Whatever success you are seeking, a positive mindset it vital to achieving it. Mindset can be tricky to manage, so learn how to think and interact positively through two different categories of mindset, fixed mindset and growth mindset. 
Read other Mindset articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.

MINDSET: Leadership: On Your Marks

written by Kelly Swingler

A positive mindset is vital to achieving success success, whether we run our own businesses, have a job or are on the ladder. If we choose to be a stay at home parent, take a career break or volunteer, mindset is what will help us shine and succeed. Why is this so?

Let’s start by looking at the two defined categories of mindset, fixed mindset and growth mindset.

Many of us are in the growth mindset category, if you think about it we must be, to realise our dreams and achieve our vision. If we are in a fixed mindset, we won’t be open to new opportunities, learning new skills and trying new things, without which we are unlikely to get to the level of success that we desire.

When I started my first business, I spoke to many people and heard many stories, both good and bad about what running a business was like. I was told that as a business owner, I would spend at least 80% of my time running the business, instead of doing the work I wanted to do.

Fixed Mindset: 

I’m either good at it, or I’m not

When I’m frustrated, I give up

I don’t like to be challenged

When I fail, I’m no good

Tell me I’m smart

Of you succeed, I feel threatened

My abilities determine everything

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Growth Mindset:

I can learn anything I want to

When I’m frustrated, I presevere 

I want to challenge myself

When I fail, I learn

Tell me I try hard

If you succeed, I’m inspired

My effort and attitude determine everything


At that time, I thought this was ridiculous, but it turned out to be true. My expertise was in people development and coaching. I knew little about finance, marketing, social media, spread-sheets, networking, blogging, writing, IT etc.

When I started my business, I had left my well-paid job in London with no savings and no back up plan. I learnt things the hard way and on occasions, probably many occasions, got things wrong. I have wasted time, money and effort trying to learn; some things I have developed well and others not so well.

If I had done the sensible thing and saved enough money to get started, identified where I needed support and found the right people in the first place, this would have helped enormously.

If I had a fixed mindset however, no savings and no back up, it is extremely likely that I would be back working in full time employment and not doing what I am doing now.

I remember working from home one day, only a couple of months into my new venture and my laptop and printer died. Historically I would have called the IT department, but I longer had an IT department to call. I did the usual technical thing, turned them both off and on again, checked the plugs then left them for a minute, two, five, ten and still nothing. On this day, I felt alone for the first time. I felt alone, isolated and like a complete failure. Who was I to think I knew what I was doing? How dare I think that I was capable enough of running a successful business? Time to start job hunting. I was contemplating giving it all up because of a laptop and a printer. I couldn’t look for a job as my laptop wasn’t working. So, I did the next best thing, I went for a walk.

During my walk, I talked myself around. I remembered that I had a business card of an IT consultant, told myself I was not a failure,I would not be looking for a job because this was now my job, success was the only way forwards.


Mindset can be a tricky thing to manage. When we find ourselves feeling stressed or anxious, we move to the primitive part of our brain, our flight or fight response kicks in and we can quickly find ourselves in the space of negative self-talk.

To keep us energised, uplifted and happy, we need to think positively, act positively and interact positively, the 3 P’s. They work, if you are in the right mindset and have the right frame of mind.

My 5 Top Tips for a positive mindset:

  • be clear on your vision, do all you can to stay focussed

  • surround yourself with energy angels – people and tasks that fill you with energy

  • limit the time you spend with energy vampires – people and tasks that drain you of energy. Ideally you want a ratio of 3:1 angels to vampires

  • take time out to relax and switch off

  • remember that being busy is not the same as being productive.

Author of this article:
Kelly Swingler, Founder at Chrysalis Consulting is currently undertaking a PhD in Organisational Change and the Courage of Leaders. Kelly has a strong background in HR; having worked in the industry for 18 years, she is a qualified and accredited Executive Coach and lives in the UK. Kelly can be contacted at Chrysalis consulting.

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Author Kathryn Dodd

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