It’s not that you can’t do it. You just can’t do it yet... - Veterinary Practice
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It’s not that you can’t do it. You just can’t do it yet…

Paul Green suggests that taking a Growth Mindset approach to tasks not yet conquered is the path to enlightenment and productivity.

. Maybe for you
it’s clinical work. For me I have two
distinctive abilities I’ve discovered
so far. I am good enough
at business to
generate robust
profits, and
have started to
build up a good
long-term asset
base. And I am
very good at
marketing. I say
this not to boast. I am simply aware of
my super powers.

Here’s something I’m not good
at: DIY. I’d love to be better at it. I
remember as a child following my
wonderful granddad around the house,
assisting him with the various jobs that
had to be done. I adored that. Because
I didn’t actually have the responsibility
for getting the job done.

Today, aged 41, I’m at a point where
my heart sinks if a DIY job needs to
be done and I can’t just hire someone
in to do it. It’s usually the small jobs
that my wife insists “will only take 10
minutes” on a Sunday afternoon. Her
10 minutes turns into 30 to 60 minutes
of swearing for me. And usually some
kind of hand injury as well.

A few months ago, I was trying to
free a large rusted screw in the garden
parasol. It’s one of those big things
that extends and hangs over the table.
But a part had rusted up over winter.
I’d sprayed it with WD-40 and was attacking it with a big screwdriver. I’d
already stabbed my finger. And I was
getting angry with it.

I threw the screwdriver down and
swore. “I can’t do it,” I exclaimed in anger. At
which point my five-year-old
Tilda came up
to me, patted
me on the arm
and said, “No
daddy, you can’t
do it yet. You
just need to try

Bless her. She was right of course. I
did get it done eventually, much to my
wife’s amusement. Tilda has been trained to think
this way by her school. For all of
the criticisms I have of the current
education system, I am a big fan of the
mindset that some schools are trying to
establish in their children.

I’ve been a business owner for 11
years. I made a conscious decision
that I want to raise Tilda to have
an entrepreneur’s mindset, not an
employee mindset. I have no intention of giving her
pocket money or letting her do “jobs”
to earn cash in the future. I shall
be encouraging her to start a small
business to make money.

Last year her school made a decision
to become a Growth Mindset school.
They brought in a system whereby
the kids are encouraged to think and
behave in a certain way.

What is a Growth Mindset? It’s the belief that intelligence and talent can
go up or down; versus a Fixed Mindset,
where you believe that intelligence and
talent are fixed at birth.

The kids are taught to push
themselves, to find stuff they are
good at, and push themselves further
(Tilda at five has pushed herself to the
reading age of a seven-year-old).

The things they are not good at,
they say things like, “I’m going to
train my brain to do this.” You’ll never
hear a child at that school saying, “I’m
just not good at that.” Instead they’ll
tell their teacher, “I need some extra
help on this please, and some time
to improve.” It’s stunning to see it in

I thought I had the Growth Mindset.
It took the Screwdriver Incident to
realise that a Growth Mindset isn’t just
about business and work. It’s about
how you act in every area of your life.
Especially the stuff you’re not naturally
good at.

You can develop and nurture a
Growth Mindset. So can any of your staff.
It’s a powerful attitude because it gives
you the ability to grow your skillset to
do literally anything. At any point of
your life.

It’s about removing the self-limiting
beliefs, about changing the way you
think and how that is reflected in your external language and internal thinking.
What kind of a message does it send to your brain when you replace
sentences such as “I’m either good at it
or I’m not” and “when I’m frustrated
I give up” with “I can learn to do
anything I want” and “my effort and
attitude determine my abilities”?

You can see why I’m excited that
they’re teaching my daughter to think
this way. That primary school is
literally setting her up for a lifetime of

There are five ways to improve your
Growth Mindset, and by investing into
121 coaching, to improve your staff’s
Growth Mindset too:

  1. Believe that you can achieve
    absolutely anything you want.
  2. Change the internal language you
  3. Take ownership over your attitude.
  4. Value your effort over your talent.
  5. Be a 2% thinker (just 2% of the
    population operate outside of their comfort
    zone on a regular basis… those are the people
    who live big lives and achieve everything they

You can learn more about Growth
Mindset in a book called Mindset
by Carol S. Dweck. Changing your
thinking in this way can open up
growth opportunities in your practice
that aren’t available to you… yet.

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