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  • Writer's pictureBelinda M

The What, the Why, and the How of Beginner’s Mindset

When was the last time you were asked to have Beginner’s Mindset? For me it's now, as I undertake assessor training against a new rubric. It is hard, out-of-my-comfort-zone study. Asking me to bring a Beginner’s Mindset to something that I have been doing for over a decade is challenging.

Seeing a new rubric through a new lens. It is intensive and exhausting. Often frustration rears her head. What are the benefits of putting ourselves in a Beginners Mindset?


Let’s start with an insight into the What, the Why and the How of Beginners Mindset:


What is Beginner’s Mindset?

Beginner’s Mindset is a lens through which to approach a topic as if you know nothing about it. Coming from nothing. Being open to ‘not knowing’.


Why practice it?

To remind us what it is like to be a learner. To remind us how uncomfortable the learning journey can be – especially when in the Conscious Incompetency stage… arrghh! This gives us compassion for new learners. We are growing our comfort zone and expanding our experiences. This is something people come to coaching for. I doubt you would be reading this if you didn’t want it.


How do we apply it in our lives?

With intention, support, discipline and focussing on the benefits vs the cost.


Sitting with the frustration and uncomfortablity has been the most challenging part of this study. I want to rush ahead and pay lipservice to the material, yet to come from a Beginner’s Mindset I have to slow down and learn/relearn from a new lens. Easier said than done.


We have an online discussion forum and I notice that I want to compare and compete with my fellow learners. My own biases are coming up thick and fast. It’s embarrassing at times how I think I know and then someone offers up a new angle to the problem, or an alternative solution or view. I’m being brave and sharing my views (and insecurities) and cringe as I wait for responses. Phew! My peers are also struggling. I’m not alone. This is why we are all taking this course. To learn anew and expand our knowledge base and skills, expand our minds, and expand our comfort zones.


How am I doing?

Better than when I first drafted this article. As time passes the feeling of uncomfortability is becoming more familiar. I’m starting to move between Conscious Incompetency and Conscious Competency as the weeks pass. I do look forward to spending less time in Incompetency of course (at least my ego does). Over time I will look back at this and wonder what all the fuss was about – when I’m in Unconscious Competency. Yet for now I have to be patient, kind and compassionate, and remember to smile.


Be mindful that as we learn a new skill or process, we move through the Competency Quadrants. Along this path there are many stages of learning that include various levels of confidence in our competence. Be observant and kind to yourself, especially in the Conscious Incompetence stage (the yukky stage!) With practice and perseverance, you will move to competence and ideally end up in the Mastery Zone of Unconscious Competency.


Now some questions for you:


  1. When was the last time you were asked to have Beginner’s Mindset?

  2. How did/does it feel?

  3. When did you last choose to expand your comfort zone? Pain is a great motivator, but to actually choose/enrol yourself to expand your mindset is quite an ask.


Feel free to contact me if you are wanting to expand your comfort-zone, or if you are struggling with Beginner’s Mindset, and let’s begin a conversation to assist you to feel more at peace about it.


Next month, May 2023, I’m leading a Becoming A Coach (BAC) course for Coach U. This 4 hour ‘taster’ course is for anyone interested in … you guessed it… Becoming A Coach. You can find out more here.


These BAC classes occur in a calendar month, about four or five times a year. If this May 2023 class doesn’t suit your schedule, you can always find out when the next BAC’s are scheduled here. I’d love to see you in a Becoming A Coach course, so don’t be shy. Do note that your investment to Coach U for this information rich course is US$99.

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