The Beginner’s Mindset

Remember how you were when you were a child, when you were learning something new. You approached it with a clean slate. Things were added to that slate that gave you awe and wonder. You probably asked lots of questions and were absorbed in the new subject. You had a beginner’s mindset then and you couldn’t wait to learn more. 

As adults, we focus on perfecting our skills and becoming experts. Especially in business we want to be experts in our field. After perhaps spending years immersing ourselves in a field, things may become automatic. It might be easy to go through the motions because you’ve done it all before. You know how your business works, you know what your customers will ask you. You stop observing and identifying teachable moments.

Why it’s important to develop a beginner’s mindset

Developing a beginner’s mindset is an important trait in business as it is in life. A good quote by the late Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki Roshi goes as follows:

In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.

This quote tells us that unless we employ a beginner’s mind, we will potentially miss out on a lot of possibilities.

So how can we nourish or encourage a beginner’s mindset? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Be open-minded – Answers and insights can come from the most unexpected quarters, so we have to be open to seeing these insights. Having a fixed mindset makes you rigid.
  2. Be non-judgmental– Everyone has their own specific knowledge and something to contribute. Embrace different perspectives!
  3. Be mindful– Mindfulness is being discussed more, and for good reason. We catch more, see more, when we are mindful and in the moment.
  4. Be inquisitive– Asking questions can open up new worlds and opportunities as well as creating connections.

Can you imagine how different your business could look if you’re more open-minded, non-judgmental, mindful, and inquisitive? The possibilities are endless. Why not step away from the status quo and take on a beginner’s mindset? 

Read this myCEO post for more on mindset.