A lot of people seem to be talking about mindset these days. At least that’s what I’ve been hearing. They talk about positive and negative mindsets, growth mindset, abundance mindset, etc.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on it lately because I wanted to make sure my mindset wasn’t holding me back in any way.
Well, let me tell you, there is a lot about mindset on the interweb. There are also tons of books on it too. Literally, there’s so much information out there.
Now, I don’t want to see you spending half your day researching all there is about it. So instead I’ve done that for you (though I might have spent an entire weekend researching instead…)
In this blog post, I’m gonna help you understand what mindset actually is and why it’s important for your personal development.
Are you ready? Let’s dive right in.
What is Mindset?
Before we go any further, you need to understand what mindset is exactly.
In simple terms, it’s a way of thinking. But let’s dive deeper than that.
Your mindset is a collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought process. Then, in turn, affects how you think, feel, and do everything.
So really your mindset impacts how you make sense of the world and how you make sense of yourself. It’s your view on what is possible.
So, your mindset sounds like a pretty big deal, right?
Let’s talk about why in much more detail.
Why is your Mindset so Important?
Alright, here’s the thing, understanding your mindset is pretty important, and I’ll tell ya why.
Let’s say you’re thinking about quitting your 9-5 job in a big corporate office to start your own sewing business. (I know, big example, but stay with me). You are pretty excited about the idea but your best friend says that it’s a terrible idea because once when you hemmed up her dress, it came right out a week later. This incident is now in your brain and you might tell yourself if you can’t even sew your friend’s dress, why would you even bother trying to open your own sewing business. You give up on the idea of opening your own business and stay at your soul-sucking 9-5 job. Sad right.
This is an example of how your mindset can be self-limiting, often called a fixed mindset, but more on that later.
Now hey, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, other people’s beliefs about you do not define you!
This is where really understanding your mindset becomes so important.
You have to go through all the crap you’ve heard or seen to figure out what you truly believe. This can be hard work, especially if you’ve been on this planet for a while, but it can be so rewarding if you are able to change and grow your mindset.
You know what? I think you can do anything you put your mind too. The world will never know your amazing talents and abilities if you don’t try.
The question is not “Who am I”, the question is “Who am I Becoming”.
Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
Now that you know what mindset is and why it’s important let’s discuss the different types.
There are two main types of mindsets: Growth and Fixed
A Growth Mindset is when people believe their most basic abilities and qualities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning that is essential for great accomplishments.
Basically, these types of people believe that “Great learners are made, not born”, and they focus more on the journey rather than the end result, or goal.
On the opposite end, a Fixed Mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talents, are fixed traits. Meaning their abilities are unchangeable.
With this attitude, you believe that you are essentially born with abilities you can’t change or get better at.
They believe that if talent is fixed, ‘why bother improving’ or ‘why even try’.
Using the example above, if you believe you can only hem dresses that fall out a week later, you have a fixed mindset. You believe that you can never get better at it, no matter how much practice you put in, so why would you even bother trying.
People with fixed mindsets view failure as permanent and are not encouraged to try again. While people with growth mindsets view failing as a chance to learn and try again.
You Have Control of Your Mindset
The best part about understanding mindset is that now you can start to learn how to control it yourself.
You can craft it to work for you, not against you. To give you the strength and power, rather than drag you down.
However, we only have control if we take control.
Here are a few steps you can start today to begin taking control of your mindset:
1. Start learning to hear your fixed mindset “voice”
The next time you approach a challenge, notice the voice that says: “Are you sure you can do that?” or “What if you fail – people will laugh at you.”
Pay attention to when and why you are thinking that way.
2. Recognize that you have a choice
You have a choice in how you interpret the challenges, setbacks, and criticism.
You can continue to interpret them in a fixed mindset with that voice in the back of your head saying “You can’t do it”.
Or you can start to interpret them with a growth mindset, as signs that you should ramp it up and expand your abilities.
3. Talk back to it with your growth mindset voice.
When your fixed mindset says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.” Respond back saying: “I’m not sure I can do it now, but with time and effort I can learn how to.”
Fixed: “What if you fail?”
Growth: “The most successful people had failures along the way too. I can learn from my failures and continue to improve.”
Fixed: “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”
Growth: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Practice hearing both voices, and focus on cultivating your growth mindset.
Your mindset affects everything from creative risk-taking to how you view feedback from others and whether or not you finish difficult tasks.
In the end, it’s one of the greatest factors in determining whether or not you will grow and improve in your abilities.
Now that you understand how important your mindset is, you can start working to change it from fixed to growth.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Rewire Your Brain by Richard Kim