Your mindset refers to your beliefs around whether or not qualities are changeable. This may seem like it won’t have a huge impact on your life but it does..
What is your mindset?
- Do you believe that people only have a certain amount of intelligence or talent?
- Do you belief that no matter what you do, there isn’t much you can do to improve yourself?
- Do you belief that some people are talented while others aren’t?
- Are you scared of trying new things because you think you will look dumb?
- Do you believe that only people born with a talent become successful?
If you answered yes to most of these questions then you have a fixed mindset.
A Fixed Mindset Vs. A Growth Mindset
A fixed mindset at it’s core is the belief that people are unable to change how talented or intelligent they are. This mindset leads to negative thoughts and an avoidance of new things. When you have a fixed mindset you tend to think things like: I can’t do it, I am not talented enough and it’s too hard. This stops you from even trying and if you don’t try you can’t grow.
Say you wanted to learn something new like photography. Now every time you pick up the camera, you think I’m going to suck. You won’t even want to try. Then when you do try and you look at your photos, you think oh god I am never going to get better. Over time your camera starts to collect dust. You have given up because it is just too hard.
The growth mindset is the belief that your qualities can be developed through dedication and hard work. That means that it’s the belief that you can be good at cooking or talking to others or that you can become smarter. This mindset can acknowledge setbacks as opportunities instead of using them as reasons to quit.
Let’s try the photography example and use a growth mindset instead.
So, you have just picked up the camera and you think I am so excited to see what I can do. This thought makes you excited to go out and try. Then when you get home and look at your pictures, you think these aren’t looking the way I want them too. Instead of quitting, you research how to take better photos. Now you are excited to go out and try again. Over time, your photography continues to get better and you look for more opportunities to grow. Can you imagine all the things you could do if you developed a growth mindset instead of a fixed one.
Growing up I had a fixed mindset. I refused to raise my hand in class (in case I got it wrong). When the teacher would tell me how I could improve I would think that I was not good enough. I was constantly overwhelmed and rarely left my comfort zone. Over time I’ve developed a growth mindset which has helped me learn to code and given me more confidence in my ability to do new thing (even if it takes a couple tries to succeed). So, if you want to change your mindset here are some ways to start:
So, if you want to change your mindset here are some ways to start:
- Practice positive self-talk. Positive self-talk changes your emotions, which change your reactions. When you hear a negative thought in your head, replace it with a positive one. Of course this can be easier said then done. So, start small. You don’t have to go from thinking I suck to I’m the most amazing person ever. Instead you can slowly change the thoughts to something that is more positive but you still believe them. For example, if you think, “I can’t do this” replace it with “I can try to do this”. Or you can change, “I am not good at this” to “I am not good at this YET”. One small word can make a huge difference. *For more information on positive self-talk : title
- When facing a set back, sit down and brainstorm ways you can either overcome the problem or stop it from happening again. For example, if you just tried to learn how to sew and you realized you can’t even figure out how to start it. That is definetely a problem. However, their are lots of videos online and affordable classes that can help you overcome the problem. Every problem has a solution.
- Break large tasks into smaller ones. If thinking about trying something new makes you feel overwhelmed before you even start, break the task into smaller tasks. Learning to talk to other people more confidently at work can seem like an impossible task. That is until you break it down. You can start by reading a book on talking confidently or being more confident, then you can practice with some of your loved ones before taking the plunge at work
- The hardest part of going from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is fear. When you have a fixed mindset, their tends to be a fear of looking silly or that you will never be good enough. This tends to be a big obstacle in trying to improve their lives. Part of conquering fear is just jumping in. The more you do something you are scared of the less scary it becomes.