Believe it or not, your mindset impacts every area of your life. It is the underlying driving force that motivates you to succeed in life. It could be subconsciously affecting your decision-making processes whether you realize it or not. Just being aware that it exists and can be keeping you stuck in life is the first step toward a breakthrough.
“There isn’t a person anywhere who isn’t capable of doing more than they think they can.” – Henry Ford
Let’s be honest. If you aren’t clear on what a mindset is, or why your mindset matters, you won’t know what you need to do to grow and evolve into the best version of yourself.
In this article, you’ll learn what mindset is and why it matters to your development and personal success.
What is Mindset and Why all the Hype?
One thing is for sure, mindset is not some type of subliminal rainbows and unicorns foolish hype. If you think that then no wonder you or worse someone who you love may feel stuck. Instead of being overly critical and dismissive of concepts that you haven’t researched enough to know what to think, try taking on the mindset of a beginner. You know, someone that admittedly doesn’t know it all, but is a bit teachable and therefore possesses a growth mindset.
According to the dictionary, “mindset is the established set of attitudes held by someone.”
Your mindset can determine how you interpret experiences and the ideas you are most open to. Your mindset can influence your success in life, love, and business. Your mindset can be fixed whereas you experience life from a “what you see is what you got” framework. Or you might have a growth mindset that will allow you to continually grow as a person and live a happier more fulfilled life.
Mindset, according to Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, is the view you adopt, which determines how you live your life, see the world, and make decisions. In other words, it is your perspective or your view of the world. It’s your beliefs about your abilities and qualities that form how you do things or see things. It’s your attitude or mental state.
Fixed versus Growth Mindset Explained
Your mindset shapes your reality and your perception of what you can do and what’s out of reach for you.
Carol Dweck, relates in her insightful book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, there are two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. These mindsets are a component of what we consider our personality.
A fixed mindset is one where it’s assumed that our character, creative ability, and intelligence are fixed traits that cannot be changed. These people believe their basic abilities are what you are born with and they will only ever have a certain amount of ability and intelligence.
People with fixed mindsets focus more on appearing intelligent. They don’t believe that intelligence can be modified. They may inwardly fear appearing stupid to others. They are usually more concerned with how they are being judged and fear that they might not live up to the expectations of others.
Some common fixed mindset thoughts include:
- Either I’m good at something, or I’m not.
- I can’t learn now; it’s too late.
- There’s no point in trying if I’m going to fail.
- I will always struggle with…
- I’m a procrastinator.
- I’m not creative.
- It’s hard for me to lose weight.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one’s belief that their abilities and intelligence can grow with time, work and experience. They believe they can become smarter, that their efforts affect their success, and that with persistence, they can learn what they need to learn to do what they want to do.
Those with a growth mindset believe their basic ability is only the starting point for their true potential. The growth mindset creates a passion for learning rather than a constant need for approval.
Rather than seeing mistakes as failures, they see them as learning and increasing their potential.
Some common growth mindset thoughts include:
- I can always become better through practice.
- I can learn whatever I want or need to, exactly when I need to learn it.
- I see failures as opportunities to learn, reassess, and do better next time.
- I can always do better if I want to, but it will take effort.
- Determination and effort are the measures of my outcomes.
- I enjoy learning and growing, and learning is a lifetime pursuit for me.
- Progress is better than perfection.
There are key differences in responses between a fixed and growth mindset. Challenge is one of them. A person with a fixed mindset will shy away from a challenge, often because of a fear of failure. They may go into hiding to avoid responsibilities. The growth mindset person is excited by challenges. They find them engaging and a key to learning something new and valuable. They master the challenge and move on to greater accomplishments. They grow stronger and get better.
Another key difference is in how each faces mistakes and feedback. A person with a fixed mindset is embarrassed by making mistakes. They look for a way to blame others or become defensive when criticized. The growth mindset person sees mistakes as a learning lesson. They are less likely to take criticism personally. They are open to criticism believing it helps improve their ability to do better next time.
Why Mindset Matters
As you can see, your mindset plays a significant role in how you cope with challenges. As a student, a growth mindset may have helped you achieve more scholastic success because you believed that putting in more effort would yield greater results. Your mindset can determine how resilient or persistent you are.
Your mindset determines how successful you will be in every area of your life. For example, someone with a growth mindset is much more likely to succeed because they are driven and always aim for bigger and better things. Those with a closed or fixed mindset become stagnant, lacking the motivation to achieve more because something inside them says this is it.
Your mindset is the force behind whether you thrive or avoid challenges, how you view failures and setbacks and how you persevere toward your goals.
The good news is that whether you have a growth mindset or not you can attain one. You can change your mindset when you realize it’s keeping you stuck.
If you find you believe that you have a fixed mindset and you genuinely want to change, you can. It will take practice, determination, being more aware of your thoughts, and anticipating what reactions you’re likely to have to situations. With these efforts, you benefit by having a more open, growth mindset that can lead to success in every area of your life.
Be well + prosper,
Read this next: