Let’s talk about mindset.
If I asked you, “What are you good at?” What would you say? Would you tell me you’re good with people or animals? Maybe you’d say you’re good at your job. You may even say you have no clue what you’re good at.
If I asked you, “What are you bad at?” What would you say then? Maybe you’re bad at remembering people’s names or important dates. Perhaps you’re bad at being punctual. Maybe you’re even bad at being good, you sly fox, you.
Inquiring further, what if I told you the beliefs you hold about your strengths and weaknesses may merely be stories you’ve come to believe? If I could help you understand the difference between 2 polar opposite mindsets and how to shift to the positive side of the spectrum, would you be interested?
Prepare for a potential tectonic shift in your mental state which can lead to a more fulfilling, happier life.
We are constantly developing stories which define our lives. I’m not talking about the night of debauchery on your last business trip, although we’d love to hear all about that one. I mean the defining stories of characteristics we develop through experience and refine through repetition.
Before you become aware of the stories we tell, you never hear anyone utter the first word of one. However, once you’ve encountered the idea, you suddenly can’t walk 5 feet without hearing a story and the limitations they impose. I commonly hear people say things like:
- “I’m just an emotional eater.”
- “I’m not very athletic.”
- “I’m so forgetful.”
- “I always have to have something sweet.”
- “I could never do that!”
You can begin to see how repeatedly telling ourselves these stories guides us to follow their direction. We experience something unpleasant, uncomfortable or unsuccessful for the first time. Even though the first attempt at many things is often not a good one, we forget this fact and begin to embrace that we’re clearly not good at it.
Stop telling yourself stories.
A fixed mind state.
Simply put, a fixed mind state is a limiting belief system.
Those with a fixed mind state believe they are either good or bad at something and that’s that. There is little to no room for improvement. If you’re not born with it, tough luck.
Other people may be succeeding at something, but there’s no way you could ever do it because you’re just not _____ enough (fill in your limiting adjective of choice).
The chances of a person with a fixed state of mind pursuing further education or skill development are highly unlikely, as they won’t see the point. Why spend all the time and money on trying to improve when you’re clearly not meant to do well?
A growth mind state.
The individual who believes they can do anything they put their mind to has a growth mind state. Seeing any skill as attainable, even if it requires substantial time and effort, is a characteristic of having a growth mind state.
Those who have a growth mind state will actively seek out further education and skill development. They want to get better at X because they know they can. They know they will.
Seeing somebody else succeed is not a threat to you, but rather an inspiration because it lets you know it’s possible. Clearly, someone else has accomplished it, why not you?
An individual with a growth mind state realizes they can accomplish their wildest dreams, even if they weren’t born with the innate abilities to begin with because they only require the time and effort to develop.
The separating factor.
The easy thing to do is assume you have a growth mindset. It’s attractive because it allows us to grow and succeed, therefore we tend to jump to the conclusion that we, too, have it.
However, if you’re truly aware of it, you may begin to realize areas where it has yet to develop.
Perhaps you know you can learn a new language but you just weren’t meant to weigh less. Maybe you are a great parent who takes amazing care of their child, but you’re just not meant to take care of yourself. Or maybe you’re in great shape, but your financial life could use some strengthening.
Take time to properly assess your life. Ask yourself, “What is it that I can’t do?” Reflect on those answers and find ways to allow yourself to switch your mindset.
In my time helping people live healthier lives, I’ve noticed this pop up as a separating factor. Most people come to see me once they’re unhappy and ready for a change. However, there’s a distinct line that divides them.
Some people are not happy at the moment. You can tell they’re ready for change but they do not identify with their current state. They know the change is possible and they’re willing to make the growth happen.
Others are simply no happy. They seem awash at sea. No matter how many life preservers you throw out, they refuse to grab hold, choosing instead to float aimlessly in their unhappiness. They identify with their unhappiness, rather than their future potential.
The people I’ve worked with who have lost those big amounts of weight that change their lives for good were healthy from the beginning, you only had to look deep enough and ask the right questions to see it.
Where do you see yourself?
What to do next.
After assessing your situation and identifying any limiting beliefs you have about yourself, hit the interwebs. There’s a ton of information out there. Whether you want to learn more about the difference in mindsets or you’re ready to start learning and improving on the stories you tell yourself.
Search YouTube, look for ebooks, hit Coursera, Udemy or Kahn Academy.
But an actual book. Find a local mentor or group meetup.
Find an online course taught by a reputable person or organization.
The possibilities are endless, but they only benefit you IF you take action.
Believe you can fix your limiting beliefs. Then do it.
Go forth and fix your growth!