Mind-Set Makeover: Changing the way you think could be the secret to sucess
Your mindset is a self-perception you hold about yourself and is also an asset that you can strengthen and grow. A fixed mindset means seeing things as black and white – absolute success or absolute failure. If something goes wrong there’s no getting away from it, and if someone challenges you... well they had better watch out! The easiest way to notice if you’re falling into a fixed mindset is to be aware when you start to get defensive or can feel resistance creeping in.
A growth mind-set however supports happiness, growth, and achievement because, in the words of Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in this field: ‘In a growth mindset, people believe that their
most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.’
A growth mind-set focuses on the journey as well as the outcome and allows you to see challenge as a process to work through and an opportunity to serve your growth. You might notice whether you have a fixed or growth mind- set when it comes to welcoming criticism, taking on challenges,
thinking about your intelligence, making mistakes – and choosing to learn from them – because you know it serves your growth.
The research into mind-set suggests that we all have both fixed and growth mind-sets. A fixed mind-set can often be triggered by a critical comment or not performing as well as peers, and can result in feeling insecure and defensive. But when we are self-aware, we can choose to shift into a growth mind-set and use the challenge for personal growth.
So instead of thinking of an athlete as ‘talented’ we would see that their success has been achieved through effort, consistency and practice. That’s why some talented young people miss out on success because they have been coached or taught to believe they are naturally gifted and so fail to work on their mind- set and put in as much effort to create the result.
Shift your mind-set
When choosing to change the way you think, you are naturally required to take a new level of
awareness, and a great way to do this is to ask yourself questions. Start with the questions below, to help you gain a better understanding of where your mind-set has been fixed in the past before,
and how you can shift to take a new perspective, and feel happier today.
>>Where can you notice that you have fallen in to a fixed mind-set before? (Remember one of the big red flags is when you start to get defensive over something.)
>>Where have you given up when things have become difficult?
>>Where have you told yourself you’re not ‘intelligent’ or ‘talented’ enough?
>>Where have you made a mistake or failed at something, and noticed telling yourself you’re no
>>Where could you choose to take a growth approach to something that you are currently finding challenging?
>>Where have you focused on making more effort in order to create results?
>>Where can you consciously choose to accept criticism graciously, because you know it is helping you learn?
>>Where can you identify a challenge, struggle, or something that feels hard for you, and find gratitude for the process?
Consciously shifting mind-sets
It’s not always easy to see our own behaviour and limits. Imagine that you are feeling wronged by someone or something and you are spinning yourself a story about how unfair things are and how nothing is ever going to get any better. If you have a fixed mind-set then you believe that and stay stuck there. Having a growth mind-set however, invites you to take a different approach. You’re able to release yourself from negative feelings, where you’ve been telling yourself you’re not good enough. Now armed with a growth mind-set, you know that with effort, you can achieve all you desire. You’re also able to reframe your experience, both from the past, within an instant,
and for the future too. This means life becomes way more enjoyable, and you love the journey so
much more. ✂
Extract taken from Now is Your Chance, A 30- Day Guide to Living Your Happiest Life Using Positive Psychology by Niyc Pidgeon (£10.99, Hay House UK)