Welcome to a new week and if your reading this on Tuesday, welcome to a new month. After last weeks curve ball of a blog about my travels, this week I want to return to what I know and do best.
I want to discuss mindset.
Can what you believe about yourself impact your success or failure? Psychologists think so. They believe your beliefs play a major role in what you want and whether you achieve it. So what is a mindset? People with a fixed mindset believe that these qualities are inborn, fixed, and unchangeable whereas those with a growth mindset, believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened by way of commitment and hard work.
Let’s keep it simple before we dive in. A mindset is a way of thinking. a frame of mind. Your mindset is your collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought habits. And your thought habits affect how you think, what you feel, and what you do. Your mind-set impacts how you make sense of the world, and how you make sense of you.
Your mindset is a big deal.
Why is it that some people seem to shine in any area in which they choose to exert themselves, and others cannot manage even a glimmer despite obvious talent?
Research shows that it’s the way that they think about their ability that really counts.
There are two ways to view intelligence or ability:
Ability it is fixed or ingrained – in other words, we are born with a certain level of ability and we cannot change that. This is called a fixed mindset.
We can develop our ability through hard work and effort. This is called a growth mindset.
These two different beliefs lead to different behaviour, and to different results. For example, students with a growth mindset were shown to increase their grades over time. Those who believed that their intelligence was ingrained did not. in fact, their grades got worse.
Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability and can learn and improve) is the key to success.
This is why you should never praise children by talking about their ability, but instead describe the effort that they put in, and how much they have learned and developed their ability through the activity.
Don’t say: “Well done. You’re really good at maths.”
Do say: “That’s great. You tried really hard and look how well you’ve done.”
It is important to praise the process, not the talent or ability.
Mindset in Practice
People with these two mindsets actually think differently and also react to information differently.
In particular, they respond differently to information about performance.
In people with a fixed mindset, the brain is most active when they are being given information about how well they have done, for example, test results, grades or praise.
Whereas people with a growth mindset, the brain is most active when they are being told what they could do to improve.
It’s a very different approach: from ‘How did I do?’ to ‘What can I do better next time?’
One is about how they are perceived, and one is about how they can learn. You can see which one is likely to lead to better results in future.
How do you deal with setbacks may tell you what mindset you have.
People with a fixed mindset are very discouraged by setbacks, because a setback dents their belief in their ability. They tend to become uninterested and give up.
People with a growth mindset view a setback as an opportunity to learn. They tend to try harder in an effort to overcome the problem.
I am a strong believer that success and happiness are all about mindset. Your mindset and belief system affect everything in your life from what you think and feel to how you act and react to the world around you.
In order to achieve your goals, your mindset needs to match your aspirations, otherwise, it might be holding you back from getting where you want to be.
Here are some effective ways you can upgrade your mindset:
- Change your Self-Talk
The conversations you have with yourself are a direct reflection of your mindset. If you are telling yourself “I am not good enough to achieve my dreams”, your thoughts will create your reality and your mindset will hold you back from having the life you want. To upgrade your mindset, change your negative self-talk to an empowerment speech. Sounds strange, but telling yourself “I can do this” or “I got this”, really works.
- Change your Language
After changing your inner thought dialogue and the story you are telling yourself, change the way you talk to other people. Avoid phrases like “I am always like this” or “I am always doing this” for encouraging a growth mindset. Also make it a habit to talk about the things that are going well in your life instead of complaining and talking about your problems. This will encourage a mindset of abundance instead of fear and lack.
- Determine the mindset you need and act as if
Pick a goal you want to achieve and ask yourself: “Which mindset do I need to achieve this goal?” and “Which mindset do people have that were successful at this goal?”.
For example, healthy & fit people might share the mindset “I love taking care of my body, nourishing it with whole foods and exercising every day.”. If it’s your goal to be healthy & fit, act as if you already HAVE the mindset of a healthy & fit person. This way, you are basically tricking your brain to adopt a new mindset and reinforcing it with action.
- Learn & Apply
Read books from great minds to understand and adopt their thinking. Read books about how the mind and brain works. Learn from mindset experts through online courses, events, and coaching.
Here are some mindset resources:
Mindset by Carol Dweck to learn about the growth mindset
Everything from Gabrielle Bernstein to adopt a mindset of abundance and align with the flow of life
The writing of Thomas Oppong on Medium for great nuggets on improving your thinking
- Surround yourself with people that match your desired mindset
Want to upgrade your money & success mindset? Start hanging out with people that are very successful and seem to have an abundance of money flowing their way at any time. It is easier to adopt a new mindset when you see that it is already working for other people. Learn how they think and adapt their daily habits to match their mindset.
- Create new habits to support your mindset change
Integrate powerful habits into your day that help your mindset change and reinforce your thinking with action. If you are upgrading from “fixed” to “growth” mindset, schedule time for learning and start noting down your learnings and achievements every day. If you are upgrading from “destination” to “journey” mindset, practice being mindful, enjoying the present moment and celebrating small successes.
- Step out of your comfort zone
If you put yourself in situations that challenge you, you have no other choice than to rise to the occasion and upgrade your mindset. It becomes a necessity to survive.
So ask yourself “What situations can I put myself in that will require me to operate on a higher mindset?”. Basically, the idea is to engineer your environment to train your brain!
Remember be careful in how you talk to yourself as we believe what we hear and we are listening to ourselves all the time.
Now I’m a little guy but I’ve had some really big guys in my Hypnotherapy practice where I have used a convincer shown to me by a fellow hypnotherapist to show them the power of our mind, and little old me was able to overpower a 6 foot giant (well I am only 5’4″).
So what mindset do you think you have and why do you think that? I would love to know.
Until next week. Have a great one
I am a hypnotherapist based in Suffolk, I work in Suffolk, Cambridge and Essex. I have written 6 children’s books and 1 adult anxiety book. I also paint (and I don’t mean my living room and kitchen )