Has there ever been a time where you thought to yourself I can’t do this? Have you ever started to do something and then backed out because you were scared you would fail or mess up? I used to be the world’s worst at this. I’ve gone from sitting on the top of a mountain crying because I didn’t think I could ski down it, to not taking certain jobs because I didn’t think I would be great at them. Can anyone relate to this? Now we are humans and I feel that it’s in our nature to doubt ourselves at times. But, there is also so much positive potential inside of us that is waiting to be released. We just have to figure out a way to release it. And it starts with the way we approach things–A.K.A. our mindset.
Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset
What are these? And what is the difference? A fixed mindset is one that is stuck in its ways. This mindset is does not want to try anything new. It’s one that feels there can’t be anything else to learn. A fixed mindset is very self critical and tends to give up easily. This type of mindset can only go so far. It sees a finish line and once it gets there, that is all….there can’t possibly be more out there. A growth mindset is one that moves when it gets stuck. This mindset will try something new. It’s one that feels there can always be something to learn from any given situation. A growth mindset is reflective and tends to embrace a challenge. This type of mindset sees challenges, circumstances, situations, and life as a journey. There is no finish line, but rather an array of never ending possibilities.
Which type of mindset do you have? It’s easy to tell…if you’re looking at the growth mindset description thinking you can never be this, or you weren’t born with a growth mindset, so you can never change to a growth mindset….you have a fixed mindset!! Here’s a secret: we ALL have the power to change our mindset. Our mindset doesn’t define who we are, but it does help determine our outlook on life. And we have the power to alter our mindset! All you have to do is be aware of your self-talk.
What are some ways we can change our self talk? Well, as I said before, you have to be aware of it first. By looking at how we think in certain situations, we can begin to expand our own thought patterns and actions. The next time your are faced with a challenge, an opportunity, or a stress in your life recognize the way you talk to yourself. Here are some good starting points.
- DESIRES IN LIFE: Instead of thinking “I’ll stick to what I know” OR “I can’t learn this I’m too old”; try saying “I want to learn new things and I’m eager to take on the challenge.”
- SKILLS/WORK ETHIC: Instead of thinking “it’s okay the way it is there’s nothing I need to change” ask yourself “is this reallyyyy my best work? What can I do to improve?”
- EFFORT: This is a good one! Instead of saying “this is all just a big waste of time, it’s pointless” try saying “what can I learn from this, I know it will teach me something.”
- FAILURE: What we view as “failing” we need to change to just a “setback”. Instead of saying” I’ll just give up, it wasn’t meant to be, I’m not good enough” try saying “my mistakes help me learn, I’ll just try it another way.”
- REACTION: The way react to things says a lot about our mindset. Instead of saying “this is boring, no one likes this” try saying “I recognize my weaknesses and I will work to fix them”
- OTHER’S SUCCESS: With a fixed mindset, when other people are successful we might feel threatened or weak. This is where it gets really easy to have negative self-talk. When we compare. Instead of saying “it’s easy for them, they were born lucky, or smart, or wealthy. They didn’t go through what I’ve gone through.” try saying “I want to know how they did it. If they did it, I can do it.”
It is also important to reflect on how we react or respond to challenges and opportunities. When reflecting there are 5 different questions we can ask ourselves.
- What did I learn from today? Maybe you sat down on top of a ski hill, or had to do a presentation at work. Sometimes you are trying to teach your child a new concept and they test your patience. Other times it may be the way you react to your spouse or boss in a certain situation. If you can ask yourself and answer it honestly, you might find some room to grow.
- What steps did I take to make me successful today? This is HUGE!! Everyday we should be answering this question. Why? Because it helps you to keep yourself as a priority. When you grow, you empower the people around you to grow.
- What are some things I could have done differently? This isn’t you saying, I was a terrible person today…a big fat failure. This is you saying, okay, in the future what can I do different to make it better? Again we can go back to a mountain meltdown, a work presentation, a lesson to your child, or an interaction with your spouse or boss. What can we do different? This is planting the seed of growth.
- How did I keep going when things got tough? It’s so important that we recognize positive things. Especially in the form of our minds. When we get through something tough in our day or week and recognize that, it helps us see we are capable and strong. Noticing what we do right in one situation allows us to transfer that action over to other areas of our life.
- What can you learn from other people who are successful? Envy has a way of blurring our vision. When we are envious of people we tend to oversee the amount of work they do, or the way they do their work. But when we start to notice what it is that successful people do differently and start to implement these things in our own lives, we will see a difference. If you don’t know what someone is doing, simply ask them. Growth mindsets love to share and help others grow.
As you move through this week I encourage you to think about what you want to be. Maybe it’s a better mom, spouse, boss, employee. Perhaps you want to be successful–have your own business, grow your business, change your career. I want you to know that you can do these things. As you move through your week begin to reflect on your reactions and self talk. This isn’t a challenge to reflect every day or completely change your entire life. It’s a challenge to simply reflect once this week. What can you learn? What can you change to get you to where you want to be? What are you doing that is going well? Recognize and acknowledge these things. This is what will help you grow. There is no better time to grow than the day before tomorrow.