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Most of us can agree that the state of our mind has an impact on how we feel. For example, if your mind has hundreds of negative thoughts looping all day long, you’re probably going to feel negative much of the day. However, if your mind is looping predominantly positive thoughts all day, you’ll probably […]

Is Your Mindset Fixed Or Growth-Oriented?

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Mavenelle Editors

Photo by Apostolos Vamvouras from Pexels

Most of us can agree that the state of our mind has an impact on how we feel. For example, if your mind has hundreds of negative thoughts looping all day long, you’re probably going to feel negative much of the day. However, if your mind is looping predominantly positive thoughts all day, you’ll probably have a pretty good day emotionally.

Experts agree that your mindset matters when it comes to the quality of your life or wellbeing. If you want to experience a more positive, optimistic life, a good start would be doing a little digging into your mindset to see just what’s going on there.

What Does Mindset Mean?

Essentially, your mindset is the way your mind thinks. It’s the “you” that’s been programmed by parents, society, and peers since you were born. Many people grow up and believe that their mindset is fixed in place. In other words, they don’t think they can change their mindset.

However, according to psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University, your mindset can change, which is excellent news for those that aren’t happy with the way their minds (or lives) are now.

What Is A Fixed Mindset?

If you have a fixed mindset, you consciously or unconsciously believe that your intelligence or talents are fixed. You think that you can’t change mentally. For example, let’s say Jim grows up in a home where his parents have fixed mindsets. They are set in their ways.  

As a result, Jim grows up thinking that his intelligence, creativity, and personality are fixed. He doesn’t believe he can become more imaginative, more creative, or learn skills to help him become more successful in his personal and professional life.

He’s fallen prey to a fixed, stagnant mindset. He thinks, “It is what it is,” and may go on to live a life marked with apathy, sadness, and discontentment.

Characteristics of a fixed mindset include:

  • You believe nothing will ever change for you
  • You give up when the going gets tough
  • You stay in your comfort zone
  • You put yourself down
  • You think you’re not smart
  • You feel like you could never change your personality
  • You take feedback or constructive criticism personally. You may get angry or frustrated.
  • You’re apathetic, believing nothing you do or don’t do matters.

What Is A Growth Mindset?

If you have a growth mindset, you believe that you can develop and change your intelligence and skills. If you take time, effort, and action, you understand that you can learn to change, grow, and flourish personally and professionally. 

If you have a growth mindset, you won’t take failure or a setback personally. You understand that setbacks are simply speedbumps along your journey. You learn from them and keep going. If you fall, you get back up and try again. You’re resilient, motivated, and dedicated to growing along your life journey. 

Further characteristics of a growth mindset include:

  • The desire to learn new things 
  • Embracing feedback or constructive criticism to learn 
  • The desire to increase your intelligence
  • Reading about others who are successful to learn about them

Science has made significant strides in learning how the brain can change significantly, even well into adulthood. In particular, neuroscience teaches that you can change your brain or mindset no matter what your programming or conditioning has been. The neural pathways in the brain are “plastic,” which means they’re flexible and changeable.

This is good news if you’ve been feeling stagnant in your life. It means that you can begin doing the work to change your mindset from fixed to growth-oriented. 

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

How To Improve Your Mindset

Now that you know you can move from a fixed mindset to a growth-oriented mindset, it’s time to get busy using helpful strategies for doing so. To achieve your personal or professional goals, begin cultivating a strong, optimistic growth mindset using the following:

  • Adopt A “Can Do” Attitude

No longer tell yourself or others that you can’t do something. Rather, adopt a “can do” attitude. Even if you’re not sure how to achieve a goal, don’t give up. Do some research and learn how can start to make progress. You may even want to reach out to someone who has already accomplished that goal and get some solid advice. 

  • Get Up Time And Time Again

If you fall, get up and keep going. If you fail, consider it a speed bump and learn from the experience. A growth-oriented mindset won’t automatically shut down when faced with challenges or pitfalls. It will remain open, pliable, determined, and optimistic. This can be your goal!

  • Do It Even If It’s Scary

Getting out of your comfort zone may feel scary, but it can also do you good. If you talk to successful people, they’ll tell you that they had to step out of their comfort zone many times along their journey. They felt the fear and went forward anyway. So can you!

Making Life Changes: It’s Up To You

You have the opportunity to change and grow your mindset in a way that can help you create the kind of life you truly desire. If you’ve been feeling stuck in life, do some inner inquiry to see how your mind has been operating.

Have you felt stuck? What kinds of thoughts are running?

Take some time to delve into self-help or personal development resources and begin making solid mindset changes today. Believe you can, and you will!

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