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There’s a well-established reason why some people tend to be extremely successful in life while others can barely make the ends meet while dealing with a diversity of negative emotions along the way. There’s a good reason why some individuals can cultivate and maintain healthy habits while others struggle with addictions. So, what’s the reason?
The mind is an incredible thing. It incorporates everything – thoughts, emotions, ideas, beliefs, attitudes, desires, motivations and basically every aspect of our lives. Our behavior (actions) are influenced by our mind, so everything must start with a thought, which then will be transposed into the physical reality.
Our beliefs are influenced by our external environment, and our thoughts, emotions, and actions are the subject of our current beliefs. Therefore, stating that the success of a person (personally & professionally) can be altered once the mindset of the person suffers modifications.
Who can change your mindset? Only you! Some would argue that parents, teachers, and authority figures have the most important role, but that is only if you allow them. Your version of yourself is entirely different from the version of others. Not even your best friend, wife/husband, or mother/father can actually know the real you.
Of course, most of us don’t even know ourselves, and that is a major issue that needs to be immediately solved. How can you do that?
The moment you start caring about your mind and about your internal circumstances the moment you’ll start changing something. Probably that is why you’re here, reading this post, looking for advice on how to improve yourself.
There are infinite types of mindsets, yet we can very easily distinguish two big categories: fixed and growing. Let’s explore the topic further.
What is a Fixed Mindset?
As classified by Carol Dweck, a famous psychologist that studied the aspects of mindset for her entire life, a fixed mindset is a mentality that seeks validation. The individual builds a certain degree of knowledge and skills due to various reasons. Then, instead of consistently improving them, the person beings to seek validation from others by trying to prove himself in various ways.
A person with a fixed mindset can easily cultivate doubt, confusion, and procrastination habits because failures make him vulnerable.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth-oriented mindset begins its existence in the same way as the fixed mindset, only that there is a key difference in the long run. A person who possesses a growth mindset build knowledge and skills while seeking mastery and excellence. This person won’t stop to praise himself, but he will rather continue gaining more empowering experiences that’ll lead him closer to “perfection”.
The growth-oriented person perceives failures as useful feedback. He doesn’t stop to wonder if he’s appreciated by others or if he should do more to impress. The growth-oriented person seeks excellence through practice. This involves consistency and persistence. When failing, he doesn’t get discouraged but rather motivated to succeed the next time.
How Are You Affected by a Fixed Mindset?
It is important to note that we’re not falling into one category only. Every person’s mindset varies because there’s no possibility for a mindset to be entirely fixed. Every experience (even the most significant ones) produce changes in our mentality, so acknowledging this first aspect is key to an improving self-awareness.
In certain situations, we approach a fixed mindset, encountering the challenges with fear, anger, procrastination, and so on. Everything we think, feel, and do, will provoke an effect.
Your thoughts cause emotions to happen, while emotions often encourage actions to be made. Obviously, the actions will trigger effects in our physical reality, so it’s a cycle that goes on and on. The better we master it the better results we will create in our lives.
Now let’s take a quick peek at some of the disadvantages that come with a fixed mindset:
- It ultimately provokes dissatisfaction, disappointment, melancholy, sadness, and a broad range of negative feelings. Even if by avoiding something now you avoid short-term pain, your long-term condition will be quite the opposite.
- It decreases self-knowledge and self-awareness. You cannot get to know yourself better if you’re not constantly seeking to grow. Think about it – if there’s no pain, there will be no gain!
- It cuts off opportunities. A fixed mindset person is usually afraid to take risks that would potentially “damage” his comfort zone.
- It encourages mediocrity, and mediocrity leads to a poor-quality life.
- It attracts mediocre relationships that will hardly bring long-term satisfaction.
- It leads to stagnation, and as life is marked by growth and progress, I could state that a fixed-mindset leads to a life
How to Shift to a Growth Mindset?
Shifting to a growth mindset is surely not an easy thing, not even for the best of us. As mentioned, our mindset can be fixed or growth-oriented depending on the situation. Each person has his own problems, challenges, setbacks, and fears.
The first key to improvement is self-awareness. The more aware you are of your mindset the more you’ll be able to change it. When you find yourself dealing with negative emotions, seek to find their roots.
The second key to improving your mindset is knowledge. The more you read and learn the bigger momentum you’ll gain to seek further.
The third key is willpower. Once you have identified what you have to do, and you have acquired the necessary knowledge to produce long-lasting changes, you must use your willpower. Knowledge without action leads to nothing, and, more often than not, taking consistent action requires motivation and strength – aspects that are boosted by the amount of willpower a person has.
To improve yourself mostly means to improve your mindset. Whenever you’re struggling with progress, be aware that there’s a problem in your mindset. As you have understood, there is no such thing as “fixed”. Everything’s changing, everything’s shifting, and everything’s will become slightly different as time passes by.