Stop telling yourself you can’t do it. Stop telling yourself you’re not capable. Stop telling yourself you don’t look nice. You CAN do it, you ARE capable and you DO look nice. You can learn to instantly think this way, and it’s actually really easy.
5 min read
Your brain can be your friend or it can be your foe. You can live a life full of joy, success and fulfilment or you can live a life of misery, negativity and constant disappointment. It all depends on your mindset. You can either decide you have the ability to change and start embracing life or, you guessed it, believe you were born with the skills and abilities you have and you’re stuck with them.
I’ll tell you now, I’ve been through a whole lot of mindsets in my life. When I was at school my mindset was one that had be believe I could learn anything. Everything was a new lesson to learn and a new experience to absorb. And then everything became a test of my innate abilities when I moved to New Zealand from the UK by myself – my ‘limits’ were pushed, or so I believed. I had forced myself into what’s known as a Fixed Mindset because I believed my abilities were set in stone and all I had available to me was ‘what I was born with’. It took about 3 years for me to realise, but after a turbulent year of losing my Dad and questioning everything about life, I came to the realisation that everything can be learnt, and nothing about our skills and abilities are ever set in stone. I’m now on an empowering journey realising all the amazing things that can be learnt! Kylie Jenner, I feel you.
Fixed + Growth Mindset
The term Growth Mindset was developed by amazing researcher Carol Dweck who came across it after studying achievement, motivation and success and found that there are two groups of individuals, those that perceive their gains to be through hard work, perseverance and learning and those that perceive their gains to be through natural abilities. The former have a Growth Mindset and tend to feel calmer, more resourceful and believe their qualities are cultivated through their efforts. The latter have a Fixed Mindset and are certain their skills come from birth and are “carved into stone”, these guys tend to experience stress a whole lot more as they are in constant need to prove themselves.
You may be thinking right now, I’m one of them (or maybe I’m a bit of both, but we’ll clear that up soon).
You can definitely have both a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset. Maybe you think that your abilities in your working life have been learnt and you can continue to grow and adapt but that your abilities in your personal life are fixed and can never change. Have you ever thought to yourself ‘I’m not good with change’, ‘I’m not good at making friends’ or ‘I can’t cook’? Then you could probably say you adopt both mindsets (I definitely used to). This means that whilst you have confidence in some areas, you restrict yourself in others and when faced with a challenge that confronts your Fixed Mindset, you’ll experience stress, self-doubt and probably a lot of inner conflict.
But things can look up! Our mindset can be shifted dramatically with some super simple training. First, we have to identify where and when our Fixed Mindset occurs. A Growth Mindset means, you’re more likely to continue to persevere through setbacks, enjoy learning and love trying new things. If however, you have a Fixed Mindset, you’re likely to keep any mistakes and setbacks to yourself because you’re embarrassed to share your failures with others. Have a little look over the following statements and see if there are any that resonate:
- “I can’t do math, so I always get someone else to help” (Fixed Mindset)
- “I’m not naturally great at math, but the more I practice, the easier it becomes” (Growth Mindset)
- “I’m not very organized, so my emails are always a mess” (Fixed Mindset)
- “I’d like my emails organized, so I’m going to try new techniques until something works” (Growth Mindset)
- “Something terrible happened this morning, so this day is going to be tragic” (Fixed Mindset)
- “Ok, that didn’t go like I’d expected but I’ll learn from it and carry on” (Growth Mindset)
It IS possible, simple and 100% something we can gain control over but it does take some consistency which I totally believe you can do! The consistent effort is 5 minutes a day and can impressively change your life. We have a choice what thoughts we listen to and we have a choice how we perceive them. We all have that nagging, mean bully voice in our heads and it’s completely normal and ok to argue with it, all you need to do is start to recognise that voice – it’s the first step to reaching that beautiful goal you have set for yourself.
How to do it
This is something I do consistently (especially when I’m doing something new):
- Each morning (or whenever the thought arises) define the destructive Fixed Mindset thought (self-criticism, fear, excuse etc) you have.
- Write down that thought. E.g. “I will never get that promotion because I’m not as good as my team members.”
- Write down the new positive Growth Mindset you would like to have. E.g. “I will get that promotion because I am a valued member of staff and I have so much to offer.”
- Identify when this thought usually arises so you can understand your triggers. Is it when your boss comes into the room? Is it when you struggle with a task?
- Now select an object (bracelet, trinket, something you can keep on you) and look to that whenever the Fixed Mindset thought comes to mind. Use it as a reminder that you can control your thinking and shift over to your Growth Mindset whenever you need to. For an extra boost, keep the Growth Mindset statement in front of you somewhere.
- At the end of the day or week, go back to where you wrote your mindset statements and journal any thoughts you have.
- Enjoy this process for 8 weeks (or until the new thinking doesn’t feel like such a conscious effort, it might even take less time). And that’s it! Good on you! You’ve completed your mindset training.
For any mindset you want to change, give this a go. You may find that you pick up the new thought and mindset really quick, or it may take a little more time because it’s ingrained but believe me when I say, you’re on a whirlwind of an adventure with this one 🙂
Know someone who would benefit from hearing this? Send it their way! And if you want to learn more about reducing stress, taking control and finding your Sweet Spot, then sign up to my weekly wellness tips for some amazing treats 🙂