Mindset has become a bit of a buzzword!
You hear it all the time, people do talks on it and write blogs on it, like this one here. You even have Mindset Coaches.
So what the feck is Mindset?!
The concept of mindset was first discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary the definition of mindset is ‘a person’s way of thinking and their opinions’. The way Dweck looks at it is that mindset refers to whether you believe your intelligence is fixed or changeable.
Fixed Mindset – People with a fixed mindset believe they are born with their abilities which are fixed and unchangeable, creating a glass ceiling for their success
Growth Mindset – People with a growth mindset believe their abilities can be developed and strengthened over time through hard work and commitment
Your mindset plays a critical role in your success and how you cope with life’s challenges. Those with a growth mindset show greater resilience. For example, in the work environment they are better able to handle challenges and take criticism then those with a fixed mindset, who are typically more likely to give up.
Those with a fixed mindset have a need for approval as explained in Dweck’s book Mindset, “Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality or character. Every situation is evaluated; Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected?”
Whereas, those with a growth mindset have a hunger for learning and a desire to work hard to get results. These are common characteristics of business owners. With a growth mindset people see failure as feedback and challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow. Let’s explore some of the common traits around these two types of mindset.
- Failure is an opportunity to grow
- Can learn to do anything they want
- Challenges help them to grow
- Effort and attitude determine their abilities
- Intelligence and talent are ever improving
- Inspired by the success of others
- Like to try new things
- Prioritise learning over seeking approval
- Persist in the face of setbacks
- Learn to give and receive constructive criticism
- Failure is the limit of my abilities
- I’m either good at it or I’m not
- My abilities are unchanging
- I don’t like to be challenged
- I can either do it or I can’t
- My potential is predetermined
- When I’m frustrated I give up
- Unable to handle criticism or feedback
- I stick to what I know
- Threatened by the success of others
Which of these traits do you notice in yourself?
For those who are considering transitioning from corporate employee to business owner, having a growth mindset is hugely important. The entrepreneurial journey comes with its challenges and having the right mindset can help enormously and can in turn increase your confidence.
OK, so now we know a bit more about mindset let’s explore how our mindset is formed. It’s in our childhood years that our mindset is developed and influenced by our parents, teachers and friends.
We absorb what we see, hear and experience in the world and as we have little or no point of reference at this time, we reinforce this knowledge, which becomes deeply embedded in our subconscious mind. With that we then form beliefs about how the world operates and our place in it and that is how our fixed or growth mindset is formed.
So, if your mindset is formed in your childhood years, your preconscious years, can you ever change your mindset and if so, how?
It is possible to change your mindset and get yourself thinking and feeling more positive. Here are three quick tips that you can apply in your life to shift or improve your mindset for greater success.
Change your self talk – Everything starts with your thoughts. If you find yourself saying to yourself over and over again ‘I can’t do this’ then your thoughts create your reality and you won’t be able to achieve the success you desire. Simply by switching your language from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I can do this’ can be really powerful. It’s one of the ways I upgraded my mindset, continuously repeating to myself ‘I can do it’ when faced with a particular challenge. I eventually reprogrammed myself for success.
Change your language – Once you’ve changed your internal dialogue it’s time to change your external dialogue. Start conversing with people using more positive language. For example, avoid using phrases such as ‘I’m no good at this’ and instead reframe your external dialogue and use more empowering language to build a growth mindset. Get into the habit of focusing on the good things in your life instead of complaining and talking about your problems. This will encourage a mindset centered around abundance instead of fear and lack.
Learn and apply – One of the best ways to change your mindset is to model others thinking by reading books such as Mindset by Carol Dweck, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey or You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. Read as many books as you can on how the mind and brain work and learn from mindset experts, online courses, events and coaching.