What Is Mindset, Why It Matters, and How To Change It?
“Happiness depends on your mindset and attitude.” ― Roy T. Bennett
Happiness is a hot topic today.
Everyone wants to be happy, and thousands of articles have been written telling us how easy it is to be more positive, achieve our goals, and lead a happy, successful, and fulfilled life.
So, if positive change is so easy, why isn’t everyone living a successful, happy, and fulfilled life?
We read books and articles, watch YouTube videos, and even attend seminars on how to change our lives. When we are finished, we find ourselves in the same place we were when we started.
We haven’t changed our lives, and we aren’t any happier, fulfilled, or successful.
Why is that?
Because, in order to make a real change, you have to do more than just read articles and watch videos.
You need to apply what you have learned to your life.
You have to change the way you behave, and you need to change your mindset.
What is Mindset?
“Success is really about your mindset.” — F. Gary Gray
Mindset is an idea discovered by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck based on her research on achievement and success.
Mindsets are beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Qualities like your intelligence, your talents, your personality. Her research answered the basic question, “Are these basic qualities carved in stone, or are they traits that you can change over time?”
While trying to answer this question, Dweck found that people have one of two mindsets. The first being a fixed mindset, and the second being a growth mindset.
If you have a fixed mindset you believe that your basic qualities are carved in stone. You were born with a certain level of intelligence and talent and there is nothing that you can do about it. What you have is what you get. If you have a fixed mindset you tend to feel inadequate, and are constantly motivated to do things to prove yourself.
On the other hand, if you have a growth mindset, you believe that your basic qualities can be changed. You believe that they can be developed if you put in the effort and do the work required to make lasting changes. While you weren’t born with the all intelligence and talent of others you can improve with learning and practice.
Why Mindset Matters
“Your mindset matters. It affects everything — from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being.” Peter Diamandis
Your mindset matters.
It affects everything in your life, and your mindset determines how you cope with life’s biggest challenges.
A growth mindset will lead you to greater achievement and increased effort. If you have a growth mindset, you are more likely to keep going when you encounter challenges along the way. You will view failure as a learning experience and an opportunity for growth instead of a disappointment.
How To Change Your Mindset
“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary. — Carol Dweck
The key to changing your mindset lies in the belief that we can change. The belief that people who are no more talented or intelligent than you have made themselves extraordinary.
Here are four steps that Carol Dweck recommends to change your mindset:
Step1. Learn to hear the voice of your fixed mindset.
Listen to the voice of your fixed mindset. It’s the voice in your head that promotes doubt. It is the voice that asks you, “Are you sure you can do it?” and says, “Maybe you don’t have the talent.” “What if you fail — you’ll be a failure.”
“My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.” — Sara Blakely
The goal of your fixed mindset voice if to get you to doubt yourself. To second guess yourself, to keep you from even trying something new, and to convince you that you are going to fail.
It’s been referred to as your inner saboteur, trying to sabotage all of your attempts to be happy, successful, and fulfilled.
Step 2. Recognize that you have a choice.
There are two ways that you can respond to your inner saboteur.
You can respond with a fixed mindset — the one that tells you that you don’t have the talent or ability to succeed.
Or, you can respond with a growth mindset — the one that tells you that you learn and grow through experience and be successful.
You always have a choice, and how you respond is up to you!
Step 3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.
When your fixed mindset says,
“Are you sure you can do this?” or “You don’t have the talent and ability.” or “If you try this, you will fail.”
Respond using your growth mindset saying,
“I’m not sure I can do it now, but I can learn how to do it if I put in the time and effort.”
“Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training.” — Carol Dweck
You can choose to ignore your inner saboteur and follow the voice of your growth mindset.
Step 4. Take the growth mindset action.
Take action based on your growth mindset and overcome any challenges in your path. View any setbacks along the way as opportunities for growth and learning.
Over time, it will become much easier to listen to your growth mindset, and you will begin to ignore your inner saboteur, take on even more challenges, and learn valuable lessons from any setbacks along the way.
What To Do When You Struggle With Your Inner Saboteur
Along the path to success you will struggle with your inner saboteur. When you do, try asking yourself these simple questions that will help you to overcome the negative voices and move you forward.
- What steps do I need to take to successfully accomplish this goal?
- What additional information do I need and where can I find it?
- Where can I find someone who will give me constructive feedback on my plans?
- Where can I learn the skills that I need to accomplish this?
- What additional habits do I need to develop to ensure my success?
Bringing It All Together
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” — Steve Maraboli
When you change your mindset your life will change with it. Developing a positive mindset will help you to finally achieve the happiness, success, and fulfillment that you are looking for.
So, make the decision today to leave your fixed mindset behind and develop a growth mindset. Begin to practice hearing the voices of both your fixed and growth mindset. Recognize that you have the choice to ignore your inner saboteur and to listen to the what the positive voices are telling you. Finally, take action based on the positive voices, and move forward toward your goals.
You will be glad you did and you will never look back!
Call To Action
If you want to be extraordinarily happy and create the life of your dreams, check out my checklist.
(P.S. I have included some Amazon affiliate links to help defray the ridiculously high cost of my daughter’s education)