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Why we think the way we do!

In February I want you to focus on mindset, and to really work on what this looks like for you. Our mindset comes from our thoughts and beliefs, so if those beliefs are limited and we feel powerless to progress in life, we are said to have a "fixed mindset". If we believe that we can achieve anything and that we can adapt and learn as we go, we are said to have a "growth mindset". But where did this mindset come from? And how do we recognize our own mindset? For this post we are just going to concentrate on a fixed mindset. It is fairly easy to spot a fixed mindset in someone else but maybe not so easy to recognize it in yourself. Answer the following questions truthfully.

Do you make excuses for not moving forward in life, such as lack of money, lack of education, it's not the right time?

Every year, do you find yourself in the same position, setting the same old goals?

Do you find yourself criticizing, complaining and blaming others for your lack of success.

Do your thoughts automatically go to "reasons why you can't do something" rather than "how can you make it happen?"

This would indicate that you have a fixed mindset, but the good news is that your mindset can shift. Firstly, let's discuss how you developed a "fixed mindset". Like I said at the beginning of this post, your mindset is made up of your thoughts and beliefs, a way of thinking you could say. From the time you are born you develop certain beliefs, which are influenced by your parents, grandparents, peers, and society. You then carry those beliefs with you through life, holding tightly to them because they give you some sort of comfort; they are familiar. Even if they really aren't serving you, or maybe even holding you back, it's hard to let them go. What you must do is to start to ask questions about those beliefs, and look for evidence that would support those beliefs. We are living in an ever changing world and we have to adapt our thinking to keep up with those changes. What was true twenty years ago may not be true today, and possibly not even relevant.

The easiest way to shift your mindset is by making small changes, and to start to view the challenges in life as opportunities. Open your mind to possibilities instead of dismissing ideas because it seems difficult or too much hard work. Anything worth having, whether material items or experiences, will take hard work, but you then get to enjoy the reward. Remember that the mindset you use to approach all things in your life, work, and relationships will have an direct impact on the results you achieve.

Next week we will look at what a "growth mindset" looks like and tips on how to develop this type of mindset.

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