Do you know what my favorite book is?
You couldn’t care less, right? Well, I’m convinced that you will care about this one. It’s Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
The author is an experienced and world-renowned psychologist, who makes a clear difference between the fixed and growth mindset.
I’ve been friends with the fixed mindset for far too long. I believed that my abilities were fixed. “My arms are short. I’ll never be able to do a handstand. My back is too inflexible. I’ll never achieve those unbelievable yoga poses.”
That mindset was not limited solely to the way I practiced yoga. It expanded onto my entire existence. No matter what obstacles I faced throughout my studies or at work, I felt unworthy of the challenge. When I saw someone cute and I wanted to take the first step, I gave up easily, convincing myself that this was not a good hair day or I was simply not good enough.
And this book changed that fixed mindset.
The Growth Mindset – The Complete Opposite to the Fixed Mindset
The fixed mindset, which is pretty static, led me to a complete mess. I made peace with the chronic back pain, I made peace with the average job, I made peace with the fact that I was single, and I made peace with everything.
I was the complete opposite of the growth mindset, which pushes you towards action. According to Dweck, people who hold the growth mindset believe that their brain is a muscle that they can train. That leads them to a desire to grow not only intellectually, but in every other way as well.
I recommended this book to a dear friend – a writer who works for UK BestEssays. This is what he said: “I was one of those writers who never accepted a task beyond their self-imposed limitations. ‘A book review? Sure; I can do that! A research paper on medieval literature? Oh; that may be too overwhelming so I better pass on it.’ That was me. And this book transformed that mindset. It taught me to embrace challenges and achieve them through personal growth.”
The good news is that everyone is able to change their mindset as long as they try. Carol Dweck recommends four simple steps that push you towards growth.
The 4 Steps that Lead to the Growth Mindset
1. Recognize the Voice of Your Fixed Mindset
I don’t have what it takes.
If I try, I’ll fail. So it’s better not to try at all.
That’s your fixed mindset speaking! It pushes you towards your comfort zone. If you don’t try to make a change, you feel like you’re not losing anything. You simply stay fixed in your tiny box of compromise.
The first step towards healing is recognizing that little voice in your head that’s setting you back.
2. See Your Options
Remember: you’re the only one who’s responsible for your actions, and you always have a choice. Every situation in life comes with options.
When you criticize yourself, you’re making a choice. When you decide to stay passive, you’re making a choice.
You tend to avoid seeing the other options you have, but they do exist. You can push your body and mind beyond the limits you think you have.
Recognize the options! When you’re faced with a challenge, you can make a choice to listen to that fixed mindset, or you can accept that challenge and grow with the experience. Even if you encounter a setback, you’ll still have a choice: you may interpret it as a sign of failure, or you may see it as a trigger to do something differently.
3. Talk Back to the Fixed Mindset
F: I’m not sure I can do this.
G: If I try, I’m sure I’ll make progress. Maybe I won’t do it impeccably, but at least I’ll overcome some limitations.
F: But what if you fail?
G: And what if I don’t?
That’s a nice conversation to have in your own head. When the fixed mindset starts speaking, Dweck recommends you to talk back with the voice of a growth mindset.
4. Just Do It!
No; this is not a Nike commercial. But that slogan is definitely a great description of the next step: you just need to do what the growth mindset tells you to.
Stop The Fixed Mindset Now!
You’ll need some strength to push yourself towards an action the first few times but, with time, you’ll adopt the growth mindset as your main point of view. That change will reflect itself on your entire lifestyle.
The process starts with listening. You have to become aware of the fixed mindset and stand up to it!
About the Author: Silvia Woolard is a young passionate writer and entrepreneur from Phoenix. In a free time she writes and works in a field of popular psychology. Feel free to contact Silvia at her Twitter.