What is Mindset?? Google says our ‘Mindset is an established set of attitudes held by someone.’
They are developed through our experience of life. Imagine they are tinted lenses we place over our eyes affecting the way we see the world around us.
Apparently, there are two types of Mindset: Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset.
But what does that all mean?
According to Carol Dweck :
Fixed – believes we have set traits and they can’t be developed or changed.
Growth – is open to change, to learning new skills and challenges without fear of failure.
Let me see if I can explain.
I began to learn about Mindset in 2016. What I didn’t realise was for the previous 10 years at least, I had had a Fixed Mindset and it hadn’t been doing me any good.
Before being introduced to the idea of Mindset I had a grasp on being ‘positive’. I knew that being a ‘positive’ person was ‘better’ than being a ‘negative’ person. I knew that being positive meant being ‘happy’ all the time and always putting others before myself. I thought I knew how to live my best life, by pretending nothing bad was happening and not acknowledging any of my issues. Because, I thought, being positive means everything will magically work out all right in the end!
(Reading this back makes me cringe. No wonder I was so tired and burnt out)
Even though I was being ’positive’ I had a fixed mindset. I didn’t see a way out of my situation and didn’t really believe it could get any better. I had done my best to deal with my life in the best way I knew and it had led me to, well, being completely honest, feeling totally and utterly miserable.
With my fixed Mindset, I had also decided many things about myself, including, I was just a single parent on benefits, there were people worse off than me so I had no right to complain and that I was never going to break out of the hole I was in. I thought my situation defined me and my future.
I was exhausted from putting on a brave face. I was worn out from trying to be happy all the time. I had nothing left to give, and no matter how ‘positive’ I was nothing in my life was changing.
Through a friend, I learned about some amazing books and podcasts which taught me how to accept the place where I was and start reclaiming myself from the mess. I took responsibility for where I was going in my life and realised that small changes in my perception of situations made huge changes in my quality of life.
For example, I started to tell myself that I was feeling excited instead of nervous when I got butterflies in my stomach. It took a while for it to sound natural to me, but I kept going and now I enjoy and feel energised from that sensation rather than being dragged down by dread. These changes can be super simple, but they build to make the hugest impact on your life.
So what did I do? I moved from a fixed mindset that my life was happening to me, and into the mindset of taking responsibility to change what I am not happy with. I have moved from being a person so unhappy with her life she pretended every second of every day to be happy and be ok, to a woman who has worked hard on herself and has created a life she is proud of. Is my life perfect? No, I still have quite a few things to work on, and to be honest, perfection doesn’t really exist. Have I finished working on my mindset? No way, that is an everyday commitment because I know how far I have come, and I am not stopping here.
Being aware daily of my mindset and the effect it has on my life is an eye-opening experience. Working on myself has helped my mental health, my relationships, my income and lifestyle. If I can pass on any information/help to others it would be that it’s ok to be stuck, that is where pretty much all of us start from, realising that’s where you are, but it’s not where you want to stay is one of the bravest things you can decide. But as soon as you do, things will begin to change, and you will change in ways you can’t imagine.
Take care & see you next time.