In your life, you’re either growing or your dying. There is no middle ground.
When you’re standing still with no progress you are decaying.
Success requires you to engage in the process of your personal growth at all times. And as with most things in life, what you believe about yourself will affect your success or failure.
That is why achieving a growth mindset will ignite your life better than anything. You have to have the inside world ready in order for it to be displayed in your outside world.
What is a Mindset
Your mind is a very powerful tool. You can make the most amazing things happen. You have to first believe that you can do it and then pay attention to the path that opens up in front of you.
Your mindset is your set of beliefs and thoughts that influence the way you handle any given situation. It forms your personality helping you make sense of what’s going on around you while you decide what your next action should be.
So with the right mindset you will make smarter decisions. We talked in a prior post about pausing before taking action. When you have a growth mindset, this will come very naturally to you.
What Makes Up My Mindset
Your mindset is made up of your experiences, background, education and training. Those are considered external variables.
Your genetic makeup is considered an internal variable. Some people are born with a naturally positive disposition, and others are not.
If you naturally focus on the negative, you will need to find ways to reprogram your brain.
The Mindset At Work
When we react to something, there are three components at play. The first is the emotional component or how someone or something makes you feel.
Second, there is the cognitive component which is what you think about the subject. Finally this is followed by the behavioral component which shows how you behave when confronted by the subject.
Most of these are impacted by your beliefs. Beliefs are your feelings of certainty about something, and are based on ideas. The beliefs shape your attitude which in turn shapes your mindset.
Attitudes and beliefs give rise to habits which are a direct reflection of your mindset.
There are a few different types of mindsets.
Abundance vs. Scarcity
The first pair we’ll look at is abundance versus scarcity. An abundance mindset is one that believes that there is plenty for all.
The scarcity mindset believes that there’s a limited amount that has to be split among everyone. For example there’s only one pie that we all have to share rather than an infinite number of pies that everyone can enjoy.
The general population seems to be moving more towards a scarcity mentality and that’s too bad. Because we don’t all want the same things.
And it would be a better world if we could help each other create and appreciate abundance.
Scarcity mindsets make it very difficult for people to share anything including credit, recognition, responsibility, or even authority. Instead they end up competing for every available resources even when there may be an abundance of them.
And sometimes people compete just for the sake of competition without asking themselves is this what they really want.
Productive vs. Defensive
These mindsets deal with your everyday performance. Many people think that they have a productive mindset but they’re actually just being busy.
They’re not productively finishing tasks and completing projects.
Look at your daily to-do list. Can you honestly get it all done? And are you really working on it? Or do you just say you’re working on it, but really doing other things like checking email and Facebook.
The key to having a productive mindset is focus. It also means making the most of what’s available and enjoying the process.
Be Playful and Open
Those with a productive mindset seek out knowledge that is testable. Then you can make more informed choices by asking if it’s reasonable.
On the other hand those with a defensive mindset only seek out information that feels comfortable.
Their minds shut down when hearing something that they perceive as threatening. This thinking pattern can become very limiting.
The sad part of this mindset is that it also shuts down creativity.
These people fall into a rut. The biggest setback of this mindset is that you learn something based on false assumptions or you prevent yourself from learning something new altogether.
Fixed versus Growth
These two are probably the best known mindsets. I’ll go into more detail down below.
Why Is Your Mindset Important
Your individual mindset can either open doors for you or close them. When you have a positive mindset, you spot opportunities as well as recognize your own self-defeating cycles.
You can also start to tell yourself positive stories and feel better about your life while building up your successes.
If you become trapped in a negative or limiting mindset, it will prevent change from happening in your life.
The Right Mindset Increases Your Successes
Every aspect of life comes with its own hurdles and obstacles. We can never avoid them.
When you have a positive mindset it allows you to overcome these obstacles, and even welcome them as opportunities to learn and grow.
When your core beliefs support you, then you will ignite your life and really achieve the greatness your heart desires.
You may be more susceptible to feeling defeated when all you need to do is change your mindset and keep going forward.
Our life experiences reinforce our mindset. Some people may call this our reticular activating system where you see exactly what you’re looking for.
Unfortunately that means you’re missing out on all the things that you’re not looking for.
Grow Your Mindset As You Age
When you’re young, you have no other point of reference.
As you age, learn how to refine and mature your experiences that may seem to contradict your beliefs. Sometimes, the perspective of age and growth allows us to see a situation from a different viewpoint.
You also may want to look into who you’re hanging out with. The people with whom you socialize will reinforce a group mindset and deter individual growth.
Try to surround yourself with positive like-minded people who are committed to wanting the best for each other.
Feelings From Your Happy Heart
Your mindset is connected to your emotions.
When you feel positive, you’re more likely to have a positive mindset. And if you naturally have a positive mindset, you will tend to feel happier.
Fixed versus Growth Mindsets
People with fixed mindsets respond well to information about how well they done something. They love report cards.
Their minds are most active when they learn about their own good performance.
On the other hand people with growth mindsets thrive on feedback about how they could improve their performance.
There’s nothing wrong with mastering both of these mindsets. It’s important to recognize and appreciate our successes. And yet we always want to be open to how we can get better.
Don’t Believe In Limitations
The difference is that people generally with the fixed mindset believe their traits are given. They believe that they only have a certain amount of intelligence and talent and there’s nothing they can do to change that fact.
However if you have a growth mindset, you accept that you can improve your ability, and making mistakes is an indicator about what you should work on. A growth mindset gives you resilience and perseverance in the face of errors.
Dangers of a Fixed Mindset
When you have a fixed mindset, you are limiting your own possibilities.
You may have been told in the past that you weren’t very good at something, and therefore aren’t willing to try again.
However with the growth mindset, you can understand that maybe it was just the teacher or the person giving you the feedback, and that they may be wrong.
Sometimes we grow with different teachers. And sometimes we have to keep trying things until we find the right way to achieve our successes.
Our successes build on our prior experiences which you may have learned about if you read Late Bloomers.
How a Growth Mindset Ignites Your Life
When you have a growth mindset, you realize that you have the capacity to learn and succeed at whatever you set your mind to. You may need to make adjustments along the way. However you’re excited about the path that you’re choosing.
It’s All About the Journey
A growth mindset acknowledges that you only improve through your efforts and dedication.
You are willing to try out new things and different ways of learning. Your success depends on your effort and not any innate ability. The cool thing is it is completely within your control.
Bounce Back Higher
As I’ve mentioned before, having a growth mindset really improves your resilience to setback. This is a lovely life skill that will help you in all areas. And because your excited about growing, you stay motivated.
This motivation encourages perseverance. It also increases your ability to kick fear of failure out the door. You take chances when opportunity presents itself and you’re not limiting yourself to be overly cautious. And that means that you will enjoy your life a lot more.
My Final Thoughts
limiting mindsets may appear to offer more comfort, be easier to follow, and require less effort. It does come at a cost. A limiting mindset repels the good opportunities in life and can hold you back from achieving your full potential.
Release the need to be perfect. Release the need for constant validation. Embrace growth.
Next week, I’ll go into more detail about how to change your mindset, and deal with setbacks.