The mind is a powerful thing.
While some people are held back by self-limiting thoughts, others have mastered the art of the “mindset”— a term that refers to the mental attitude or inclination held by an individual.
While our internal beliefs about ourselves can definitely affect our mental state, they also affect our behavior, emotions, and ability to create the life we’ve envisioned for ourselves.
Take me as an example. For the longest time, I had the wrong mindset about mindset. To be honest, I thought the whole thing was hokey and silly. But, as I’ve grown and focused more on my personal growth, I’ve realized that how we perceive a situation is fundamental to what we can accomplish and overcome.
How can we create a mindset that positively impacts our health (both mental and physical), happiness, and overall wellbeing? First, let’s take a look at the two types of mindset you can possess.
In the simplest terms, a person with a fixed mindset is constrained by their beliefs and thoughts.
They believe they were born with certain talents and qualities that cannot change over time, even with persistence and effort — a thought process that typically causes them to give up easily before achieving their goals.
On the other hand, a growth mindset means a person has more freedom in their thoughts and beliefs. While people are born with certain characteristics, those with a growth mindset believe we can develop our talents and traits over time through effort and hard work.
People with a growth mindset take joy in the learning process and look for opportunities to gather new information, develop new skills, form new strategies and opinions, and find inspiration in others. They embrace challenges as a means to grow and better themselves.
The most important takeaway, says Psychology Today, is that “we can break through the stuck-ness and achieve the long-term goals we desire, whether that be at work, in our relationships, or other aspects of our lives.”
So, is it possible to change from a fixed to a growth mindset and, in turn, change our trajectory? Absolutely, although it does take some work.
Here’s are 3 ways to get started:
- Practice Self Awareness
Pay attention to how you speak to yourself and others. Consider the words you choose when something doesn’t work out how you’d hoped — or when something does.Do you downplay your success? Do you jump to label something as a failure when, really, you still have work to do? Recognize those negative thoughts and manage them in a way that better serves yourself and those around you.
- Manage Expectations
While you should always believe that you can accomplish what you put your mind to, there is something to be said for creating realistic expectations. Have you set goals that are, ultimately, setting yourself up for failure?For example, if you are just getting into running and have set a goal to run a 5K, you can’t just go out and run that far immediately. Instead, you have to put in the work and build yourself up to that distance over time. So, ask yourself: Are you applying this unrealistic approach to other aspects of your life as a spouse, parent, friend, or employee? If so, manage those expectations to set yourself up for more success.
- Take Action
A permanent shift in mindset isn’t going to happen overnight, so be patient with yourself while continuing to take steps toward self-improvement. Start or end your day with journaling, meditation, or affirmations, perhaps, to unload some of the heavy thoughts weighing on your mind.When made a part of your daily routine, these types of self-care rituals can also help with other areas of your life, including stress levels, quality of sleep, and mental health.
The most important thing to remember: When it comes to mastering your mindset, it’s more about the journey than the destination — progress, not perfection.
But, with the right approach and tools, you can begin to enjoy challenges, despite the risk. And, through learning and growth, believe you can actually achieve a different outcome. This is a game-changer!
Put in the extra effort to develop a growth mindset and make your mental processes work for you. The result could be a fuller, more meaningful life — a life you’re excited to live.
If you’re looking for more tips to improve mindset and develop mental strength, check out two of my favorite resources: Unbeatable Mind website and Atomic Habits.
Take a listen to the Rest & Recovery podcast episodes on mindset:
Episode 9: Ryan Munsey
Episode 12 & 49: David Bidler
Episode 13: Ryan Michler
Episode 50: Robbie Bent
Episode 51: Matt Halk
Episode 52: Shawn Wells