3 Ways to Shift Your Mindset (because it matters!)
How many times have you counted yourself out of something because you feel, nay you think, you can’t do it? How many opportunities for promotion or job opportunities did you flat-out not apply for because you think you’re not qualified or good enough “yet”? How many times have you hesitated to volunteer an answer or opinion in fear that you may be thought of differently or be judged for it?
In most of these scenarios, your mindset and how it is framed went in your way and influenced the majority of the decision-making process that happened.
Mindset is defined as a “person’s world view and core assumptions”. It is the lens with which we see and assess that world outside of ourselves and how we relate ourselves to that world. It affects everything - our self-esteem, our self-worth, our careers, our relationships, our interactions and at a psychological level, even our health. Standford Psychologist Carol Dweck says that your mindset plays a huge role in whether or not you become successful.
Your mindset, depending on whether it is “fixed” or “growth”, determines how you process and respond to situations. A fixed mindset lets you believe that your qualities and traits are definite and can no longer be changed. For people with fixed mindsets, success is usually measured against a fixed standard, and anything below that standard is considered a failure. A growth mindset fosters the idea that learning, development, growth and experience develops through time. It welcomes challenges and lets you see the value of the journey and how it relates to the destination.
For example, you’re in a competition and you made it to the last round along with other competitors. You know you gave your absolute best in that last round, but someone else won instead of you. A fixed mindset will make you feel you’re a failure because you didn’t make it, you didn’t win and you didn’t get the title in spite of your hard work. A growth mindset, on the other hand, will let you look within yourself and reflect on what happened. You recognize that losing doesn’t make you a failure, it only gives you more insight as to what you can do better the next you want to try.
Can you shift your mindset?
Absolutely! But since your mindset is a product of decades worth of conditioning starting from the day you were a child, it would take a lot of willpower and effort to shift it. Here are 3 simple ways you can start doing today:
Be Kind to yourself
Most of the time and you may not even see it, you are your worst critic. You are too harsh at yourself for failing but you don’t stop and appreciate yourself for your wins. You forget to take care of your most important ally - yourself. Give yourself the grace to try new things and explore new and unfamiliar territories - even if it means failing a few times. Set aside a few minutes in your day to meditate and take stock of what’s happening in your life and how much room to grow you still have ahead of you.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
A healthy body is essential to support a healthy mind. Being mindful with what you consume is one of the simplest steps to self-care. You already know the drill - eat healthier, get some exercise in your routine, aim to have better sleep, etc. You already know what to do and how to do it, what else is stopping you?
Surround yourself with people who lift you up
Depending on where you are in life right now, you may have already accumulated a lot of friends. It may not be obvious, but the people you spend most of your time with tend to affect your mindset and how you see things in general. It’s quite difficult to be a hopeful star in the midst of discouraging black holes. Should you have any friends like this, you don’t have to ditch them, just try to spend a little less time with them and more with your friends who lift you up and support you.
It is not to be misinterpreted that having a growth mindset means anyone can become a super genius or break records in their field because they tried - no. Growth mindset puts more focus on living up to your own personal potential. If it is in your potential to become the next scientist to come up with the next world-defining invention, why not?
The world is not all rainbows, butterflies, unicorns and cupcakes - you already know that. Adopting a growth mindset doesn’t necessarily mean that things will always go according to plan, it means being able to adapt even if things are not okay and don’t go your way. So what if you fail sometimes? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and have another go - only you can stop you.
So, don’t count yourself out before giving anything a good try. Your mindset can either be the bridge or the roadblock that stands between you and everything you are meant to be.