Coaching Mini-Lesson: Change Your Mindset!
How do you view obstacles that come your way? Are they mountains that are seemingly insurmountable? Or are they molehills that simply need to be navigated? In Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, she identifies two types of mindsets that people possess: fixed and growth. The fixed mindset says things are just the way they are and you have no power to change them. A growth mindset says this is the way things are right now and you have the power to change them.
When you have a fixed mindset, you are more likely to give up in the face of adversity. A fixed mindset says no amount of effort will make a difference. You ask yourself all of the negative “what if” questions: What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if I look stupid? A fixed mindset will stop you in your tracks before you even get started.
On the other hand, a growth mindset sees adversity as a challenge. It answers the “what if” questions: I might fail the first time, but I’m going to keep trying until I get it right. I may not be good at this YET, but I’m going to keep working on it. Who cares what others think? What matters is how God sees me and how I see myself. A growth mindset will propel you forward, even when you are faced with an obstacle. A growth mindset says hard work and perseverance will make all the difference in the world.
Chances are, you have a fixed or growth mindset in different areas of your life. For example, you may have a fixed mindset when it comes to relationships: Most marriages are doomed to fail, why should mine be any different, but a growth mindset when it comes to working: I haven’t mastered the excel program yet, but I’ll nail it before the next expense report is due. Fortunately, you can change your mindset with a little self-evaluation and hard work.
1. Identify your mindset.
2. Journal about something that you are good at that you used to struggle with. Write the steps that you took to improve. How long did the process take? What did you learn from the process?
3. Experiment with the power of yet. Think of something that you are not very good at, but want to improve upon. Try putting the word yet on the end of fixed mindset statements: I don’t know how to do that, yet; I haven’t lost those last 10 pounds, yet; I haven’t found the right man, yet; I can’t buy the house I want, yet. Articulate the fact that you are a work in progress, put your plan into action, and employ some of the strategies and lessons learned from previous successes in order to reach your goal!
The good news is that mindset is a choice. Once you learn to recognize when you are limiting your progress with a fixed mindset, you can start responding to life’s challenges in a new way. By embracing a growth mindset, you will open yourself up to opportunities that can lead you to master and maximize your life!