Our mind is the most important and powerful tool we have to create the results we want in life, yet when I ask my clients about writing down their thoughts, they are afraid to take a look at them.
Because “they’re too negative” or “I’m afraid of what I’ll see.”
Because we don’t think we can change what we see.
What if I told you that that wasn’t true. That we are not dealt a hand we are powerless to change.
This Blew. My. Mind.
In Carol Dweck’s book ,Mindset, she describes two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. Another way we tend to think of them as two types of personalities optimistic and pessimistic and most of us believe these are fixed traits. What if I told you that you can change with one little word… effort?
Let’s explore further.
We tend to think of a pessimist as a person who believes the worst. It is what it is. I’m no good at computers, speaking, remembering names, etc. and that’s it. This is what Dweck describes as the fixed mindset. If I am what I am (stupid, fat, bad at math, bad at sports) why even attempt to work on it?
But is that true?
It has been shown that when you practice something, the neural connections in your brain get stronger, they fire faster and you get better at it in ANY area: math, science, technology and so on. In sports, the more you practice a skill the better you get. Everyone applauded Michael Jordan’s seemingly effortless ability on the court but they forget the countless hours of practice and preparation off the court.
On the flip side, a growth mindset is one that we might call an optimist, not in the everything is rainbows and daisies kind of way, but the belief that I can do anything I put my mind to with practice. Not that everything has to be hard, but the things that require more effort end up being precious to them. They don’t define their worth by their talents and they believe that they can become more skilled at anything.
Let’s relate it to weight loss.
If you believe, “I have no control around food” or “losing weight is hard” and that’s it end of story, you have a fixed mindset about that area. It may cause you to feel defeated, when you feel defeated you eat, resulting in no weight loss. Right? What’s the point in trying if you are destined not to have any control around food?
However, if you have the growth mindset and you think “losing weight is hard, but I can figure this out.” You may feel hopeful and start reading or reach out for help leading to weight loss or at least understanding about how you are creating your results.
The beautiful thing about it is, just because you have a fixed mindset about something, you don’t have to keep it. Being aware of it, noticing when the thoughts come and then choosing to think that you can rise above it are your best weapons.
What about you?
What is something you have been telling yourself that you are not good at that you want to change, but thought you were powerless to because “that’s just the way it is?” Can you commit to doing something today that will help you become more skilled in that area? Write your commitment below so we can support you in your efforts.