What is a mindset?
Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, feel and behave in any given situation. Our thoughts can shape how we behave, so in order to achieve our highest goals, we must know how to manage the mind. Think of the mind as a muscle, we can better manage it as it is exercised.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
A growth mindset views intelligence and talent as qualities that can be developed over time.
This doesn’t mean that people with a growth mindset assume that they could be the next Einstein, there are still variables in what we can all achieve. A growth mindset means that people believe their intelligence and talents can be improved through effort and actions.
A growth mindset also recognizes that setbacks are a necessary part of the learning process and allows people to “bounce back” by increasing motivational effort. Motivation may come from external sources, but we should be driven internally, finding the motivation from within ourselves. External motivation is quite fleeting, it’s here one moment and gone the next. Our motivating “whys”, which are internal, are much stronger.
This kind of mindset sees “failings” as temporary and changeable, and as such, a growth mindset is crucial for learning, resilience, motivation, and performance.
Those who adopt a growth mindset are more likely to:
- Embrace lifelong learning
- Believe intelligence can be improved
- Put in more effort to learn
- Believe effort leads to mastery
- Believe failures are just temporary setbacks
- View feedback as a source of information
- Willingly embraces challenges
- View others’ success as a source of inspiration
- View feedback as an opportunity to learn
In a fixed mindset, people believe attributes, such as talent and intelligence, are fixed. They believe they’re born with the level of intelligence and natural talents they’ll reach in adulthood.
A fixed-minded person usually avoids challenges in life, gives up easily, and becomes intimidated or threatened by the success of other people. This is in part because a fixed mindset doesn’t see intelligence and talent as something you develop; it’s something you “are”.
Fixed mindsets can lead to negative thinking. For instance, a person with a fixed mindset might fail at a task and believe it’s because they aren’t smart enough to do it. Whereas a growth mindset person might fail at the same task and believe it’s because they need to spend more time practicing.
People with a fixed mindset believe individual traits cannot change, no matter how much effort you put in, and are more likely to:
- Believe intelligence and talent are static
- Avoid challenges to avoid failure
- Ignore feedback from others
- Feel threatened by the success of others
- Hide flaws so as not to be judged by others
- Believe putting in effort is worthless
- View feedback as personal criticism
- Give up easily
What kind of things do you do to work on your mindset?
For me, I feel like I really put myself out there in situations that require hard work. Whether it’s business-related, an ultramarathon, or a hill repeat run, I’m placed in a challenging situation where I need to push through in order to come out the other side.
I have to work my mind, like a muscle, and check my mindset in order to be successful. Success looks different in various situations, it’s definitely NOT a linear journey, but no matter the outcome, I become a stronger person. I’ve learned something and am better equipped for whatever comes my way next.
What are you doing today to grow?
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”Steve Maraboli
“Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”Sherman Finesilver
“Challenges are what makes life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”Joshua J. Marine
I teach endurance runners and athletes a way to train their brain
I do this on the side of being a professional counselor. Mindset coaching is a non-clinical service.
Contact me via email to learn more about my mental health services, Finish Stronger Counseling (Private practice mental health. I meet with Pennsylvania residents) and mindset coaching services, Finish Stronger Mindset Coaching, which is for endurance runners and athletes (I meet with people who live anywhere in the U.S.).