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What is the mindset?
Mindset is the way your mind is set up. You can compare your mind to a computer with an operating system, which hosts all programs. Depending on the type of system, some programs are installed and working, while others are incompatible.
Mindset is your own operating system that hosts all your beliefs and psychological patterns. Some thoughts and patterns work for you, while others are incompatible with your mindset. From a personal development perspective, there are two possible mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.
Fixed mindset v growth mindset
The difference arises from the way you see yourself and the external world.
Suppose you perceive yourself as a fixed identity. In that case, you will believe that you are a permanent, solid person with specific skills and talents. It will lead you to a fixed mindset. In the same way, you will see the world around you as fixed. You will give different things permanent labels and judgments to define and categorize them. The world becomes polarised and straightforward with good and bad situations, things and people.
However, if you see yourself and the outer reality as an ongoing process of evolution and change, you are moving towards the growth mindset.
Negative consequences of the fixed mindset
If you perceive yourself as a fixed person and identify with your self-image, you will always keep this image unchanged. Consequently, in the face of any challenge or new situation, you will struggle to defend your ideas about yourself or your views. New pieces of information or situations become like incompatible software to your operating system.
Every failure can threaten your identity and can destroy you, and failure means you get labelled a loser.
It is why, if you have a fixed mindset, you try to avoid difficult circumstances that may reveal your shortcomings. The effort makes you feel weak because it shows that you are not perfect. So, you end up preferring to stay in your comfort zone, where everything is known and easy.
A fixed mindset makes you constantly concerned about the opinion and criticisms of others. It makes leaving your comfort zone and taking risks much too stressful, and your image in front of others becomes more important than learning and growing!
The fixed mentality makes you see your actions and everything around you as a direct measure of your abilities and worth. It creates the feeling of either success or failure that can either bring happiness or unhappiness. A fixed mindset is a limitation that doesn’t allow you to see yourself clearly, evolve or learn from your mistakes. You always look for validation; you want to prove that you are always right and you fear any failure. This mindset leads you to stagnancy and constant frustration, as you will always compare yourself with others.
How the growth mindset can lead to success
If you do not identify with your fixed self-image, you can change this. The growth mindset always allows space for growing and expanding your perspective. You are in a constant process of evolution, where everything is possible. Every failure is an opportunity to learn. Every challenge is a path of development.
When you have a growth mindset, you can be honest with yourself and look at your imperfections without shame and condemnation. Your weaknesses are only indicators of what needs to change and grow. They have nothing to do with measuring your value or worth.
You realize that your talents and abilities can develop with effort and perseverance.
In reality, your qualities are not static skills. You do not have to prove anything in the world. You are who you are, and you are here to follow your purpose and to evolve.
The growth mindset gives you an opportunity for new experiences and frees your creativity. It motivates you to explore, to try, to challenge yourself and to become inspired. The growth mindset allows you to follow your passion in life and manifest your dreams. It gives you joy and fulfilment that comes from within, not from the acceptance of others.
Suppose you have a fixed mindset. You do not have to be stuck with it forever. You have a choice; it’s your decision, you can change it! Mindset is a bunch of beliefs, psychological patterns and habits. It is just a network of neuropathways in the brain.
Luckily the brain can be reshaped and restructured over time and can create new connections. It is called neuroplasticity. This can be done by conscious and repetitive changes in the way you think, speak and act. In the beginning, it requires a lot of effort and willpower. You need to observe yourself in each moment and consciously apply new responses in your life. With time you activate different neurons in your brain and form new pathways to these neurons. At the same time, the negative connections decrease. The most important thing here is to develop the ability of self-observation, mindful awareness and patience.