What is the mindset?
Shortly, it is how 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 may be present and others will be incompatible.
Mindset is your own operating system which hosts all your beliefs and psychological patterns.
There are two main operating systems or two mindsets possible: fixed mindset and the growth mindset.
Fixed mindset v growth mindset
The difference between those two mindsets arises from the way you see yourself and the external world.
If you perceive yourself to have a fixed identity, you will believe that you are a permanent person, with certain skills and talents. This will lead you to the fixed mindset. In the same way you will see the world around you. You will give it permanent labels and judgments to define and categorise it. The world will be polarised with the good and bad situations, things and people.
But, 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 you identify with your self-image, you will always try to keep this image unchanged. In consequence, in the face of any challenge or a new situation, you will struggle to keep the idea about who you are intact. Every failure can be a threat to your identity and can destroy you. A failure means you get a label of a looser.
This is why, if you have a fixed mindset, you are avoiding difficulties and circumstances that can reveal your shortcomings. The effort makes you feel weak because it shows that you are not that perfect. So, you may prefer to stay in your comfort zone, where everything is easy and known.
Fixed mindset makes you always concerned about the opinion and criticism of others. Going out of the comfort zone and taking risks is stressful. Your image in the front of others is more important than learning and growing itself.
The fixed mindset makes you see what is happening as a direct measurement of your abilities and worthiness. This creates the feeling of either success or failure that brings happiness or unhappiness.
Fixed mindset is a limitation that doesn’t allow you to see yourself clearly, to evolve and to learn from your mistakes. You 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 growth mindset can lead to success
If you do not identify with your fixed self-image, you are open for change. The growth mindset is always allowing space for growing and expanding. 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. They have nothing to do with measuring your value or worth.
You realize that your talents and abilities can be developed by 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.
Growth mindset gives you an opportunity for a new experience and frees your creativity. It motivates you to explore, to try, to challenge yourself and to become inspired. It allows you to follow your passion in life and to manifest your dreams. It gives you joy and fulfilment that is coming from within, not from acceptance of others.
Mindset neuroplasticity
If you have a fixed mindset you do not have to be stuck with it forever. The good news is that you can change it. You have a choice and it’s your decision. Mindset is a bunch of beliefs, psychological patterns and habits. They are powerful but they are not real. They are just neuron pathways in your brain.
Luckily the brain can be reshaped over time and can create new connections. This is called neuroplasticity or the ability of the brain to restructure itself. It is developed by conscious and repetitive changes in the way you think, speak and act. At the beginning, it requires a lot of effort and a will power. 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 they form new pathways. At the same time the negative ones decrease.
The most important thing here is to develop the ability of self-observation, mindful awareness and patience.