The age-old conundrum; “are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?”
Keeping this question in mind is a great way to get a handle on the basic mindset meaning. To delve a little deeper, a mindset is essentially a set of ideas and attitudes that determine the way a person behaves, reacts to challenges and their basic outlook on life and the happenings around them.
The kind of mindset a person has can really influence the direction their life takes. We all know making choices can have a huge knock-on effect; perhaps that’s why many of us can be so indecisive.
The mindset a person has affects the choices they make, but don’t worry if you’re anxious that you’re not open enough to opportunity, a mindset can most definitely be changed with time and effort.
What are the different types of Mindset?
There are two different kinds of mindsets, a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
Let’s look at someone who has a growth mindset.
They’re the kind of person that loves to learn. They embrace problems as they offer chances to educate themselves in a particular area, to find a new way of doing things and to ultimately improve in that area for and heighten the knowledge they can divulge to others.
They understand that to succeed in anything, the effort is essential. The phrase ‘nothing in life worth having, come’s easy’ is their mantra. They will work almost fixated on something until they master it and put their own spin on it. The amount of work that needs to be put into something doesn’t daunt them, it excites them.
Failure? Brilliant, the more the better! To fail is to learn new ways on how not to do something, and when you have enough of those you will eventually stumble on a winner. A person with a growth mindset embraces failure like an old friend and understands it is impossible to go through life without meeting it several times. To fail builds resilience, character and the burning desire to succeed.
A life without challenges is a life without excitement. The growth mindset leaps onto new challenges and sets about conquering them. A life that offers no challenges is a life that offers no rewards, for the two go hand in hand and the person with the growth mindset recognises this.
New techniques? Absolutely, change and adaption are essential to growth, so to tackle problems utilizing new techniques is a new brainer. If we all tried to do things the same way then innovation would be obsolete. In all great achievements, inventions and ideas, a person has just decided to look at a problem in a new way and offer a unique solution.
So we’ve got a got idea of what a person with a Growth Mindset looks like, what about a person with a fixed mindset?
You’ll identify people with a fixed mindset by the uncanny ability to talk themselves out of anything new or different. “What if they’re not good at it straight away? What if other people saw their failed attempts? If I could do it, I’d be able to do it already.” These are some of the excuses they will use, not to others, but more negatively to justify their lack of adventure with themselves.
A fixed mindset shies away from effort; it is a bad thing, not something that leads to a reward. Instant gratification is where it’s at and if it takes much longer than that, chances are it’s not worth attempting.
They’re perfect the way they are thank you very much. A growth mindset recognizes the constant need to evolve, to learn new skills and information. Alternatively, a fixed mindset sees the opposite. They have got by fine so far with what they have and often don’t see the need to expand on that.
Shortfalls in their lives are blamed on situations or other people. “I would have got that promotion, but I didn’t suck up to the boss as much as she did.” Or “I could have been a professional footballer but didn’t have the time to put into it, I would have been way better than him!” Again excuses are made to justify in their own minds why their lives are how they are.
Identify your own mindset
To analyse where we fall on the mindset scale, we have to look within and be truly honest with ourselves. Do we jump at opportunities, or instead do we shy away from the potential flaws we may let others know we have. The truth is, everyone has flaws, nobody is perfect and it is far from embarrassing to admit that.
We are human and are on a journey of lifelong learning, trial and error. There are no certainties on how far a growth mindset will take you but research shows people who have this mindset are far happier. There is one certainty though, you’re life will never improve unless you offer it the opportunity to do so.
As pointed out at the start of this article, if you feel like you have a fixed mindset it can be changed. Look at the attributes a person with a growth mindset has and try to implement them into your life. Say yes to challenges, learning and effort. Don’t sell yourself short, it is very rare someone is amazing at something the first time they try it. However, the ones that improve are the ones that stick at it. Find your passion in life and don’t be afraid to chase it!
“The difference between who you are and who you want to be… is what you do”