Research shows that mindsets play a significant role in determining life’s outcomes. By understanding, adapting and shifting your mindset, you improve your health, decrease your stress and become more resilient to life’s challenges. It is time to learn how to change a fixed mindset.
How to Change a Fixed Mindset
Not everyone has the impetus to explore or learn new things as a result of a mindset limitations. This lack of the ability to increase a learning capacity holds people back in the long-run. Others opt to embrace growth and tend to view intelligence, abilities, and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. The process of how to change a fixed mindset takes courage and willingness to step out of your comfort zone.
Fixed Versus Growth Mindset
For example, as an aspiring entrepreneur, you need basic finance skills to create your company’s budget and prepare financial statements. A fixed mindset may think “I’ve never been good at math, let alone financial statements.” A growth mindset will jump right into the opportunity to take on the challenge. Let’s see what a Fixed Mindset looks like.
What is a Fixed Mindset
Attitude is partly a learned response to our unique experiences in life and partly personality. In her book Mindset, Stanford professor Carol Dweck describes mindset as the single quality that separates those who succeed from those that don’t. Her research reveals that the language used by parents when praising their children has a profound effect on attitudinal development. Subtle differences in intonation, wording and phrasing makes the difference between someone who grows up with a fixed mindset or growth-oriented mindset. How does fear play a part in mindset?
Fear is a Big Component of a Fixed Mindset
With a fixed mindset, the brain’s response to new ideas is to see it as a threat. Sensing danger, triggers the stress or fight or flight response leading to a defensive or negative reaction.”
- “I don’t like the new company policies; it seems too stringent.”
- “There’s no need to the new procedure, everything is working fine.”
- “I know that I will not feel comfortable with ChatGPT, I don’t need to use it anyway.”
Provide a Safe Environment for Change
This is where good leadership comes in handy. An effective leader demonstrates how to respond to new ideas, setbacks and change and allow others to see how effort leads to positive outcomes. A leader will show you how failure leads to greater learning about what to do differently next time. The use of process praise leads to an employee’s progress.
It is essential to use positive reinforcing language. Praising for effort, or tenacity in seeing things through not only makes the person receiving the praise feel good, it shows them how it is possible to overcome challenges and find a solution. The ability to communicate makes all the difference.
Communication is Key
Be prepared to listen. It is important that everyone is heard. It provides a forum for fears and anxiety to be aired and discussed. This helps alloy some of their concerns. Be prepared to repeat the process several times. Inviting dialogue helps someone with a fixed mindset come up with their own solution.
Create a Brain Safe Environment
For example, “ I believe you have the capability to put yourself forward and complete the training, how can I help you with that? “If you’re feeling stuck, what would make the biggest difference to allow you to move forward?” Helping others empower themselves through developing a growth-oriented mindset, creates a brain safe environment that helps boost productivity and performance. Consequently, growth mindsets perceive the beauty in the world.
How You See the World
A fixed mindset sees that talent is innate, you’re either smart or you’re not and failure is to be avoided at all costs. On the flip side, a growth mindset sees how effort leads to reward and that it’s expected to face a few setbacks along the way. The glass is half full or half empty. Growth minds sees the glass half full.
Pitfalls of a Fixed Mindset
With a fixed mindset, it is hard to find motivation to work through perceived weaknesses, because the ability to change may seem as hopeless as changing eye color. A fixed mindset is plagued with negative self-talk. In contrast, a growth mindset sees weakness as a challenge that is motivating and even fun to overcome. In addition, a growth mindset does not compare to others.
Do not Compare
When you compare yourself to others, it is easy to fall into a fixed mindset. We do not see the effort and perseverance others put in, which is why it leads to a fixed mindset. If someone is naturally smart, you do not know how much effort they put in studying. This is why comparing yourself to others is a fixed mindset. This minset impacts your reality.
Mindsets Impact Your Reality
Mindsets impact your outcomes by determining the way you think, feel, and even physiologically respond to some situations. However, even a fixed mindset is not set in stone. You change your mindset by learning and consciously choosing to believe that your characteristics are not predetermined and that you can continue to learn over time.
Everyone experiences a fixed mindset from time to time. However, shifting from a fixed to a growth mindset will not happen overnight. When you start to compare yourself to others, make excuses, blame others for your mistakes, and disproportionately focus on your shortcomings, theses are all fixed mindset traps.
Growth mindset is a positive vibe associated with a solution-focused outlook and is open to new ideas and stimulated by the thought of the challenges waiting to be overcome. There is excitement and unprecedented energy.
2 thoughts on “How to Change a Fixed Mindset – Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone”
About 15 years ago, I was suffering from mental illness. Everything around me seemed dark. There es no light anywhere.
I felt depressed and suicidal. As time passed, I was subscribed medication, and I got better. But the minute I stopped the medication, I got worse again. I finally read about mindset, and everything changed. The darkness lifted, the light returned, and I did not need the medication again. Midset makes a lot of difference in being healthy and living a balanced life.
Thank you for a great article
Hi there, Ingrid
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read and comment on my article related to changing a fixed mindset. I, also, have suffered with anxiety and depression and it is good to know that there are solutions available; we just have to find them.
I congratulate you for your courage to shift to a positive mindset. This is a powerful way to gain peace and balance into your life. Keep up the great work and share your story. It will uplift, heal, and inspire others.
Have a fantastic weekend,