Mindset development involves cultivating strength, positivity and confidence in the mind. Everyone has an inner dialogue, that ‘little voice’ in their head that either allows them to decipher or interpret setbacks as a disheartening challenge or as a positive opportunity.
When you face adversity or face criticism, your inner dialogue might focus on your limitations; dwell on what did or didn’t happen or runaway from situations that try to hold you accountable — all of which exacerbate the situation.
On the other side of the spectrum, your mindset has the power to take challenges and setbacks in your stride, move on more quickly and see them from a healthier, more productive point of view.
Types of mindsets
According to psychologist and author Carol Dweck, there are two main types of mindsets that dictate the way we interact with people and see the world — this is our worldview. The changeability of our abilities is a main aspect of her work and she has coined the following terms:
Fixed mindsets – These are people who see their capabilities, behaviours, intelligence and talents as unchangeable – something that is naturally a part of you that can hardly be developed.
Research shows that people with a fixed mindset:
- Spend more time proving they have capabilities rather than developing them
- Disregard the process of learning
- Impede their growth and their functioning
Growth mindsets – People with this mindset are avid learners, continually develop themselves, see the potential for growth and change and develop tendencies to see challenges as learning opportunities.
Research shows that people with a growth mindset:
- Are inquisitive, eager to learn and open to feedback and suggestions
- Do not view mistakes, failure etc. as a threat but rather an opportunity to learn and come up with new strategies
- Develop potential throughout their growth process
Dweck found that the growth mindset creates a passion for learning as opposed to a hunger for approval and those relational capacities like love, friendship, and work relations can be cultivated through a deliberate practice of choosing the growth mindset.
How can you choose the growth mindset?
A deliberate practice and conscious effort to have a growth mindset comes from a tactic Dweck presents in her research: learning to hear your “fixed voice” and actively talking back to it is a solution that Dweck offers to people trying to transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
If you notice you’re beginning to say: “There’s no way you can do that, you’re not talented enough”, counter it with an opposing affirmation like: “Maybe I can’t do it right now but in time, with learning, practice or even research, I’ll figure it out.”
This will allow you to take the challenge on wholeheartedly, learn from the setbacks, hear your inner-critic and move on armed and ready.
Another important way to challenge a fixed mindset is to simply create experiences that increase the angles of how you see your life. One example of doing this can relate back to meditation, which allows you to detach from life’s setbacks and challenges to see it from many points of views.
Meditation also helps to…
- Promote positive internal dialogue
- Cultivate gratitude
- Help us choose how to deal with negative situations
- Relax the nervous system
- Develop our consciousness to feel free of limitations
- Aspects of Positive Psychology and Meditation
- The Pursuit of Optimal Experience and Self-Actualization
- Subconscious Programming to Form New Habits
- Psychology and Science of Happiness