“You are born with it”.
We’ve all heard that more than once in our lives but the only good thing about that saying…
Is the fact that it’s not true.
Yet, it’s one of the most common myths that you’ll come across time and time again.
You’ll hear things like:
“I would love to be a good writer… but I just wasn’t born with it.”
“I’m just not a naturally fit person…”
“I’m just not a confident person” (I especially hate this mindset because I used to feel this way)
These are all examples of something known as a “Fixed-mindset”.
Fixed-Mindset: You Are Who You Are
So a fixed mindset is when you’ve got this perception that who you as a person… is fixed. It’s as if from the moment you’re born, you’re automatically gifted with certain skills and cursed to live without others.
That’s just how it is and you can’t change it.
It’s the mindset that there’s this cap on how much you can improve as a person. So if you’re naturally good at something, you believe that you can get better at it while if you aren’t naturally the best at something, you simply believe that that’s who you are and you can’t change that.
Simply put – it’s the mindset of either you’re born with it… or you’re not.
Growth-Mindset: You Are Who You Choose To Be
On the other hand, a growth mindset is this belief that you’ve got an infinite potential to learn and grow as a person.
Whether it’s a skill that you aren’t the best at or even if it’s a personality trait like you might not be the most confident or maybe you get quite anxious, it’s the mindset that your skills and abilities aren’t fixed.
Instead, it’s the belief that you can grow and evolve as a person by simply putting effort into improving different areas of your life.
That’s the mindset that you need to have because the fact is, each of these mindsets is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Your Mindset Has A Direct Impact On Your Ability To Grow
The biggest issue with having a fixed mindset is that subconsciously, without you even realising, you start to sabotage yourself in order to align with who you think you are as a person.
I’m also speaking from experience when I speak about this. You see, just a few years ago, I used to suffer from crippling social anxiety and I had a very strong fixed mindset about my own self-confidence and social skills.
I thought that confidence was something that you were either both with… or you weren’t and unfortunately, I thought that I just got that short end of the stick.
The problem with that? Without even realising it, I was keeping myself there.
Because I firmly believed that being socially anxious was just who I was as a person and that it was impossible for me to change that, whenever a situation came up that could have helped me develop a level of confidence, I would avoid it.
Let’s say I had the opportunity to go to a social event or to meet some new people and I just happened to be feeling more confident than usual, which actually made me want to go, I’d convince myself out of it.
I’d have this conversation with myself where essentially, I’d think “Hey, I really want to go to this event and I would actually love to meet a few people and make some friends but the truth is… I’m just not a social or confidence person. That’s just who I am and I won’t be able to change that so what’s the point of even trying?”.
So because I had this fixed mindset and I believed that I couldn’t change who I was, my subconscious mind would stick with that and motivate me to do things that aligned with my perception of who I actually was.
Instead of motivating me to do things that would help me develop confidence… which is what I truly wanted… my subconscious mind would motivate me to AVOID them.
It would just go “Well hey, that program on confidence or that social event would be awesome! But I’m just not a confident person and I can’t change that so why waste my time on it in the first place?” and I’d just avoid it.
So this very thought that who you are is fixed as a human being and that you can’t change that… is the EXACT THING that’s keeping you there in the first place.
That’s because without you even realising it, it subconsciously stops you from being motivated to do the things that would actually help you improve and grow in these areas of your life.
And when you think about it… it actually makes sense.
If you don’t think that you can get better at something… then any time you spend trying to get better is just going to be a complete waste of time.
So why would your subconscious mind motivate you to do things that will just be a waste of your time?
How To Harness A Growth Mindset: You Just Have To Prove It To Yourself
I know what you’re thinking.
“Yeah…. This sounds cool and all… but how the hell do you actually harness a growth mindset?”
Well – you just have to prove it to your subconscious mind that you’re capable of growth.
The easiest example of this is at the gym.
I’ve seen this happen countless times when someone new comes to the gym. Someone who has a fixed mindset about their athletic ability and who simply doesn’t view themselves as being a fit or strong person.
Maybe their partner or a buddy convinced them to go so they just went along with it. At first, they think it’s a waste of time but because of social pressure, they stuck with it for a few weeks.
All of a sudden they realised something amazing.
They were getting stronger.
At first, they thought that they couldn’t improve but as they continued to go to the gym, they continued to get stronger.
With every rep they did, with every extra kilo they could lift, they begin to believe more and more that they could improve in that area of their life.
They slowly being to see their health and fitness as something that they could develop and they start to harness a growth mindset.
Instead of their beliefs dictating their actions… their actions were changing their beliefs.
And that’s exactly how you develop a growth mindset.
You just have to shift your focus away from the end goal and towards the process of getting there.
And this is especially if you have a big goal or something that you would like to achieve in life but because of a fixed mindset, you believe that you can’t.
Going back to the example of the gym, let’s say you wanted to run a marathon (42km’s) and right now you could barely run 5km’s and you have a fixed mindset about your athletic ability.
So if you decided that your goal is “I want to be a marathon runner” when you can barely run 5km’s and you’ve got a fixed mindset about your ability to actually achieve that goal, of course you’re not going to be motivated to exercise and to improve your running and that will just reinforce the fixed mindset that you have about your ability to run.
Or if your goal is “I want to run a million-dollar company” when you have a fixed mindset about your ability to achieve that level of success.
If that’s all you focus on, then as soon as you come up against a wall or some kind of adversity, you’re not going to be motivated to push through it and you’ll feel like giving up.
That’s because, in both of those cases, it’s just reinforcing this belief you have that you’re unable to improve in those areas of your life.
So instead of focusing on the end goal, give yourself the opportunity to prove it to yourself by shifting your focus to the process of getting there.
So ask yourself this question:
“What do the habits of someone who has achieved my goals look like?”
If your goal is to be a marathon runner, then I’m sure that they would probably have to exercise and train several times a week to get there.
If it’s to run a large company, then I’m sure that they would have had to focus hard on growing the business, every single day.
Then just commit to doing those same habits, activities and processes.
Forget about the big goal of actually running a marathon or actually running a million-dollar company and instead, shift your focus and start to identify yourself as the kind of person who goes through the processes of getting there.
Start identifying yourself as someone who runs and exercises several times a week.
Start identifying yourself as someone who works hard on growing their business on a daily basis.
That’s all there is to it.
What happens is that as you stick to these processes… as you stick to exercising several times a week and as you stick to working on your business every day, you’ll start to make progress.
Without you even realising it, you’ll start to run further and your business will start to grow, simply because you’re putting in the effort to actually make those results happen.
And as you continue to identify yourself as someone who does those processes and as you slowly start to make progress in different areas of your life…
You trigger the holy shit moment.
That’s that moment when you realise that “hang on a minute… I’m actually making progress on something that I didn’t think I was capable of improvising?”
“I’m actually capable of growth?”
“Damn. I guess I am.”
And that is how you develop a growth mindset!
Instead of using your beliefs to drive your actions… instead of using the belief that “I can run a marathon one day… I can be more confident… I can be successful” – whatever your goals might be.
You’re doing the opposite.
You’re using your actions to change your beliefs by:
1) Figuring out the processes that you need to go through
2) Focusing on executing them
3) Allowing the natural progress you’re making, change your beliefs
And that’s how you take control of your path in life and harness a growth mindset. It’s by using your conscious actions to create evidence and prove to your subconscious mind that you are in fact, capable of growth.
When you’re ready to take your growth to the next level, click here to learn how to grow your influence on the world.