The Mindset can be defined as a mentality, a mindset or, as I like it, an individual's belief system.
In this sense it is schedule mental through which we learn, think, love, make decisions, act every day.
It is, in other words, the software through which we function.
The impact of the Mindset in your life is therefore enormous, because:
The things you believe and tell yourself about yourself can, alternatively, sabotage you and prevent your change or help you realize your true being (James Clear).
But this software you have in your head, who installed it for you?
Who determines our Mindset
Your belief system or Mindset is actually yours to a certain extent.
It has in fact been shaped over time on the basis of inputs from:
- from your family
- from your school
- from the closest circle of your friends
- by the media
- from the work environment
- … .. and a thousand other stimuli
This does not detract from you however, there is still a great deal of freedom to intervene on it in the first person, perhaps even to radically change it.
The first step it is analyzing it to understand how authentic it is - in the sense of yours - and to what extent it is limited by the opinions of others.
Why is our Mindset limited?
Don’t you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are. (Lady Gaga)
That is, don't let others define what you are.
Our core belief system, on the world and on ourselves, it is formed above all in the early youth, through the action of two great forces: the family and the school.
Slowly, in a subtle way, you are programmed. Beliefs are created for you that cement themselves into your personality. Without your realizing it, before you were 10, others have shaped your way of thinking with respect to relationships, success, your abilities and the possibilities that the world offers you. (cf. Randy Gage)
Naturally, this programming is done, with some exceptions, for a good purpose and in good faith.
However, there is a big problem.
School and family have always been involved more to circumscribe limits than to show possibilities.
It is in their traditional and conservative nature.
Because of this, however, we all run into a huge mistake, which can affect our life for many years.
We are convinced that is that our abilities, our intelligence, our perspectives, are something relatively fixed, predetermined at birth, and on which we have little ability to intervene.
We have developed ie a Fixed Mindset, the limiting belief that "For better or for worse I am like this and I cannot change much".
To alter this situation, along the growth process, a moment, a place, one or more people should arrive who are able to challenge constructively our Mindset and make us understand that it can still evolve.
This challenge though:
- Often it never comes
- Or it comes, but in a destructive way, often creating more problems than anything else
We should then be ourselves questioning our Mindset, but for several reasons this is not easy.
Fixed Mindset is comfortable
From an early age we grow up hearing things like:
- Better make another choice, because this one is not for you
- You are not old enough, you are not good enough
- It is not convenient for you, it is not possible etc etc.
Sometimes explicitly, very often through winks, sarcastic jokes, irony, comparisons with others.
The absurd thing is that it is done for a good purpose, with the aim of making us fly low and avoid two big bogeys: danger and failure.
Sometimes we may have some doubts, sometimes we rebelled, but in the end we mostly adapted to the vision of ourselves and of the world that was offered to us.
We have it worn as you do with a comfortable suit.
In fact, if you convince yourself that your possibilities are limited and that certain things are not within your reach:
- You have created an alibi
- You don't feel guilty about not trying to reach them
- You don't have to step out of your comfort zone
- You will not have to justify any failure in the eyes of others
While if you suddenly decide you can change and do more, that's it along with the new possibilities also come new responsibilities. (see Spiderman)
And those around you who know you may not take it well.
Surprise: others DON'T want that
you change your Mindset.
Imagine that suddenly although everyone has advised you against it because they do not consider you adequate, you launch into one of the following enterprises:
- Writing a successful book
- Trying to get into a university that everyone tells you is very difficult
- Quit your job to go on your own doing what you really want
- Try one of those unlikely careers like rock star, actor, sportsman
- Enroll in math even if, they tell you, you are denied for numbers
If in the end you do it, most of the other people, with rare exceptions like the father and the mother, unfortunately they will not be happy at all.
Because the fact that you did it instills in him the doubt that then maybe they could have tried too.
When one gets out of his belief system and is successful, here it puts everyone's system in crisis.
When he comes back with the white flag and defeated, that's it everyone breathes a sigh of relief because they see the goodness of their limiting beliefs and choices re-affirmed.
What does all this tell us?
That from a certain point in life, let's say since you reach the age of reason, if you really want to work on your Mindset and reprogram your internal software, you have to get your hands on it.
Carol Dweck: Fixed Mindset e Growth Mindset
I have already used a few times, in this article, the expression "Fixed Mindset", popularized by Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, in her famous book "Mindset: Changing mindset to achieve success ".
Professor Dweck is an expert in the field of implicit theories of intelligence, or rather the complexes of opinions that each individual has about the possibility of changing his own intelligence and skill.
Analyzing her students' achievements, behaviors and belief systems at Stanford University, the professor identified two types of mindset.
People with a Fixed Mindset believe that their basic skills, their intelligence, their talents, are set traits, with very fixed limits, beyond which they are unable to go.
As a result, their biggest concern is not to look stupid or unrealistic trying to go beyond what they see as their limitations.
They can also be successful people, but they tend not to want to get out of their comfort zone and not to evolve.
People with a Growth Mindset believe that their skills, intelligence and talents can be developed through effort, proper teaching and perseverance.
This leads them to take more risk and initiative and to have more tolerance and resilience towards failures, which they see as an inevitable part of their growth process.
Regardless of the situation in which they find themselves, they always try to improve themselves. As a result, they are on average more realized and successful that people with Fixed Mindset.
But how do you acquire a Growth Mindset?
The 6 steps to acquire a Growth Mindset
I am always reluctant to give these lists of points, because they are by definition reductive.
I know very well, however, both from personal experience and from what readers write to me, how useful it is have a concrete core of ideas to start from.
Here are my 6 fundamental ideas from which you can start to develop your Growth Mindset.
1 - You must be willing to get out of your comfort zone.
Do you remember with what principle, when you were little, those around you created your Mindset? Trying to protect yourself from danger and failure.
And guess what… outside our comfort zone, dangers and failures await us.
Having a Growth Mindset means accepting them as indispensable and inevitable part of the growth process.
If you never allow yourself to be wrong and if you never want to find yourself in uncomfortable situations, you certainly cannot go beyond your current limits.
2 - You have to change your language with yourself.
Your current Mindset is mostly due to things they have said over and over to you so many times that, in the end, you have taken them to be true.
To change them then you have to tell yourself about new things, a new possible reality, with new words.
3 - Focus on the processes and not the results.
Leaving your comfort zone and trying to go beyond the limits that you have been carrying around for years, you will inevitably have a lot of effort. So if you focus on results, you will inevitably get discouraged at first.
Then analyze the process: did you try hard enough? Have you looked for alternative strategies? Have you been persistent?
The results will come.
4 -Get inspired by watching those who made it.
Remember how we saw people think when they see someone who made it beyond their belief system?
She feels in crisis and threatened. Here, you have to do the opposite.
That is, you have to look for people who have exceeded the limits that others have stuck on them, and get inspired by them. (I also talk about the many ways to find inspiration here)
How did they do it? Why did they succeed? What do they have to teach you?
5 - Avoid toxic personalities.
This is a bit of a complementary point to the one just discussed.
Often, even among our loved ones, there are people who have, perhaps unconsciously, a negative impact on our Mindset. Perhaps precisely because they themselves have a very limited one.
These people recognize them easily: they denigrate most of what others do, they believe that anyone who "made it" did not deserve it, they always talk about how impossible or foolish it is to achieve this or that goal, sometimes they even diminish you, in a more or less veiled way.
Here, these people may even love you, but they are toxic for your development.
You don't have to end your relationship with them, but you don't have to let them pollute you with their negativity.
6- Take action.
Knowledge, without action, is an end in itself. Or rather, it is a potential that we never transform into something current.
Taking action is the hardest part of any change.
For example, at this moment you are reading this article on the Mindset and you feel that some of the things I tell you "resonate" with your life experience.
Maybe once you have set aside dreams because you did not consider yourself worthy of them.
O you have passively accepted to be considered less gifted than others
And you have said to yourself such phrases as "I'm not good at math", "technology is not for me", "I'm not a leader".
The result is that you have stopped growing and you have blocked your Mindset. There is no reason instead to set limits.
Of course, we can't all become Messi or Einstein or Hemingway or Bezos.
But we can all certainly improve far beyond what the software they put into our heads thinks. To do this you absolutely have to pass from words to action.
Mindset e reality check
One last thing: having a Growth Mindset doesn't mean disconnecting from reality.
I'll give you an example.
Let's say, all your life, you think you are a lazy person and absolutely not cut out for sports.
Here then, in your research on how to change your Mindset, you decide that you want to run a marathon.
Nothing wrong with that, indeed.
The problem arises if you want to run the marathon three months later while, realistically, you need at least a year of training.
Here then is that the two bogeys we spoke of, that is, danger and failure, become very concrete:
- You won't make it
- Maybe you will get hurt
- You will strengthen your Fixed Mindset precisely because of the negative result (note: some people put themselves into impossible feats on purpose just to self-sabotage).
Now, determining whether your intention to run the marathon in 3 months is realistic or not is all in all easy.
However, when it comes time to change Mindset, things are not always so obvious.
And then the problem arises of understanding, once you have decided to overcome your self-imposed limits, how far you can go.
I advise you two things:
1. Fall in love with travel.
Have the true growth mindset it does not mean thinking of sticking any goal into your head and being able to achieve it.
Instead, it means simply believing that our abilities and our intelligence can be increased remarkably throughout the course of our existence.
Once you get into this state of mind, the results will come by themselves, and it's not necessarily even better than you hoped for.
2. You must always have a plan
I have readers who write to me “I would like to do…. I have the dream of… I would like to be…. ".
But when I ask him things like “Why? Where is it? In what way? From when? And what happens next? "
In short, when I try to find out if there is also a plan behind the desire, I see that they often don't have it.
But this it is not Growth Mindset, it is daydreaming. When a person daydreams, it is easy for others to belittle him and it is easy for him to become discouraged.
On the other hand, when one has a well-made plan, his level of credibility immediately increases.
Making a plan isn't that difficult.
We are rarely the first to engage in an adventure: there is always someone who has passed before us and left traces that we can, in part, follow.
Do you want to run a marathon?
Ask those who have already run it, look for training plans on the internet, consult a doctor and a coach.
Do you want to become a writer, a rock star, a journalist, a nurse, a digital entrepreneur, a nobel prize winner?
Find out which are the schools, the routes, the stages to follow, what and how those before you did.
Adapt any information to your personal reality, mix several floors with each other, insert ideas and novelty elements, try to reverse some steps, with the aim not to have a perfect and immutable plan, but credible, imperfect and modifiable.
Otherwise it would be just another limit!
A greeting. Armando