The idea that change is difficult is simply a mindset. If you learn how to change your mindset you can change your life. It all starts with your thoughts. Every thought you have is a direct link to change in your life, or the lack thereof. There are many reasons why your mindset affects whether you change, or not. In fact, research proves that your mindset is formed through several disciplines including education, neurology and psychology. Your mindset is formed by a combined interaction of thoughts and corresponding emotions and images.

Habitual Thoughts and Emotions

When your emotions and thoughts are habitual, a neural network is formed that regulates a mindset. It literally keeps you in place. This explains how you can master a habit such as reading, writing or riding a bike.  It is learned and repeated habitually so you do it without thinking about it anymore. Your neural network has the habit in place after much practice and repetition. The more the same action is performed, the stronger your mindset becomes about that action. Therefore, when you feel as if you are resistant to change, it is not that you are a weak individual, the strength of your neural network just makes you feel as if you cannot change. However, you can change.

Change Your Mindset

If you are willing to change, then you are going to be able to change your mindset. They are your thoughts, and only you can change them. Even thoughts that were formed due to an outside influence can be changed. By using your personal power of responsibility and choice, you can change your mindset and attitude. It is the last freedom a person has as a human, the option to change your attitude despite the circumstance you may be facing. Be bold, be willing and you can change your mindset and your life.

Positively Feed Your Mindset

A quick way to change your mindset is to feed the mindset you want to form. When you choose a positive mindset, it automatically weakens a negative mindset. You can become more positive by daring to dream. You can imagine new possibilities for yourself. In turn new neurons are created that construct a new neural set-up. When you continue to do this, a new neural set-up will grow stronger and surpass the old one in strength. Keep this in mind, when you feed the positive it makes the negative weaker.

How you can change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset…

Step1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

As you approach a challenge, that voice might say to you “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.” “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure” “People will laugh at you for thinking you had talent.” “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

As you hit a setback, the voice might say, “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.” “You see, I told you it was a risk. Now you’ve gone and shown the world how limited you are.” “ It’s not too late to back out, make excuses, and try to regain your dignity.”

As you face criticism, you might hear yourself say, “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.” You might feel yourself getting angry at the person who is giving you feedback. “Who do they think they are? I’ll put them in their place.” The other person might be giving you specific, constructive feedback, but you might be hearing them say “I’m really disappointed in you. I thought you were capable but now I see you’re not.”

Step 2. Recognize that you have a choice.

How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. It’s up to you.

So as you face challenges, setbacks, and criticism, listen to the fixed mindset voice and…

Step 3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

As you approach a challenge:

THE FIXED-MINDSET says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”

THE GROWTH-MINDSET answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”

FIXED MINDSET: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure”

GROWTH MINDSET: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”

FIXED MINDSET: “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t try, I automatically fail. Where’s the dignity in that?”

As you hit a setback:

FIXED MINDSET: “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “That is so wrong. Basketball wasn’t easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn’t easy for Thomas Edison. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.

As you face criticism:

FIXED MINDSET: “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is– and learn whatever I can.”


Step 4. Take the growth mindset action.

Over time, which voice you heed becomes pretty much your choice. Whether you

  • take on the challenge wholeheartedly,
  • learn from your setbacks and try again
  • hear the criticism and act on it is now in your hands.

Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on the growth mindset. See how you can make it work for you.

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