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  • Writer's pictureKristi Ryan

Growth or Fixed Mindset: Which One Do You Have and Why Is It So Important?

Have you ever thought about what kind of mindset you have? As we go through life, it is easy to get stuck in the cycle of whatever works for us in the 'path of least resistance' sort of way.

For most people that becomes a fixed mindset and ultimately does not allow any room for growth or transformation. Our own beliefs usually become quite limited due to our own restrictions that we put on them.

At the beginning of a period of transformation when you are trying to make a change in your life, it is important to become aware of what kind of mindset you are in. This serves as a springboard to propel and motivate you as you are working towards your goals rather than keeping you stuck and unable to really make the changes deep down where they matter.

When working towards goals, and especially health goals, even though you may make all the changes necessary to feel great they will most likely not stick if you keep the same old mindset that your subconscious has been programmed with for your whole life.

Having the right mindset is a vital foundation and the driving force behind motivation and transformation.

If your mindset is what determines what kind of success you will have, then I'm sure you would agree that it’s probably a pretty important part of your journey to transformation!

You can change all the things-your sleep, your exercise, your diet, your bad habits… but if you don’t change your mind then your subconscious thoughts--the thoughts that are basically programmed throughout your life--if you don’t change those thoughts around those things, then most likely you will not really be establishing solid new habits and successfully accomplishing your goals.

The new things you do may last for a little may eat healthier for a little while, you may get better sleep for a little while, you may exercise for a little while...but then you find yourself falling right back into your old patterns of thinking and then of doing especially when the going gets rough.

Your mindset will determine how you react when faced with a challenge or a major change that you are trying to make in your life to better yourself and your future. Let’s take a look and see if you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.

Stuck in a Fixed Mindset?

So, what is a fixed mindset? A fixed mindset is the programming of your subconscious mind that has taken place pretty much since the day you were born. It’s usually that little voice in your head that keeps you stuck, keeps you fearful and keeps you from attempting to change. It convinces you to give up-maybe before you have even started, convinces you that you are a failure and tells you that can’t change so why bother. You don’t even dare to take on any challenges you fear you won’t be successful at. You are closed off to suggestions, new ideas and feedback.

Pretty much every human being who has ever done anything--I know that’s a broad category--has this little voice that makes them fearful in one way or another. But, it’s how you control that voice that will determine your success in whatever situation you are dealing with. If you are stuck in a fixed mindset you are not allowing yourself the space for change and transformation.

How do you know if you are stuck in a fixed mindset?

  • You give up easily-especially when the going gets tough

  • You have a minor stumble when you are trying something new and consider yourself to be a failure

  • You don’t dare to take on certain challenges that you are convinced you can’t succeed at-without even trying

  • You are concerned about how you will be judged

  • You are closed off to suggestions, new ideas, feedback

A fixed mindset does not allow you the space to grow!

Transform With a Growth Mindset

With a growth mindset you are looking for and noticing the potential in the challenges you face. A growth mindset is dynamic, curious, creative, expansive, resilient and unwavering.

You are more concerned with stretching yourself to expand through those challenges. It requires effort, development and nurturing of your individual capabilities. If you have a growth mindset you are not concerned about being judged, instead you are concerned with self-improvement.

Having a growth mindset allows you to rise up to the occasion or the challenge that you are presented with. It allows you to have space in your mind for coming up with creative solutions to the challenges you face. It allows you to have room for growth in your life now and into your future.

A growth mindset requires cultivation of important qualities. It allows you to have perseverance and resilience when it comes to making achievements and successes out of life’s setbacks.

A growth mindset allows you to move forward with determination and belief, an unwavering faith in yourself and your purpose on this planet.

And...a growth mindset supplies you with the strength to change, to move forward, to set your goals high and know you can achieve them.

When you are able to take something that is hard and challenging to you and make it fun, then you are in the growth mindset. You are making progress you feel good about when you are confronting that challenge as well as proving to yourself that you could do it.

And usually looking back in hindsight, the challenge you allowed to become so big in your head really turned out to be not so scary. This gives you the power!

If you have a growth mindset you are:

  • Dynamic

  • Curious

  • Creative

  • Expansive

  • Resilient

  • Unwavering

We all usually operate between both mindsets-which is normal!

We are only human after all right? We all have all the feelings-worry, fear, anxiety, stress…

And...if you have a fixed mindset, you can let those uncomfortable feelings hold you back. They’re icky and make you feel bad. But, letting them hold you back keeps you stuck and causes you to limit your growth and your possibilities.

It takes work-perseverance and focus for most people to cultivate a growth mindset. It is important work for you to do if you want to get into the flow of unlimited growth and possibilities in your life.

The good news: You can change your mindset!

It is up to you to make a conscious choice and effort to stretch yourself and develop yourself. not be controlled by your unconscious mind that is trying to derail you with fear of the unknown.

You have to consciously influence and reshape your subconscious mind. Growth in your life is possible if you are in the growth mindset.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

It’s all about your perspective

Changing your mindset takes a shift in your perspective. A reorientation of your view...looking through a different lens. It takes discovering ways you can solve the challenges or setbacks you are faced with.

It takes awareness to notice you may need to look at things with a different perspective. Maybe find somebody you trust who really knows you well, someone you know will always be honest with you no matter what, and ask them for their opinion.

They may be able to provide a different perspective from what you have seen in your reality. They may even be able to open up a whole new world of possibilities and options you may have never considered before when you were looking through your lens only.

Changing your perspective can help you eliminate negative subconscious beliefs which are usually involving unfounded fears. It is important to eliminate negative beliefs that aren’t allowing you to achieve your goal or goals in life.

It takes awareness and some self-evaluation and investigation about your own negative beliefs that have probably been ingrained into your subconscious for most of your life. But, doing this work is worth it when you are working towards accomplishing goals and successfully changing your life for good.

After you have been consciously changing your thought patterns for a while and have moved into the growth mindset it will become easier and more natural to you to start thinking this way. This is because your brain is creating new neural pathways for your new patterns that you practice.

You have literally changed your mind!

Changing, growing, changing and growing--that is your new pattern that you consciously set yourself up with!

This is all so important when making changes in your life that are long-term and permanent.

Affirmations Work!

Affirmations can be useful and very important when you are trying to change any limiting beliefs keeping you in your fixed mindset.

In order for the affirmation to be effective and for it to stick, you must feel and believe the affirmation. If not, they are just empty words.

It takes action, focus and repetition in order to work.  

A simple exercise is to come up with some areas where you feel you have limiting beliefs and then either come up with your own affirmations or find a few that really resonate with you. These are easy to find as they are everywhere--just check out Facebook and Instagram and you are guaranteed to find plenty.

And for good reason, they are so helpful in our lives. Especially when they are universal truths. They work for almost everybody!

What is Your WHY?

Think long and hard about your WHY. Why do you want to make changes in your life? Think of the most important benefits of why you are doing what you are doing to work toward your changes and goals.

Use your WHY to be your motivation for the growth you want to achieve. Especially when the going gets tough and that old annoying fixed mindset tries to creep back in and tell you what you can’t do and you shouldn’t even try something because it didn’t work before or it’s too much work or it’s too hard. It's up to you to shut that voice down!

Make your WHY powerful and come back to it over and over.

So... which mindset do you choose?

Do you believe that your success in meeting your goals and accomplishing your dreams is possible? I do-because I’ve seen it happen over and over again. All throughout history and also in our current times.

If it helps you...find somebody that you look up to who has persevered and succeeded through hard times and learn about them--read their biographies and become inspired by their achievements against all odds. There are too many stories to count. They’re only human--just like you--so if they can do it while pushing away a fixed mindset and embodying all of those important growth mindset qualities then you can too!


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