Have you ever had a morning when you wake up in a bad mood and automatically think that this day is going to suck, and then it actually does? Or when you're facing a challenge that you think is invincible and you say to yourself that you're definitely going to fail at it – and then you do? It's like you put a jinx on yourself.
But have you asked yourself what stands behind all of this?
Well, we have an answer for you. It's all in your mindset.
A mindset is a person's general attitude and the way they typically think about things. It's like a set of stairs – use it correctly and get to the next level or fail to use it and get bruised (however, don't think that getting to the next level doesn't involve some bruising).
Believe it or not – a person's mindset is one of the factors that sets apart successful people from unsuccessful ones. Therefore, we need to understand how mindsets differ between these two types of people.
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has singled out that people have two mindsets – fixed and growth. And the biggest difference between them is the way they interpret challenges, obstacles, effort, criticism, and the success of others.
Those who have a fixed mindset tend to:
- Avoid challenges
- Give up easily
- See effort as something fruitless
- Ignore useful feedback that is negative
- Be threatened by the success of others
But what if you'd learn to perceive mistakes as lessons and challenges as a possibility to improve and grow? Well, then the world can be your oyster, dear friend.
To identify the factors keeping you from success and to turn your mind to the course of growth we've compiled a list with 5 signs to avoid when it comes to your mindset.
1: Being negative
Have you ever started a new project and then unintentionally spoiled the hype around it with remarks like “It's not going to work out” or “If it's going too well something must be wrong”?
If you haven't – great. If you have, then it's time to change it up and look on the bright side because being negative helps no one. Especially yourself, as it's been proven that negative emotions can affect your health.
Other cons linked to a negative mindset are:
- You're more likely to make negative decisions and choices
- Negative people tend to be hyper-critical of others
- Negativity clouds the ability to see positive possibilities
Keep in mind that opportunities will come and go and if you don't want to stay where you are, then you should probably do something about it.
2: Putting yourself down
We all have had doubts about ourselves. Questions like “Can I do it?”, “Do I have the experience?”, or “Am I good enough?” have most likely crossed your mind once or twice. Nevertheless, don't make self-doubt into a habit.
Self-criticism and doubt can be helpful at times. For example, when you finish a project and evaluate what you could have done better, you can learn from your slips and improve in the future. However, you have to be careful not to step over the thin line between healthy and toxic self-criticism.
Another thing you should avoid when it comes to criticism is putting too much thought into what others will think of what you do. If some other person criticizes you ask yourself – is this a constructive criticism or just total nonsense? Believe me, this question will help you immensely.
What can we conclude from this? Your mind can both be your best friend or your worst enemy. And to make your mind work with you not against you – you have to train it.
One way you can do it is with:
- Surrounding yourself with people you admire and by learning from them
- Jumping out of your comfort zone from time to time
If you want to succeed you have to believe that you are good enough and you can do it.
Therefore, the first thing that you can do is to train your mind to think differently.
So from now on instead of “Can I do it?” say “I will do it as best as I can”.
3: Fearing failure
Failing is inevitable. There. I said it. However, the way how to interpret the failure is up to you. You can either let yourself be sad and do nothing or you can learn from your mistakes to do better in the future.
For example, imagine that you've always wanted to start your own business and sell self-made greeting cards online but you've never had the courage to start it, as you fear that no one will want to buy them.
First of all, here I would like to quote one of the most popular rock bands in the world – if you never try, you'll never know.
Second, keep in mind the fact that there are 79% of small start-ups that survive their first year of business. So, what to do if you really do fall in that unlucky 21%?
The best thing that you can do is try to understand why it didn't work out and how can you learn from failing to be better in the future.
And as Winston Churchill once said:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
4: Waiting for a miracle
Do you believe in miracles? Actually, it doesn't matter if you do or don't – if you get used to the mindset of waiting for something to happen instead of getting things done, then you're definitely holding yourself back.
Inaction can lead to regret. And speaking of regret – when researchers from the American Psychological Association asked people to name what's their single biggest regret in life, 76% of respondents said that it was “an action not taken that would have helped them realize their ideal self”.
But what can you do?
Start easy. For example, take a piece of paper and write down what you really want to achieve. Then write realistic steps on how to reach this goal.
For example, if you want to grow your greeting card business you might want to do a collaboration with other artists. Thus you can form strategic partnerships and make that extra hype around this collaboration work for you and your business.
So, what we can learn from this? Don't wait for a miracle. Do something and make that miracle yourself.
5: Fearing change
There have been hundreds of songs and sayings that go along the lines of “change is good” etc. But for some people, change is terrifying.
Imagine how you'd feel if your boss would say that there has been a reorganization in your company and from tomorrow you'll be reporting to another person?
For some, this news would cause a certain amount of stress because of the unknown. But others could perceive this as a possibility to start a new chapter in their work life.
People fear change because they don't enjoy their comfort zone being disrupted. What if the new boss is more strict? That means that you have to put in an extra effort. That means no more 15-minute-long coffee breaks every hour with your co-workers.
However, if your workday somehow reflects the previously mentioned maybe it's about time to shake things up a little, lose the fear, and use your full potential to give yourself an opportunity to grow.
Everything that we do in our lives is a reflection of our words, thoughts, and actions. Whereas our thoughts, words, and actions reflect on how we see the world and what are our conscious and subconscious beliefs.
That being said, you have to put your mindset towards growth and learning, as opposed to staying at the same place. Of course, it's easier said than done, therefore, you need to train your mind, so it can stay healthy, ambitious, and work with you. Not against you.