#YesSheCan Explains: Our Mindset

The way you think can have a significant impact on your life. According to research, your beliefs play a crucial role in what you want and whether you achieve it.
In this #YesSheCan, we dive into our mindset to really be able to know what it is and how it works.

What is a mindset?

Your mindset is the way you think, your beliefs, and how you think about the world, people, and yourself. In turn, it can also impact all areas of your life – from your success to your failure.

Our mindset influences us in every situation in our life possible, the way we behave, feel, and think.

Is there different types of mindsets?

Yes! The two basic types of mindsets are a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Fixed mindset

If you believe that you have a fixed mindset, you believe everything is fixed, such as your abilities which means they cannot be changed. Individuals with fixed mindsets can also believe that talent and intelligence are the only factors that can lead you to success and effort is not required to get you there if you have those attributes. Some examples of a fixed mindset are:

  • “Either I’m good at it or I’m not”
  • “If you have to work hard you don’t have the ability”
  • “that’s just who I am, I can’t change it”.


Growth mindset

On the other side, if you believe that you have a growth mindset then you believe that talents, abilities, skills, pretty much anything, with resilience and effort can be developed over time. Some examples of a growth mindset are:

  • “I am able to learn anything I want to”
  • “I will become more smarter if I continue to challenge myself”
  • “I am constantly changing and am a work in progress”.

How is a mindset formed?

There are two primary sources that impact your mindset formation according to research, which is: praising and labelling. Both of these occur in early childhood. This research found that children’s behaviour was very different depending on the praise that they received.

For example, a child who has been praised in early childhood for their abilities, skill, or talents usually tends to have a fixed mindset; this is what has been promoted to them via being praised. This is because it informs that child that they either have this attribute or they simply don’t and there are no other factors that could possibly change it.

On the other hand, there is process praise. This is when an individual is praised for the amount of effort, energy and thought they put into a task, which are factors that can change and also be controlled to a certain extent.

Process praise can sound like this – “I can see that you worked so hard and practised your spelling, you wrote the words over and over until you got it right, this really worked for you, well done.”

Another way a mindset is formed is from our experiences throughout our whole life. These can be from habits, how others close to us act, and how we go about our everyday.

Much like the research explains above, if an act or behaviour is presented to us regularly, we consciously or unconsciously add that to our own mindset. For example, if someone is optimistic about a situation you usually find nerve-wracking, you might add that thought process or reaction to your own mindset.

“It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mindset about our physical limits.” — Ellen Langer

How much of an impact mindset can have on you?

Your mindset is a crucial part of you. It plays a huge role in your life, especially with how you deal with challenges and hurdles.

The type of mindset you have can impact your life significantly even with the smallest thoughts you may think are irrelevant. This is because an individual with a growth mindset is more likely to be resilient and persevere even when encountering setbacks or failures whilst those with fixed mindsets are more likely to just quit or give up after one setback or failure.

Therefore, your mindset is significant, mindset forms your thought process and the way you react and think about certain decisions and situations. So, it is important to know which one you have and how you can manage it.

What is your mindset?

Now, think about you! What mindset do you have? Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?

To identify the mindset, read the following statements and identify the ones you agree the most with.

1. You can develop your skills, abilities, and talents by working hard and putting effort in.

2. There are ways for you to improve your intelligence, such as studying.

3. You can’t do much to improve your skills, abilities and talents, no matter who you are.

4. Intelligence is something you’re born with, and you can’t change the significance of your intelligence at all.

5. Individuals have the ability to change the way that they are and the way that they behave.

6. Individuals either have a certain talent or they don’t, you can’t learn or develop talents in any way.

If you agree with statements 1, 2 or 5, this means that most likely you have a growth mindset.

If you agree more with statements 3,  4 or 6, then this means that you are more likely to have a fixed mindset.

How to change your mindset

There are a few ways for individuals with fixed mindsets to change their mindsets, even if they believe that they can’t.

One way you can change your mindset is by actively seeing the value in your journey, this is because with a fixed mindset you’re just focused on the end result. This means that you will not be noticing any lessons you could be learning along the way.

Another way is if you are struggling with a certain task or have encountered a setback just try and have a more positive outlook and think that you just haven’t mastered it yet as this will help you understand that you may have not achieved this goal at this moment but all you need to do to master it is keep trying and eventually you will overcome this hurdle.

Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is another way to change your mindset, this is because your thoughts are very powerful if you think you can do something you will also believe that.

On the other hand, if you think you can do something you will also most likely believe that., so pay attention to your thoughts and try to have a more positive way of thinking as this will help you develop a growth mindset. 

Taking on challenges is another way to change your fixed mindset by pushing yourself despite setbacks and challenges. This will help you develop a growth mindset.

Overall, your mindset has a significant impact on you and is crucial when facing any challenges in your life. So, it is important to know which mindset you have and how having that mindset impacts you.

If you enjoyed this blog and want to learn more about developing your mindset, read our blog on staying motivated or how to improve your routine and productivity.

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