Do you realize you can change your mindset and change your life?
Have you ever heard yourself say…
“I’m just built that way.”
“I’ll never get ahead because that’s just the way it is for folks like me.”
“I don’t deserve to succeed.”
That’s okay! Many of us believe those same things when we get started in business. We’re stuck with a “fixed mindset.” If you want to move forward in your business – it’s time to transition away from the fixed mindset mentality.
In researching this article, I was stunned to find myself a bit stuck in the “fixed” mindset. I was comfortable accepting the “status quo” and not believing I could change. I was almost content to be “me,” not realizing there was a better me just waiting to be.
This is just another reason why we love the work-from-home/solopreneur space so much. There is so much emphasis on the importance of personal development. We are encouraged to spend time daily on ourselves – gaining the confidence, knowledge, and skills we need to be successful entrepreneurs. We are always being told by mentors and trainers that to succeed you need to have the “right” mindset. But what does that mean?
In this article, we’ll consider the fixed mindset and the growth mindset, and how to distinguish the two as business owners. We will learn how to change your mindset and change your life.
[Definition: Mindset. A mindset is the way we look at problem, think through a problem, and try to solve a problem. It is the “HOW” we do those things that either moves our business forward or keep us stuck.]
What’s the Difference: Fixed Mindset Vs. Growth Mindset
If you have a fixed mindset, you might say you think the way you do because you were born that way. It’s in your DNA to think that way, just like your brown eyes, for example. You don’t want to admit you are wrong or don’t know the best way. If you are struggling, you will look to those who are worse off than you to make yourself feel better. You will try to hide your deficiencies instead of fixing them. You are content with who you are. If others don’t accept you, that’s their problem. You look for people who respect you for who you are. Setbacks in life will define you and keep you stuck.
If you have a growth mindset, you might say your way of thinking is constantly evolving and improving because of what you are learning. You love to learn and are energized by improving yourself. You believe you are great because of the actions you take. In addition, you are always working toward improvement and never allow yourself to be defined by your failures. You are passionate about stretching yourself to test your boundaries. You want to be the best you that you can be. Setbacks are motivators to improve and overcome.
Here’s a statement to consider: “You can learn new things, but you can’t really change your basic intelligence.” — Simply put, if you agree with that statement, you tend toward a fixed mindset; and, if you disagree, you tend toward the growth mindset.
Benjamin Barber said it well, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures. I divide the world into the learners and non-learners.”https://www.goodreads.com/quotes
Which one do you want to be?
Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life
Those who succeed in business are those who are open to new possibilities. Change comes when we desire it, seek it, and embrace it. If you are in a place where you are stuck and not moving forward, changing your mindset may be the little tweak it takes to change your reality. Perhaps it will be as simple as changing your perception.
Are you willing to get rid of what is not working (your old way of thinking) and try something new?
Are you willing to seek education in your area(s) of weakness?
For those with a fixed mindset, these questions can be devastating. You have a general stubbornness that assures you that you already know the answer. This “mindset” will block you from moving forward; after all, you can’t change who you are.
For those with a growth mindset, you prefer to say, “Yes, let’s get this done! Now!”
Are you doing the things you need to do in your life to realize success? When you have the right perception and are headed in the right direction, it will feel good. Because change can be hard, simply discern and realize that sometimes growth will not be easy. Step out in faith. Rely on a mentor’s wisdom that this is the right direction for you.
Surround yourself with positivity. Write positive quotes or post encouragement around the room to help keep you on track. Something as simple as saying over and over, “My heart and mind are open to knowledge and wisdom” may be all you need to reset your mind.
Follow leaders who will guide you and not judge you. You want a strong mentor, but not one who threatens or causes stress. Especially if you have been caught up in a fixed mindset, you don’t want to feel judged or rejected in any way. You need an understanding coach who will help you overcome your belief that nothing can or will change. You need to believe without a doubt that you are capable of growth and change. And, most importantly, you need to want to change.
Changing your mindset to change your life will be hard work. Mindset and business go hand in hand. Good, lasting relationships come from effort and working through differences. You will need to overcome the belief that “you are flawed and that’s the end of the story.” Indeed, you are flawed (we all are), but there is hope.
5 Habits to Change Your Mindset and Change Your Life
Stop caring about being right all the time and, instead, desire to find the correct answer (fixed mindset to growth mindset). It all starts with discovering your best self. Here are some easy habits to start today:
Get Plenty of Sleep
Everyone needs a certain amount of sleep, and if you don’t get what you need, watch out! Your performance will decline, in addition to being a bit grumpy. Don’t short yourself on sleep. It’s critical.
Don’t make the mistake of burning the midnight oil and also greeting the sunrise on your morning commute. (Dana did this for years!) There are many studies out there on the appropriate amount of sleep.
A good rule of thumb is 7.5 hours. That’s 5 sleep cycles, where each sleep cycle consists of 1.5 hours. If you don’t get a complete cycle, it doesn’t “count.”
If you don’t already have a regular exercise schedule, you are going to need to schedule this and stick to it. Find a time that works (i.e. first thing in the morning) and get an accountability partner to encourage you. The crucial step is to develop discipline to do it. Don’t talk yourself out of it, because that will be tempting!
The discipline that you create to start the habit of exercise will be the discipline that serves you well in other facets of your business and life. You will be able to resist the extra piece of dessert, or even dessert in the first place. You will be able to say no to the video game console if you haven’t finished your chores, etc. After consistent action, you may find yourself looking forward to a good sweat!
Challenge the Brain
Your brain is like a muscle that needs its own work out. This habit has two parts. First, read something impactful, listen to a recorded message, or watch a video. There are many self-help books or personal development guides you may find helpful. Start with a chapter or two each day.
Second, spend time reflecting on it. Take time to really dig into what you’ve read so that it takes hold. In this step, it’s important to calm yourself. Stress reducers like prayer or meditation will be helpful.
If you are easily stressed out by your work environment, or the kids are just testing your last nerve, taking this extra time for you to relax and focus on something meaningful, helpful, or insightful will help bring you back to a healthy place. You are much more apt to grow into the best you possible when stress isn’t holding you back.
If time is an issue – you can multitask on this habit and listen on the go. Maybe you double up listening to an uplifting podcast with exercising or folding the laundry!
Journal or Write
This is an activity that will be easier for some people than others. It really flows nicely from habit #3, reading. In fact, it can be part of your brainstorming, meditation, or prayer following your reading. If you have a blog, your ramblings could turn into a great blog post.
(HINT: Maybe you are a gifted writer and your ramblings are ready for publication!)
Whether you post your thoughts or not, know that writing them down is powerful. If you’re struggling with something, write it down. Get it out of your head. By putting it on paper, you release some of the power that struggle has over you.
There is a good chance you might even get the creative juices flowing to solve your problem. You will be much more open to learning, listening, and growing into the best version of you!
To-Do List—(Maybe the most important habit!)
One of the best new habits you can obtain to help yourself in business and life, and to change your mindset, is to have a to-do list. I call mine my “Daily Mode of Operation.” These are tasks that need to be done on a daily basis. I’ve seen lots of checklists and spreadsheets, and some even give you points for each completed task to give extra incentive.
The important thing in going through this exercise is to make a list of tasks you need to (or want to) accomplish each day. The next step is to add and assign weekly tasks to your daily list. What’s critical is to make sure ONLY important things are on this list. Don’t over complicate it.
This is your list. Do you want to color code your priorities to make it more fun? An organized person is a successful person, whether it’s in life or in business. Some of us are organized naturally, others of us struggle and a tool like this will really be key in changing our mindsets and empowering us to be more productive.
We aren’t born with a mindset…
You can clearly see the importance of having a healthy mindset for your life and business! Because it’s that important, we include it in as one of the preliminary steps in Your Pathway To Profit. We can share with you plenty of resources and other strategies to help you on your business growth journey by scheduling a one-on-one Pathway to Profit Assessment.
These habits are likely to be the very foundation of your success. May they serve you well. You will change your mindset and change your life. Get ready to meet the best version of you yet!
God’s Blessings to You!
David & Dana
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