How to Change Your Mind

When it comes to changing your mind, do you view that as a negative? In other words, do you have the perception of someone changing his or her mind as being indecisive or weak? Well, there are several reasons why changing your mind can, in fact, be a positive event.

From childhood, there are many stories we tell ourselves as we absorb the environment around us. For some of us, we might believe that our siblings are older, wiser, and smarter, and that we simply cannot match up with their intelligence. For others, there may be a mindset of living small because every time we did not succeed we were praised and accepted anyhow instead of encouraged and motivated to do better. Doing better may have somehow been viewed and interpreted as wrong and unaccepting.

We all want our children to succeed and, as such, we may or may not set the bar too low and not encourage a growth mindset. We may instill in them that they are set in their ways and there is no chance for growth, and by the way, we do this inadvertently.

Labels

Sometimes we are given labels and, all too often, we have no clue that we do not have to accept or even identify with those labels. We may be taught that Johnny is the math genius while Suzy is the musician in the family – a limiting mindset that is more or less fixed. Did you know that you could change those labels by working harder to be whatever it is you wish to be in the world of academics? How is this possible?

* Start with recognizing that you are capable and have the ability to change your mindset. This is the first step in changing your mind.
* Recognize that you can change your label at any time. All you have to do is choose to do so.
* Next, it’s time to get to work. No change comes without work involved.

Practices to Take on

If you are a parent, there are certain steps you can take in order to facilitate a growth mindset. Start by giving your child a way and a means to reach higher goals rather than labeling them as “not good in math,” or “better in art.”

* Don’t set the bar too high, as unrealistic expectations and goals are not beneficial.

* Don’t set the bar too low so that no challenge or growth is initiated.

* Offer constructive criticism in order to have your child reach and grow, which sends the message that they are most certainly capable of doing great things as long as they choose to. A growth mindset is for everyone.

If you are a teacher or coach, it is better to facilitate growth by motivating rather than labeling or viewing your student or athlete as someone who is, “not as good as” someone else or “not as talented in a certain area or skill.”

* Consider each member of the team as an individual. Seek to discover their weaknesses. In this manner, you can then concentrate on how to challenge them.
* Challenge them to reach greater heights by motivating rather than considering them to be “as is” in any arena.
* Give them the belief that they can and will work hard to achieve greater results; that they can be stretched to grow.

When it comes to changing your mind, you have a choice. Face the areas of your life that are your weakest; avoidance doesn’t work, work hard in that area to excel, and never stop learning.

Growth Mindset How-To’s

In order to understand how to take on the practice of creating a growth mindset, first, take a look at the difference between the two mindsets; a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

A Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset, especially in the area of academics, intelligence, and study dictates that it is what it is or that the status is fixed, unchangeable and with no room for growth or potential.

A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset takes on a different perspective. A growth mindset takes on challenges as a way to expand and grow. It also dictates that there is room for hard work, learning, and achieving.

How to Gain a Growth Mindset

Exercise Your Way to a Growth Mindset

You might be asking, “What does exercise have to do with gaining a growth mindset?” The answer is there is a different type of exercise you can do. It’s not the physical kind – it’s the mental kind.

When you exercise your brain, you give this muscle a chance to grow and expand over time. If you want to gain a growth mindset, you need to take on new, challenging things. Once your brain sees that it can overcome challenges, taking on more challenges becomes easier over time. Once your mind recognizes you are taking on something new, fear can become minimized and new things will be placed in the part of your brain compartmentalized as something not to be feared.

Work Hard

If you have a certain learning capacity and accept that this is your limit, then that will be your limit. However, on the other hand, if you work harder, take on more learning, and then work even harder, you will begin to notice a shift. You will begin to challenge your own status quo.

The harder you work the more results and rewards you will see. You will shift your mindset to understand that the more effort you put in, the more effort you will get out. It doesn’t have to stop at a certain static place. You can work hard, you can put in more effort, and you can achieve different results.

Stretch Yourself

Have you ever heard a point of view or a perception that was astonishing and bold? Do you sometimes see how other people set the bar a bit higher, try new things, and work harder? Just because you have to work harder, does not mean you cannot be more successful. Take some time to examine a certain area of your life, such as academically, and see if you can’t think outside the box, enter new territories, and achieve higher goals.

After all, anyone who has made a medical breakthrough or achieved a higher goal has probably done so by working harder, trying new things, and stretching way outside of their comfort zone; and you can too.

Do You Fall Into This Trap? Comparing Yourself to Other People

If you are human, you have done it. You compare yourself to other people. The good news is that people out there compare themselves to you and the not-so-good news is that you do it, as well. While neither is benefit of the other, it is simply part of human nature. It’s how we grow, it’s how we strive, but sometimes, unfortunately, it’s sometimes an excuse to give up, as well.

A Fixed Mindset

If we don’t have something to compare ourselves to, you might reason, then how will we learn to achieve and grow? Sometimes, when we compare ourselves to others, we have something to gauge our success and failure with and, therefore, a measure of where we can do better and achieve more.

However, unfortunately, for those with a fixed mindset, this does not occur at all. There is actually a reverse method of thinking. That reverse method tells us, since we are not as good as the other person, we might as well just quit. That doesn’t work in the world of intelligence, however. It is ineffective, at best.

Do you ever find yourself viewing someone else’s success as only a way to make yourself look bad? If so, you are not alone in this thought process. For some, the success of others equates to highlight their own failures. Excuses are made such as the other party being luckier or having it easy. Another excuse is to say everything just comes easily to that person or, even worse, use their success to highlight some other unrelated shortcoming. What if you could re-train your brain to adopt a mindset of growth?

Growth Mindset

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a growth mindset. You can give yourself the opportunity to change and grow over time as you learn to re-train your brain to a growth mindset. When you view someone else’s success as a way to strive harder, do more, and work harder, you re-train your brain to view this not as an excuse to stay status quo, but as a reason to thrive.

If you choose the thought patterns that intelligence can be developed and you can most certainly train your brain to reach higher heights, you will see a radical change in your life. Once you get that your self-image has nothing to do with failing at something and that this failure is actually a path to higher learning, you will be at ease in your own skin.

Wouldn’t that be nice to be at ease in your own skin? If you change your mind, you can re-train your brain to view failure as a stepping-stone to new successes. You will begin to understand failure as a learning tool and not as a way to define your image.

So, the next time you want to compare yourself to someone else, stop and ask yourself if his/her success can highlight inspiration for you. Maybe he/she put a tremendous amount of effort into the realization of dreams and all that hard work paid off. This could be a learning tool for you rather than something viewed as an enemy.

Other people’s success could be a way and a means for you to learn, grow, and, most importantly, be inspired.

Communication and Changing Your Mindset

Older theories about intelligence dictate to us that we are born a “certain way.” We have certain traits that others do not possess, others have certain traits that we do not possess, and that is that. There is no room for growth or expansion. Our intelligence is as it always was and there is no room for improvement.

However, today, we know better. We know that we have the ability to change our mindset and, therefore, improve our capacity for learning in leaps and bounds. No longer is the status quo necessary. We can grow and strive to achieve more academically and, therefore, in life.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Each one of us go through our days speaking our mind, saying things without giving it much thought and sometimes even holding things in and not speaking up for ourselves only to berate ourselves later on for doing so. If you take a moment to recognize and record the words you use daily, you may come to realize that the words you choose might directly relate to the mindset you have.

What is a Mindset?

A mindset is the mental attitude you adopt which dictates how you will or will not perceive, react and respond to situations. Why is it important? Your mindset can and will determine your life from academics to career and beyond.

Why is it Important to Communicate Effectively?

The way you interpret your situation communicates to your brain. When it comes to intelligence, you may have a long-standing belief that you are either one way or another. For example, you may feel that you are average and are not questioning that old, limiting, and long-standing belief. It is important to communicate effectively by choosing the thoughts that will change the outcome.

For example, there have been many firsts in your life. You had to allow your first child get on the bus to go to kindergarten without you there. The next child it was a little easier and by the third child, if you had one, this task was not as big of a deal as the first time you had to face it.

By communicating to yourself that you can and will get through the many things that life sends your way, you are able to meet and face more and more challenges along the way. More importantly, you get to do it with ease and grace; as long as you communicate to yourself that, you can and are able to do so.

Communication is so much more than the words you speak to yourself; it’s also the thoughts you think. When you challenge yourself and achieve, you reset the communication bar. You allow yourself to see that not only can you achieve more by learning new things and taking on more challenges, but you also get to see that you can take on a growth mindset instead of a limiting one.

Choose Your Thoughts like You Choose Your Words

Now that you have examined how choosing your thoughts makes an impact on your growth and potential, you can also take a look at another area in your life. Firstly, however, take a moment to realize that there are two components of whether or not you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Growing up, you may have been told that you are not as good as someone else in a certain academic subject, sport, or talent. This has been your belief for all of your life. After all, you were told this over and over again. You heard people in your environment from parents to teachers that you were not as good as someone else in a certain area.

On the other hand, you may have been told that you were perfect in a certain subject or area and never really taught to question those parameters. You may think that the bar was set, you reached the goals and that your job is done. This is part of growing up with a fixed mindset.

Secondly are the stories you create as you grow up; you may have judged yourself as someone who is not as good as simply because a statement was made on one occasion. You held onto that belief with no prompting from someone else, yet you continued to carry it into adulthood. Either way, there is no need for blame in either of these situations. As an adult, you are free to re-create your life as you see fit.

Choosing Your Words for Your Self

When a friend comes to you feeling unaccomplished or less than, you more than likely are an encourager – someone who takes their feelings into consideration and lifts them up. Why not do that for yourself as well. Change your thoughts, change your mind and watch how you talk to yourself as well.

When it comes to yourself, do you beat yourself up, criticize yourself and not give yourself the same break you would give your own friend? Choose kinder words of communicating for yourself and be aware of too much negative self-talk.

A growth mindset allows you to tell yourself that you did not do as well as you had hoped and also speaks to you that you can and will do better, achieve more. All this without the negative self-talk that comes along with it.

Choosing Your Worlds for Others

In the same manner you would want to speak to yourself with kindness and encouragement in order to foster your potential and development, take that opportunity to foster and encourage the development of another.

Instead of making excuses for them, hold them accountable, encourage them to see where they can do better and offer them the possibility of achieving more and doing greater things with their life and with their minds.

When you choose your words carefully, whether to yourself or to others, you make a difference which can then result in making a change.