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Published on June 28, 2019

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Set Your Mind To It!

When faced with a challenge, how do you respond?

“Great! I enjoy a challenge and the opportunity to learn!” Or

“No thanks, I’m OK… not interested.”

Your answer provides insight regarding your mindset.

In her book mindset, The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck discusses two types of mindset. The fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Mindsets stem from beliefs. These beliefs about our capabilities have a significant influence on how we learn and the paths we take in life.

In the words of Henry Ford, Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.

Mindset impacts lifestyle choices, health, success in school, work, sports and relationships.

For those who may have been rewarded for “being the best” a new opportunity may make them feel their reputation is at risk. New situations/opportunities may be evaluated with questions: “Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be rejected or accepted?”

Those with a fixed mindset feel they need to prove themselves over and over. To save face/their reputations they may use excuses to explain “why” they didn’t start a new project or achieve a goal or simply avoid situations where they feel “vulnerable”.

The growth mindset comes from a belief that they have basic qualities that can be improved through hard work, a good strategy and help from others. Their belief is new opportunities are learning opportunities. There is a passion for stretching and persisting until the problem is solved. Their mindset isn’t threatened when there are a few bumps in the road that take problem solving and persistence.

Mindsets can be individual or community based. In 1954, the four-minute mile was viewed in the sports world as not achievable and possibly dangerous. This didn’t stop Bannister. Roger trained “his” way with the goal of doing his best and was the first to break the four-minute mile. Bannister's record lasted only 46 days. There was a new mindset!

Getting your “mind in the game” and “bringing your A Game” isn’t just about sports, it’s also about life.

You owe it to yourself to live life with an A Game attitude where you perform to the best of your ability in work, play, relationships, lifestyle choice, etc.

When you hear yourself saying, “I just need to set my mind to it,” ask yourself the tough questions:

  • What excuses am I using?
  • What will it take for me to “set my mind to it?”
  • Am I ready to put in the effort?
  • What have been my obstacles in the past?
  • Am I willing to try something new that may not work?
  • What is my biggest fear?
  • Am I up for the challenge?

Mindsets are beliefs and beliefs can be changed. If you find a “fixed” mindset has been holding you back, you can change it, with persistence, patience and a lot of hard work.

In the words of Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

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