Have you ever heard someone say that they have an open mind? Or that someone has a closed mind? Of course, most people have heard or said these things at some point. What they’re referring to is mindset. Which prompts some questions: What is mindset? Why is mindset important in life? What are the main types of mindset? Why is it important to develop a growth mindset in life? and Is it possible to change your mindset?
In this article, you’ll learn what mindset is and the two main types of mindsets. We’ll cover the basics to answer the question “Why is mindset important in life“, and focus especially on a growth mindset. And we will touch on whether you can change your mindset.
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Why Is Mindset Important in Life and Can You Change Yours?
What Is Mindset?
Mindset is an established way of thinking which helps you to make sense of your experiences. It is a combination of the mental attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that you hold, even if you aren’t aware of them.
Your mindset is not formed overnight. It develops gradually through your upbringing, experience, social and cultural values, and education.
Think about your strengths, talents, and interests. Are you creative? Perhaps you are musically inclined? Or are you athletic? How you answer these questions can help you uncover pieces of your mindset. The answers (and sometimes gut feelings) can provide insight into how you view the world and yourself.
Your mindset determines which types of ideas you are open to. And which you think are “too hard.” It also impacts how you feel, think, and react in different circumstances. Your mindset shapes your reality and perception of what you can do and what’s out of reach for you.
What Are the Two Main Types of Mindset?
According to Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success , there are two main types of mindset: fixed and growth.
A fixed mindset is the belief that your intelligence and abilities are fixed traits that can’t be developed or changed. In very simplistic terms, it’s the belief that intelligence and abilities are set at birth and cannot be significantly changed.
Examples of fixed mindset thoughts include:
- I wasn’t born musically inclined, so I can’t play an instrument.
- Either I’m good at it or I’m not
- I can’t learn that now, it’s too late.
- I failed when I tried that once. I’m no good at it–I won’t bother trying again.
On the other hand, a growth mindset is the belief that you CAN develop your skills and abilities over time. Someone with a growth mindset believes they can develop their intelligence and abilities. And they understand that it will take hard work, effort, and determination.
Examples of growth mindset thoughts include:
- I wasn’t born musically inclined, but if I work hard I can play an instrument just as well as he can.
- I can learn whatever I want or need to, exactly when I need to learn it.
- If I want to improve at something I know I can get better at it, but it will take effort.
- Failures are just opportunities to learn, reassess, and do better next time.
It’s important to note that you might have a growth mindset in some areas but a fixed mindset in other areas. That is not unusual or unexpected. Now that we know what mindset is let’s discuss why it is important to develop a growth mindset.
Why Is Mindset Important in Life?
So now we know what mindset is, and what the two types of mindest are. But why is it important whether you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? Well, without a growth mindset, you will likely find it difficult to achieve the life you desire.
Mindset, according to Dweck, “profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”
Your mindset impacts everything from the way you live to the relationships you have.
For example, if you believe that you aren’t worthy, you’ll attract people who also don’t see your worth. Or, if you believe you aren’t good enough for a job you desire, you’ll avoid applying for it in the first place. However, with a growth mindset, you’d apply for the job even if you had doubts about your abilities.
Mindset is also related to your ability to focus on moments of gratitude. Head over to these two posts if you want more information on the many benefits of gratitude and simple ways to start a gratitude practice.
Why Is It Important to Develop a Growth Mindset in Life?
The type of mindset you have can significantly change your life. So, if you’re looking to achieve your goals and live a productive and fulfilled life, a growth mindset is critical. As an elementary school teacher for 30 years, I have seen this very clearly in the classroom setting.
Those with a growth mindset are able to achieve more. This is because of their drive and their belief in hard work and the value of learning new things. Their growth mindset helps them remain resilient and persistent. This in turn allows them to focus on the effort required to succeed.
Conversely, those with a fixed mindset can end up becoming stagnant. This is because they lack the motivation or belief that they can achieve more than they already have.
Additionally, mindset plays an integral role in how you cope with the challenges of life. Your mindset is the force behind whether you thrive when faced with challenges in life or avoid them. It impacts how you view failures and setbacks and how you persevere toward your goals.
So now that we’ve answered the questions What is mindset? and Why is mindset important in life? the next logical question is can you change your mindset from a fixed to a growth mindset?
Is it Possible to Change Your Mindset?
The excellent news is that it is possible to change your mindset once you realize that it is keeping you stuck. However, it may take some time depending on how long you’ve been living with a fixed mindset.
The longer you’ve been stuck with a fixed mindset, the more challenging it can be to make the change. But, it IS possible to change. No matter how ingrained your mindset patterns are.
The key is to take it slowly and actively work on small changes over time. You will need to begin to challenge your limiting thoughts and ingrained behaviors. With consistency and awareness, you will begin to see a change in the way you think, feel, and react.
I’ve had the honor to work with many students to help them overcome fixed mindsets. I’ve also had success in my own transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset in areas where I had been stuck. The transition to a growth mindset is a process, but it is so worthwhile.
It’s not an overnight fix, but it is DEFINITELY possible.
In this article, we discussed many facets of mindset, including several reasons to answer the question “Why mindset is important in life?”
In summary, your mindset is a combination of the mental attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that you hold. It’s the way you think, and it helps you to make sense of yourself and your experiences.
There are two main types of mindset: fixed mindset and growth mindset.
Mindset is important for many reasons. Your mindset determines how successful you will be in every area of your life. Understanding your own mindset can help you grow and change. Mindset plays an integral role in how you cope with the challenges of life.
Those with a growth mindset are able to achieve more due to their drive, resilience, and desire to learn new things. So developing a growth mindset is a worthwhile undertaking.
And the very good news is that YOU CAN change your mindset when you realize that it is keeping you stuck.
Check out this post where we delve more into fixed and growth mindset examples and examine strategies and tips to change your mindset.
In the meantime, I would love for you to share your thoughts about what we’ve discussed regarding “Why is mindset important in life?” in the comments below.
Be sure to share this on social media and with your family and friends who would be interested in learning more about the importance of mindset.
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