Monday, August 1, 2016

What's your Mindset?

So what's your mindset? How would you answer that question?  My 8 year old brought home this picture of a lesson about mindset in grammar school last year: 
The book "Mindset, The New Psychology of Success" by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck is one of my favorite's which I often recommend to clients who are feeling stuck in a negative thinking pattern.  Dr. Dweck teaches readers that people who have a fixed mindset believe that qualities and talents can't change, therefore limiting motivation to improve or grow. Talent is considered to be something someone has or does not have. People with a fixed mindset tend to be more judgmental and negative.
Growth mindset is the belief that basic abilities can be learned. People with a growth mindset are motivated and more optimistic. This mindset fosters a love for learning and allows people to increase feelings of control over success in life. 

In a recent article for Bustle I was asked to provide some insights for an article "Unhealthy Mindsets Everyone Should Get Rid of for a Better Outlook on Life".
The article lists unhealthy mindsets that contribute to negative feelings and self doubt from myself and other therapists and health care providers. They are:
  • Believing you're a victim
  • Believing you're not worthy
  • Seeing an Obstacle rather than opportunity
  • Believing everything is permanent
  • Thinking you will never find love
  • Being afraid you will get sick
  • Believing in absolutes
  • Being afraid of the doctor
  • Feeling shaped by your past
  • Believing you can't do something
  • Believing life is a struggle
Go HERE to check out the full article.

So much of what we believe becomes our reality. When we have a negative belief pattern we then find ourselves then acting in a way that perpetuates the beliefs we have about ourselves. 
Being able to check in with yourself and really identify what type of mindset is driving your actions can be a first step to making positive change in your life. 

An amazing example of how mindset affects our lives comes from researcher Kelly McGonigal on stress. In this video she describes how people who believe, "stress is harmful" had more of a negative health affect than stress by itself. She reports that if we change our relationship with stress itself we can actually reduce the negative affects stress has on our lives. 

So what's your mindset?

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