The mind is a very powerful tool and it ultimately determines who you are as a person. Your mindset determines your thinking patterns and your “frame of mind” It impacts how you make sense of the world, your thoughts, emotions and behaviour.
So in other words, a mindset is a set of beliefs and thoughts which influence the way you handle any given situation directing how you sort out what’s going on around you and what you should do about it.
Your mindset will determine if you see opportunities or limitations in life based on your beliefs.
This means that just as mindsets can help you spot opportunities, they can equally trap you in self-defeating cycles. The stories that you tell yourself and the things that you believe about yourself can go either way.
If you become trapped in a negative or limiting mindset then your mindset will prevent change from happening in your life. But if you develop a positive mindset then you allow new skills to develop and expand your life choices.
Why Mindsets Are Important
Because your mindset holds your set of beliefs, it has a huge potential to make a difference in your life. Beliefs distinguish people who are successful at what they do as opposed to others who continually struggle.
These beliefs form a decision of what you are capable of in life. Just think about your talents, intelligence, and your personality. Do you consider these traits to be simply fixed and permanent, or do you think these are aspects which you can cultivate and improve on?
The rigidity or flexibility about these beliefs is what determines your mindset because whatever you believe, is 100% right in your own individual view of the worl.
Having the right mindset for any particular task is almost a prerequisite for success. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, student, entrepreneur, or in any other profession, you need the right mindset to be successful at what you do.
Every profession comes with its own hurdles and obstacles. Having a positive mindset allows you to not only overcome those obstacles but even welcome them as challenges or an opportunity to learn and grow.
If you look around you, you’ll see that often people with similar circumstances have very different results in life. This happens because of their mindset.
Since your mindset regarding events and situations influences your interpretation of them, the results will be different from someone with a different mindset.
If you have a positive mindset, you’ll find it easier to overcome setbacks than others with a negative or limiting mindset.
Or, if you have a negative mindset, you’ll feel the world collapse under your feet every time there is an unpleasant experience or challenging circumstance.
If your core beliefs don’t support you, then you’ll likely set yourself up for failure when faced with a difficult situation.
You may be more susceptible to surrendering and admitting failure when all you need to do is try harder. Or perhaps take on a different approach. You may also need to change your frame of mind.
3 Types of Mindsets
There are different types of mindsets that can either help you unleash your best or limit your potential. There could be a long list but here are a few which have been backed by research.
Here’s a quick glance at 3 types of Mindsets:
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1. Abundance Mindsets - vs- Scarcity Mindsets
The way you view abundance or scarcity has a big impact on your success in life, For example imagine that two people are walking down the street. They’re talking to each other, laughing, joking and all the while breathing in and breathing out.
Now do you think that one of the two might worry that there may not be enough oxygen for the both of them? Likely not, since air is abundant.
Now place the same two people scuba diving where one’s tank starts to malfunction. That person signals the need for oxygen and suddenly the air around them becomes a precious commodity.
This scarcity could easily make the two worry if there’s enough oxygen for the both of them.
For the most part, the general population seems to be more inclined towards a scarcity mentality. They often view life as having only so much and if they had to share, there wouldn’t be enough for them.
This sad mentality makes it very hard for these people to share anything including credit, recognition, responsibility or even authority with others. Instead they only end up competing for available resources even when there may be an abundance of them.
This shows up in many personal relationships and marriage. People keep score out of fear of missing out.
On the other hand, those with an abundance mentality aren’t limited by this thinking pattern. Instead of seeing opportunity as limited, they strive to create more opportunity for themselves and embrace change instead of fearing it.
To sum up, a person with a scarcity mindset chooses negative thoughts and adopts a victim mentality. They see life through the lense of limitations. At best, their everyday focus is on all the things that may not be working and what they can’t or don’t have.
Those with an abundance mindset tend to put their energy and attention into what is working and see endless possibilities to improve their current situation. They look at life through the lens of opportunities.
2. Productive Mindsets vs Reactive Mindsets
These two mindsets basically deals with everyday performance. Many people may think that they have a productive mindset or that they’re being productive, whereas they are actually just being busy.
In reality, they may not be productively finishing tasks and completing projects. They are good starters but struggle to finish things.
Think about your daily to-do list and the ten or so things you need to get done by the end of the day. You may have spent all your day running around ‘doing’ stuff.
But when it’s 5 pm and you wrap up for the day, you realize that you only managed to tick off three of the ten things you were supposed to do. You feel like you’re working all the time but don’t actually get much done.
This pretty much goes for anyone – personally and professionally.
Does this mean that you’re lazy and don’t want to achieve your goals? No. Usually it comes down to your mindset.
Having a productive mindset means that you utilize all your resources including your time, energy and efforts in the best possible way.
At the same time it also means that you don’t try to do everything, be everywhere or even do it in the fastest way possible.
It means making the most of what’s available while enjoying the process. Those with a productive mindset seek out valid knowledge and use their reasoning to make informed choices.
As such, these people find a way and spend more time finding solutions for better performance instead of finding problems and getting stuck.
On the other hand, the reactive mindset, like its name suggests is both self-protective and self-defensive. This type of mindset only seeks out information that it feels comfortable with and shuts down when perceived as threatening. Obviously this thinking pattern can become very limiting.
It blocks creativity or finding better alternatives to existing problems and keeps people running around in circles. But perhaps the biggest setback of this mindset is that you learn something based on false assumptions or prevent learning altogether.
3. Fixed Mindsets vs Growth Mindsets
A Fixed mindset is a static view where you believe that you are either good at something or you just aren’t. It is very black 0r white thinking with no shades of grey. There is no wiggle room. It becomes fact because it is not changeable.
On the other hand, a Growth mindset is a learning mindset with a dynamic view. This mindset allows you to believe that you can change, improve, prosper and get better at anything through the right training or right advice. It’s flexible.
Conclusion on Mindsets
Considering the three sets of mindsets, it’s fairly easy to see that one mindset from each pair allows you to explore, grow and be more flexible in general. The other does the opposite.
These limiting mindsets may appear to offer more comfort, be easier to follow and require less effort but do come at a cost. Not only do they repel the good opportunities in life but can also hold you back from achieving your full potential.
Now every mindset can work in a dual manner. For instance, while your individual mindset can open doors for you, it can also set serious limitations based on your beliefs and approach in different scenarios.
This means that just as mindsets can help you spot opportunities, they can equally keep you stuck in self-defeating cycles as well. The stories that you tell yourself and the things that you believe about yourself can go either way.
First off, if you become trapped in a negative or limiting mindset then your mindset will prevent change from happening in your life. But if you develop a positive mindset then you allow new skills to develop.
Learn more in the next blog Fixed Mindset – vs – Growth Mindset which will go into relationship communication.