The Power of Thought in Achieving Your Goals
Your mind is a powerful tool. Through the power of thought, mankind has achieved far over and beyond any species. But did you know your thoughts can either propel you towards your goals or keep you stalled?
So, how do your thoughts influence your actions and progress in life? Well, first, you need to identify your thought process. You can either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset believes your intelligence, skills, and prowess are fixed at any time. For example, if you’re not a ‘math person, the fixed mindset believes there’s nothing you can do to improve your math skills. Sadly, this mindset keeps us ‘stuck’ and hinders people from progressing and then often turns to blaming others for the shortfall.
On the other hand, a growth mindset believes your skills, intelligence and talent can be gradually improved. This means nothing is out of reach if you’re willing to put in the time and effort towards achieving your goals.
Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset
Evidently, a growth mindset will help you continually build on your skills, intelligence, and talents. But, what are the differences and characteristics between those who subscribe to growth and fixed mindsets? Here are the most prevalent;
- A growth mindset encourages continuous learning, while a fixed mindset doesn’t
- A fixed mindset avoids challenges while a growth mindset embraces them
- A growth mindset believes in setbacks, while a fixed mindset believes failure is the end
- A fixed mindset makes you feel threatened by the success of others
- A growth mindset encourages feedback from others while the latter doesn’t
Can You Change Your Mindset?
Can a person shift from having one mindset to another? The simple answer is yes. And while there are numerous factors to consider here, let’s focus on moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
While it is possible to cultivate a growth mindset, it takes personal initiative and drive. In some cases, it may also need you to change some of your beliefs and practices.
One last thing we should address before we jump into ways to change mindsets, I should also share that you mind have both a fixed mindset and a growth mindset at the same time, but in different areas of life. So, in business, I often have a growth mindset always looking to grow and learn. On the personal front though, I sometimes have a fixed mindset especially when someone attacks my character. Do I take this personal and get stuck and struggle with personal change? Yeah, sometimes I do.
I am working on this, but my point is most people will experience this some or all of the time. The goal of course is to figure out how to establish a growth mindset in, as many areas of our life, as possible. You can do this with commitment and perseverance.
So, How Do You Develop A Growth Mindset?
Here are a few practical yet highly effective tips to building a growth mindset.
1. Believe It’s Possible To Change
While it’s not possible to shift your mindset all at once, it can start with you believing in the possibility of growth and change. To help you develop this mindset, you can consider the numerous pieces of evidence of possible change around you.
For example, science bears countless proofs on the possibility of change through a growth mindset. You might also start following people well know for growth mindset traits to watch how they live their life and try to pick up some clues about how they think and behave, act and react.
2. Overcome The Fixed Inner Voice
Sometimes, your inner voice shouts loudest about your inequities. Unfortunately, no one sees this little voice, making it harder to access help.
You can overcome this fixed mindset inner voice with a positive affirmation (see the recommendations below). With practice, the fixed inner voice will grow quieter while a growth mindset develops.
Filling your mind with positivity and positive self-talk or affirmations are very helpful also try to avoid friends and family that uses negative self-talk or what I call head trash. Also avoid those that speak negatively of others. This behavior is contagious and harmful to your progress. This is where boundaries help.
3. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Ok, I’m going to be honest with you… this might not be an easy one. No one likes to be uncomfortable however if you start introducing small things that make you uncomfortable and you get more and more comfortable with it, this makes it easier try something bigger.
Maybe ask your spouse or a close friend for feedback. If you know their heart is in it to help you thrive, this might be an easy way to ease into things. I sometimes struggle with this as I also want praise, but some of my wife’s feedback is pure gold. Give it a try!
4. Embracing Learning & Reading
So by opening up and trying something new, you can open yourself up to see a new way of looking at things and at yourself. This could be by finding a new hobby that you would like to try- like biking, playing a new to you game, learning to play an instrument, or more formal learning like taking a course our going back to school.
I consider myself a life-long learner and so I take lots of online courses every year to learn new skillsets and gain new insight. I also read 100+ books a year for the last few years. Neither of these came per a quick decision, but over a slow progressive evolution over time by just starting one course or reading one book. I hated reading and learning potentially, but things changed when I wanted to start a business 23 years ago.
Find a small task like take one new course a year or read one book a year. Then bump it up to two courses or maybe one book a quarter or a month. I found the more I did this, the more I wanted to learn and the easier it was to let go of my previous beliefs.
Finally, it’s vital to understand the power of thought, and the might of the mind. Cultivate a growth mindset and achieve your goals and dreams for the future. Here’s a few more resources and ideas to try.
Resources & Practices
So I thought it might be a good idea to share some background and other resources to explore as well as a practice or two to help you move the needle if this is something you are interested in trying.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. This definition is taken from the Mindtools.com website.
Examples of Affirmations to Try:
One I like and use sometimes is…
“I get what I think about whether it is good or bad, or I want or don’t want it. I came from greatness. I must be like what I come from. I will never abandon my belief in my greatness and in the greatness of others.”
This is a revised version of one found in the book Change Your Thoughts- Change Your Life. Here is how Dr. Wayne W. Dyer positions a very similar thought this is pulled from his book.
Do the Tao Now
Copy the following words and apply them to yourself:
I came from greatness. I must be like what I came from. I will never abandon my belief in my greatness and the greatness of others.
Read these words daily, perhaps by posting them conspicuously where you can see them. They will serve to remind you of the truth of your own greatness. Meditate for ten minutes today, focusing on your inner greatness.
Additional Positive Thoughts and Affirmation…
Paulo Coelho said this one… “If you really think small, your world will be small. If you think big, your world will be big,”
Mindy Kaling said this one “I’m giving you permission to root for yourself and while you’re at it root for those around you, too.”
When it comes to meditation, this idea reminds me of the Loving-Kindness (or Metta) Meditation using phrases like…
“May I be Safe.
May I be Happy.
May I be Healthy.
May I Live With Ease.”
Okay, any of these can be powerful phrases to say again and again to start planting the seeds of a “growth mindset” so grab one and try it out. Write it on a post it note and hang it on your mirror and say it 3 times in the morning. Turn it to memory and say it throughout the day. Obviously, you MUST believe it. Over time you will start to build confidence and ways to push through difficult times.
BOOKS TO LEARN MORE:
Change Your Thoughts- Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. I read this book maybe a decade ago and I will tell you it has changed my life. I’ve read it dozens of times and it is always a good one to go back to and keep learning from. This is the book that set me on the path for exploring the Tao Te Ching, probably opened my eyes to meditation and certainly lead to Buddhism which I now study.
Mindset – Changing The Way You think To Fulfill Your Potential by Dr Carol Dweck. I am not as seasoned in this book, but I think this is where the whole idea of Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset came from. There are some really brilliant stories and explanations to understand these mindsets better as well as a few exercises to decide if you are leaning more toward a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
Want to try adding mindfulness and meditation to your self-care routine? Click below to get details about the free introduction to mindfulness & meditation mini-course. These ideas can start you down the path of building a Growth Mindset or increase the power of the mind to enhance your current Growth Mindset! Give it a try!