Hi there! 👋If you’re here reading this post, I’d first like to take a moment to acknowledge you! Deciding that now is the right time for changing your mindset is already a massive shift on its own, which means you’re already taking steps in the right direction! 🙂
If this is your first time approaching mindset work, I know that it can definitely feel a little intimidating, but a major mindset change is something anyone can do when they’re willing to try new things and put in the work. You’re more capable than you give yourself credit for!
So, if you’re ready to get out of your head, so you can start living life on your terms, cultivate a more positive way of thinking, and make lasting changes in your mindset, then you’ve come to the right place.
First and foremost, let’s get a good look at your present mindset. Awareness is always step number one when making mindset shifts. We’ll dive into the difference between a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset and also an abundance mindset vs a scarcity mindset. An understanding of these core beliefs and ways of thinking, and knowing where you fall on the spectrum, will be a crucial first step in changing your mindset.
Let’s go ahead and get started!
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
Psychologist Carol Dweck coined the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset,” as the two basic mindsets that shape our lives. Her research in the field of motivation uncovered that which of these two ways of thinking you tend to lean towards is a major determining factor in your happiness and your success.
A person who has a fixed mindset believes that their skills, talents, and circumstances are set in stone or fixed. They have a “you’ve either “got it” or “you don’t ”attitude. They don’t particularly like to be challenged and if they’re not immediately good at something, they’ll stop trying.
For example, someone with a fixed mindset may say something like “I’m just bad at languages” when faced with the opportunity to learn a new language. They tend to believe that obstacles and challenges are signs to stop you, and that failure sticks with you permanently. This means that someone with a fixed mindset is more likely to stay in their comfort zone and only take on tasks they are sure they can do well. Taking risks or putting themselves out there is a no-go. It’s not always the case, but people with a “fixed” mindset tend to focus more on negative or limiting thoughts.
On the other hand, someone with a “growth mindset” believes that their skills, talents, intelligence, and circumstances can be changed and/or improved. They see failure as an opportunity to learn and adapt. This means they’re more likely to experiment, take risks and try new things, like learning something new or paving their own path. Challenges and obstacles aren’t seen as the end of the road, but rather as an inevitable part of the journey and as great learning experiences!
For those with a “growth mindset,” life feels more like a journey rather than a race to a specific destination. They’re on a consistent quest to grow and improve and believe that the more time and effort they put into something, the easier and better it will become. People with a “growth” mindset tend to think more positively.
So, which of these sounds more familiar to you? If you’re feeling stuck and you know that your mindset needs to change, it’s likely that you probably relate more to our “fixed mindset” friend, am I right? If so, you may be thinking can you change your mindset from fixed to growth?? And there’s good news! YES– you are allowed to choose which way of thinking you’d rather adopt, and a growth mindset is something that can be learned, cultivated, and practiced (which we’ll go into below!).
Abundance Mindset vs Scarcity Mindset
Next, let’s take a quick look at the abundance mindset, and why it’s essential to pay attention to when changing your mindset, even if you’re not specifically focusing on finances or money.
You’ve probably already heard these two words getting thrown around a lot in the online space: “scarcity” and “abundance.” So what’s all the fuss about?
Well, someone who has a scarcity mindset believes that resources are all finite. To be the one to get them, you have to be better, work harder, and be the test. Think “survival mode.” Someone with a scarcity mindset sees someone else do the things they want to do, or get the things they want to get and takes it as defeat. Because someone else is already succeeded, there isn’t enough room for them to do those things or have those things, too. This person isn’t likely to take on bigger risks or challenges, because if they fail, how will they prove their worth to their family, friends, or the world?
A person with an abundance mindset, however, knows that there is enough to go around. And again, we’re not only talking money here. This can mean money, opportunities, success, happiness, dream jobs, significant others, etc. They believe that whatever it is that they desire exists in abundance. So when they see another person succeed or get offered a great opportunity, they can be fully happy for them because they know it doesn’t take away from their chances of getting similar amazing opportunities. They can even be inspired by the successes of others, and use them to help fuel their own motivation and creativity! When you have an abundance mindset, you know that at your core, you are enough and everything else is a bonus.
Tips for Changing your Mindset
Ok, so now that we’ve distinguished between ways of thinking that are going to be crucial to your success, let’s talk about how you can start changing your mindset!
1. Shifting to a Growth Mindset
As mentioned briefly above, developing a growth mindset begins with awareness. The first step of developing a growth mindset is becoming aware of and accepting your fixed mindset tendencies. (Don’t be hard on yourself, we ALL have them!)
Start to listen to your inner monologue and become aware of what you’re saying to yourself. Think of your fixed mindset persona as your inner critic who shows itself through negative self-talk like “I’m not good enough” or “I’ll never be able to make this work.”
When your inner critic makes an appearance, it’s time for step 2: consciously make a choice to take over your internal dialogue and shift to a growth mindset. When your fixed mindset’s inner voice chimes in, you can either accept what it’s saying, or you can question it and choose to see this moment as an opportunity to flex your growth mindset muscles.
Shift the narrative and ask yourself problem-solving positive questions like: “What can I do differently next time?” “What did I learn from this experience?” “What else could help me achieve this goal that I haven’t tried yet?” (A great way to quickly rephrase a fixed mindset statement is to add “yet” onto the end. “I don’t know how to start my own business… yet,” “I’m not very good at speaking Spanish… yet”. This implies that it is changeable and that you can eventually do or become whatever it is you want!)
The more you catch your fixed mindset persona in the act, the easier it will become to make the shift. Repetition is key here, so don’t give up and keep at it!
And remember, these mindsets aren’t black and white, they exist on a spectrum. So just because you have one instance of falling into a fixed mindset, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed! Stay mindful, and try again next time. The willingness to keep trying is a core principle of the growth mindset after all!
2. Shifting to an Abundance Mindset
When it comes to scarcity and abundance, changing what you focus on can make a huge difference. If you are always focusing on lack, AKA the things you don’t have, you can easily miss all of the amazing things already right in front of you. It is perfectly okay to dream and to want to grow and change, just make sure it isn’t causing you a whole lot of suffering in the present moment! As Helen Keller put it: ‘Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.’
Gratitude is a huge part of changing your mindset to focus on abundance. Make it a habit to write down (or consciously notice) at least 3 different things you are grateful for each day. (Try to switch them up and look for new things to be grateful for each day to make this even more powerful!) Make it fun, and think of this practice like a hunt throughout your day, to find those things that make you smile, those moments that make you happy, those people who bring you the warm-fuzzies, and allow yourself to bask in the gratitude.
Celebrate Wins- Big & Small.
By celebrating ALL your wins (both big and small), you are affirming to yourself that you are making progress! Keep in mind there are ALWAYS wins to celebrate. Whether it’s something big like getting a new job, or something relatively smaller, like getting out of bed that day, or even being gentle with yourself when you don’t hit your goals the first time around. Taking little steps, consistently over time will get you much further than occasionally taking one bigger step. Oh, and celebrating small milestones will give you the sense of accomplishment that we as humans naturally love to feel.
Someone Else’s Success ≠ Your Failure.
When it comes to abundance, it’s really important to note that someone else’s success does not equate to your failure. There is SO much temptation to compare ourselves to others these days (hello- Instagram), but self-comparison is a dangerous game. First of all, we’re all different and on our own unique path. We can’t measure our success using someone else’s timeline or ruler. Instead of comparing, feeling jealous, or getting overly competitive, choose to be happy for others and see their success as motivation and evidence that you can do/have/get whatever it is too!
Now that we have some tips and practices for changing our thoughts in the moment, let’s dive even deeper and see how we can work on changing the deeply rooted limiting beliefs and stories that lead us to these recurring negative thoughts in the first place.
3. Three-Step Process for Rewriting your Limiting Beliefs
For this limiting belief shifting activity, you’ll need a piece of paper (or google doc) divided into 3 columns.
Step one. Pinpoint the belief.
Take a moment to pinpoint the belief or mindset you have that is holding you back from getting to where you want to go. You can use the examples I talked about earlier in this post if you are having a hard time coming up with something. For this example, let’s use “I can’t do this.”
Say you’re wanting to make your side hustle your full-time gig, but each time you get close, the thought of quitting your 9-5 and leaving behind that stability and security pops into your head, and all of a sudden, your inner critic (or fixed mindset persona) tells you “you can’t do this.” That fear, that belief consistently stops you from taking the risk and going for it, even though you know it’s what you really want.
Take some time to think about your goals or the things you want, and the internal narrative or limiting belief that continuously stops you from moving forward. Once they’re fresh in your mind, write them down in column one, and let’s move on to step two!
Step two. Find evidence to prove these beliefs wrong.
As long as you believe these things to be true, they will have power over you. But, if you find evidence to prove to yourself that they aren’t universally true, that’s where you can begin to gain your control back. In our example of “I can’t do this,” can you think of a time in your life that you accomplished something even when you weren’t expecting to?
If you currently have a job, did you ever doubt that you would find one? Did you get into the school you wanted against the odds? Was there a time something broke in your house and you fixed it? A time you doubted you’d finish a project or presentation on time, to get it done at the last minute? Write down all your wins, everything that adds up as accomplishments you ever doubted. As “small” as some of these things may seem, they each show what you’re made of, that you can show up for yourself, and DO THIS, therefore this belief isn’t true!
Step three. Rewrite it.
Now that you have evidence that your belief isn’t 100% true, let’s rewrite it into something that is more empowering, something that will propel you forward instead of holding you back. The important thing is that this new statement feels good to you and lights your fire. Something like, “with hard work and determination, I can do anything I want”, “I can accomplish anything I put my mind to”, or “I show up for myself every single day, proving that I can do this.”
Now, when you start taking steps to make your side gig your full-time job, and that pesky fear begins to creep in. Instead of “I can’t do this”, you can replace that thought with something WAY more powerful.
4. Taking Action is CRUCIAL when Changing your Mindset
Keep in mind that changing your mindset doesn’t mean just sitting around and thinking about change! 😬
Now that we know how to begin, with the deeper inner work, it’s time to talk about the part that scares people the most but is essential to solidifying the changes… taking action.
Yes, as we’ve established, changing your mindset is a crucial first step, but in order to really make the lasting changes you’re wanting to see in your life, it is going to require action! When it comes to mindset work, it’s easy to get caught up in organizing and planning, trying to make sure everything is perfect for when you finally decide to take that first step. And while I’m definitely a huge fan of well-thought-out plans, can I let you in on a secret?
Things will rarely go exactly as you’ve planned.
Often, the clarity and the powerful shifts you’re looking for are patiently waiting for you on the other side of action. You don’t know what you don’t know, right? And that missing information comes through taking steps, making mistakes, and learning in the process (hello again growth mindset!). That’s why, at some point, you just have to start.
If this is where you get stuck, here are some tips:
Embrace imperfect action.
Your plan may not be perfect, but taking those first few scary steps could be the key to figuring out the rest of your plan, or finding an even better one. When we wait to have it all figured out, we’re actually preventing ourselves from figuring it all out. So just start, and if it’s not perfect that’s ok! You’re learning and getting closer with every step. Progress over perfection!
Chunk down your goals.
Those big, enticing dreams you have? They can be a little intimidating and seem so far away when you’re only looking at the big picture. Start small. Break up your goal into chunks and milestones. Start at the end and then reverse engineer your process until you arrive at that very first step. Then start tackling them one by one!
Pick a day and commit.
There are 7 days in a week… and SOMEday is not one of them. “Someday I will start my own business”, “Someday I will move to Spain”, “Someday I will quit my soul-sucking job and find something I’m more passionate about.” Take “someday” out of your vocabulary, and replace it with a specific day. You don’t have to know exactly when your dreams will become a reality (sometimes we don’t have control over that), but we do have control over our actions, and when we start working towards the things we want! So, commit to yourself and your future that on that day, and when it comes take that first, imperfect step.
5. Consider Mindset Coaching
When it comes to achieving goals, our mindset is one of the most common things to struggle with. It’s also the thing we often pay the least attention to.
We put all our time and energy into planning and invest major capital in step-by-step instructions, but here’s a secret: without a solid mindset to back these things up, they won’t work.
And when we are only seeing things through our own eyes and from our own perspectives, that’s when we end up falling prey to our “blind spots”, or the things we can’t see from our current vantage point. And reframing a limiting belief that we don’t even know we have is… well, pretty freaking difficult!
This is why when I developed my signature CMA coaching method, “mindset” became one of the three core pillars: Clarity, Mindset, Action. As a coach, I help my clients by giving them the tools and helping them build the skills they need to continually transform their thoughts and continue working on their mindset even after we finish our time together!
By working with a coach, you’ll have someone to help point out those tricky blind spots, and bring a fresh perspective into whatever change you are trying to make. You’ll also have a safe place to brainstorm and an unbiased accountability buddy who’s cheering you on and consistently pushing you forward.
Mindset work can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone!! Book a discovery call to find out if my 1:1 coaching program is a good fit for you and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about my programs and methods! firstname.lastname@example.org