If you are aware of the importance and impact of your mindset and have identified that yours is not helping you as much as it could, there are techniques you can employ to adapt it. In fact even the knowledge of the different mindsets and how they work can have a positive impact as was demonstrated in a student study. Most people do not have a completely negative or positive mindset or have a completely fixed or growth mindset and adapting will not be as hard as you may initially perceive it to be.
Ways that can help you adapt your mindset:
- Recognise when you are in a fixed mindset. This will usually show itself as anxiety or uncomfortableness when you want to try something new. Try writing a journal to help identify when these feelings arise.
- Change your language. A common tip is adding ‘yet’ to a sentence when you talk about something you can not or do not want to do. For example instead of 'I can not run a marathon' change to 'I can not run a marathon yet’. Do this when speaking but also try and correct yourself when you write or think.
- Be prepared to fail. Understanding we can not always succeed is an important step in having a growth mindset, it also stops us falling into ‘toxic positivity’.
- Appreciate the journey. Instead of focusing on achieving your goals, also enjoy the journey and what you have learnt whilst on it. If you then fail to complete the goal your time will not have been wasted.
- Listen to and act on feedback. Understanding your weaknesses and putting plans in place to eliminate them will demonstrate to yourself you can grow.
- Write or think positive thoughts. Studies have shown within 2 weeks of practice you could become more positive.
- Embody younger thoughts. A study showed that transporting older adults into a physical world that was akin to their life as teenagers impacted their mindset and saw physical improvements. Try to engage with activities you enjoyed when you were 20 years younger, whether that is music or dancing or the films you liked then.