What Type of Mindset Do You Have?

This Month’s Topic: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset
The beginning of a new month brings a new topic to explore. This month’s topic – Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset – is essential to building a sustainable business and your life. We will explore various aspects of cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset throughout the month.

What Type of Mindset Do You Have?

Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.”
– Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

In previous blog posts, we’ve explored the concept that mindset is the collection of attitudes and beliefs that shape our perception of ourselves and the world around us. It is our mental framework that guides our behavior and decision-making processes. Our mindset influences how we approach challenges, interpret feedback, and our success.  This article will help you determine which type of mindset you have.

Growth vs Fixed Mindset: Which are You?

Do you know what type of mindset you have? Research about mindsets has identified two types – growth and fixed mindsets. As an entrepreneur, it is valuable to manage your mindset. Over the years that I’ve been in business, I’ve faced challenges as well as successes. Managing and nurturing your mindset is a critical factor in your success…or struggle. So, let’s take a few minutes to explore each type of mindset before you spend time figuring out which mindset you have.

What is a Fixed Mindset?

People with a fixed mindset believe their character, intelligence, and other abilities are static. They believe they were born with innate talents and abilities and that their full potential is predetermined – that their traits are unchangeable and cannot be improved upon. Because of this belief, they do not value personal growth.

People with a fixed mindset may:

  • Avoid challenges
  • Fear failure because they believe it reflects on their inherent abilities
  • Have limiting beliefs
  • Resist or ignore feedback from others
  • Feel threatened by the success of other people
  • Try to hide their flaws so they won’t be judged

Examples of a Fixed Mindset

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which type of mindset is a person’s predominant type. Life throws us curve balls – successes and challenges. It is how we deal with the “curve balls” that indicates the type of mindset we have.

Here are three examples of someone with a fixed mindset:

  1. A student who avoids taking challenging classes because they believe they can’t learn new skills because their abilities are already predetermined.
  2. A person in a relationship who avoids conflict and difficult conversations because they fear criticism. They dislike feedback.
  3. A person in a job who avoids taking on new responsibility, involvement in new projects, or roles that require them to learn new skills. They also resist feedback.

Hazards of a Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset can be detrimental to our professional and personal life. It can prevent us from achieving our full potential and limit our opportunities for success and happiness. Here are some dangers that can develop if we have a fixed mindset:

  • Stagnation keeps us locked in what we know and prevents us from exploring new opportunities.
  • Self-limiting beliefs hold us back and prevent us from even pursuing our dreams.
  • Fear of failure prevents us from trying new things and stepping out of our comfort zone.

What is a Growth Mindset?

Now let’s examine a growth mindset. People who have a growth mindset believe that their abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed and improved upon. They believe they can learn and grow through work, education, perseverance, and dedication.

People with a growth mindset:

  • Believe their talents, intelligence and abilities can be cultivated
  • Embrace challenges and view them as opportunities to grow and learn
  • Are more resilient and realize failure or setbacks are learning opportunities
  • Are open to feedback and willing to use it to improve themselves
  • Are willing to step out of their comfort zone

Examples of a Growth Mindset

Let’s reconsider the “curve balls” that life throws our way. How we handle the “ups and downs” of business and life is a good indicator of the type of mindset we have. For instance:

  1. A student with a growth mindset seeks out difficult courses and seeks feedback from teachers and coaches to improve their abilities.
  2. In a relationship, a person with a growth mindset actively seeks feedback to improve the relationship and may view conflict and difficult conversations as an opportunity to grow and learn.
  3. In their work environment, a person with a growth mindset may seek out new projects and roles that challenge them to learn new skills. They seek feedback from their supervisor and colleagues to improve their abilities.

Benefits of a Growth Mindset

A variety of research studies have proven that a growth mindset can:

  • Increase motivation
  • Reduce burnout
  • Improve performance – academic, athletic, on-the-job, etc.
  • Reduce psychological problems such as depression and anxiety
  • Reduce behavioral problems

Tips to Nurture a Growth Mindset

Can you change or improve the type of mindset you have? Yes! Researchers have found a link between a growth mindset and two areas of the brain that are involved in learning and behavioral adaptation. The science of research is a topic beyond the scope of this post. Just know it is possible for you to change your mindset and nurture a growth mindset.

Here are a few tips to help you develop and nurture a growth mindset:

  1. Open your mind to the concept that you can develop and nurture a growth mindset. Our brains are designed to learn, to develop new connections, and new neural pathways. Be open to new experiences, and new learning to strengthen your brain.
  2. Deal with your “negative inner voice.” (See Cultivating An Entrepreneurial Mindset) Let it go. Use your power of positive talk to reduce the impact of a negative inner voice.
  3. Seek feedback as a learning opportunity.
  4. Cultivate a positive attitude. Be selective about the people, media, and messaging you allow to intrude on your mental space.
  5. Monitor your mindset. Be aware of the “ups and downs” that impact your mindset. Take action to adjust/strengthen your mindset when life throws you a “curve ball.” Awareness and monitoring are ongoing processes.

Conclusion

Even a small shift in your mindset can affect a tremendous amount of change in your business and your life.  Address your limiting beliefs. Transform limiting beliefs into a growth mindset. Use awareness, reframing, and action to change limiting beliefs and nurture your mindset for growth and success.

NEXT:  Getting Rid of Your Mental Blocks


Your mindset plays a crucial role in your ability to live a fulfilling life. Recent worldwide events have made it even more challenging to keep a positive outlook. Scientific studies have proven a positive mindset can promote success in work, relationships, and in your health. Check out this ebook today!

Judy Whalen
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