I’ve been trying to get my students to really buy into this growth mindset thinking. I usually downplay most (okay, all) things I learn at work because they are just rehashed versions of fundamental truths renamed and repackaged in an effort for someone to make money off of some poor self-improvement sap.
However, while growth mindset could fall into this category, I’m careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water because…it works.
The brain is a powerful muscle. It controls nearly every aspect of life. Without it, no human could functionally live.
It’s also where action begins.
For example, your brain is sending signals to your eyes to read these words, your finger to keep scrolling, and your mind to process what you are reading. And most of this happens naturally, without you ever having to think about it.
How amazing is that?
What’s even more amazing is that believing you can do something affects your ability to do it. That little engine really did know what it was talking about.
I think I can. I think I can.
It turns out thinking you can really affects whether you can…or can’t.
On an episode of ‘Brain Games’, participants where asked to shoot a three-point shot (basketball, pretty girls). They missed repeatedly. Most people outside of professional athletes would. However, the host then decided to blindfold participants. The first participant up took a shot and missed it, but the onlookers were told to cheer for her like she made it. She took another shot and missed, yet again, they cheered as if she made it.
After that, every shot she took, whether blindfolded or not, she made. And so did everyone else, thus proving that mindset really can affect ability.
If you tell yourself that you can do something, then you can, but if you don’t, then you can’t. It starts in the mind.
And this is more than just a lackluster, “I can do it.” It has to be a strong, firm conviction and belief in your ability to do whatever it is that you set out to do.
Don’t believe me?
Try it out this week. Think of something that you’ve been telling yourself, whether consciously or subconsciously, that you couldn’t do (i.e. lose that last ten pounds, ask for that raise, make blogging your full-time job) and follow the steps below:
1. Write down what you think you can’t do.
I can’t lose 10 pounds this month.
2. Then rewrite that ‘can’t do’ statement into a ‘will do’ statement.
I will lose 10 pounds this month.
3. Then, think of three action steps you can use now to reach this goal.
- Go for a 30 minute walk at least five times each week this month.
- Pack a healthy lunch for work every day this month.
- Cook a healthy dinner at least four times a week this month.
4. Finally, use the power of habit and visualization to help permanently change your mindset. Read your ‘will do’ statement all day long until it is cemented in your brain. Picture stepping on the scale at the end of the month and seeing your goal weight. And build on the power of habit by sticking to your three action steps with fidelity.
This process can work on anything, from relationships, to financial goals and even a desire to find your dream job.
It all starts in the mind pretty girls 💋