What is Mindset Anyway? A Crash Course of Types and Tips.
Mindset. The trendy term dominating Facebook groups and coaching blogs, and the focus of countless freebies and webinars. My current free training focuses on it too. But what the hell does Mindset actually mean? And how many types are there?
Let me break it down for you.
The concept of Mindset was conceived by Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist.
Your mindset is, essentially, your frame of mind, or attitude to life. It determines how you think, what you feel, how you respond to things, and what you do.
It is the reason some people achieve success in their business, and others don’t. It is why some people seem to bounce back from tragedies and setbacks quickly and easily, while others collapse. It can turn problems into solutions and can’ts into cans. Ifs can become whens, and ideas become actions. The world is either for you, or against you.
Mindset coaches and influencers often focus on specific types of mindset, so here’s the lowdown on some common mindset battles for female entrepreneurs.
Negative Mindset VS Positive Mindset
Is there anything more infuriating than someone telling you to ‘just think positive’ when you’re struggling? It feels like the most unhelpful, meaningless platitude ever!
So what does having a Positive Mindset actually mean?
>> Well, for starters, you can still self-evaluate, identify flaws in ideas or approaches, and acknowledge feelings of frustration and sadness. You don’t have to walk around with a face-aching smile and pretend it’s not happening.
>> The important thing is what you do next. Finding solutions, alternatives and compromises instead of giving up, punishing yourself, or being stubborn. Practising self care instead of self-criticism. Feeling the fear, but going for it anyway because your goals and desires are more important than that fear.
A Negative Mindset brings all productivity and progress to a halt for entrepreneurs, and often sends us backwards.
>> When we are in this mode, we can feel like giving up at the first sign of a setback, and often blame ourselves, reinforcing beliefs that we can’t cope or we’re not good enough.
>> Our focus becomes narrow. We lose a broader perspective on the situation, cling to ideas and courses of action that aren’t working, and refuse help and support from others. And we often neglect basic self care that could restore our energy and problem solving abilities.
We all slip into a Negative Mindset sometimes, especially when we are tired, working long hours, and are personally and emotionally invested in something.
💡TIP: I have visual prompts around my workspace to remind myself that I can decide how I respond. Banners above your screen saying things like ‘Make a different choice’, ‘What CAN I do about this?’ or ‘Self Care Steps’ really help to nudge me in the right direction when I feel an ugly cry coming on.
Alternatively, prompt yourself with a colour spot stuck above your screen in a colour you associate with warmth, energy and inspiration. I like green, but you could try orange or yellow, too.
Fixed Mindset VS Growth Mindset
I cringe to admit it, but before I grasped the importance of mindset, I used to look at people around me who didn’t have my experience, education – even my level of skill – soar ahead of me and achieve great success.
They weren’t putting out the best, or most polished content, but their output was prolific and winning fans and attention.
It seemed so unjust. I wasted so much time feeling bitter and frustrated – while they were taking action, networking, learning, and making moves.
I was stuck in a Fixed Mindset. They were rocking a Growth Mindset.
People with a fixed mindset believe they have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that.
>> If they aren’t naturally gifted, knowledgeable or suited to something, they give up, convinced they’ll never make it. They turn down opportunities and avoid taking risks, afraid of failing or being laughed at.
>> But if they are blessed with brains, ability or special knowledge, they can become complacent and entitled, thinking they will sail through or deserve success without putting in any effort. And when that doesn’t happen, they sulk and stagnate.
>> Either way, people in this mindset worry about their traits and how capable they are. They hold themselves up to impossibly high standards and struggle with feelings of inadequacy.
People with a growth mindset believe that their knowledge and ability can be developed through dedication and hard work, and brains and talent are just a starting point.
They love learning and developing their skills, seek out opportunities to gain experience, constantly practise and learn from mistakes, and they have the emotional resilience required to achieve success.
💡TIP: Many successful entrepreneurs started out in poverty and hardship with few privileges and basic education. When they decided to start a business, they began with limited experience, time, money and business know-how. But their growth mindset made them go for it anyway, use their time efficiently, make themselves visible and inspire others with their enthusiasm and passion.
Lack Mindset VS Abundance Mindset
There is such a buzz about ‘mastering your Money Mindset’ right now, with gurus left right and centre promising to rewire you for riches. But what does this mean in practical terms?
Female entrepreneurs who embrace an abundance mindset live and work with the belief that there is an infinite amount of space, money and resources for everyone, beyond what they can see.
>> They believe they are worthy of receiving the wealth, clients and resources they require and desire, and they proactively invite it into their lives through their actions, routines and attitude.
>> They find ways to create more opportunities and assert themselves. They avoid comparison and competition with others and seek to collaborate instead, believing there is enough space, resources and clients in their market for all.
When we fall prey to a Lack Mindset – and it can happen to all of us when the pressure is on – it’s the complete opposite.
>> We are defensive, insecure and needlessly competitive. We constantly compare ourselves to others. We fixate on the idea that money is a finite resource we can’t access, or don’t deserve to access, or couldn’t handle if we had it.
>> We give off a desperate, needy vibe to clients because it feels crucial to get a sale from a pool of clients all our competitors are trying to steal from us. Yikes. What a brainache.
>> We’re told to counteract this mindset with positive affirmations and by manifesting wealth and success, but that sounds deceptively easy too. Maybe you’ve tried reciting affirmations and performed manifesting rituals and zilch has happened. And maybe you’ve been told you just don’t ‘believe’ enough and that’s why nothing has happened.
💡TIP: I recommend using a focus wheel to not only create visual proof of a desire or statement, but also to register proactive steps you are taking to create the right conditions for the Universe to reward you (ooh – Robin’s getting all woowoo!) When you see it in front of you, it generates the belief and sense of progress required to empower your desires and goals.
Here’s a basic example. You can also download an app on your phone for this – search ‘Focus Wheel’ in your app store!
I have another juicy article on focus wheels and the different ways you can use them coming up soon!
So there you have it. A crash course on what mindset means and the different key types we all encounter throughout our lives. If you want to learn more about the philosophy and tools required for a healthy mindset, check out my free training: Master Your Mindset in 5 Days.
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>> Learn how to stop overthinking, obsessing, worrying – and feel clear-headed, resilient and excited about your future.
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>> Learn how to feel happy and content every day.
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