PFA 019: #1 in the 11 most common rules to be awesome every day is change begins with your mindset

The Prepare for Awesome Podcast

Where I want to educate, inspire, motivate and empower you to strive higher, push further, give more, do more, be more as you become all you possibly can be.
PFA 019 Show Notes
On today’s show, we will be talking about your mindset, personal change, where it all begins and what the science behind your mindset is.
#SelfBelief #PrepareForAwesome #Mindset #Change #PersonalDevelopment
Every week through my business, I meet some incredible people, all of whom add such enormous value to my life in so many different ways.  At the moment, I am working with a group of people across the South West of England running a number of networking meetings built around the LinkedIn platform.  And the idea behind LinkedIn Local is to put the social back into social media.
And some of our regular listeners may recall a few weeks ago in episodes 12 & 13, I did an interview with the founder of LinkedIn Local, Anna McAfee.
I, along with co-hosts in 4 different towns and cities around the South West have set up these events, which currently are free to attend, but they do take a lot of work, effort and energy in preparing for each one.  And to be honest, I would never be able to carry this off on my own.
So before getting into today’s topic, I want to give a shoutout to my co-hosts.  And they are in Exeter Jenny Squire and Simon Fincham, in Torquay Kelly Widley and James Twigger, in Plymouth Mike Turner, Lesley Anderson and Clare Stirling and in Taunton it is Helen Lacey and Kevin Smith.
Without each of these people, we would not have venues, invites, checking in, and a myriad of other tasks that have to be done.  For me, it is exciting to work with each of you.
Let’s get into today’s topic and talk about mindset and change.
So what is mindset and can you change yours?
Mindset is a mental attitude which determines how you interpret and respond to situations you encounter.  It is the preconceived ideas you have for the potential outcome in any given situation or set of actions.
So, for example, if the government increase the tax rate on business, some people will see it as a disaster, while other people will see it as an opportunity to operate leaner and meaner.  These differing viewpoints are due to conditioning and preconceptions, and that is due to a mindset.
Another definition of mindset is a lens or frame through which the mind orientates us toward a particular set of circumstance, associations and expectations.
You may have heard people say this person has a positive mindset or that person has a negative mindset.  If you look at the results of their actions and the effect they have on those around them, you see a clear correlation to their way of thinking or mindset and the outcomes they achieve.
Over the past 30 years or so a huge amount of research has been done regarding mindset, the mind, thoughts, etc with Professor Carol Dweck at the forefront of some of that research.
Much of the research shows that generally in terms of ability, skill, product, service, etc, there is often very little difference between one entrepreneur, business person and another.  The big differentiation between the massively successful entrepreneur and those who are not, between the great employee and the not so great employee, is mindset.
The attitude you have toward everything which determines actions and results.
What the research has also shown and what most people who are successful know, is the mindset you have today is not the mindset you have to live with for the rest of your life.  It is yours and you can change it whenever you want and you can continually be improving your mindset.  Your mindset is not cast in stone.  It is set in your mind which is a pliable and malleable environment.
This is not a cheap psychological trick or snake oil I am trying to sell you.  There is a massive amount of excellent research to back this up.
According to Professor Carol Dweck, you either have a ‘fixed mindset’ or a ‘growth mindset’.
If you have a fixed mindset, you are very much in the ‘can’t teach old dogs new tricks’ camp and it is highly unlikely you will change, grow or develop better-thinking habits, greater intellect or creative ability and therefore it is unlikely that you will have any chance of changing your results or outcomes.
A fixed mindset does not see the opportunities or possibilities for personal development or growth.  A fixed mindset says your talents are inborn gifts which you can’t change.  It’s the idea of – you were made like that, so you get to stay like that.
By contrast, a growth mindset finds the way to change open and is willing do whatever it takes to grow, develop and becoming better.  People who embrace a growth mindset know that effort alone will not get them where they want to go.  They understand effort must be accompanied by learning new skills, habits, processes and personal development.  It must be accompanied by personal transformation.
American philosopher and psychologist, William James said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”
Ancient scriptures says it this way, ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so he becomes.’
Literally change the way in which you think and you change your life.
You see, a growth mindset embraces problems, looks for the opportunities to learn, develop and than makes the most of them, while a fixed mindset embraces limitations, fears failure and is dominated by the preserved negative consequences of learning and developing.
A fixed mindset avoids conflicts, is rigid in responses and is focused on survival.  Survival is the goal.  A growth mindset sees problems as interesting challenges to overcome and learn from.
A fixed mindset says that most of the basic qualities in life, such as intelligence and talents, have fixed traits and these traits are responsible for success and failure.  They can’t be changed or improved upon.  A fixed mindset will often focus on heavily documenting past achievements and titles are very important within that mindset.
For the growth mindset, survival is not a goal.  A growth mindset says that new skills and abilities can be learned and developed, through practice and application.  There is typically a passion for learning and discovering new skills.
Most people switch between the 2 depending on the stimulus, situation and circumstance, but often appear to favour one over the other.  However, the type of mindset you have and choose to go forward with is entirely up to you.  You choose.  And as I have said before, no one can force you to think in any way other than the way you want to think.
To change your mindset you need to change your philosophy.  That is essentially the way in which you think about everything.  Its about your belief system regarding everything.  What you believe about yourself, your family, your business, your marketplace, your products or services, your economy, the economy, etc.
Your philosophy regarding all these aspects, will determine how you act and react towards them collectively and individually.  Your attitude toward everything is determined by your philosophy and your philosophy determines your mindset.
If you change your philosophy, you can change your mindset.  Change your mindset, change your attitude.  Change your attitude, change you actions.  Change your actions, change your results.
So how do you change your philosophy?
In order to change your philosophy, you have to start with a decision and back that decision up with a commitment to stick with that decision no matter what comes your way.  However, you must begin by acknowledging you have hidden weaknesses and strengths.  Understand what those weaknesses are and determine to find the ability to become better.
What is the decision you need to make?
Simply to change and become the best you possibly can become.  It is as simple and as complex as that.
So what changes would I suggest you make?
Here are 3 things you can do which will set you on that journey to developing belief in yourself and your ability.
Change what you read.
The books, the news, the magazines.  Read those things which encourage you, build you up, show you how you can become better.
Change who and what you listen to.
Listen to the positive voices in your world.  Listen to those voices which encourage and don’t mock you.  Listen to those voices who say you can rather than those who give you the excuse they think you need.
Change who and what influences you.
We are all influenced by other people.  If the people you have around you don’t believe you are capable of become the person you want to become, then change the people you have around you.  If the people you are spending your time with don’t want to go where you are going, then get around a different crowd.
So what can you do to develop a Growth Mindset?  Here are 7 changes you could make:
Discard your fixed mindset.
I have spoken about what a fixed mindset is and how it can hold you back from the success you want, however you define success.  If you want to change your mindset, you have to let go of the belief that you were made to be the way you are.  You will need to take on the mindset which says, ‘I can and will become better.’
Understand, acknowledge & embrace your imperfections.
You, like everyone else, is an imperfect and faulty human with individual tastes, independent thoughts and occasionally irresponsible actions.  If you think you are or ever will be perfect, acknowledge how wrong you are and determine to get better.
Understand that the opinions of other people are not necessarily the truth.
Everyone has an opinion or perspective on everything and because of our individual experience most people believe their opinion to be the absolute truth, when if it is just an opinion.  When you understand that, you will see that peoples opinions of you, your capabilities and your capacity are only their opinion not the truth.  Only you know what you are capable of and when you change your mindset to believe that, everything will change for you.
Cultivate a sense of purpose
Research has shown that having a sense of purpose makes us neurologically and physiologically better in almost every area of life.  From work and study to relationships and caring for other people.
Purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which a thing exists.  Your purpose on this spinning planet is to be useful and to contribute for a reason.  In fact, your brain is hard-wired to contribute and be helpful and when you do what you are made for, you get rewarded by the happiness chemicals flooding into your brain.  Having a sense of purpose in your life also helps give meaning to your daily existence.
Celebrate growth in others
Celebrating other people’s success as well as your own helps create a feeling of personal optimism and a sense of ‘If they can so can I.’  It creates an attitude shift and empowers positive thinking.  It’s better for your health than resenting the success of others, can help to build your own self-esteem and sets you up with a greater chance of success than does resentment.
See challenges as opportunities
Helen Keller once said, ‘ Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trail and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.’  You see it is not the fact that we will face challenges in our life’s which is the problem.  Challenges and hard times will always be there to tear up the page when we least expect it.  This is a fact.
However, it is how we respond to these challenges which result in our personal transformation.  So change your mindset from challenges, obstacles, failure, as being destructive to these things will happen and they are designed to make me better.  Then your stumbling blocks will become your stepping stones.
Develop a gritty attitude.
Grit or gritty in psychology is defined as a positive, non-cognitive trait based on a person’s ability to persevere through various obstacles and challenges combined with a passion for a long-term goal or end result.  It is that dogged determination which says come hell or high water I will get this done.
The fact is, it is easy to give up when the going gets tough.  ‘It’s too hard’ I often hear people say when the first challenge arises on their road to achieving a particular goal.  Well, this is where you need to begin to dig in and show determination or grit.  It is about having the mindset of, ‘I will not give up or give in ever.’
And here is a bonus.  Work your brain.  I remember my grandfather, with whom I had a fantastic relationship, dying within 6 months of giving up work.  The doctors at the time said it was because all his life he had kept his brain active, but as soon as he stopped working, he stopped working his brain.
Now whether they were right or wrong in his case does not really matter, but the idea stuck with me and we are now seeing a huge amount of evidence which shows your brain, like your muscles, can and do atrophy without constant use and workouts.  Your brain is designed to work, so work it.  And treat it well in terms of your lifestyle.
So that it for this episode.  Thanks for listening.  I look forward to chatting with you again in the next episode.
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Thanks again for your time today and I look forward to chatting with you on the next episode where I will again share with you ideas, tips and tools to help you become the best version of yourself you could possibly be.
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Have a great day.  And remember to be awesome today.
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