Q: Why is it so hard to change from fixed to growth mindset?
A: Our lives are run by things called neural ‘schemas’ – another word for ‘mindset’. These happen from hearing certain messages, seeing reactions and behaviors over and over again from people around us when we’re young. These circuits fire enough times that they turn into auto-pilot networks in our brain.
Most of us think we are making a lot of choices each day, but almost EVERYTHING WE DO is from these auto-pilot systems.
When we have a thought enough times, it turns into a way of seeing because it changes what we focus on and notice. This literally changes how we ‘view reality’. If we were imprinted with negative messages about ourselves, the world and other people – those become our way of ‘seeing’. This is what a mindset is (another word is ‘world view’).
A mindset will just run in the background without us realizing. The only way to change our mindset is to become aware of it, and then use our conscious attention to bring up new thoughts, and notice new things that contradict the old mindset.
Q: Can I just encourage people to believe in themselves – does that help them change?
A: In my experience teaching thousands of people how to change their mindset, ‘self-help’ or ‘believe in yourself’ messages aren’t enough to get people to change. Those ideas are too abstract.
The problem is, a person might want to change – but if they’re running on auto-pilot, they won’t know they’re on auto-pilot. So they’ll just keep repeating old patterns. Hearing a positive message won’t be enough to activate that new neural circuitry enough times for consistent change to happen.
When people learn how their cells and neurons fire and create patterns, as well as how tiny movements in our faces and bodies affect our relationships and communication, they’re able to SEE how they can take concrete actions to create change.
Once you’re able to show others how to fire up new neural circuitry on purpose, they feel like change is possible.
It’s a HUGE moment… It gives them the fuel they need to take action and re-program their neural circuitry to achieve their desired results.
Download the Growth Mindset Goal Setting Booklet
to give you 4 concrete ideas on how to help someone (or yourself!) move towards more of a growth mindset rather than a fixed one.