Spotting Limiting Beliefs: How to Move Yourself (or Someone Else) from a Fixed to a Growth Mindset
Being in a fixed mindset puts a ceiling on your potential. In a fixed mindset, you are often convinced that you were born with certain traits or characteristics and that is all you will ever have. In a nutshell, you have limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are thoughts that can sound like, “I am not creative,” “I am not good at networking,” or “I have never been good with numbers.”
No matter how convinced you may be, these thoughts are not the truth. Instead, they are just your current belief and beliefs can change.
As a leader I often observe the limiting beliefs the team of people I work with attach to themselves and as a professional, who is quite introspective, I can also spot the limiting beliefs I put on myself. These types of thoughts are harmful, unproductive, and do nothing but hold us back.
Below are three questions that can move you (or someone else) from a fixed to a growth mindset:
Where is your mindset right now? Are you in a growth or a fixed space? This will take your thoughts from an experience or future prediction into the present moment and do so in a way that will not make you or the other person feel defensive because of what you or they may be thinking.
Is this mindset where you want to be? How is this mindset serving you? This makes you accountable. The only way you are going to successfully transition from a fixed to a growth mindset is if you hold yourself (and no one else) responsible for getting there. It’s helpful to reflect on what you want your personal growth mindset to look like so that as you work toward those specifics, you can determine if it’s serving you or if more work needs to be done.
Take an action. Any action.
Being in a growth mindset is about forward movement. Progression gives you momentum, and momentum leads to results. Small steps, such as putting the business plan you have had in your head down on paper, taking 15 minutes to research an idea, or picking up the phone to make just one prospecting call, will give you a sense of accomplishment and immediately move you into a growth mindset.
The age-old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is simply not true. Our brains are malleable; they are meant to be expanded. Switching from a fixed to a growth mindset is completely within your control if you are willing to put in the work.