“When You Change Your Thoughts, You Change your World”. Norman Vincent Peale
I’ll never forget the day I got my used copy of Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Power of Positive Thinking. I read it over and over when I first got it way back in the early 1980’s, highlighting and underlining passage after passage. I wanted to absorb every ounce of wisdom in that book!
I was, you see, a Negative Nelly who wanted to be wildly successful and couldn’t figure out how to change the tides and get a little success under my belt. I always seemed to be striving but never hitting the mark. I wrote down affirmations such as “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And “If God be for us, who can be against us.” Like Dr. Peale suggested, I said the affirmations ten times a day. I made the choice to be happy, and in time, I did find that over all, I was happier and more successfu,l but I still felt something was not quite right and I just couldn’t seem to move as far forward as I wanted.
Little did I know that it was still all in my mind.
Recently, my friend Cynthia helped me take my life up a notch. She recommended a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S Dweck which took my way of thinking to the next level. Ms. Dweck breaks our way of thinking and operating into two mindsets after studying the way people coped with failure and approach problems in their lives. In one of her research projects, she studied children solving puzzles that became increasingly more difficult as they progressed. Some of the children seemed to love the puzzles and enjoyed sorting out what was going wrong when they couldn’t figure out the puzzle right away. Other children would give up or stop when the going got tough. Through her studies Ms. Dweck uncovered two mindsets, one, she calls a “Fixed Mindset” and the other she called the “Growth Mindset”
People with “Fixed Mindsets” are interested in validating or proving their intelligence. Failure is a setback for people with Fixed Mindsets; it’s something they avoid at all costs, including not pursuing new things to avoid the possibility of failure. People with “Growth Mindsets” are interested in learning and growing. They don’t mind a challenge or the lessons they learn from failing so they are not afraid to try again and again learning as they go.
As an adult, I took up ice dancing, and for a while I competed. In my first competition, I was set against another skater who had been skating since she was a child, and in all other events was skating at a very high level. When I saw her skate, I knew I wasn’t going to get first place unless something really crazy happened. I had to shift my thinking from only being happy with a win, to skating my personal best and developing more intrinsic measures for success. That competition experience was the beginning in my being slowly transformed from a “Fixed Mindset” person to being more growth minded. This blog has helped me shift as well.
When I started, I knew I had to “just put it out there” and would have to improve as I went along. If I waited until I was “perfect” I’d never start. I realized that if I made any really horrible mistakes, I could always take it down and start over and I could change everything when ever I wanted to; nothing was “set in stone”. I have had to learn to see the problems I encountered technologically as challenges I can overcome and resolve rather than seeing them as road blocks and stopping points. And, I can always get help.
Seeing where I need to grow, rather than where I have or might fail has brought a sense of confidence and mastery I haven’t experienced before. If you are considering a new venture or challenge in your life, just start! You can always fix it later.
Sign up for free weekly updates and get your glow on. I’m giving away my skincare secrets—things anyone at any age can do to get that “glow”. Oh, and our newsletters contain not only updates but exclusive content. Click the image to get started!