Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.
— Henry Ford
As we turn the corner on the year, I’m inspired to write a post about embracing a growth mindset. Many of us may set goals and make resolutions today, but how many of us actually reach those goals or keep those resolutions? I want to help stack the deck in your favor. I believe embracing a growth mindset will give you the added horsepower needed to succeed, especially when it comes to a big goal, like reversing an autoimmune condition.
The genesis of this inspiration comes from listening to and being in community with clients, members of my private Facebook group, as well as my friends and family. From my perch as a health coach, soon to be author, and autoimmune reversal and prevention advocate, I am witness to a lot of suffering, as well as a lot of hope.
We have the information, the support, and a growing number of success stories of people who have transcended their symptoms and diagnoses. So, why are so many people still suffering? It could be a lack of knowledge, tight finances, and little time — all valid and real concerns. But, if we’re really honest, it could be that a fixed mindset might be the biggest reason of all.
What is a fixed mindset?
It includes rigid thinking, limiting beliefs, a scarcity mentality, lack of will power, all-or-nothing thinking, and a negative or fatalistic outlook. Fixed mindset statements include:
I can’t do it.
Things will always be this way.
It’s too hard.
I don’t have the willpower.
I can’t afford it.
I’m too old (or too young).
I don’t have time.
You can feel your shoulders sag in just reading these defeatist statements. Caution, though: words have tremendous power, especially when coupled with strong emotions. We literally have the power within us to create our world, and we do it all the time, consciously or unconsciously. Negative words and beliefs can set up a downward spiral, attracting more negativity and despair, which is a self-reinforcing loop.
What’s a growth mindset?
It includes positive mental attitude, even when the going gets tough, a can-do mentality, realistic thinking, an open mind, and optimistic outlook. Growth mindset statements include:
I can do it.
This is only a minor setback. I’ll get back on track.
I may not know the answer, but I’ll find it.
I’m on my way!
I can handle this.
I’ll figure out how to afford it.
What can I learn from this?
Who do you think will be more successful at any endeavor? My bet is on the growth-minded person. Positive thoughts, especially coupled with strong emotion, create a positive upward spiral, leading to more positive outcomes and beliefs.
An Important Distinction
But, healing requires more than just a rah-rah, can-do attitude. It takes both having a goal plus a willingness to explore, to dig deeper and to be willing to experiment, to fail, get up, and try again.
For example, just making a resolution will only get you part way. Like declaring you’re going to stop eating sugar. Who do you think will be more successful in giving up sugar, person A or person B?
Person A: I am going to stop eating sugar!
Person B: I’m going to stop eating sugar by seeking and finding a satisfactory substitute.
Person A sounds determined, but the reality is, willpower may only get her part way. Without a willingness to find reasonable alternatives, she might not get past a few weeks of brute force effort. Person A might go cold turkey, forcing herself to give up sugary snacks and desserts. By February, her willpower may run out, and she may be back on the sugar train.
Person B sounds both determined and curious. She realizes that the only way she will achieve her goal is by engaging in a proactive effort to find a reasonable solution, a satisfactory substitute. Person B might do some research on sugar substitutes first, learning which don’t spike blood sugar or create downstream problems. She might search for, find and try a few brands of organic stevia before landing on one she really likes. By this time next year, Person B may still be sugar free.
So what can you do help you make the shift from a fixed to a growth mindset?
As you contemplate the year ahead and set wonderful goals and resolutions, don’t forget to examine your mindset. Your frame of mind may be your biggest ally or your greatest saboteur.
Let us know, what is a goal you are setting this year, and what one small step you will take toward that goal, today?
Take good care!
p.s. Have you downloaded our Our Manifesto for Healing Autoimmune Conditions? I have mine on the fridge in a plastic sleeve as a beautiful reminder to tend to all mind-body-spirit elements.
p.s.s. And, if you are proactively seeking to heal from any autoimmune condition and want community, support and valuable information, please join our free, private Facebook group: Transcend Autoimmune.
Dig Into Autoimmune Root Causes and Solutions
Check out the other roots that must be addressed here: