Sally was the oldest daughter of alcoholic parents and spent most of her childhood caring for her younger siblings. She got them ready for school, walked them to the bus stop, and kissed them as they boarded the bus.
The school was difficult for Sally. She struggled to learn how to read and write. She was embarrassed because it seemed easy for the other students but not for her.
Sally was afraid to ask for help because she did not want to look stupid. Her third-grade teacher frequently mocked her, telling her she should know how to read and write by now. Often, Sally hung her head and felt like a dummy.
As a result, Sally didn’t do well in school and believed she was stupid. She’d always dreamed of helping people as a nurse, but she dropped out of school in tenth grade. Instead, she worked at a local diner as a waitress.
But Annette, the diner's owner, noticed the sparkle in Sally’s eyes as he served the customers. She greeted them by name, knew how they liked their coffee, and made them feel welcome and comfortable.
Annette noticed Sally’s rapport with the customers and believed in her. Annette encouraged the younger woman to study for GED, so she could get her high school diploma and go to college.
Annette said, “You have a fixed mindset, and that’s holding you back from what you want.”
What Is a Fixed Mindset?
A fixed mindset is the idea that you were born with or without certain qualities and talents. You may think things like, “I’m not good at reading. I have never been.” Or you might say, “I want to paint landscapes, but I wasn’t born an artist.”
The problem with a fixed mindset is that it keeps you stuck. You limit your experiences and feelings based on what you can achieve. But there is an alternative point of view called a growth mindset.
How Does a Fixed Mindset Impact You?
It keeps you stuck in your current way of thinking. Just like Sally believed she was stupid and could not pursue her dreams of becoming a nurse.
A fixed mindset can affect every area of your life, even if you don’t realize it. Your thoughts create your mindset. Take a minute to think about these five areas of your life. What are your thoughts and beliefs about your:
- Relationships – family, friends, colleagues
- Healthy – weight, energy level, body, mind, spirit
- Money – abundant, not enough, Freedom
- Career – contribution, service, purpose, meaning
- Well-being – peace of mind, the beauty around you
Your mindset either frees you to see your possibilities or limits you and robs you of the chance to reach your potential.
Are You Willing to Let Go of a Fixed Mindset?
Sally explained to Annette the troubles she had in school, and Annette helped her to get tested for learning disabilities. When Sally realized her brain processed information differently, and that’s why she had struggled for years, Sally cried because she realized she could learn.
For the first time, Sally began to believe she could become a nurse. She no longer saw her skills and abilities as fixed. She gave up her “this is all there is for me” mindset. Instead, she embraced the idea that with time and help, she could continue her education and pursue her dreams.
Where do you need to shift in your mindset to reach your dreams?
Want support? I mentor clients individually and in groups. I would be honored to help you. I believe“when one person is uplifted, everyone benefits”.
Nancy Dadami is a Get In Flow Trainer & Mentor, She teaches creatives, empaths, and small business owners to live in “the flow”, clear their energy field, and align their surroundings with their intentions so they create the business and life they love.
You might want to read the Ultimate Guide To Having A Growth Mindset