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Feeling Stuck? Unlock Your Potential with This Simple Mindset Tweak

The greatest discovery of all time is that you can change your future by merely changing your attitude.

Oprah Winfrey
[4-min read]

Years ago, I felt stuck in a rut. I blamed my problems on everything except myself — the economy, my bosses, even the weather.

It all started when I was frustrated with my life. My job wasn’t working out. Relationships were strained. Opportunities slipped away.

I played the victim and blamed circumstances. This negative mindset trapped me.

I knew I needed to change something in my life, but I didn’t know what or how. And when I can’t figure something out, my curious mind won’t let it go.

I’ve learned that someone has already solved every problem we face in life. And they’ve written the solution in a book.

Scrolling Audible, I came across a book on the mindsets of successful people. It was an aha moment. I saw that my own attitude was holding me back.

When I started viewing challenges as chances to grow, everything changed.

The Science of Mindset: How Your Beliefs Shape Your Reality

Research backs up the transformative power of your beliefs. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck found that people tend to have one of two mindsets:

  • Fixed Mindset

    • You believe your intelligence and abilities can’t change much

    • You think talent is more important than effort for success

    • You avoid challenges and give up easily when facing obstacles

    • Example: “She's a natural athlete. I could never be that fit no matter how much I train.”

  • Growth mindset

    • You believe you can develop your intelligence and abilities with effort

    • You think dedication and hard work are key to achieving mastery

    • You embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and improve

    • Example: “I didn’t do well on the project, but I learned a lot about what to do differently next time.”

Dweck’s research shows that a growth mindset leads to higher achievement, resilience, and success in life.

Why? Because your beliefs shape your actions. If you think you can grow, you’ll put in the effort to make it happen.

Neuroscience also reveals that the brain is highly plastic. It can change and grow throughout life in response to your experiences and thoughts.

Every time you learn something new, your brain forms new connections. The more you challenge yourself and practice a skill, the stronger those connections become.

In other words, you can literally reshape your brain by changing your attitude and habits. That’s a powerful insight.

I put together an infographic on 9 Mindsets of the Most Successful People. Click the image below for a downloadable PDF version.

Making It Work for You

So how can you shift your mindset from fixed to growth? Here are some science-backed strategies:

  • See challenges as opportunities to learn. Instead of shying away from difficult tasks, see them as chances to grow. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”

  • View setbacks as temporary and changeable. Don’t let failure define you. Treat it as feedback you can use to improve. Analyze what went wrong and make a plan to do better next time.

  • Focus on the process, not just the outcome. Praise yourself for effort and progress, not just results. Celebrate small wins along the way to your goals.

  • Replace negative self-talk with empowering beliefs. Notice when you’re being self-critical and reframe your thoughts. For example: “I’m not good at this...yet. With practice, I can figure it out.”

  • Surround yourself with growth-minded people. Attitudes are contagious. Spend time with people who inspire and encourage you to learn and grow.

  • Take on a new challenge every month. Commit to learning a new skill or stretching beyond your comfort zone regularly. This could be anything from taking an online course to training for a race.

Remember, shifting your mindset is a lifelong journey. It takes consistent effort to rewire years of habitual thoughts. But the payoff is profound.

Diving Deeper

Curious to learn more about mindset?

  1. Watch the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi to see relentless commitment to improvement.

  2. View Carol Dweck’s TED talk The Power of Believing That You Can Improve.

  3. Listen to Rob Dial’s The Mindset Mentor podcast for motivation and practical tips.

Connecting the Dots

Life has a way of teaching us the same lessons over and over until we’re ready to learn them.

When you start to view your day-to-day experiences as happening for you instead of to you, every event or interaction becomes a chance to learn and improve.

Until next week, stay brilliant my friend.