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Our mindset comes from everything that has happened to us, all our experiences, everything that someone said to us and all the messages we have been exposed to – it’s a mind-blowing amount of data. It’s not just everything we have absorbed, it’s also the way we stored it. Did we store it with happy feelings, sadness, fear, excitement, jealously, gratitude or one of the other feelings that we are open to?

And it’s not just about our mindset, the mindset of others affects us more that you might think. Those around us, influence our mindsets, with theirs. That influence might be positive or negative, you really have to start by understanding your mindset, and then theirs.

Sounds like a lot of work but it’s worth it. Our mindset rules our lives every day, if you are struggling to achieve something that you want, or you look around you and wonder why other people have a life that seems to be different to yours, and you wonder why, changing your mindset will make a difference and can provide some answers. Let’s start by determining our own mindset.

The most generalised groups are that mindsets are positive or negative and growth and fixed. The benefits of having a positive mindset has been well documented, not just in terms of getting better outcomes in life but for better health and wellbeing in general. Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean you just ignore the negative stuff that happens, it means you can see the positive in the negative.

“Everything you tell yourself becomes a fact, whether it’s true or not” – be positive, take up every opportunity you can, and if it feels like there aren’t any, create your own!

Nina Dar

In many cases that’s a simple switch. Let’s looks at some of the negative ques that enter our headspace on a regular basis and ow easy that switch can be:

  • Filtering – you literally ignore all the good stuff and just focus on the negative things that have happened in that day. Easy switch, pick out the positive and make sure they are the last things you think about every day
  • Personalising - when something negative happens you put yourself in the centre of the reason why. Switch by looking at what everyone around you is doing. Other people’s mindsets do affect us, balance the personalisation with a little analysis
  • Catastrophising – one small thing happens, and that’s it, the rest of the day is going to be awful. When things do go wrong, see the funny side, humour is a brilliant friend when you just need to release some stress and see the rest of the day in a different light
  • Blaming – it’s always someone else’s fault, even though you may personalise things and put yourself in the centre of why something negative has happened, it won’t be your fault in the end. Blaming is a short-term win, that usually makes you feel worse later. Understanding what has happened without the blame, will make you feel better
  • Magnifying - tiny things become a big problem very quickly. Having perspective is something we can practise. Limiting the drama in our lives keeps our blood pressure down
  • Perfectionism - setting impossible standards and expectations that you have to be more perfect, that you can’t possibly met them all without failing. Aiming high is great and very positive but adding some pragmatism make all the difference. The fun is in continuous learning, not just the fast dash to a perfect end that is always moving anyway
  • Polarising – everything is either good or bad. There is no middle ground. When we are in our sane minds, we know that nothing is ever totally good or totally bad (ok, there are some notable moments in history that have been totally bad), most of us are always in the middle ground. The need for drama, or more impactful storytelling, especially on social media, may push us to this polarised position, it’s another short-term moment of fun, avoid it if you can.
Expand image It can be daunting to go in a different direction but also exciting
It can be daunting to go in a different direction but also exciting

Growth and fixed mindsets are more to do with your beliefs, this can make it harder to change, as our beliefs can be more ingrained. Do you believe that your intelligence and talents can grow over time, or that they are fixed, and you have what you have and nothing is going to change that, no matter what you do?

Let’s take this quiz from Very Well Mind (

What Is My Mindset? Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

To find out, start by reading the following statements and decide which ones you agree with most:

  1. You're born with a certain amount of intelligence, and it isn't something that can be changed.
  2. No matter who you are, there isn't much you can do to improve your basic abilities and personality.
  3. People are capable of changing who they are.
  4. You can learn new things and improve your intelligence.
  5. People either have particular talents, or they don't. You can't just acquire talent for things like music, writing, art, or athletics.
  6. Studying, working hard, and practicing new skills are all ways to develop new talents and abilities.

If you tend to agree most with statements 1, 2, and 5, then you probably have a more fixed mindset. If you agree most with statements 3, and 4, 6, however, then you probably tend to have a growth mindset.

Growth or fixed, we tend to bounce around depending on what we are considering. You can feel that you are predominantly a positive person with a growth mindset, and still find yourself thinking “I can’t do that”. Having people around you that will give you some positive support when you need it is invaluable. If those around you don’t give you that support, just take a minute to understand what mindset that have, are whether they are influencing you in the way you need it.

Nina changes the tough stuff necessary to keep leaders’ visions and strategies alive and prosperous, planet and people engaged, healthy, smiling and having fun. Coach, Consultant & Trainer. Contact her when you are ready to make your contribution to changing the world at the first session is free.


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