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Growth vs. Fixed: how your mindset shapes your behaviors

I recently came across a few articles about mindset and how it affects your behaviors. Turns out, a great professor, social psychologist and author by the name of Dr. Carol Dweck presented a few interesting ideas about mindset in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Much of what she talks about focuses on business, but I think that it’s an excellent resource for those looking to make some financial changes as well.

Fixed vs. Growth

According to Dweck, there are two types of mindsets: a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. People with growth mindsets believe there is no limit to what you can do; with hard work, you can truly do whatever it is you set your mind to accomplishment.

Those with fixed mindsets, on the other hand, believe that you are given a certain (or “fixed”) amount of intelligence, skills and competencies. They think that putting effort into things that you aren’t good at is a waste of time. You should only focus on tasks that you’ll excel at and make you shine.

I talk a lot about changing your behaviors and tapping into your heart’s desires to take control of your finances and fulfill your destiny. But I think that considering the kind of mindset you have will help you understand why you have certain behaviors. And it’ll also help you ignore those crabs in your bucket.

Overcoming the fixed mindset

You’ve seen what crabs in a bucket do to each other when one gets to the top; after all the work to climb out of that bucket, the others pull that lone soldier back down to the bottom. This is a great example of the growth mindset verses the fixed mindset.

You are trying to make major financial changes in your life by taking small steps each day. You know that the cumulative effect – as well as the small successes you’ll achieve each day – means that if you can do this, you can do most things you put your mind to. Since you’ve figured out your blueprint for success, you’ve entered the growth mindset.

But those crabs in your bucket – your fixed mindset friends – may not see it that way. They’ll look at how long it’s taking you to reach your goal. They’ll question why even bother if you can’t have instant gratification. After all, why put effort into something you’re not good at when you can do something you are good at without much work?

Focusing on your growth

When you encounter people with a fixed mindset while you’re moving with your growth, it can be discouraging. Being new to this way of thinking, you may still have a little bit of the fixed mindset giving you negative feedback. When you’ve become used to second-guessing yourself, making a total mindset shift doesn’t mean that it’s just going to go away and you’re miraculously cured.

The thing to do here is to focus on your goal, and that goal is your growth. The crabs in your bucket aren’t growing. When they see that you are growing, their natural instinct is to stunt your progress. Just know that as they try to force you to remain fixed, you must focus on continuing to grow. The minute you start listening to those crabs of doubts, they pull you down and become your reality.

Tags: mindset, fixed mindset, growth mindset, fixed vs. growth mindset, mindset and personal finance, mindset and behaviors, personal finance and psychology, Julie Murphy Casserly, Chicago personal finance

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