The Mindset Myth
The Mindset Myth
We all run into challenges at some point in our life. And when you did, did you ever hear:
“Just change your mindset!”,
“Ahh, you need an empowered mindset.”
“It’s a positive mindset that you need.”
I don’t believe in mindsets. At least not in the way that pop-culture interprets them.
There’s something far more powerful at play here.
Look for yourself to see what I mean. When you-know-what hits the fan in your business or life, how easy is it to just “change your mindset” about the circumstances?
My bet is that for most of us the answer is a resounding, no. I take it back. That stuff works for like 30 seconds. It reminds me of a fireworks show: amazing, dazzling, a quick burst of motivation, and boom. Back to darkness. It’s gone. Or, when you’re already feeling good, it’s a nice bonus to pat yourself on the back with.
These quotes about “change your mindset, change your life” are everywhere — and they really mean nothing. If knowing those things made any difference, we all would have arrived already. We’ve seen them often enough and clearly that stuff doesn’t work. It’s a myth that those slogans have any impact. Even for the person posting it on Instagram.
Not only do I dislike how most people use mindsets, Dr Carol Dweck — the original growth mindset researcher out of Stanford University, doesn’t either. She also disagrees with how growth mindsets are generally being used; so much so, she came out of retirement to say as much! It seems her work is being misinterpreted. Pumping out this “just change your mind, or change your attitude approach” is generally useless since it’s not that simple to just “snap your fingers” to change your mind. We all know that’s not exactly how the human mind works…
What we need is not a shift in mindset. What we need is to tap into something much deeper and more powerful: A change in our underlying belief system. A belief is a deeply held perspective that’s usually attached to some emotion. They’re integrally tied to how we view the world and what’s possible (or not). What you truly believe deep down will drive what actions you take. And what actions you take… you guessed it, drive your results.
Stepping past the mindset of the moment, look deeply at what beliefs are held inside your department or your team? Are the beliefs within your organization synergistic, or not? How are those beliefs driving your company’s success or failures? How are individual beliefs within the team impacting the whole?
For example, if you believe your boss isn’t correct about a given approach…how will you treat that person? Or, if you believe that a project timeline is absolutely impossible, how hard are you going to work to complete it on time? Regardless of what pop-psychology “mindset” we slap on top of something, our beliefs are at the core of our decisions and actions, guiding us all of the time, in business, and literally in every area of our life.
While I think the vast majority of mindset material is shallow and superficial, some of the deeper research and study from Carol Dweck, and a few others, taps into using mindset connected to perspective and beliefs. When we take time, engage in the hard work and conscious effort of building authentic belief, that’s where the difference gets made.
I’m going to talk more about this in the #NoMatterWhat INSIDER session this coming Wednesday at 7:30pm MT. And here’s something super-special that I don’t normally do because this is one of my favorite topics: Join #NoMatterWhat INSIDER for free for the first 30 days. No obligation thereafter. Fair warning though, you’re probably going to want to stick around.
Next time you encounter something difficult, instead of trying to convince yourself to change your mind about it (I’ve tried it for many years and it hasn’t worked for me yet), ask yourself what fundamental belief(s) you hold that might be at play. Once you identify your core belief(s), then you can do the work to shift those that are negatively impacting your desired outcome over time. More on that in another blog. Don’t get me wrong, I like an inspirational mindset quote as much as the next person.
But, what I like more is results.
What about you?