Do you feel the desire to be better in certain areas of your life?

You probably answer yes. Most people do. So, you’re not alone when you wish to change a bad habit or unwanted behavior.

In this post, you will understand the importance of mindset when it comes to any change.

“Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

Joshua J. Marine

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What is a Mindset?

A man plays chess

Simply is the way of your thinking.

Your mindset is a collection of your thoughts and beliefs that form your emotions, behaviors, actions, and habits.

It refers to how you sense the world. What you think and believe about yourself, how intelligent or talented you are. It’s like a filter, the way you evaluate the received information from the outside world. And the way how you react to that environment.

What is a Habit?

Cards with affirmations

Habit is, from the perspective of psychology, a regularly repeated behavior, occurs subconsciously. According to The American Journal of Psychology (in 1903), it is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling obtained by the previous repetition of an attitude or experience. 1

Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed, as it is an automatically repeated practice and does not require focus and concentration when it happens. It becomes part of the daily routine.  And these repeated behavioral patterns become imprinted in the neural pathways. That’s why it is hard to break an old habit and form a new one. It requires lots of work and effort.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

Growing plants

With her book –Mindset – Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential 2 Carol Dweck emphasizes the idea of a Fixed vs. Growth mindset.

 

Fixed Mindset

People believe their natural qualities, like intelligence, talent, and personality, are static, fixed, and unchangeable. They believe there is no way to change their fixed character, improve their skills and intelligence, what they were born with; therefore, they avoid new challenges and effort.

People with this rigid, fixed mindset might believe they are just not brave, firm, or intelligent enough; that’s why they say they are not good at music or are not smart enough to go to university or do certain sports.

They are very discouraged by failures because these setbacks ruin their faith in their abilities. They easily become unconcerned and give up.

Consider if you worry that in specific areas you are not good and not smart enough for learning new things, like a language, a skill, or you believe you are not talented to play an instrument, paint, do a sport, you are having a fixed mindset.

With these beliefs, you stop trying out new things and stop pushing your boundaries, so you just stay in your comfort zone. It’s like a cycle, a negative feedback loop. Even if you feel you want more, you desire to be better, but your thoughts and limiting beliefs stop you from taking action.

 

Growth Mindset

People with a growth mindset believe in improving these innate abilities, and intelligence can grow with time.

When people believe in themselves, they can be more focused, concentrated, disciplined, and ready to put in hard work to achieve their potential in their possibility of growing. The boundaries are not obstacles anymore. The setbacks are viewed as an opportunity to learn.

Consider that you can recover from an illness with a growth mindset, start to practice a new sport, or learn to play an instrument. Change your career, job, learn a new language, earn more money with newly developed skills. Improve your relationships.

Over time it leads to a positive feedback loop, where you gain self-confidence and increased effort to achieve your desired goal.

To be clear, it doesn’t mean you can become anything in the whole world, just because you desire it, become talented in everything simultaneously, do all sports at the same time, become a millionaire by tomorrow. We speak about living out your full personal potential. You can improve your skills and intelligence with the invested hard work and repeated effort by the right mindset.

Why is Mindset so Important when we Speak about Habits?

A woman stand on a scale, written your are beautiful

Do you feel the desire to break bad unwanted habits and develop helpful, wanted habits that better serve your life? Like, quit smoking. Stop procrastinating. Stop drinking alcohol. Leave a bad, not functioning relationship. Be on time. Find love. Read books. Eat healthier. Start to exercise. And so on.

The way of your thinking is critical in how you can deal with life’s challenges.

When you face these challenges such as the need to learn a new skill or a language, find a new job, start to exercise for a healthier body, quit bad habits like smoking and overeating, or begin your desired activity:

  • your fixed beliefs hold you back from making the positive change. You are more likely to avoid uncomfortable situations and give up before you even start to act.
  • With a growth mindset, you show more flexibility. You accept the idea that your habits are not static, and with enough desire and knowledge, you can change them. You are more likely to persevere in relapses, cross your comfort zone.

With the right mindset, you can improve your attitude, behavior, actions, and habits. You will feel much more satisfied and meaningful in your life.

So which mindset would you like to nurture throughout your life?

How to Develop the Right Mindset to Bring Good Habits into Your Life?

A lady typing, think positive

1. Self-Awareness

The first step is to acknowledge and observe your attitude and behaviors.

Is there something that is bothering you about your own behavior?

Observe how you react to the daily difficulties.

Once you notice your negative thoughts and unwanted habits and realize that you are responsible for all this, you are ready to work on yourself.

 

2. Imagine Your Desired Goal

Who do you want to become? Who don’t you want to be anymore?

The second step is to imagine your desired goals. Leave your bad habits, and instead, choose positive ones that are serving you.

How would you feel if it has already happened?

 

3. Educate Yourself

Learn about your goal.

The third step is to understand the science, facts, reasons, psychology behind your bad habits, struggles, and the background of the psychology of desired traits.

Ask yourself: “Is this habit serving me? Why is it not good for me? Any health issue or negative social impact or self-esteem-related problems? Why do I insist on having it still?” Analyze it. Dig deep into the reasons.

But notice that no one knowledge, or discovery, or book will do the work alone.

 

4. Commit to Your Goals

You are the key.

It would help if you recognized that you are the one who needs to get the job done and make an effort to changes.

Commitment is a decision that you dedicate time and energy to achieve your desired goal by planning your steps and tasks on the way long.

As a fourth step, promise for yourself that you make it through.

 

5. View Difficulties as Challenges

Are you committed?

Along the way, you will face new problems like cravings for food and alcohol, laziness, tiredness, negative thoughts, or have to make an important decision such as accepting a new position, applying for a new course, enrolling in the gym, handling your relationships.

Change your view to consider difficulties as challenges and as opportunities to grow.

 

6. Set Up Your Environment for Success

What do you see around you?

How you set up your environment hugely helps you in achieving your goals. The cravings will come anyway. Make it easier for yourself. For example, prepare your training clothes the night before, place only healthy snacks in your fridge and cupboard, instead of junk food. Place your book closer to your bed to be at hand. With time you will adapt to the change and becomes the default.

Put your environment on your service.

 

7. Constructive Criticism

Ask your close friends and family members to help you from the outside by pointing your mistakes and weaknesses out that you don’t realize or don’t want to admit.

Think of constructive criticism as a way to learn.

 

8. One Step At A Time

Be patient with yourself.

Do one step at a time. Don’t try to fix every bad habit, unwanted behavior, a negative attitude at the same time. It may lead to failure and disappointment.

 

9. Build a Daily Routine

If you do something once, it will not change anything. But if you practice, it regularly becomes easier and more natural with time, part of your daily and weekly life.

And shortly, you will do it automatically. It becomes part of your routine.

This is the way to adopt a new habit, a wanted behavior.

 

But are you wondering how can you do in practice these steps?
Read our 9 Steps Guide to get more details on how you can develop a growth mindset to bring useful habits into your life.

 

Final Thoughts 

On developing positive habits with the right mindset:

  • put yourself into a growth mindset, become more flexible, ready to change, prepared to go beyond your comfort zone
  • follow the help of our 9 Steps Guide
  • keep yourself motivated by continually keeping in mind the long-term benefits of your desired goals

Cultivating and nurturing a growth mindset could be the single most important thing you ever do to develop positive habits.

 

Sources

(1) American Journal of Psychology (in 1903)

(2) Carol Dweck – Mindset – The New Psychology of Success

Carol Dweck – Mindset – Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential

 

Are there any other aspects of a mindset which is not mentioned? Let us know in the comments below.