Does mindset matter? Yes it does. Mindset acts as an internal template for making sense of problems and responding to them. Whatever the changes you are trying to make, taking time to get into the right mindset each day can make a real difference to results.

So how do you work out what mindset you have? Below are two distinct mindsets you need to know about.

1. Fixed mindset.

Having a fixed mindset is the perception that your abilities or personality is fixed and unchangeable. The idea that everyone is born with their abilities and personality set in stone.

2. Growth Mindset.

A growth mindset is the perception that abilities can be improved and developed with time and effort, no matter your starting point.

Why it Matters

Research shows that having a fixed mindset is associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety. It makes you vulnerable to mental health problems and the use of poor coping strategies. It makes you withdraw and avoid challenges. For example, if you don’t believe you can ever become less shy and more socially skilled, you are less likely to work on changing it. You are also more likely to feel stressed and out of control when faced with social situations.

In a growth mindset people tend to feel less helpless after failures or setbacks. Rather than see problems as a sign of a fixed inability, you are more likely to see those problems as a chance to improve. This paves the way for persistence and grit in the face of big challenges.

We know from the research that holding a growth mindset is an advantage when it comes to learning skills. Given that mental health recovery, self-improvement and therapy all involve learning new skills, ensuring you face it with a growth mindset means you hit the ground running.

So check in with yourself each day and monitor those fixed mindset triggers. Look out for the fixed mindset voice that says, “you can’t do this” or “don’t try, they will all think you are stupid”, or “I’m terrible at…”

Keeping tabs on these every day is key. If you don’t notice them, they will influence your behaviour without you realising.

Once you become more aware of your mindset, how do you get yourself into a growth mindset? Check out my next post, called ‘How to Change Your Mindset’ for some help on this.