How to Transform A Fixed Mindset

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Dealing with a Challenging Situation?

Here are five simple but powerful questions to ask yourself that will help set you free.

After investing 40 years in studying, applying and mentoring tens of thousands of others in transformational principles, a question I’ve often received from some of the people I work with is this:

“Mary, I’m dealing with a challenge in my life right now, and I just can’t seem to break free and move forward! What should I do?”

Napoleon Hill once said,

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

This piece of wisdom from Napoleon Hill is entirely true!

Every challenging situation you or I may ever face truly does have a silver lining attached to it, even if we can’t see it right away.

fixed mindset napoleon hill quote

The secret to seeing the benefit within every struggle is to shift our mindset about the challenge we perceive that we are facing.

When we feel stuck or challenged, it can be so easy to adopt a fixed mindset – one of fear, worry, doubt, anger or resignation.

This is perfectly natural, but in truth, moving away from a fixed mindset is the key to getting unstuck, moving forward and unlocking new and better opportunities for ourselves and our lives!

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5 Ways To Conquer a Fixed Mindset

Here are five simple but highly powerful questions you can ask yourself when you feel like you’re stuck in a challenging situation, and you can’t see how to get out of it, or what the silver lining could possibly be.

1. What is it exactly about this challenging situation that is not working for me?

Whenever I speak in front of an audience, whether it’s 50 or 5,000 people, I always ask,

“How many of you in here have challenges in your life right now?”

Without fail, almost every single hand shoots up!

We all have challenges in our lives because that’s just the nature of the human experience.

So think of the challenges you may be facing right now. If there are several, as there are for most of us, choose one.

Next, notice how you feel about this challenge. You may feel irritated, aggravated or even downright unhappy or angry about this challenge.

To begin separating the emotion from what’s actually occuring, ask yourself,

“What is it exactly about this situation that is just not working for me?”

By means of asking yourself this question, you can begin to gain clarity on the problem at hand.

2. What have I been thinking about this challenge?

Einstein knew that problem solving relied on a shift in thinking, and you always have the power to shift your thinking. But in order to do this, you first have to become clear on what you’re thinking about your challenge.

fixed mindset challenge

Begin to contemplate the kind of thoughts you’ve been thinking about the challenge you’re facing. I invite you to write these thoughts down, without judgement.

Regarding your challenge, you may be thinking to yourself,

  • “What did I do to deserve this?”
  • “This isn’t fair”
  • “How long is this going to last?”

These are a few examples of many of the limited thoughts we often have surrounding our challenges.

Whatever you’re thinking, it’s okay! Just notice the thoughts and write them down.

3. What have I been feeling about this challenge

This step is actually different from the last one, even though it can be easy to confuse thoughts and feelings. And it’s important to be clear on both what you’re thinking and feeling when you want to overcome a fixed mindset and get past a challenge.

Often we use the word “feel” when we really mean “think.”

We say, “I feel like this is unfair,” or “I feel like this shouldn’t have happened.”

But these sentiments are actually thoughts, not feelings.

In fact, if you can change the words “I feel” to “I think” in a sentence and the sentence still makes sense, you’re having a thought and not a feeling.

So go ahead and write down everything you’re feeling about your challenge. And again, remember not to judge any of your feelings, because there’s no right or wrong way to feel.

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4. What possible good could come from this situation?

While it’s true that every challenge has within it the seed of equal or greater benefit, like any seed, it has to be found, planted, nurtured, grown before it can be harvested to move you forward in life.

fixed mindset lesson

The key to seeing the possible good in the challenge you’re facing is to be stay open and curious – this is how opportunities present themselves to you!

Ask yourself,

“What possible gift could there be for me inside of this challenge?”

Then, stay open to and write down the answers that come to you.

5. What can I do to bring this gift alive?

This step is the most exciting of all because it involves actually embracing and benefiting from the seed of equal or greater benefit that’s within your challenge!

Once you have identified at least one good thing that could come from the challenge you’re facing (and there may be many!), make a short list of action steps for how to putting that learning or growth opportunity into action.

However big or small the steps, make sure they are ones that you can actually move forward with!

From a Fixed Mindset to Freedom

Ask yourself these five questions, and you’ll be well on your way to transforming your challenge into an opportunity for greater growth!

Each question I’ve shared with you above is simple, but when asked of yourself in the proper order, you’ll already have begun moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

Life is always going to have its ups and downs, and challenges are always going to present themselves.

But moving forward, you’ll know how to have a challenge without it having you!

To build on these strategies, I highly encourage you to register for my free online masterclass

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Categories: Mindset

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