Identifying Successful Characteristics – Step 2

Monday we talked about creating an awareness of your mindset and identifying which mindset best describes you.

Part 2 of this series is studying how the brain works in creating mindsets and realizing what to do to change that mindset.

STEP 2: Studying & Strengthening Your Mindset

To create a better understanding of the Fixed Mindset and the Growth Mindset we want to illustrate the differences.

UNDERSTANDING THE BRAIN

The brain is the most complicated organ in the body. In fact, we still aren’t even close to fully understanding it’s anatomy and physiology. While there is much to discover about this amazingly complex organ we can study what we do know. In order to change our mindset we must first understand how the brain works within a mindset and train it to function differently to control what mindset we prefer to become dominant with. (Hopefully we have all chosen to be a growth mindset)

No matter how hard we try we will always display amounts of both mindsets. This is how our brain achieves balance. (Necessary in our physical world)

When we train our muscles we are also training our brain. Similarly, we can train our brain like we train our muscles. When we lift weights or stretch our muscles we increase our strength and conditioning. Likewise, when we expand our thinking and analyze situations from different perspectives we also train our brain. When we “think outside the box” that is like stretching your brain. It acts just like a muscle. If you train it, it will grow!

By thinking and acting in certain ways we can train our brain. By training this way it triggers different growth mechanisms. The trick here is that we need to know which part of our brain to grow.

The amygdala is the part of the brain that drives our FIXED MINDSET.

Our brain’s amygdala causes us to function as follows:

-Avoid risks
-Play it safe
-Shy away from change
-Fit in

Do these sound familiar?

This is similar to the characteristics of a Fixed Mindset we discussed in Part 1. Avoiding challenges, not changing to improve skills, projecting and becoming defensive, not exerting too much effort. (because that would make you stand out)

This is the part of our brain that makes us so “narrow minded”.

On the other hand, we also have a Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) and this is the part of your brain that drives the GROWTH MINDSET.

Our brain’s PFC causes us to function as follows:

-Perseverance
-Impulse Control
-Critical Thinking
-Self-Monitoring
-Problem Solving
-Forward Thinking
-Learning from Past Experiences

Does this sound familiar?

It’s the entire basis for the characteristics of the Growth Mindset.

If we learn to “exercise” this portion of our brain we can help ourselves become more open minded.

PREDATOR VS PREY

I want to “paint a picture” for you. We are going to illustrate these two mindsets.

The predator vs. prey relationship is a great illustration. It accurately portrays the mindsets and characteristics of a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset.

PREDATOR

Predators are clever, creative, strong, skilled, persistent, problem solvers, and quick learners.

PREY

Prey are defensive, risk avoiding, change avoiding, blend into your surroundings and very predictable.
PRO SHOT CHALLENGES YOU to exercise your PFC! Train your brain to grow and learn. Be creative and step outside your comfort zone to force yourself to take on a growth mindset. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the brain can grow and change!