Mahatma Gandhi once said “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”
The idea here is simple: you are what you believe you are, which extremely affects the way you create. This is why Mindset is so important, and that’s what we’ll talk about today. Watch this video below:
In today’s post, we’ll talk about the following topics:
- What Is Mindset
- The Two Kinds of Mindsets
- Why Does Mindset Matter?
- Mindset & Writer’s Block
- Mindest & Feedback
- Mindset & Openness
What Is Mindset
Mindset is a collection of beliefs that guides us in how we handle situations. At the same time, it can be what makes you grow, as well as put you in a rut. Most importantly, it’s definitely changeable to how you design it to be!
The cliche “mindset is the key to success” is not a cliche for any reason… it’s simply true. The correct mindset can put you from a defeated to a learner’s state of mind, which can change the way you deal with failure and point you towards success.
The Two Kinds of Mindsets
Carol Dweck, Stanford University and author of the book “Mindset“, discusses in her book the existence of two mindsets: Fixed and Growth Mindset.
The fixed mindset people believe talents as fixed traits. “LeBron James is that good because he was born this way”. That’s the kind of thought someone in the “fixed mindset” would think in a way to justify why LeBron James is so good. It’s a given, and that’s why we he/she can’t be like him.
The growth mindset believes that traits are passive of change. “LeBron James is that good because he worked and works his ass off to stay on top”. Different from a given, it’s something he earned through hard work, which makes it attainable to him if he works as hard as LeBron did.
Why Does Mindset Matter?
Mindset matters because it determines the way you deal with situations.
Fixed mindset people think they will never achieve top class abilities because they weren’t born with that. In other words, they take the pressure off themselves for not working as hard as a top class person.
Knowing that you might never achieve something may make you stressed, anxious or unfaithful/unobjective because why would you even try if you will not make it, right? This is, in fact, one of the key reasons for a low self esteem and depression.
Growth mindset people, on the other hand, think they can achieve top class abilities if they work as hard/intelligently as a top class person. In other words, they put the blame on themselves for not achieving something, but keeping the option open if they work as hard as what they want to achieve.
It turns the “FAIL” to a “NOT YET”, which is an approach that challenges your abilities to grow. This gives your life purpose, which is one of the pillars of self esteem according to the best-seller The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden.
In other words, the right mindset affects not only the way you deal with growth, but also how you deal with difficulties, health, stress, and that’s why you should be aware of that.
Mindset & Writer’s Block
“In a poll of 143 creativity researchers, there was wide agreement about the number one ingredient in creative achievement. And it was exactly the kind of perseverance and resilience produced by growth mindset”, by Carol Dweck. Remember when you said you had “Writer’s Block”? Let’s analyze it.
Writer’s Block is our mind telling us “Stop creating because nothing will come out”. This is your mind giving you a fixed mindset reason for why you’re not being creative. “It’s not that I’m not trying, it’s just that I’m in a rut and I can’t create right now, so I’ll just give it some days until everything comes back”. In the fixed mindset, you just wait for it to and the creativity door will soon reopen.
In the growth mindset, writer’s block doesn’t exist. There are moments when you’re less creative, but that has to do with your inability to keep your creativity sharp, and something that magically blocked your mind.
In this scenario, you fight against and deal with the fact that you’re not making good material, so try again until you make it, and you do this until you get what you want. You believe that no one will make creativity come back until you open your DAW and start writing.
If you want to read more about it, check the posts I made about Writer’s Block and six ways to unstuck your creativity.
Mindest & Feedback
“(…) in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from“. Therefore, you seek feedback that will help you grow and develop. When your friends say “it’s nice”, it’s basically worthless since it’s only an ego booster and not going to help you develop.
In contrast, in the fixed mindset, failure defines all the capabilities you have, and it defines who you are. It’s a problem you have to avoid. Therefore, you avoid getting feedback from people that will say unpleasant things about your art and you’ll seek only the ones who say what you want to hear.
Having a fixed mindset will set you to conform with the norm and only play what you consider safe to avoid failure. This will severely affect your career since if failure causes you pain, you’ll definitely avoid it, but most often that not, that’s what you’ll have to face to grow as an artist.
Mindset & Openness
Remember when we talked about creativity being: past experiences + new experiences + association + action? So far we’ve seen how it affects our actions and now we’ll talk about how your mindset affects the way you deal with new experiences.
“Openness to experience… is the single strongest and most consistent personality trait that predicts creative achievement,” write Kaufman and Gregoire. “For not only artists but innovators of all stripes, novel experiences provide the crucial tissue of real-world material that can be spun into original work.”
Since fixed mind-setters will avoid failure due to its novelty pain, openness to new experiences is severely impacted because it will open the possibility of new failures. In contrast, growth mind-setters will seek new experiences since they see it as opportunities to grow and develop, regardless of failure.
By embracing these experiences, growth mindsets will have a good advantage since they will receive much more novel experience in the brain. With more input, more associations will develop, increasing the chance of a creative spark to happen in their craft. Not that this creative spark won’t happen to fixed mind-setters, but the chance of it happening will be lower since new experiences are limited.
One last thing, if I had to recommend you to spend 20 min researching about mindset, I’d just suggest you to watch the following video:
Have you had any experience where a change of mindset triggered a new song or fixing an issue that you were dealing for months? Share it with me in the comments below: