I’m currently working on a book called Mindset for Authors: How to overcome procrastination, perfectionism, and self-doubt. I’m writing the book because apparently less than 1% of the people who want to write a book actually ever get it done.
I mention this here because this statistic can be put down to several factors including negative beliefs that first-time authors have about their abilities in particular, and their place in the world in general.
I come into contact with people all of the time who know their stuff, and are totally literate and articulate, but there’s something holding them back. In fact I know the feeling well from my own experience.
In fact trying to become an author with a mindset that doesn’t support you is not only an exercise in futility, but it’s also an opportunity for deep healing, because scrutinising what’s underlying your writer’s block will enable you to hone in on negative beliefs that function to keep you stuck not only in relation to writing, but in fact in relation to any area in your life in which you’re struggling to make progress.
What you need to take on board from the get-go is the fact that your ability to accept responsibility for what you achieve in your life is key to moving forward.
I know that some of the people reading this article will feel like that’s a bit of a no-brainer, whilst others will have a lot of trouble accepting it.
That’s the way it is because as Carol Dweck points out in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, there are essentially two overarching paradigms that our lives are played out in, and our ability to come to terms with the question of personal responsibility depends on where we sit on the fixed/growth mindset continuum that Dweck is well known for.
People who mostly operate from a fixed mindset believe they are born with talents in some areas and not others, and that the strengths they are born with lead to a set of capabilities that are more or less the ones they go to the grave with.
You’ll hear people with fixed mindsets say things like “I could never write a book, I’m just no good at writing”, or “I’m terribly scattered, I could never organize my thoughts well enough to write a book”.
Thinking about the difference between fixed and growth mindsets reminds me of something I first heard when I was just a little kid. In fact it was my dad who said to me that “we can’t do anything about the cards life deals us, but we can do something about the cards we choose to play”.
This kind of world-view implies both opportunities to improve, as well as responsibility for taking the steps required to allow improvement to happen, whether that means taking a writing course, signing up for cooking classes, hiring a personal trainer, or going back to university to retrain for a new career that requires specific qualifications.
It’s worth noting how dynamic this matter of mindset actually is.
If you think about it objectively you can probably recognize yourself approaching some areas of your life from a growth mindset and not others, and you can probably also recognise that your approach to a certain area of your life is from a fixed mindset on some occasions, and then from a growth mindset on others.
So I want you to think about which mindset you’re in, in relation to an important part of your life that you’re feeling stuck in right now. And then I want you to ask yourself…….
You can read the FULL version of this article in our quarterly eZine, ‘Holistic Living Magazine,’ look for Edition 9 on this archive page. There’s many more articles about beliefs waiting for you too!
Jane Turner – Woman’s Health Expert