We all have things that we wish were different in our lives. Maybe you hate that your house is unbelievably messy all of the time. Maybe you can’t stand going to your 9-5 job every day.
Perhaps you have a toxic friend in your life that always makes you feel inferior. Whatever that thing is for you, wishing that things will change is not going to result in change.
When we simply wish for change, we choose to remain where we are. We choose not to change our circumstances. Let’s look at this from the point of view of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset.
Fixed Mindset Versus Growth Mindset
A fixed mindset is believing you don’t have the power to change your life. You believe that everything is the way it is, and if your situation is going to improve, it will be some outside force creating the change. A fixed mindset is not a good mindset to have for several reasons:
1. You Give Up When Things Get Hard
Believe it or not, creating change in your life is hard work. You can’t simply say you want something to change and have it fixed for you the next day.
When you have a fixed mindset, you don’t believe you can improve your skills, talents, or knowledge. That makes you likely to avoid any challenge that comes your way.
When you want to make a change in your life, you are going to meet challenges. You need to be able to approach those challenges with confidence.
2. You Don’t Accept Feedback
If you don’t think growth is possible, you won’t listen to or accept feedback from other people. Feedback often includes things that you could have done better. It requires that you improve upon your skills to meet standards.
3. You Don’t Believe You Have the Power to Change Your Life
Making a plan to create change in your life requires that you believe in your ability to make that change. If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t create a plan for change because you don’t believe it is actually possible.
A growth mindset is essentially the opposite of a fixed mindset. It means that you constantly look for ways to improve your life and actively pursue positive change. You should work toward having a growth mindset for numerous reasons:
1. Failure Becomes an Opportunity for Growth
No one enjoys failing; however, those who have a growth mindset view failure as an opportunity to grow and improve themselves. When something goes wrong, they analyze why it went wrong and find a way to improve the outcome next time.
2. You will Be More Aware of your Possibilities
If you believe that you are capable of growing and changing, you will more easily see the possible opportunities you have right in front of you. The world is filled with different places, people, jobs, homes, items, hobbies, etc.
If you are not happy with your current situation, there is always another opportunity out there. You just need to seek it out.
3. You will Be Willing to Work Towards Change
Believing that things could be better makes you more likely to work towards changing what you dislike about your life. Instead of staying put, you keep moving and looking for ways to make your life the best that it can be. For more information about fixed versus growth mindsets, check out these articles from Positive Psychology and Develop Good Habits.
How to Begin Making Changes in Your Life
Think about the words in the title of this article. “Whatever you’re not changing, you’re choosing.”
If we want to stop choosing to remain in our current situation, we need to work toward creating actionable change. We can do that by having a growth mindset.
So how do you go about making changes in your life? I’m glad you asked!
1. Identify What Needs to Be Changed
This seems fairly obvious, but it is important to know what you want to change. You have to visualize what that change is going to look like.
A great way to do this is to write down your ideal life. After you do that, identify the areas that don’t match your life right now.
2. Create an Action Plan
Once you know what you want to change, you need to create an action plan for how you are going to create that change. Outline a few steps you’re going to take to reach each goal. Be sure to create a realistic timeline for you to accomplish each step.
3. Stop Thinking Your Situation Will Magically Improve
I’m sorry to break it to you, but there’s no genie or fairy godmother that’s going to magically give you the new life you’ve wished for. You need to stop waiting for someone or something to come along and give you the life of your dreams.
The life you want requires you to put in work. Stop waiting and start working towards your dreams.
4. Be Willing to Stand Out
If you really want to change, you might need to travel down the road less traveled. This could mean leaving that job you can’t stand anymore or cutting that toxic friend out of your life for good.
No matter what the change is, other people might see what you’re doing and not agree with it. You need to remember that it is okay to be different. Few people ever get anywhere by only following the status quo.
5. Be Willing to Fail
You are going to make mistakes on the way to changing your life. But mistakes are necessary for growth. Mistakes are proof that you are trying.
Take those failures or missteps and learn how to use them to better yourself. You’ll be thankful for that mistake down the road.
Final thoughts on changing
Change takes hard work and determination. When you aren’t working towards creating change, you are choosing to stay in your current situation.
I challenge you to have a growth mindset. Start working towards changing your life today and see the potential of how bright your future can be.