Being a single mum can sometimes be a drag; staying positive and motivated during difficult moments can be difficult. Fortunately, having a growth mindset can help single mums make the best of their situation. It helps them be the best parent they can be and raise resilient and successful children.
That’s why having a growth mindset is so essential. But what is a growth mindset, and how does one acquire it? It is helpful first to understand the differences between a fixed versus a growth mindset before we embark on the journey of cultivating a growth mindset.
Understanding growth mindset and fixed mindset
In her insightful book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck states two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. These mindsets are what we consider our personalities.
A fixed mindset is one where it’s assumed that our character, creative ability, and intelligence are fixed traits that cannot be changed. These people believe their basic skills are what you are born with, and they will only ever have a certain amount.
A person with a fixed mindset will shy away from a challenge, often from fear of failure, as they are embarrassed by making mistakes. As a result, they may go into hiding to avoid responsibilities, blame others or become defensive when criticized. Sound familiar, or is it just me?
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is the belief that abilities and intelligence are and can grow with time and experience. Therefore, those with a growth mindset believe their basic ability is only the starting point for their true potential.
A person with a growth mindset creates a passion for learning rather than seeking a constant need for approval. They see mistakes as learning lessons and are less likely to take criticism personally. Instead, they are open to criticism believing it helps improve their ability to do better next time. As a result, they master challenges and move to more remarkable accomplishments.
Signs It’s Time to Change Your Mindset
We know our mindset produces the thoughts we have. That mindset shapes our thinking, which controls our actions and feelings. If you have a negative fixed mindset, then your thoughts start blaming and thinking the worst. Conversely, when you have positive thoughts or a growth mindset, you create a better environment for yourself and those around you.
This is why all the experts are talking about changing your mindset to manifest what you desire. But how do you know when it’s time to change your perspective? After all, you’ve been thinking the same way for as long as you can remember. Or you’ve had a rough patch, and your attitude has gotten out of whack.
So, if you find that you’re always focused on failure instead of succeeding. You feel angry and disappointed over every failure without celebrating your success. You constantly see yourself as a failure, unconsciously sending negative messages to your mind that you will fail at whatever you try to accomplish.
Or, you have social media envy. You see other people’s unnatural glamorous lifestyles online, making you feel worse about yourself. You lack gratitude for what you have and focus on what is wrong with the world or the inadequacies in yourself and others.
When you obsess about things, you can’t control or change. Then, you complain about what you can’t control. If you’ve been a victim of bad experiences, hurt by someone you love. Or you were traumatized by some event and still hold onto those moments.
Or when you realize that you rarely feel content or see the above thinking reflected in your children. You will know it’s time to change your mindset to feel better about yourself and attract more abundance into your life.
These are sure telling signs it’s time for a mindset change.
Benefits of a growth mindset in single parenting
Abundance mindset, scarcity mindset, fear mindset, fixed mindset, growth mindset, confident mindset and many others are different types of mindsets we have. Each unconscious and conscious belief affects our lives every moment.
According to the research of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have a profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives.
Changing your mindset to a growth mindset can improve your life. You become more creative, more artistic, more intelligent, more successful, more athletic, and more fulfilled.
How does this occur? You aren’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Changing your mindset to one of growth allows you to see the many different paths available to you. It also teaches your kids by example that life is what you make it. This will enable you to move forward as a family.
When you change your mindset, you see plenty of resources. So even though there will be competition, you will see opportunities in every aspect of your life. You become comfortable sharing ideas without feeling threatened or intimidated, which leads to better choices, environments and relationships.
Changing your mindset to one of growth helps you build better relationships with your kids and any future romantic interests. You realize people will always have differences.
You learn that a relationship involves learning about and from each other; you grow together and develop skills to work well together. You won’t waste time judging what others are saying or doing. Instead, you’ll be focusing on making progress in your life.
The change to a growth mindset has you accepting constructive criticism for what it is and using it to grow. You will become more confident because you won’t need validation to reassure you that you’re doing right.
Such change will improve your life. Your skills can be cultivated, learned, practised and grown. You no longer worry about what will happen. Instead, you will commit to doing, finishing and learning along the way.
Strategies for single mums to cultivate a positive mindset
Thus far, you’ve learned that your mindset compels you to take a particular action or prevents you from acting on something. Your mindset influences how you see yourself and those around you. If you have a growth mindset, you are apt to believe you have a set of qualities that can be cultivated and developed through your efforts.
You can identify what kind of thinking suggests you need to take steps to nurture an abundance mindset, but how on earth do you do this? What are the steps to take when you are lost in a fixed way of existing?
As a human race, we find change hard, choosing comfort and status quo, even if it means we are unhappy. The key is then to introduce modifications in small bite-sized increments. Done slowly over time, they accumulate to substantial changes without the much-feared pain or discomfort.
Here are some small ways to transition into a growth mindset;
- Keep a success or a gratitude diary, acknowledging every success each day, no matter how small. Think about what you do have and show gratitude for it. There are trillions of people on this planet, and at least a billion would love your life. Check out the Single Mama Way resource page for beautiful, free, downloadable journals.
- Miguel Ruiz, in his seven-year best-seller book “The four agreements”, says Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” Thus learn not to take anything personally.
- Forgive and let go of the past. This is by far the most challenging thing. However, once you realize forgiveness does not justify the other person’s actions. More letting go of your anger and resentment towards them, it becomes easier. Forgive yourself!
- Identify how you can change and control your own actions and thoughts to make the experience more positive. For example, stop complaining, speak with integrity and avoid gossip.
- Acknowledge that no one is perfect; this means you too. Everyone learns lessons as they go. Your best will differ from day to day. It will be different when you are tired as opposed to well-rested. Under any circumstance, do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
- Be willing to help others without pay or thanks. Kindness is absolutely free; spread it everywhere.
- Embrace challenges. Imagine how dull your existence would be if no challenge ever came your way?! Solving problems exercises your brain and minimizes the chances of getting Alzheimer’s. True fact!
- Reignite the eagerness to learn. Allow yourself to change and develop skills. You are a work in progress.
- Grab your free copy of the SMW 21-day Positive Mindset plan.
- Talk to a counsellor to develop your unique plan. If you already have someone you trust, that is wonderful. If not, book a free “Let’s get to know each other” session, as I feel confident I could guide you through this change.
If you have a fixed mindset and genuinely want to change, you can. It will take practice, determination, being more aware of your thoughts, and anticipating what reactions you’re likely to have to situations. With these efforts, you benefit by having a more open, growth mindset that can lead to success in every area of your life.