Have you ever met someone that couldn’t see very well tell you that they are simply “not a see-er”? Or maybe they said “I’m a blinder”. What about “It’s hard for me to see”?
Notice that I said “It’s hard for me to see” not “It’s hard for me to see without my glasses“.
For the most part, I would imagine you’ve never met someone that gave up on the possibility of being to see well because they didn’t have 20/20 vision.
Yet, everyday I hear people fall into fixed mindset mode with phrases like:
- “I’m not a runner”
- “It’s just hard for me to focus”
That, people is fixed mindset. It is a place where we put ourselves where we’ve decided that our abilities were determined at birth and we’re not capable of increasing them. Baby, we were born this way.
If you would rather find reasons not to do things, then by all means, stay where you are, but I think you’re better than that. I think you’re capable of enlisting a growth mindset – in which you are able to dig into the reality of being able to change.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that the heart of the problem lies in this social media highlight reel we’ve unknowingly allowed ourselves to believe is the reality. Fixed mindset creeps in and stays with us when we aren’t able to point it out as obviously as my initial examples.
Here’s one that’s more common: “I could never do that” or “_________ just has that natural talent/better genes/a silver spoon”?
Maybe the thought has never even left your lips, but I’m sure it’s crossed your mind at some point, too, just as it has mine and we need to start getting serious about calling ourselves and others out on this for the benefit of all.
Why does this matter?
Well, let’s start with how insulting it is to diminish someone’s accomplishments down to something that they can’t change. We’re completely disregarding how hard someone worked, trained, and/or saved to make something happen. They made a change that took time and commitment that we are responding to with a snap judgment that probably only took jealousy and maybe a hint of our lack of self confidence.
More importantly, this matters because thoughts like these keep us from growing. They restrict us to a fixed mindset. Under a fixed mindset, it’s only the lucky ones that ever get the chance to move past learning to crawl. I imagine that if you’re reading this then it’s likely you aren’t still getting from place to place via hands and knees.
In summation, try adding “yet” to the end of statements like “I can’t _______” and join me in the fight to encourage others to do the same.