Life Changes and the Power of our own Doubts

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Change is one of those things that doesn’t come easy to most. It can throw people us off, leaving us in a world of unknowns away from where we felt comfortable. These situations can sometimes spiral people into self-doubt.

This is quite a normal reaction. Our brains are forced to be more on-guard, as it is programmed to notice patterns and use them to make our daily lives easier. Change requires you to learn new skills and navigate different environments. Success comes out of hard work and learning from mistakes. Successful people must make the most of the time they have, not wait around for it to fall into their hands. They’ve had to push through many failures to achieve. Throwing everything away at the sight of a failure will eventually breed a whole string behind because you didn’t choose to stick it out in adversity. Expecting things to come easy is the root of the problem. It will cause more stress because you are putting an expectation on yourself to perform perfectly at all times.

Staying in your own bubble feels safe but will cause stagnancy. We are left reliving the same old thing over and over. Putting up walls can be a sanctuary from pain, but one day you must pack up to get closer to what you really want out of life. Hiding away is letting failure consume you, rather than as a boost to the next step.

Psychologists have discussed the concept of a ‘growth mindset’ and a ‘fixed mindset’. A fixed mindset is one that avoids challenges due to fear of failure, dislikes constructive criticism, and can feel threatened by others. A growth mindset is one that will embrace change, will take criticism to help them learn, and know that challenge is the pathway to success. One psychologist, Carol Dweck, has researched the concept for years. She has written a book on the topic. ‘Mindset: A New Psychology for Success’, documenting her decades of research to help inspire other people. She started by studying children in a classroom, giving them puzzles to work out. Once they had finished a puzzle, they were offered to either try a new puzzle or do the same one. It was found that children that had been encouraged to build on their intelligence were more likely to keep pushing themselves further and try something new. Children with a fixed mindset would usually go for the puzzle they had just finished because they already knew what they were doing.

A fixed mindset is something everyone can develop. If we are told that we are that person that just ‘can’t get it’, and we take that to heart, we lose that motivation to bother trying. The growth mindset can be used by focusing on making constant improvements. That failure doesn’t mean we’re just stuck or that we aren’t good enough. All of us have strengths and weaknesses. The great thing is that weaknesses can be overcome with perseverance. The tools are there within, we just need to find out how to use them for ourselves.

Sources

Cohen, E. (2011). The Fear of Losing Control. https://www.psychologytoday.com/nz/blog/what-would-aristotle-do/201105/the-fear-losing-control

Popova, Maria (2014). Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives. https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/01/29/carol-dweck-mindset/

Patel, S. (2016). Why Feeling Uncomfortable Is the Key to Success. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sujanpatel/2016/03/09/why-feeling-uncomfortable-is-the-key-to-success/#15f720071913

Robinson, J. (2011). Why Comfort Is Actually Bad for You. Huffington Post. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/comfort-hazardous-to-health_b_957788

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Alsie Gray

Alsie Gray

23 year old from New Zealand. I write about Life, Society, Mental Wellbeing and Autism. Hoping to inspire and make people think.