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Mind Control - Who Holds the Key - You or Outside Forces?

Who controls your mind? most of us think that we do, but have you ever considered how many outside influences you expose your mind to on a daily basis? Let's take a look at that:

1.      social media

2.      mainstream news

3.      other people's opinions

4.      family

5.      work colleagues

6.      books

7.      TV shows

to name a few. If you think these things don't have any influence over your mindset then you're probably mistaken. We have been conditioned initially by our parents and later by our societies to think and act in certain ways.


This is why artists often get into trouble because they go off the rails. They don't want to necessarily follow the herd. The majority of artists have what Carol Dweck would term as a growth mindset. What is that?

A growth mindset, is a concept popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck in her groundbreaking book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," and is a powerful approach to learning and personal development. It is based on the belief that one's abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication, hard work, and a love for learning.

This mindset stands in contrast to a fixed mindset, where individuals believe their talents and intelligence are static traits that cannot be significantly changed. Therefore they are doomed to do what they have always done, repeating the same mistakes over and over.

One of the key aspects of a growth mindset is the embrace of challenges. People with a growth mindset view obstacles as opportunities to improve and learn, rather than as insurmountable barriers. They are not discouraged by failure; instead, they see it as a necessary step in the learning process. This resilience in the face of difficulty is what sets them apart and enables them to achieve their goals.

Artists who have a fixed mindset may find it difficult to accept criticism and make changes to their work. They become too attached to the results and have an aversion to making mistakes. The problem here is that the whole business of art is founded on the making of mistakes and moving forward and learning from that, which is a constant process. Because of this, you can see how important a growth mindset is to a person who wants to foster creativity.

We see the evidence of a fixed mindset for example, in people who keep getting involved in the same kind of relationships with abusive partners. They have come to expect that what they know is all there is and even though it's unpleasant they don't want to step outside those boundaries. It is very difficult to create change when you have a fixed mindset.

The other aspect of the growth mindset which is important for creatives, is letting go of perfectionism. People who are perfectionists are stuck in a fixed mindset and haven't realized that actually, there's no such thing as perfection and it's unachievable. This is probably one of the more common struggles I have with students, letting go of perfectionism.

Another important element is the value placed on effort. In a growth mindset, effort is seen as the path to mastery. Individuals understand that growth and development require time and persistence. They are more likely to persevere in their endeavors, even when progress is slow because they believe that their efforts will eventually lead to improvement.

Feedback plays a crucial role in fostering a growth mindset. Instead of taking criticism personally, individuals with a growth mindset, view it as constructive feedback that can help them grow. They are open to learning from their mistakes and actively seek out opportunities for feedback to enhance their skills and knowledge.

To cultivate a growth mindset, individuals can start by becoming aware of their own mindset and actively challenging any fixed mindset beliefs. This involves reframing thoughts that limit potential, such as "I'm just not good at this" to "I can improve with practice and effort" or "I can't do this it is hard" to" I can give this a go, it doesn't need to be perfect as I'm only learning". It's also important to celebrate the process of learning, rather than just the end result. Recognizing and valuing the effort and progress made along the way can reinforce a growth mindset.

In contrast, a fixed mindset can be limiting and discouraging. People with a fixed mindset often avoid challenges, give up easily, and feel threatened by the success of others. They may believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, leading to a reluctance to try new things or persist in the face of difficulty.

Adopting a growth mindset can be transformative. It encourages a love for learning, resilience, and a positive attitude towards challenges. By embracing the principles of a growth mindset, you can unlock your potential and achieve greater personal and professional success.

Mindset - Carol Dweck

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