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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Focus on Mindset to Increase Personal Power

Jul 29, 2022 09:31AM ● By Cristina Boyle
What we believe about ourselves can impact our success or failure, and mindset, a set of beliefs that shape how we make sense of the world and ourself, plays a significant role in determining achievement and success. It can influence how we think, feel and behave in any given situation.


Primary research in mindset was conducted by Dr. Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton professor of psychology at Stanford University and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, who purports there are two basic mindsets: fixed and growth. With a fixed mindset, we believe our abilities are fixed traits, and therefore can't be changed. With a growth mindset, we believe that our talents and abilities can be developed over time through effort and persistence.


Dweck’s research indicates that how we praise children can be a factor in how their mindset develops to be either fixed or growth—they behave differently, depending on the type of praise they receive. She believes praising intelligence can lead children toward a fixed mindset where they won’t respond well to challenges because they want to avoid making mistakes or looking stupid. She advises, "If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning. That way, their children don't have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence."


For adults as well, mindset plays a critical role in how we cope with life's challenges. Instead of throwing in the towel, adults with a growth mindset can view it as an opportunity to learn and grow. On the other hand, those with fixed mindsets may be more likely to give up in the face of challenging circumstances. They are constantly seeking validation to prove their worth, not just from others, but also from themselves.


Three ways to change our mindset include learning to meditate; making personal development a priority; and retraining the brain by noticing three positive changes per day.


Cristina Boyle is the owner of Happie Soul Wellness, located at 5000 Lenker St., Ste. 103, in Mechanicsburg, offering emotional support and self-awareness tools for personal growth. For more information, call 717-254-7250 or visit