A growth mindset reduces stress, depression and anxiety. It helps you find happiness, fulfillment and purpose.
But most people were taught what to think and not how to think. So they have fixed mindsets. And are stuck in beliefs that limit them.
Luckily, once you are aware of your fixed mindset and have desire to change it, you can build a growth mindset.
In this article you’ll learn the primary, societally accepted limiting belief that blocks you from changing your mindset and how to overcome it to live a happier and more fulfilled life so you can build the coveted growth mindset.
I think, therefore I am
Not just a Billie Eilish song, “I think, therefore I am” is a societally accepted limiting belief that originated with philosopher René Descartes in the 1600s. Descartes believed everything existed and originated in the mind—you are your thoughts.
In the 1600s Descartes philosophies were widely accepted while also opposed by other philosophers. And since we are constantly expanding our knowledge of the human mind, Descartes theories have been disproven.
In the early 1900s, a philosopher named Sartre suggested that in order for us to know we are thinking we need to be aware of the thoughts first. This is now the currently accepted belief towards thoughts.
However, since most people have a fixed mindset they are still living in the 1600s and thinking they are their thoughts. This is a limiting belief that still negatively affects a lot of society today. It looks like people avoiding their thoughts, allowing their thoughts to control them and becoming depressed and anxious.
Would you rather shock yourself than sit with your thoughts?
If you answered “yes,” you are not alone. Studies have shown that most participants would rather electrically shock themselves than sit alone with their thoughts. (More on that here.)
But a lot of us didn’t need a study to realize this. It is evident in all the scrolling, drinking, fucking, t.v. watching, etc. that people would do almost anything to escape their thoughts. And the primary reason sitting with thoughts is unbearable is because people think they are their thoughts.
So if they have an intrusive, unwanted, or downright fucked up/weird thought (we all have them) they feel powerless and like they have to follow the thought. They identify with the thought and understandably want to escape it.
If you are going to thrive you need to change that. You need to realize you can control your thoughts. And the best way to begin is by acknowledging that you are not your thoughts, you are the awareness of them.
I think therefore I am awareness
By expanding “I think therefore I am” you take back your power and control. Acknowledging you are the awareness of your thoughts allows you to explore your thoughts with curiosity instead of being weighted down or feeling stuck by them.
Work on being aware of your thoughts and reminding yourself that you are the awareness of your thoughts. Approach your thoughts with curiosity as they come and go.
If you have an intrusive or downright fucked up thought, instead of thinking there is something wrong with you or that you’ll never be able to escape it, you can question “wow, that was fucked up, where did that thought come from?” Or you can decide “that thought is unproductive, I’m going to let that pass and focus on something else.”
Related: Allow Your Thoughts to Float Like Leaves — How to Practice Mindfulness & Meditation
I am building a growth mindset
Building a growth mindset doesn’t happen overnight. But just like learning a new app, the more you use it the easier it becomes. So start with reminding yourself that you are the awareness of your thoughts. And once that becomes an automatic belief, wok on prioritizing the thoughts that most benefit you.
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