The power of mindset: A double-edged sword

Mindset is the most powerful of forces, but the power of mindset can be used against the most vulnerable amongst us. This is a short blog about the power of mindset, how to recognise when it’s being manipulated, and what to do about it.

1. The power of mindset

Mindset works.

Mindset propels behaviour.

Fixed mindset looks at the past and what got us here.

Fixed mindset produces fixed behaviour.

Progress mindset* looks at where we are and to the future and what we might do next.

Progress mindset produces progressive behaviour.

So moving from fixed mindset to progress mindset has a compounding transformation effect on everything in life.

2. Appeals to mindset can prey on the most vulnerable

I think we’ve all seen it.

The toolkit of techniques used by the snake-oil people and the stage speakers who urge you to get to the back of the room and the ubiquitous YouTube pre-roll ads on a theme of “If you give me just 60 seconds of your time I can show you how to make six figures in passive income this year…”

Mindset is their vehicle.

What is unsaid, but felt by everyone, is this:

“If you’re to become the type of person you want to become, you would take this action now.”

Beware the snake-oil salesmen.

Listen to your heart and learn the difference between fear and intuition.

Fear is your 100,000-year-old brain trying to protect you from the bear you see in the distance that might rip you limb from limb, but which might also be a funny-shaped rock.

Intuition is the intelligence you’ve gathered from all your ancestors and everyone you’ve met or listened to since the day you were born.

* I’ve seen growth mindset as the opposite of fixed mindset, but I’m not sure I’m filly comfortable with it. Growth for growth’s sake is not a good thing. So I prefer progress…

Of course, I’m fully aware there’s a chance that my attitude to growth mindset is itself evidence of fixed mindset.