What they are, and why it matters if you want to succeed in any capacity in life
In life, there are two types of people: those who believe they can achieve something, or those who have excuses why they cannot.
Do you know which one you are?
Now, before we get to why it’s so important to know where you stand, let’s first get clear on what these terms mean.
A victim mindset (or fixed mindset) is someone who for the most part, believes they are held back from reaching goals due to external circumstances beyond their control. In general, a person feels like a victim whenever they feel disempowered, out of control, and unable to change their circumstances.
A growth mindset on the other hand, as coined by Carol Dweck, is more oriented towards possibility. Instead of saying, “I can’t do xyz…”, they instead look for what they CAN do, and what they do have control over. It’s also important to note that having a growth mindset has been found to be a critical factor in entrepreneurial success.
Why it matters to know where you stand:
So why is it so important to know whether you have a victim or growth mindset?
To illustrate, let’s say you are in a new city.
You want to find the nearest fast food joint because your kids are hungry, tired, and have to use the bathroom.
So what do you do?
You will most likely go into Google Maps, and type in “fast food near me.”
But in order for the maps feature to work properly, you have to have a starting destination.
The same goes for any achievement you want in life.
It is nearly impossible to change your situation without being aware of where you currently are in any given moment. Whether it’s something as simple as saying you want to have more money in your bank account to pay bills, or as big as saying you want to become an entrepreneur and run a multi-million dollar business.
Any achievement you want in life will be extremely difficult without first having an awareness of where your mindset tends to go when you encounter difficulties, roadblocks, or challenges.
Before going any further, I want to stress one thing: It’s important to note that it is unlikely that someone would be in either category 100% of the time. Part of what it means to be human is to learn how to walk the line and navigate between the two states of being. Some may have a stronger leaning towards one direction or another, but here’s the biggest takeaway here:
You cannot control what happens TO you, but you always have a choice in how you respond.
This is what it will always come down to. The first step to getting out of victim mode is to recognize, you are a free will being. While you may not be able to control your circumstances outright, you do always have SOMETHING you can control. And 100% of the time, that thing you have control over, is yourself.
You can control your reactions, your perceptions, and your choices in what to do about the situation you may find yourself in.
This dichotomy is known as the locus of control in the psychology world. Here’s a graphic to illustrate:
The outcome or result you experience will reflect the decision you made – whether it be from a perspective of an internal locus of control (growth mindset), or an external locus of control (victim mindset).
As this graphic illustrates, the way to begin to shift from a victim mindset to a growth mindset is with self-talk. Some find it difficult to know exactly what to say, but the specific words don’t matter so much. What does matter, is the way your self-talk makes you feel when you say the words. If you feel defeated or like giving up, then it’s a good chance your self-talk is hurting you more than helping.
On the other hand, if you begin to feel empowered in your self-talk, that’s a good indicator that you are on the right track.
If you want to learn more about how to quickly shift your perspective from a victim to a growth mindset, then I invite you to download my free PDF, 7 Little-Known Secrets to Instantly Create a Growth Mindset.