Having models of who we want to be from stories is a tale as old as time! Having characters model for how we would like to live and how we would not like to live. One such example would be the difference between Goku and Freeza. Their relationship is a trope you’ll see this quite a bit in a variety of stories; One character; happy and energetic, awaiting the next challenge and willing to face them at a moment’s notice! While another character may be so prideful of the “strength” when a new power confronts them, their whole identity crumbles because they have been given a challenge they believed they conquer.
Dr. Carol Dwek talks about these differences in her book “Mindset”. In the book she illustrates 2 mindsets to live one’s life: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset. In her book she explains in great detail and with examples how the 2 mindsets differ. She also has chapters dedicated to Growth vs Fixed Mindsets in business, relationships, and parenting.
Both mindsets may have the same kind of situations and struggles in their life, but view them very differently, as noticed below
Now, back to Dragon Ball Z, (because this about Geek Therapy, after all) where do these connect? Goku, from the beginning of the story has a growth mindset! Looking for the next adventure, actively SEARCHING FOR the next strong opponent. He may be defined as having a growth mindset to a fault. Characters in the story and fans have noted that Goku will put a challenge before anything else, even to save the universe. Goku continually shows mercy for strong opponents not because of a compassion to the being, but so that Goku and them may “fight another day”. To allow his opponents to get strong and challenge Goku again, even if they have shown evil intents.
In contrast, Freeza, born strong and powerful, has been the menace of the universe for decades! Always on top! Rarely, if ever, having a challenge that he could not conquer with brute force or intimidation. Finally, when he is being confronted with a being whose power is greater than his, he continues to claim that he is the “strongest in the universe” implying no one can be stronger than him (according to his mindset) and denying any chance of growth for himself.
If you’re looking at the picture above and see that you may be living more in the fixed mindset for your life, and want to move towards the growth mindset, here are 4 steps to help you get there!
4 simple steps
1.Notice when you’re brain is moving to the fixed mindset
The first step in moving towards a Growth Mindset is to notice when you are in your Fixed Mindset. If you’re having thoughts like: “I’m a total failure”, “My life is pitiful”, “My Intelligence can’t change”, “I can’t make mistakes”, “I have to be better than other people”. There are so many thoughts that accompany the Fixed Mindset, that some thought about what it looks like for you would be a great exercise! Once you’ve got how your own flavor of Fixed Mindset is, you’re ready for the next step.
2.Decided to move towards Growth Mindset thinking
This second step has you look at what it would be like to look at the same situation, but in a Growth Mindset. Making that decision to try on a new mindset takes clarity and courage! Maybe even a little creativity to see what the growth mindset would look like for you. I want to emphasize this step to have you consider what it would mean for you to move towards the Growth Mindset. Would it help you learn a new task? Potentially get you out of a rut? Have you reach out for help with something that you’ve been dreading to reach out to with a Fixed Mindset? What ever that is, the courage to choose something better for your life is valid.
3. Notice what it is like to have a Growth Mindset
Similar to step 1, here we look at what thoughts and feelings come to you when you are in your Growth Mindset. Here are some examples of what thoughts come up in the Growth Mindset: “This is challenging and an opportunity for me to learn”, “Its ok if I fail, as long as I learn something,” “What can I do better next time,” “I’m going to try a new approach”. Whatever it looks like for you! Experiment with it!
4. Repeat and try again!
This is another important step where changing one’s mindset does not happen over night. You are changing patterns of thought that have been with you for a long time and giving yourself the grace that it’ll take time. Taking the baby steps every day will help you move towards where you would like to go in your life. And even if it doesn’t happen every day, that’s ok too! Remember to try again.
If you’re looking for more support with learning your mindsets and walking with you through life’s challenges, I’m here to help! Click below if you’d like to schedule an appointment.