You may ask yourself, “How do I change my mindset?” The switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset takes courage. You take courageous action while you think or feel scared. Not that you conquer your fearfulness, you continue to act in spite of the feeling. Changing your mindset requires a consistent and conscious commitment. Notice what you always do or feel about something, but now you realize there are different options for you. Just by spotting this thought or feeling, you have started down a new path toward a growth mindset.

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You can look at these eight general approaches, and you can start with just one. These are for changing your mindset. There are many more ways to change, but it is a beginning of a new direction.

  1. Create a new compelling belief: a belief in yourself, in your own skills and abilities, and in your capacity for positive change.
  2. View failure from a different perspective: see “mis-takes” as an opportunity to learn from your experiences and apply what you have learned next time around.
  3. Cultivate your self-awareness: work on becoming more aware of your talents, strengths, and limitations; gather feedback from those who know you best and put it together for a complete view of yourself.
  4. Be curious and commit to lifelong learning: attempt to adopt the attitude of a child, looking at the world around you with awe and wonderment; ask questions and truly listen to the answers.
  5. Get friendly with challenges: know that if you mean to accomplish anything worthwhile, you will face many challenges on your journey; prepare yourself for facing these challenges, and for failing sometimes as you deal with the stroke side effects.
  6. Do what you love and love what you do: it’s much easier to succeed when you are passionate about what you’re doing; whether you cultivate a love for what you already do or focus on doing what you already love, developing passion is important.
  7. Be persistent: it takes a lot of tough work, but rewarding to be more successful; it takes even more than working hard—you must be tenacious, weathering obstacles and getting back up after each time you fall.
  8. Inspire and be inspired by others: it can be tempting to envy others when they succeed, especially if they go farther than you, but it will not help you to succeed; commit to being an inspiration to others and use the success of others to get inspiration as well (Zimmerman, 2016).

(, Courtney E. Ackerman, MA., 31-05-2021)

Change, attitude, sign, daylight

Let us drill down on these methods to understand them. You need to decide on the first one to tackle. Not necessarily in order. Pick the one that stands out for you. And please, do something different so you can have a different outcome. It is important that you do one of them at least two or three times a day forever (at least for 66 days) to install a new habit. It may seem that it will take more out of your day, but it is worth it in the long haul! Remember, if you want something different, you need to do something different.

You can change instantaneously if you really, really want to change for a great reason. For example, how long does it take to learn not to put your hand on a hot burner on your stove? Just once and then you learn the negative consequences of touching a hot stove. (You cannot do this test if you have diminished or absent feelings in your hand because of the stroke, sorry!)  It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit (change) and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.

The way to introduce a new change or habit is to replace a less desirable one. When you say you want to make a change in your mindset, it means you are going to change your habits for dealing with everything. I had a habit for five decades of biting my nails. I would bite them down to the quick and keep going. Not to mention, my nervous biting habit was almost subconscious. It was unsightly to have my nails mowed down to the quick all the time.

When the strokes occurred, I noticed that I was leaving my right fingers alone. Before the stroke, I was used to having my fingers engaged in the habit. My right hand was almost paralyzed. It was because the habitual biting was not rewarding, I stopped. Without the reward, the cycle was broken. I was excited because I was halfway to my goal of being bite-free nails! It was clear that I needed to change. I started chewing gum and focusing on other topics than the ones that made me bored or nervous. I learned how to be calm. Over time, I became successful in leaving my left nails alone.  

Like the habit of your mindset, you need to start small. Do little steps. Do it again and again and again. Over days (or weeks or months), it becomes second nature with your new habit. You are amazed that you did it. Then it is time to attempt another habit. Wash…rinse…dry…repeat. All of us do this process of changing and installing a new habit over our old habit. You can do it too!

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