4 Types of Mindsets To Help You conquer Any challenge
Have you ever thought about your default mindset? The one that you immediately fall back on when faced with conflict, challenges, or obstacles? Let’s look at 4 types of mindsets that you can start choosing today to help you overcome setbacks in your life.
Your mindset is essentially the set of views or beliefs you have about what happens to you. These views and beliefs shape how you see the world. They control how you interpret the things that happen to you – both good and bad.
We don’t all have just one single mindset. Often times our mindset changes in response to the conflicts that we face.
Knowing about different types of mindsets will allow you to start shifting mindsets when you desperately need one over another.
Growth Mindset (and Fixed Mindset)
Perhaps the most famous mindset of them all is the growth mindset. Each of the 4 types of mindsets on this list can be traced back to growth mindset (or its opposite – the fixed mindset).
Growth mindset is something that we write about a lot at Joyful Through It All. We believe that a growth mindset is one of the most important tools that you need to live life to its fullest.
The idea of a growth mindset was made famous in the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. In this book, Dweck explains how a growth mindset can be used to transform the way we live, learn, work, and parent.
And this isn’t just a misleading tagline! A growth mindset can radically shift the way you think to the point where you see everything that happens in your life differently. Check out our Mindset book review for our top 5 key takeaways!
The secret to using a growth mindset is working hard to see struggle, setbacks, failure, and obstacles as opportunities for growth. A growth mindset definition tells us that we can learn to improve by reflecting on the feedback we get from failure.
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. Fixed mindsets hate challenges. Challenges are hard, and when things are hard, we can make mistakes. And mistakes define us as failures forever and ever (but not actually!).
These two mindsets battle for control over your mind in many different situations throughout your day. They show up in the form of 4 types of mindsets that will look familiar to you.
Which of these 4 types of mindsets do you identify with? Let’s find out!
#1. The Gratitude Mindset
The first mindset is the one I struggle with the most.
Because let’s be honest – being grateful is hard. We know we are supposed to express gratitude, but sometimes things happen that just suck, and it isn’t always our first instinct to choose gratitude.
Despite this, being grateful is 100% a mindset that you can choose when you are facing a setback or an obstacle. The trick is to find a way to trick your brain into seeing everything in your life as an opportunity.
Now, I’m not saying this is easy. Especially in the face of intense disappointment or struggle.
But when we choose to see things as ‘I get to‘ rather than ‘I have to,’ everything feels less like an obligation and more like an opportunity. Things that normally feel like chores become opportunities for growth.
Here’s a fun example.
Our kitchen faucet just broke. As in, exploded and shot water everywhere. It was a leaking-into-our-basement type explosion.
My default reaction? Complain. Lots. I now have to waste my time and money trying to fix my house! How do you choose gratitude through a setback like that?
Well let’s consider this alternate perspective. My daughter LOVES to fix things. A broken faucet is an opportunity for us to get to spend time fixing something in our house together.
She gets to feel empowered knowing that you can do anything you put your mind to, and working on something with her Daddy.
Suddenly the obligation doesn’t seem so bad, does it? By choosing gratitude, we find growth in the face of a setback. In my case, it is the growth of a skillset, and the growth of an important relationship.
Where can you choose gratitude today?
#2. The Responsibility Taker Mindset
Of the 4 types of mindsets shared here, this one may just be the most important. It has the most power in determining what you choose to accomplish with the life you have.
Some people have a ‘blame placing’ mindset. These ‘blamers’ are people who tend to have strong limiting beliefs about themselves that keep them from growing. They blame the world, other people, circumstances, the weather. Anything to remove responsibility from themselves.
Life is so much easier when you have no responsibility for the things that happen to you! If it isn’t your fault, you can’t be held accountable, right?
If you are a blamer, the odds are that you are okay letting the circumstances of life keep you stuck in your comfort zone. This is a safe place where you don’t have to worry about being challenged or making mistakes. But because of this, very little growth happens here.
Blamers struggle with criticism because they see mistakes as a sign of weakness. They struggle to see the growth opportunities in setbacks, and would rather place blame elsewhere so that they don’t have to confront the reality of their flaws.
By contrast, responsibility takers usually identify strongly with a growth mindset. They take responsibility for their actions and face the consequences of their decisions. They readily find growth in their failures and setbacks. When things don’t go according to plan, responsibility takers will reflect on what happened and hunt for ways to do better next time.
So, are you someone who tells yourself all of the things that you can’t do and the reasons why you cant do them? Or are you someone who sets big crazy goals for yourself and believes that your attitude is your altitude?
Whether you choose to place blame or take charge will determine whether you grow and reach the goals of your dreams, or stay right where you are.
#3. The Solution-Oriented Mindset
Of the 4 types of mindsets, the solution-oriented mindset may be the most important for growth.
People who have a solution-oriented mindset are happy to find solutions to problems. These are the types of people who notice when things aren’t the way they should be, and work hard to fix the problem.
Solution-oriented people don’t complain about their problems because it is a waste of time and energy! Instead, these are people who are willing to learn and grow in order to develop skills to solve problems. They have big dreams, but they understand what it takes to get there.
These are the types of people who have grit. They reach their destination no matter what it takes. And they really don’t like when people tell them what they can’t do.
People who are the extreme opposite of solution-oriented tend to spend their time and energy complaining about their problems. Just like the ‘blamer’ mindset, they will find any excuse to get out of solving the problem.
I find this mindset a bit funny. When problems happen to me, I am the opposite of solution-oriented. I like to sit around and complain about it for a while before my wife (who is very solution-oriented) tells me to knock it off. But, when other people have problems, I have all the drive in the world to find creative solutions!
This is an example of how the different types of mindsets can interact with each other. My struggles with the gratitude mindset tend to trickle over into the approach I use to solve my own problems.
This shows why it is important to understand these 4 types of mindsets! Knowing about each of the different types of mindsets means that you will be able to recognize when you are falling into one of their traps!
#4. The Perfectionist Mindset
When it comes to the 4 types of mindsets, this last one is probably the most dangerous.
We all know a perfectionist. Maybe you are one! I am a lifelong recovering perfectionist and could go on for days about the struggles it has brought me.
But I won’t! Because I am going to choose a grateful, responsible, and solution-oriented mindset!
Perfectionists often aim for perfection because they worry about what will happen when things aren’t perfect. And there is an interesting connection to growth and fixed mindset here.
If you are a person who uses a fixed mindset often, the odds are that you probably fear failure because you worry about being judged, looking dumb, etc. Perhaps you were often told how smart you are throughout your life, so you work hard to protect that trait.
Growth mindset people understand that nothing is ever really perfect – nor should it be! Remember that mistakes are going to happen when we try and put in effort. And they teach us important things when they do happen!
One of the hardest things to do is to learn to love ourselves no matter what. Work hard to build up the courage to show up in your life as you are. Embrace your imperfections and your mistakes.
This isn’t an easy thing to do though! Check out these 25 inspiring quotes to get started embracing who you are by letting go of perfection – for good!
Which of the 4 Types of Mindsets Do You Identify With?
Think about how you use these different types of mindsets throughout your day.
- Do you choose growth through obstacles and challenges, or do you choose to shy away from challenges out of fear of failure?
- Do you take responsibility for your life and your decisions, or do you blame others?
- Are you focused on problems or solutions?
- Do you strive for perfection, or embrace yourself and your imperfections?
Look. Bad stuff is going to happen to you. You can’t control that. But the way you react to the bad stuff is what matters.
When you try, you may fail. Plain and simple. But the mindset you choose to apply is going to govern what you do with that failure.
If you are asking yourself what you can learn from your mistakes, you are choosing growth. But, if you turn tail, run, hide, and beat yourself up for how big of a failure you are and always will be, you are choosing the fixed mindset route.
Think of a struggle you faced today. How did you react? Which of the 4 types of mindsets is your default setting? Did you choose growth through the failure? Or did you take it out on yourself and vow to never try again?
Remember, we have the power to choose how we react in each and every situation. What mindset will you use to react to your next setback?
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who struggles with their mindset, this post could be just what they need!