Are you aware how much our mindset can influence our lives? It is the sum of our mental attitude and dictates how us single mums view ourselves. It also influences our belief in our abilities, our past and the possibilities in our futures. We all need to know the importance between fixed or growth mindset and how to improve ours.
With a fixed mindset, your mind will freeze and your life stagnate. But learn how to move to a growth mindset here and your mental attitude and life will change and improve in every way. There’s not time to delay.
Being a parent is hard. Being a single parent can be even harder. Everything the two parents would decide together, a single parent has to decide by themselves. HARDER. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could alter our lives just by changing our mindset? Well, we can! The details how to do so are right here for you.
Do you know whether you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? As mindset is the mental attitude towards our abilities, it dictates whether we will try something, let alone follow through with it. As well as influencing our personal mindset, it can also influence how we see the world and any opportunities that are presented to us.
The concept of growth and fixed mindset was first brought to our attention by Carol Dweck, a psychologist who wrote about it in her book ‘Mindset – The New psychology of success’ in 1988. She concluded that an individuals mindset has a large impact on their attitude and motivation when it came to any type of challenge. Her model of the growth vs fixed mindset has become standard and is now widely believed and used.
How to recognise whether you have a growth or fixed mindset
Check the diagram below and take the time to learn which mindset you have. If it is a fixed one, read on to learn how you can transition into a positive mindset and improve every area of your life. If you already have a growth mindset then congratulations. But don’t sit back and do nothing. As you will already know, there is always room for improvement. Decide which of the following areas could do with a little more positive mindset and follow the tips suggested.
Fixed mindset examples
A fixed mindset is often the easy and safe attitude to adopt. It is a belief that our intelligence is fixed, that we cannot achieve any more in our lives. It tells us that we do not need to try in any area and should be content with what we already have. But who wants to stay stuck in that little box when there is a whole other mindset to explore, grow and improve with?
Growth mindset examples
A growth mindset is when we have a positive belief in our individual ability and the motivation to carry something through to actual success. That whatever the area of our life, we have the potential to achieve it; be it physical, mental or emotional.
It is imperative that us single mums walk through the world with a growth mindset. However, some of us will often adopt the other half of the mindset ‘coin’ – a fixed mindset. Why is this? Unfortunately, a fixed mindset is less work for the individual. Mentally, physically and emotionally, a person with this mindset does not push or challenge themselves and never steps outside their comfort zone.
I am a firm believer in a growth mindset. But this is not because I have always had this attitude. Far from it. Like many of you reading this, I have struggled throughout my life with what I now recognise as a fixed mindset. It was far easier for me to believe that I could not get that job, that I would fail if I moved to that new place or that I was not worthy of a new relationship. I froze in certain areas and consequently my life froze too. When there is so much of your life ahead of you, this is a dire situation to be in. Don’t let it happen to you.
Winning is a mindset
Becoming a single mum can be extremely daunting and requires a strong growth mindset in order to follow it through successfully. It can seem like every situation is exacerbated by having to face it on our own. Every challenge or decision is just for us and we are always aware that we do not just face this for ourselves but also our children.
This is why single mums deserve so much respect and why we really need growth mindsets. How would we prosper otherwise? Roll on a few years and I now have a growth mindset. But this only happened after I challenged myself and built my confidence and self-belief. If I can do it, you definitely can do too.
Society sees being a single parent family as a negative option. Which automatically puts us single mums at a disadvantage when starting our journey as a single parent family. What has been your experience? Do you hear a lot of ‘poor you’, ‘you won’t be able to do this now’, ‘never mind, at least you have your child’, etc. I can hear all of these being said to me and over the years I have seen the influence it could have had on my mindset. When you hear something over and over again, it starts to seep into your soul and your way of thinking.
6 ways to improve your mindset
However, there is hope. And not just a little, a whole lot of hope. You’ve taken the first step by reading this far. Maybe now you have recognised you have a fixed mindset in all or at least some areas. By recognising what they are, your brain is taking the first step towards change. Now its time to read on and find out how we can change how we think and learn to improve our future.
1. Ignore doubters
All around us, there are doubters who think they are doing good but are actually pulling us down. With comments such as ‘You won’t be able to do that now you are a single parent’, ‘How will you be able to afford that’, or ‘You must find it really difficult’, a single mum’s life is full of well-meaning doubters.
We can’t get rid of all these people as most of the time, they do not realise what they are doing. However, you can ask your friends and family to not view your situation negatively but as a chance to improve your life. If you do not feel able to do this, then learn to recognise any doubting comments and teach yourself how to ignore it or even better, to turn it into its positive partner.
2. Areas of your life to set goals
Look at the areas in your life and analyse which you would like to improve. With this, you are recognising both that there is room for improvement and that you have the ability to do so. This is a huge step. With a fixed mindset, you would have previously said to yourself that you are not able to improve anything. You are now on the path to change and improvement.
Don’t become overwhelmed. Rather, choose one area you would like to focus on first. For example, how long has it been since you went on a date? What has been stopping you? Did your mind tell you that a new relationship would fail? Take this as a challenge and sign up for an online dating agency. Creating a personal profile will help you recognise the areas you are proud of in yourself and your life and why you will be a great date.
3. Learn from your mistakes
When I first became a single parent, my first mistake was to waste energy being negative towards my ex. There was nothing positive or growth related in that. I see so many single mamas wasting precious time thinking of or talking about their toxic past relationship. It won’t help you and it definitely will not make you happy.
We need to learn from our mistakes and move on with our future. Recite some daily mantras about your self-worth and only let yourself think about past relationships in terms of what you can learn from them.
Choose areas that you can see mistakes in and look at your behaviour. If you can see a fixed mindset in any of these, how do you think you can learn from them for your present and future life?
4. Inspirational single mothers
I belong to lots of Facebook groups for women. With single mum ones, I tend to see a mixture of behaviour. Some focus too much on the negative side of their situation. Whereas others are full of women who shout out about their achievements since becoming single and how proud they are of accomplishing them on their own. I know which energy I prefer. How about you?
Look at some other single parents you either know personally or see in the media. What inspires you about them. What is it in their situation that makes you feel good? Now examine your life and see how you can take these inspirational ideas and apply them to your life.
5. Positive life lessons
For me, the number one most important part of a growth mindset is positivity. With a fixed mindset, sentences are bogged down with negative words. ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I haven’t got the ability’, ‘I will never be clever enough’, are just some of them. See the negativity oozing out of these words?
Now let’s change these sentences to positive ones. ‘I can do this if I try’, ‘The ability is within me’, ‘If I concentrate, I can learn it’. See how much better these sentences make you feel about your ability, even without a specific context?
The next time you find yourself thinking something negative about yourself and your life, stop your thoughts. Change the sentence to a positive one and see how it makes you feel. This will make you want to try harder in that area and will increase the positivity flowing through you.
6. Daily mantras
The daily conversations you have inside your head are directly correlated to your mindset. This can lead to negativity, depression and stagnation if you have a fixed mindset. If you are on the path to a growth mindset, you will feel lighter, happier and more positive in not too much time.
One way to do this is with daily affirmations. Think about how you would like to feel and write some mantras to reflect this. Say them on a daily basis, first thing in the morning to set your mood for the day. I would suggest the general affirmations listed below that are based on self-belief to start. After, move on to specific areas you would like to change your mindset on.
5 daily affirmations
- I am worthy
- My mindset will be positive today
- I can do whatever I set my mind to
- It is not helpful to listen to negative people
- I choose what I become
Feeling incompetent (Impostor syndrome and single mums)
Imposter syndrome can be defined as ‘feeling like a fraud’. As if any minute now, someone will walk up to us and tell us we are not who we pretend to be. That we are not good enough and do not belong where we are. Everyone has a level of this syndrome as it is our subconscious trying to protect us from any kind of hurt.
This is also linked to your mindset. Surprisingly, it occurs more within people with a growth mindset and is more common in women. Self-doubt is common. As when you are pushing yourself to go out of your comfort zone and progress, our ‘negative little demon’ tells us the goal cannot be achieved. That we should stay within the area we already know. This is where we need to bring in mantras specific to this particular area and really push our growth mindset.
Life as a single mum
I firmly believe that single mum’s are awesome. Why? Because we often overcome societies barriers and expectations. We make decisions for more than ourselves on a daily basis. We arrange and navigate our way through the diary of all in our household, with chores, school runs, club schedule, homework help, our jobs, bosses expectations, etc.
With everything we manage to do on a daily basis, we should be extremely proud and recognise our self-worth. But it does not always work like this. Hence this post on increasing our growth mindset. Be sensible and don’t expect it to fall in your lap – after all Rome was not built in a day! Discover your own current mindset and use the above tips to focus on those areas you would like to improve. You are already awesome; now you need to remove your imposter syndrome and push those boundaries.
You are worth it!