By Nadine Araksi, Toronto-based Story Coach
“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”
– Gautama Buddha
I recently wrote an article on fun winter activities with kids and, in the process, learned about Friluftsliv, which is Norwegian for “the outdoor life.” But Friluftsliv (Free-LOOFT-sliv) is more than a fun word; it’s a mindset. Studies have shown that adopting this “positive winter mindset” was the difference between a happy winter and seasonal depression, especially in the far north of Norway, where it can be dark for 70%+ of the day in January.
What is a mindset, and what are some types of mindsets?
Loosely defined, a mindset is a mix of your beliefs, perspectives, philosophies, and attitudes about or towards something. While a “positive winter mindset” might be new to you, you may be more familiar with mindsets that appear in popular self-improvement culture:
- Abundance vs. Scarcity
- Growth vs. Fixed
- Positive vs. Negative
- Employee vs. Entrepreneur
Why is having certain kinds of mindsets important?
“It’s not intelligence, talent, or education that sets successful people apart. It’s their mindset, or the way that they approach life’s challenges.” – Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
It’s a bit mind-blowing when you first discover it, but so much of our reality is defined by the thoughts we think all day, every day. Our thoughts influence our feelings, habits, and behaviours, and we can powerfully choose certain ideas over others to help improve our daily lives. (This is why we’re obsessed with coaching as a path to a great life!)
A Fixed Mindset often means resistance to growth and progress. A person might believe that the world is precisely the way it is and that they are powerless to change it. Or they are “fixed” in how they see themselves and resist transformation. They might avoid the unpleasant feelings through numbing activities and spend much of life unhappy and zoned out because subconsciously it feels safer than doing the belief work to change.
The good news is that you are not fixed, and neither is the world! A quick reflection will remind you that you are not who you were five years ago. Like it or not, think of how much of the world as we knew it has changed in the last two years! And because you are not fixed, you have plenty of opportunities to grow and become whatever you want. Nice, huh?
What does a mindset coach do?
A mindset coach uses a framework or tools to help you work through any mindsets that keep you stuck. For example, if you’ve uttered, “It’s impossible to find a job during a pandemic,” you might have a Fixed or Scarcity Mindset. A mindset coach would ask you questions to help shift your beliefs and uncover ones that better serve you.
While we prefer the term “Alignment Coach” at Kickstartology, helping our clients practice better mindsets is a big part of what we teach. Our ultimate goal is to help you align to thrive so that every aspect of your life feels fulfilling and more like YOU! Helping you rewire your brain so you can grow definitely involves mindsets.
P.P.P.S. Our client, Hanna, says it best:
“Kickstartology Coaching offers a mix of brain tools, challenge, community, encouragement, and consistency. The openness of the Kickstartology team and of my fellow program participants has helped me envision my future, create a blueprint for the way I want to show up in the world, and start building the habits I want in my life."
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