Can You Change Your Mindset?

Come December, and the world seems to want something more, on the market for a seismic shake-up, for the meaningful New Year changes beyond a different hair color or killer purse or latest green juice diet. The excitements of the election year are almost over, and whatever you may think of our President-Elect, he’ll certainly shake things up, one way or the other. But the beauty of America is that American people don’t depend on the government as much as people in many other countries. The Americans - settled in their individualistic lifestyles - socialize in communities or social media tribes and mostly mind their own business. However, dissatisfaction has been brimming in many areas and now more than ever America wants meaningful changes, not only in public but also in private lives. So let’s do what is up to us: put politics aside, shake off seasonal blues, and contemplate what WE as individuals want of life-2017 – what OUR unnamed desires are – and how we can realize them.

Reinventing Your Mindset

Making a change by reinventing/developing your mindset is one good way to go and it’s not as hard as you may think. There’s plenty of advice going around about changing your thoughts, body, emotions, even your spirituality or gender. But if you want to really catapult yourself into a more fulfilling reality, I can honestly advise you to immerse into developing your mindset.

This is a simple idea discovered by a world-renown Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck—an idea that makes the difference! All you need is to start pushing yourself from a “fixed” to “growth” mindset. Let me explain:

1. People with the fixed mindset believe their intelligence and talent are the given, fixed traits that are bound to bring success. Counting on such entitlements alone is wrong: disappointments are inevitable.

2. People with the growth mindset believe that brains/talent are dealt to us just for starters, while the most precious abilities can and should be developed through learning, hard work, and perseverance: they are can-do people.

It appears we can reinvent ourselves by adopting a more optimistic, growth mindset as an enabler for success—and moving to it step by step, starting from wherever we are now on the fixed-to-growth mindset vector. We’ll become the get-up fighters and ultimate winners in the process.

Immigrants with Growth Mindsets

More often than not, documented immigrants are well prepared to take risks and work hard towards their goals; this preparedness puts them closer to the growth mindset point. It is easier for me to speak about immigrant women whom I researched them for my upcoming book. American immigrant women – who make 15 percent of the entire female population – are a special demographic, facing the ignoble glass-and-culture ceiling on their way to success in the US. They get snubbed, overlooked, and put down so many times that even those with initial top-confidence come to admit they aren’t perfect. So what? Immigration is not for the faint-hearted: their snowballing growth mindset and mental toughness back their grit, and they finally find the way to pull their act together and win in the end. Here’s one good example of a prominent immigrant with a growth mindset.

Kerry Bannigan, from England: Immigrant Growth Mindset as Blessing

I wanted to know how the young women immigrants make it in America—and found an article featuring Kerry Bannigan (pictured). An essentially British girl who had fallen in love at first sight with New York City and America at large, making huge progress fairly quickly. How did a temporary marketing assistant for an architectural company rise to be a co-founder and CEO of a company featured in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and New York Post?

Hers is not a story “from rags to riches” since Kerry was rich from the start: rich in clearly expressed growth mindset. In her questionnaire for my book, she described her low moments of feeling stuck and how she uplifted herself by imagining the good times she’d give her family upon success in America, and by constantly coming up with new ideas and new action. Indeed, it was easy to feel lost in New York, stuck in a tiny apartment and a job with no prospects. I think Kerry rose because of her undeterred willpower and creative growth mindset, conditioned by the stimulating NYC atmosphere. First, spotting that not everything is fair in our fair country, she co-foundered Nolcha. Nolcha Shows run during New York Fashion Week providing opportunities for independent fashion designers with great ideas but no funds for major runways. So Kerry created the shows mending a hole in equal opportunity that existed in the fashion world (see how Nolcha shows Christina Milian). And she did not stop there.

With her cascading creativity and ability to recognize the niche for service and include diverse layers of special clientele, Kerry embraced entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Today, her consultancy projects look like an encyclopedia of proverbial immigrant creativity and growth mindset. The skills she accumulated - in event management, marketing, and business development - led her to collaborate with the United Nations, White House, House of Lords, and G8 Young Summit . Kerry has executed government initiatives with the USA, United Kingdom, Turkey, Czech Republic and Switzerland. Thus, Kerry’s taken America by storm, becoming a heroine of media, including NBC, Forbes, BBC, Smart Money, Lucky Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Always optimistic, Kerry sees her whole American journey as a blessing, especially after she was blessed with a baby son Harry Christopher. God bless America with more immigrants like Kerry!

From “Can I?” to “I Can!”

It’s certainly in the spirit of the season to chart the New Year resolutions. For your better good, remember it’s possible to shift your position on the fixed-to-growth mindset vector – by opening your mind to personal change.

So shake off the blues, move from the fixed to growth mindset—and get something more and something different!

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