You Can Change Anything About Yourself

Are intelligence, resilience, work ethic, energy, and personality fixed or fluid?

Could you become the President of the United States if you wanted to? 
Could you become a world-famous actor or actress?
Could you become a better parent, child, friend, or data analyst?

These are the questions that plagued the budding psychology student, Carol Dweck, who has since dedicated her entire professional life to answering them.

The simple answer to any of these questions is: yes. You can change anything and everything about yourself. You can do and become anything you ever wanted. You are in complete control of your outcomes.

All that's required is a deep belief in yourself and to match that belief with corresponding effort and strategies.

Dweck calls this having a "growth mindset." It is ignorance to the claims that talent is fixed or that natural inclination is responsible for success. Instead, it is to decide that concerted focus and effort are responsible for any outcome. It is to take the power back and say, "I can be anything I want to be and do anything I want to do. Period."

You may have heard this term before. It's all over the zeitgeist and has been for centuries. Confucius apparently said something to the effect of ... "those who say they can and those who say they can't are both right."

We "know" this. Yet, so many of us are plagued in inaction. We don't know how to start or how to overcome these old beliefs that we aren't talented, pretty, or strong enough. And even once we accept Dweck's ideas as true, we are faced with a deeper predicament...

As author Meg Jay writes:

“There is a certain terror that goes along with saying ‘My life is up to me.’ It is scary to realize there’s no magic, you can’t just wait around, no one can really rescue you, and you have to do something. Not knowing what you want to do with your life—or not at least having some ideas about what to do next—is a defense against that terror.”

Instead, we choose to do nothing. We choose to believe that greatness is only for a selected group. And that, based on a whole series of factors, we are not part of that group. It's easier this way in the short-run. Yet, in the long-run this breeds regret.

So if for no other reason, I am writing this to tell you...

What lies between you and greatness is a decision. A decision that you are worthy, capable, and unstoppable. A decision to invest time and energy into whatever you want your life to look like. Don't bullshit yourself into believing otherwise.

Kate Ward