How Our Closed or Open Mindset Affects Us

Ryan Gottfredson

by Ryan Gottfredson

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Mindsets are specific, recognizable, and repeatable orientations to our life’s experiences.

They are specific, recognizable, and repeatable because they are strong neural connections in our brain that our brain primarily relies upon to make sense of and respond to our world.

For example, when you are faced with any of the following situations, your mindsets will guide your interpretation and response to each situation in specific, recognizable, and repeatable ways:

  • A challenge or difficulty has presented itself
  • You are given constructive criticism
  • You are having to decide between taking a risk and playing it safe
  • You have to interact with another individual

Here are some important implications we have learned associated with mindsets:

  • Some mindsets lead to more healthy interpretations and responses than others
  • Most people are not conscious of their mindsets
  • Regardless of how healthy our mindsets are, our interpretations and responses come so naturally to us that they “feel right,” even if they are negative/less healthy
  • Having more negative mindsets is a signal that our altitude of mental maturity is lower than what it could be
  • Just by becoming conscious of our mindsets, we level up in our mental maturity
  • We can shift our mindsets, and if we do so in a positive direction, we will come to interpret and respond to our world in more productive ways

Four Sets of Mindsets

There are four sets of mindsets that have been identified and have received 30+ years of research backing. They are:

Each set represents an empirically-backed continuum, and the quality of our mindsets will fall somewhere along each continuum.

In this blog post, I will show how closed and open mindsets cause people to think (interpret) and operate (respond) in predictably different ways.

If you want to read about the other mindsets, click below:

How Closed and Open Mindsets Affect Our Thinking


How Closed and Open Mindsets Affect Our Operating

Where Do You Stand?

If you want to identify the degree to which you have a closed or open mindset, take my FREE personal mindset assessment (the most comprehensive and research-backed mindset assessment available).

Learn more about these mindsets and how to develop more of an open mindset in my Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling book: Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership.


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