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I’ve been reading lots of books lately so that means I have some exciting things to share with you regarding motivation and being an entrepreneur. Today I’m taking about Mindset for Food Bloggers, because the way you think about your work, your time, your creativity, is the foundation for everything you do. Change your mindset and change your life! If you love inspirational discussions, check out What is Success with Cara Ansis or Inspiration for Food Bloggers with Ali Ebright.

Mindset For Food Bloggers

The Law of Attention for Food Blogger

Hey everyone! Thanks for joining me today. Can you believe it’s now the 123rd episode of the Chopped Podcast? Me neither. We took last week off to celebrate International Woman’s Day (which also happens to be my birthday). But we’re back today and we have some exciting new episodes coming your way soon.

So, in November I introduced the idea of  a book review. Every now and then I read a book so inspiring I have to share it with you. Why? Because I think as food bloggers there are skill sets we can learn about that can help us in our businesses. The first book on my list was FISH. If you haven’t read it, go check it out. it’s a great book on Boosting Morale and Improving Results. I highly recommend it.

Today’s book is called Mindset, the New Psychology of Success. There’s also a tagline underneath that title that reads: How we can learn to fulfill our potential.

The book Mindset is by researcher, Carol Dweck. You may have seen her TED on the Power of Believing You Can Improve. It’s well worth the watch.

I love this topic, Mindset for Food Bloggers.  Here’s why.

Because I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the Law of Attraction lately. Have you heard about it? My definition of the Law of Attraction is that you can influence things in your life by the way you think about them. And not just your thinking, but your energy about these things.

So, if you say to yourself, I’m never going to be a  successful food blogger, those words have meaning and they become a self fulfilling prophecy for you.

Just so you know. I believe there’s a lot of value in these statements.

However, where things start to get a little fuzzy for me is when the Law of Attraction people start talking about parking spots. It seems likes every time I hear someone talk about Law of Attraction they somehow start talking about how they can envision a parking place coming available for them and it happens.

To me, imagining a parking spot coming available is a little like standing in front of a lake and saying, “I would like to see a fish jump out of the water.” That happens sometimes. You will stand in front of a lake and see a fish jump out. It’s a lovely scene. However, to will that to happen, is simply not possible. If it were to happen, I would chalk it up to coincidence more than some intentional thought on my part.

Magical Thinking

OK. Obviously, I’m just not in the camp that is into that  level of magical thinking. It’s like there could be this continuum – this big long line and on one end you have woo woo witch doctors folks – telling you that water in a plastic bottle that’s been prayed over has magical properties. Or it’s like thoseold-time snake oil people who would sell people a bottle of whiskey, claiming it had magical healing powers. On the other end of the spectrum you have these completely logical, scientific folks. Think, Spock from Star Trek. If it can’t be proven in a random, double blind study, it’s not real.

Somewhere in the middle you’ll find things like meditation that has a little bit of both worlds, but has been scientifically proven to provide both psychological and physiological improvements.

I can be highly skeptical of things that lean toward the witch doctor side. Some of that is a result of my childhood. I was probably the most gullible person on the planet. My sister told me if you swallowed gum it stays in your stomach for 7 years and I believed that all the way into my late teens. When I had this moment where I was  like – I bet she was just making that stuff up.

And I’ve been reading the book You are a  Badass recently — you’ve heard me talking about it before — and this book has so much in it I love, until she gets into the Law of Attraction…and parking spots. Maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking about this topic so much lately.

I mean, what do we believe?

Magic Lessons

I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Magic Lessons, where she talks about ideas as entities that connect with us. That they want to be made manifest and if we don’t take action, they will find someone else to connect with.

That’s kind of magical thinking. Right?

So, you can see the dilemma I’m in? If I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s magical thinking, but cringe at the Law of Attraction’s magical parking spots, am I being hypocritcal?

Probably. But here’s my justification.

When I think about the parts of the Law of Attraction that really interest me, it’s this idea that what we focus on matters. What we focus on can make a big difference.

Did you ever watch that movie the Secret? I did. Several times. And I found it very intriguing, until the moment I didn’t.

Because there was a section in that movie where they talk to the guy who wrote the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Jack Canfield. And the story went that he taped a $100K bill to his ceiling and would look at that every morning when he got up. His goal was to make $100K with his books. Well, he ended up making a whole lot more than $100K eventually.

And they used that as a success story in the movie. And they interview him and he talks about the importance of his beliefs.

But what they didn’t talk about was all the work he put into selling his books. I saw him interviewed somewhere else where he described how he would drive from town to town with those books in his car and he would sell them. He self published those books and schlepped them around and sold them one by one, until they were finally picked up by a publisher.

To me that is not Law of Attraction. That is Law of Attention. He was focused on selling those books, all of his energy was directed toward it. His attention was focused.

That, is what the book Mindset is about. It’s the Attention side of the Law of Attraction.

Growth Mindset

Dr. Dweck tells the story of one of her early research assignments where she gave a series of increasingly challenging puzzles to 10 year old kids. She had some expectations when she went into this exercise. Wouldn’t you expect some of the kids to get exasperated as the puzzles got more and more difficult? And that is what she found, except for a few.

For example, there was one boy who pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips, and cried out, “I love a challenge.”

Another, sweating away on these puzles, looked up with a pleased expression and said with authority, “You know, I was hoping this would be informative!”

Wow. I want just a tiny bit of their enthusiasm. Don’t you?

Can you imagine the moment when you’re feeling frustrated about your blog – maybe something isn’t working exactly the way you want it to – rather than feeling discouraged  you smack you lips and say, “ooh, I love a good challenge.”

Well, Dr. Dweck explains how you can develop that skill.

She says there are two fundamental mindsets. There’s he fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

Here’s my take on these. In the fixed mindset you think you’re either smart or you’re not. You believe people are born that way. You might believe that your intelligence level is something that is very basic about a person and can’t be changed very much. Or you might believe artistic ability is natural. Or likeability. Etc.

The thing is, the fixed mindset is just that – fixed. You believe people don’t change and so you have to deal with the hand you’re given.

Convsersely, the growth mindset means you believe you can grow in intelligence, artistic ability, likeability, etc.

I realize as I read this book that I’ve spent a good amount of time camped in the fixed mindset. And sometimes it has created a sort of “chip on my shoulder” mentality. I’ve felt the need to prove myself. If I could get better grades, take more classes, achieve certain things, then people would see me as a success, as smart.

She actually asks the question in her book – Is success about learning…or proving you’re smart.

She describes another study with young children, this one was four-year olds. They were able to determine which children as young as four years old had a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset and time and time again the fixed mindset would choose the less challenging puzzle. They wanted a sure thing to prove they were smart, rather than a harder puzzle that would cause them to fail. She talks about one girl in the growth mindset who chose the harder puzzle and said, “Im dying to figure them out!”

If we tell ourselves that smart people always succeed. And we want to be smart and successful, we are falling prey to the fixed mindset.

Are you curious if you have the fixed mindset?

Here are a few symptoms of the fixed mindset based on this book:

  1. Think about a time when you felt special. Most people with a fixed mindset will select a time when they felt different from and maybe even better than others.

I can definitely relate to that. I’ve felt it for sure. And the author talks about her experience in this area as well. Being ordinary is a curse. This kind of thinking causes us to seek constant validation too.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love yourself. The problem comes when you are looking for external sources to validate you as better than others.

Failure to Respond

How do you react to failure? Do you think of it as an action word? I failed? Or as an identify. I am a failure?

Overly identifying with failure is true of a fixed mindset.  If you get attention for something you’re really great at, than can start to become a burden. The author gives the example of becoming the best in her school at spelling bees. When the teacher suggested she compete with kids at other schools in a community spelling bee, she didn’t want to do it. She was celebrated as a success, why would she want to give that up and risk losing?

You can still feel the pain of a loss as a person with a growth mindset, but it doesn’t define you.

She tells the story of an NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings who recovered a fumbled ball and ran it into the endzone. He was elated until he realized he ran the wrong way. He had scored a touchdown for the other team…on national television. He was devastated. And at half time he decided to accept his mistake and move on. He then went into the second half of the game and played lights out and contributed to his team’s victory.

That is a growth mindset. Take a failure, feel bad about it, forgive yourself, turn it into a learning experience.

In a fixed mindset, failure feels like a loss of your core self. It can feel like a permanent, haunting trauma.

Remember last year in one of the episodes I talked about being in a restaurant and saying a completely stupid thing and getting called out on it? I can still cringe when I think of that moment. But you know what? I can look back on it now and understand exactly why I said that thing that I did and I’ve moved on. It doesn’t define me. I realize it might define me to the people I was there with at the restaurant, but then again, if they’re willing to define me based on one moment, then that’s about them.

If someone is so perfectionistic that they can’t accept occasional blunders from folks around them, they are definitely living in a fixed mindset.

And look, I have lived in that mindset and can find myself slipping back into it at times, so I’m not judging. I’m simply saying that I choose to see myself as a person who is growing, rather than through the eyes of a person who saw me fumble my way through an awkward situation.

Feeling Small

How do you react when other people succeed at something you are passionate about? Maybe they received a blogger award that you’ve been coveting. Do you feel happy for them? Or do you feel belittled, less valuable.

Feeling less yourself because of others’ successes is a sign you’re in the fixed mindset.


If you don’t succeed, do you give up? People with a fixed mindset have a tendency to give up when they don’t succeed at something. If you don’t “got it,” then what’s the point?

Also, rather than trying to figure things out and learn, people with a fixed mindset will try to blame others. Um, I can think of a particular political who has this tendency. It starts to get easy to figure out people’s mindsets when they’re in the public eye like that. The author talk about famous or infamous tennis player John McEnroe. He was known for his outrageous outbursts when he played.  One of my favorite lines was when he didn’t like a call from a particular line judge and this guy was bald, and McEnroe yelled at him to grow some hair.

Nothing was ever his fault. One famous match he was actually winning two sets to love. After the loss McEnroe blamed it on a cameraman who had taken off his headset and a noise from that headset distracted him.

She points out that Malcolm Gladwell wrote how as a society, the U.S. values natural, effortless accomplishment over achievement through effort.

We like to imagine that Michael Jordan was naturally gifted with the basketball. The YoYo Ma always played beautiful notes. That Maya Angelou’s every word came effortlessly through her pen.

I think this is especially true for women, don’t you think? There’s added pressure on us to be perfect. Not only in the work we do, but in the knowledge we have and our appearance as well.

These are all examples of fixed mindsets. Whereas growth mindset folks see geniuses as people who have worked for their achievements.

Risk Aversion

Taking risks can be scary for anyone, regardless of mindset. However, people with the fixed mindset are particularly risk averse. The idea of trying and failing feel worse than not trying at all. This fear of taking risks? It is the worst fear because it can paralyze you in your tracks.

If you have an idea for something and you are afraid to go for it, because you’re afraid to put in the work and not have it succeed, this is a crippling result of a fixed mindset.

Perfectionism Run Amok

People on a fixed mindset cannot handle making mistakes. As said above, they will blame others or make excuses, and may even become belligerent in the face of their own lack of perfection.

Perfectionism can cause you to put others’ opinions over your own. It can also cause you to spend hours on minute details, wasting precious time that could be spent on more important ventures.

There is some good news, however. The growth mindset is a belief that ability can be cultivated.

Why a Growth Mindset Matters

I’ve been working to develop a growth mindset and it really makes a difference. Here are some of the good things about a growth mindset for food bloggers.

People with a growth mindset don’t need to rely on confidence to succeed. With a growth mindset, even when you think you’re not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it. In fact, Dr. Dweck explains you might plunge into something because you’re not good at it. That’s because with a growth mindset, you don’t have to think you’re great at it before you can actually do it and enjoy doing it. Here are some tips for embracing a growth mindset:

  1. When you face a challenge, imagine your brain growing new connections. This can help you switch from feeling anxious (fixed mindset) to embracing something new.
  2. Embrace conflict. It can be tempting to surround ourselves with people who will reflect back to us what we desire to see – that we’re perfect. This will not help us grow. Instead, seek constructive criticism.
  3. Is there something in your past that you use to limit yourself in your present? Maybe you failed a class? Or you got fired from a job? Went through a divorce? Go ahead and think about that and let yourself feel all the emotions of it. Now, change it to a growth minded perspective. What did you learn from that experience? How has it molded you into who you are today?
  4. Funky Town. Next time you’re in a funk or feeling down, think about learning from obstacles. Realize that the effort you take today is constructive and building on your future and not a drag on your time.
  5. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Maybe learn Spanish? Or play the guitar? Or hike a mountain? Make a plan for how you can do that. It might begin with guitar lessons.  Those constructive growth things can make a big difference in your life.

Mindset for Food Bloggers

So, this is just a brief overview of this book (see link below).

To reiterate, the thing that I love about the Law of Attraction is that it teaches you to pay attention to your thoughts. To let go of the negativity in your mind. That negative repetitive thinking can be very destructive.

But I think the next step is to also make sure your action is in alignment with your thought. And according to Dr. Dweck changing your mindset makes a difference.

Change your thoughts. Change your Action. Change your life.

I highly encourage you to read this book. I went over just a small part of it. There’s a lot more to it, and I hope it helps you the same way it helped me.

I’m going to start a post called Marly’s Bookshelf so you can follow along with the books I’m reading.

Our goal at ChoppedCon is to help you be your best. We hope these tips on Mindset for Food Bloggers is helpful to the important work you’re doing every day!

Now, go forth and Be Your Best You!

Featured Content – Mindset for Food Bloggers

Here are some of the highlights of today’s post:

  • Marly talks about the book Mindset
  • Listen in for stories on how you can apply Mindset for Food Bloggers to your work
  • How there are two mindsets and you can choose a growth mindset to be your best
  • The differences between a fixed and growth mindset
  • The pros of a growth mindset
  • Differences between law of attraction and mindset
  • How to use both the Law of Attraction and Mindset for food bloggers

Show Notes

This episode on my Mindset for Food Bloggers shares references you will find interesting. These are:

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