5 Powerful Ways You Can Develop A Growth Mindset to Improve Your Life
What is Growth Mindset & Why is It Important?
If you've been following me for a while then you know that I don't believe that you should try to copy anyone's success path, because everyone's journey to success is unique to them. But I will say this, if you look at most successful people, you’ll find they have one thing in common – a growth mindset. In order to achieve things in life, you have to believe that you can develop the skills you need and be willing to grow and adapt.
Having a growth mindset can help you to better yourself, advance in your career, and achieve the things you want in life. So now the question is, what is a growth mindset and why is it so important?
What is a growth mindset?
The term “Growth mindset” was coined by Carol Dweck, a Stanford Psychologist. She was researching the power of our beliefs and how changing them can impact our lives.
A growth mindset is where you believe that your skills and abilities can be developed over time, they're not something that you must be born with. If you have this type of mindset, you’ll believe that with hard work and commitment, you can develop your abilities and intelligence.
Why does it matter?
So, why does it matter whether or not you have a growth mindset? Well, if you don’t, you’re going to find it difficult to achieve the life you want.
Your mindset impacts everything from the way you live to the relationships you have. For example, if you believe you aren’t worth anything, you’ll naturally attract people who also don’t see your worth, and you may never demand to be treated with the respect that you truly deserve. Or, if you believe you aren’t good enough for a job you really want, you’ll avoid going for it in the first place. With a growth mindset, you’d apply even if you had doubts about your abilities because you understand that you are capable of developing the skills needed to excel in that role.
The mindset you have can drastically change your life. So, if you’re looking to achieve your goals and live a happy and fulfilled life, working on having a growth mindset is the first step.
Common growth mindset misconceptions
There are a lot of common growth mindset misconceptions out there. Being aware of the facts behind the myths is crucial if you want to make a growth mindset work for you.
Some of the most common misconceptions include:
- A growth mindset is all about praise and reward
- You can either have a fixed or a growth mindset
- It isn’t possible to develop a growth mindset
- It is about being happy all of the time
- A growth mindset is the only thing you need for success
These are just some of the common misconceptions over what a growth mindset is and how it works. While a lot of growth mindset does revolve around praising and rewarding yourself, that isn’t all it consists of. Instead, it focuses more upon learning from experiences and seeing opportunities in challenges. As you try something new, you will face challenges, as you push through the challenges you will learn, and you can apply your new knowledge to future endeavors. It's a "try, learn, apply" approach. The more you try, the more you learn, the more you can apply. Eventually, you will have the skills you need to achieve your ultimate goal. It takes time, but because you know that with each attempt you are getting closer to your end goal, you can enjoy your journey.
So, now you understand more about what a growth mindset is, the next question is, is it possible to change your mindset?
Is it possible to change your mindset?
Of course! It is absolutely possible to change your mindset. (I mean, I would never write a blog post to tell you that you're not capable of doing something to improve your life. That completely goes against everything that I believe.) Keep in mind, it may take a while depending on how long you have been stuck in your current mindset. The longer you have been living with a fixed mindset, the harder it will be to change. However, it is always possible to change it regardless of how ingrained it is.
The key to changing your mindset is to take it slowly, like one teeny tiny baby step at a time. You are going to need to actively work on taking small steps to adopt a growth mindset. You will need to start by identifying and challenging your limiting thoughts and behaviors. Only by being consistent will you see a change in the way you think.
So, if you are looking to improve your life and achieve your goals, you can see that a growth mindset is essential. Now that you know what it is, you can start to work on developing a growth mindset without falling victim to its many misconceptions. With effort, patience, and persistence, you can start to turn your fixed mindset into a growth mindset.
The Two Types of Mindset
People generally fall into one of two mindset categories, either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. The mindset you have will determine the level of your success.
Let's take a look at the differences between a fixed and a growth mindset.
Understanding a fixed mindset
A fixed mindset is where you believe that your qualities and traits are fixed and cannot be changed, nor underdeveloped ones improved. Challenges are avoided, you’ll give up easily when you encounter obstacles and you’ll put little effort into changing as it seems pointless.
Those with a fixed mindset tend to feel more threatened by those who have achieved success. They tend to believe that successful people are born lucky or that they didn't have to work hard to achieve their success. They are also not going to live life to their full potential or achieve the things they really want.
Having a fixed mindset can be damaging, especially if it causes you to not even try to improve, and can drive you to seek approval from others.
What is a growth mindset?
A growth mindset is basically the opposite of a fixed mindset. It allows you to believe that challenges are opportunities and there is always the chance to improve your skills. You will not only believe that you can grow your intelligence and skills over time, but you’ll also take steps to do so.
With a growth mindset, you’ll persist when you encounter a setback and embrace challenges. You will also learn from feedback given to you and put a lot of effort into growing and improving. When you see successful people, you’ll try and learn from their success.
A growth mindset basically means you’re be open to growth and development.
How your mindset affects your life
So, why does it matter what type of mindset you have? Well, there are a number of ways your mindset can impact your life. If you have a fixed mindset, it will typically:
· Cause you to give up on your dreams
· Prevent you from trying anything new
· You’ll stay stuck in a job or relationship you hate
· You won’t achieve success
Having a fixed mindset can negatively impact your life in a lot of ways. In contrast, a growth mindset will:
· Help you to learn new things
· Increase your chances of success
· Cause you to go after your dreams and never give up
· Help you to see bigger and better opportunities
· Help you to achieve success
A growth mindset is needed if you want to live your best life. When you develop a growth mindset, it makes you passionate about learning. You’ll also develop a lot more resilience with a growth mindset.
Could your beliefs be holding you back?
Now you know the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset, it’s time to address whether your current beliefs are holding you back.
Some beliefs you might currently hold if you have a fixed mindset, include:
“I’m not good enough”
“I’m not creative”
“I’ll never lose weight”
“I’m just not good with numbers”
These kinds of beliefs really hold you back, yet they are common in today’s society. If you believe you can’t do something, how likely are you to even try? This is the mindset that will keep you stuck in your comfort zone, stuck in a pattern of behavior that so far has not led you to achieve the success you desire.
In order to change your mindset, you’ll need to start small. It’s all about taking action, tiny baby steps, to become a better person. As you start to take action and see results, it pushes you to continue.
Growth Mindset Examples
Looking to develop a growth mindset but aren’t sure exactly what it means?
I got you. Let's look at some growth mindset examples to help you to better understand how it works. We will also look at some examples of a fixed mindset so you can compare the two.
What are some examples of a growth mindset?
There are a lot of examples of a growth mindset you can use to get started. Just a small selection you can start with include:
· I’m not a natural writer, I have to learn it
· There is a lot I still need to learn
· Feedback gives me an opportunity to learn how to improve
· Failure is a learning curve
· If I have determination, I can do anything
So, a growth mindset is about being willing to learn and maintaining a positive outlook. So, how does it compare to a fixed mindset?
Fixed mindset examples
Many people have a natural, fixed mindset. Being able to identify if you are living with a fixed mindset is important as it could be significantly holding you back. So, let’s take a look at some fixed mindset examples:
· Some people are born to be writers and I'm not one of them
· I have learned everything I need to know
· Feedback = criticism
· I’m only going to fail so what’s the point in trying?
· I can’t overcome the challenges in my way
As you can see, these fixed mindset examples are the opposite of the growth mindset examples above. When you have a fixed mindset, it prevents you from moving forward and achieving the things you want.
Examples of switching from a fixed to a growth mindset
Now that you have an idea of how a fixed and a growth mindset works, let’s look at some examples of how you can make the switch.
If you’re looking to turn a fixed mindset into a growth mindset, some examples would be:
Fixed mindset: “I’m a binge eater. Once I start eating chips I can’t stop”
Growth mindset: “I have tended to binge eat chips and it’s been hard to stop after just one but I will take it one day at time to understanding and overcoming my triggers”
Fixed mindset: “I’m never going to achieve my dream”
Growth mindset: “It may be difficult to achieve my dream, but I know with effort and dedication I can do it”
Fixed mindset: “It’s too late to learn now”
Growth mindset: “I can learn whatever I need to whenever I like”
These are just some great examples of a fixed and growth mindset. A fixed mindset will see you stuck in old patterns of behavior. You won’t grow or develop your skills and most importantly, you’ll never reach your life goals if you have a purely fixed mindset.
Balancing growth and fixed mindsets
While a growth mindset is important, it won't completely replace a fixed mindset. All of us have a mixed mindset. Some have more of a growth mindset and some have more of a fixed mindset. But I have yet to meet, or hear of, someone who has is 100% fixed or growth mindset. Developing a growth mindset is all part of our unique journey.
think of it like this, adopting a growth mindset isn’t about completely eliminating fixed ways of thinking. Instead, it’s a great tool for helping you to move forward and learn from your experiences.
Now that you know some common fixed and growth mindset examples, you can start to work on switching your mindset. Learning to recognize your fixed mindset is the first step to adjusting it. You may find it takes a little time, but if you are consistent, you’ll eventually start to develop a growth mindset.
5 Ways You Can Develop a Growth Mindset
Now that you know what a growth mindset is and the benefits it can deliver, the question is how can you develop it?
Of course, if you’ve been stuck in a fixed mindset for years, you may find it difficult to adjust to a growth mindset initially. However, there are some tips and strategies you can follow to help make it easier.
As a Confidence and Goal Success Coach, here are some of the ways I incorporate growth mindset strategies when working with clients:
1. Define what success means to you
One of the key differences between a fixed and a growth mindset is the need for approval. Which is a result of trying to live by someone else's definition of success.
With a fixed mindset, you’ll typically believe that you can't learn anything new and that if you're not good at something then it's not worth doing. That is just not true.
Nobody is born knowing everything they will ever need to know in their lives. A pilot wasn't born with the skills to fly a plane. An engineer isn't born knowing everything they need to know. We can't even walk or talk when we're born. Every single one of us had to learn over time. What makes us capable of learning those activities but not others? I get it, some things may not come easy to you at first but that doesn't mean that you can't learn.
If your definition of success involves a skillset that you don't have, you can do something about it. But first you have to define what it is that you want, and believe that you are capable of achieving it.
And believe me, you are capable!
Get your thoughts out of your head, but don't stop there. If you notice that your thoughts are coming from a fixed mindset, use your journal to acknowledge those thoughts. But then look for reasons why those thoughts are not true, or ways you can switch them to a growth mindset thought instead.
Since this is your journal, it can be your safe place to vent. And trust me, I want you to vent. Get it all out. But then you have to do something about it. The goal here is to move from acknowledging your fixed mindset thoughts to moving yourself to a growth mindset thought and action plan.
3. Reflect on your thoughts and actions
When you’re trying to change your mindset, it’s important to pay attention to your thoughts and actions. By identifying fixed mindset thinking and behavior early, it gives you the opportunity to switch it to a growth mindset.
So, learn how to start recognizing when your fixed mindset kicks in, when you are sticking to your comfort zone out of fear or because it's hard. As soon as you notice it, switch to a growth mindset. Use the examples you’ve learnt as a starting block. By switching negative thinking to positive thinking, it’s going to help you maintain a growth mindset.
4. Celebrate taking action
It’s common to only celebrate the wins in life. However, a growth mindset is more about the effort you put into changing and reaching your goals. If you don’t praise your efforts, you will find it harder to stick to the changes you are trying to make.
So, when you’ve worked hard to change and you know you have put a lot of effort in, be sure to praise yourself. Even if you fail, praise the amount of effort you made and then use it to do better next time.
5. Break down your goals
Finally, if you want to develop a growth mindset, you need to make sure you are being realistic. That means, ensuring your goals are small and achievable.
If you attempt to work on a big goal without splitting it down, it can have a negative impact on your mindset. You also need to be realistic about how quickly you can develop a growth mindset. It isn’t going to happen overnight so be sure not to put too much pressure on yourself.
These are some of the most effective ways to develop a growth mindset. The key is to persevere and be consistent in your efforts. It may take a while to fully adopt a growth mindset, but it is possible and will undoubtedly improve your life.
Once you develop a growth mindset, it’s going to have a significant positive effect on your life. So, start following the steps above today to start developing a growth mindset.
5 Steps to Create a Goal to Grow Your Mindset
Now that you understand what a growth mindset is, it’s time to look at how to develop it. Is it possible to create a growth mindset, and if so, how exactly can you do it?
Let's look at 5 steps to creating a goal to grow your mindset:
1. Acknowledge and celebrate your imperfections
One of the main obstacles to achieve a growth mindset is the need for perfection. Everybody has imperfections, yet today we often feel uncomfortable and weak if we acknowledge them. If you want to develop a growth mindset, it is imperative that you learn to celebrate your imperfections.
Write a list of your imperfections. Next to each one, write something positive about that imperfection. It is our imperfections which make us unique. Once you start celebrating them, it helps you to stop letting them get in the way of your success.
2. Learn to see failure differently
Let’s face it, failure is never going to feel good. However, those with a growth mindset see it as an opportunity to learn and do better next time. If you start to see failure as a learning opportunity rather than a personal weakness, it’s going to help you push forward and achieve your goals.
Failure isn’t any indication of who you are as a person. Everybody fails at some point in their lives. Even the biggest business leaders in the world have seen more than their fair share of failures. However, it is their ability to view their failures as a learning opportunity, which helped them to finally achieve success.
3. See opportunities in challenges
Similarly, a growth mindset is all about seeing opportunities in challenges. Just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to achieve it anyway.
If you tend to get scared off by challenges, it can help to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Remember that with each new challenge, it gives us the opportunity to learn and grow. Start reframing your mind to recognize challenges as opportunities. If you repeat it as a mantra, you’ll start to see your perception change over time.
4. Ask yourself questions
Think about what it is you want from life. This will help you to create goals you can work towards. Ask yourself questions in order to determine what it is you want, what is holding you back and how you can overcome any existing challenges.
Question your thoughts and beliefs that are keeping you stuck in a fixed mindset. By asking yourself questions, it forces you to assess your behavior and mindset, highlighting where changes need to be made.
5. Commit to learning
A growth mindset is all about learning. You need to be open to continuously learn from the experiences you go through. Commit to learning new things. It is never too late to learn and it can be argued we never actually stop learning in our lives.
Think about something you have wanted to learn but your fixed mindset has held you back. Then, make a commitment to get started. Book lessons or research more about the thing you want to learn online. Set aside a little time each week to dedicate to learning something new.
These are some of the best steps you can follow to create a goal to grow your mindset. When you adopt a growth mindset, it helps you to achieve your goals and live the life you want. While there will always be challenges along the way, when you have a growth mindset you are better able to overcome them. Give the steps above a try to start developing a growth mindset today.