Cultivating a Growth Mindset
The Power of Mindset
Your mindset shapes your experience of reality. What you focus on and what meaning you give to things determine how you feel about life. Your mindset in turn impacts your actions. You can only grow if your mind sees the possibilities and believes that growth is possible.
“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?” — Carol S. Dweck
We are all works-in-progress. Growth, especially when it’s sustained, doesn’t happen by accident; it’s not a destination, it’s a journey. Your experience on the journey is largely informed by your mindset and habits.
Whether you’re talking about personal growth, education, career success, starting your own business, relationships, getting through a tough workout or being a parent, having the right mindset will be of major impact.
Your mindset is a collection of beliefs that you have about yourself. This includes how you view your talent, knowledge, skills, intelligence, personality, and so on. All of that will shape the way you view goals and accomplishments in life.
What Is a Growth Mindset and How Does it Apply to Your Well-being and Career?
The research of Prof Carol Dweck (Stanford University) has demonstrated that a growth mindset is essential to a person’s learning and development. She introduced the theory of fixed vs growth mindset.
As she puts it, ‘it can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.” Though much of her work is related to education, it has spilled over into the workplace and personal lives as well. Our mindsets can propel or prevent us from fulfilling our potential.
A person with a fixed mindset believes people have fixed traits, similar to a scarcity mindset. A person with a growth mindset believes that traits can be changed and developed by working on them — similar to an abundant mindset.
A fixed mindset sees the world in an “either/or” perspective, while a growth mindset sees “both/and”. A fixed mindset sees mistakes as failures, while a growth mindset sees them as opportunities for learning.
Discover Internal And External Roadblocks That May Be Keeping You From Cultivating A Growth Mindset
- Fear of failure and success
- Fear of change (neophobia)
- Defiant Independence
- Complacency in comfort zone
- Fear of criticism
- Lack of confidence
- The Assumption Gap — “I assume that I will automatically grow.”
- People (friends, family, coworkers, neighbors)
- Environment (home, workplace)
- Social media
- Lack of Access to Necessary Technology
- Changes in the Industry
- Too Few Resources
- Lack of Funding
Reframing with Language: How Language Affects Our Mindset
The words we use have a powerful effect on the results we generate in our lives. The words we use on a regular, repeated basis — whether positive or negative, expansive or contractive — is the framework through which the energy of life that moves through us is pouring.
The language we use to continuously describe events in our lives, the experiences we’re having, our conditions, and our circumstances eventually becomes accepted by our subconscious mind as the truth.
The fact is, your words have the power to shape your thoughts, which shapes your mindset, which ultimately shapes your reality.
Your words can either lead you to adopt a fixed mindset, therefore generating more struggle and lack, or they can help to develop your growth mindset, creating greater, freer, fuller results and bringing you more abundance.
How to Develop a Growth Mindset to Succeed
Adopting a growth mindset can help you get a job, excel in your new career, and uncover opportunities in your career as you grow. A growth mindset allows you to approach your new career with positivity while opening up new possibilities.
We are not just one or the other. Our mindsets are constantly shifting and changing. How you choose to interpret your experiences can set the boundaries on what you can accomplish.
You take charge of your career and life through self-reflection and decide what changes need to be made.
Questions for you:
- Are you getting in your own way?
- What did you learn today that surprised you?
- Did you make any good mistakes today?
- How did you learn from them?
- What did you do today that made your brain grow?
- How did you help someone else stretch their brain power?
- Can you see a clear route ahead?
- Do you need help articulating where you are trying to get to?
- What am I struggling with right now?
- What do I want to learn by the end of this week?
- What is one thing I will try that will get me out of my comfort zone?
- Who can I reach out to for help this week?
- What did I do today that made me think hard?
- What new strategies did I try?
- What mistake did I make that taught me something?
Growth Mindset Strategies
1. View challenges as opportunities
2. Prioritize learning over seeking approval
3. Focus on the process instead of the end result
4. Cultivate a sense of purpose
5. Choose learning well over learning fast
6. Making mistakes does not mean you’re a failure
7. Learn from the mistakes of others
8. Learn to receive constructive criticism
9. Cultivate grit
10. Set a new goal for every milestone you achieve
11. Remember that it takes time to succeed in anything
A Take Home Message
Having a growth mindset isn’t an “easy button” solution to any problem, and it will not automatically cause good things to happen to you; however, it will likely make it easier and more enjoyable to work hard toward your goals, and give you the confidence you need to set ever more ambitious goals.
You’re unlikely to meet anyone who has a 100% growth or fixed mindset. Remember, it’s a spectrum, we’re all a mixture of growth and fixed mindsets depending on the challenge we face and what we believe about our abilities in relation to that challenge.