The Growth Mindset - What Is It And How Do You Unlock It?

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What Is A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is about developing the mindset - i.e. the understanding and correlating behaviour that all skills, knowledge and ability are learnt and can be improved upon, as opposed to a fixed mindset, where the belief is that they are instead talents that we are born with, and we either have them or we don’t.


The terms growth mindset and fixed mindset were popularised by Carol Dweck in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”. In it, emphasis is placed on the need for continuous self improvement on the journey to success - never assume you have reached a point where you know all there is to know, as there is always more to learn and do.

Essentially, it boils down to being a belief system - a belief that with hard work, effort and practice, you can get better at something and achieve more.

==> Check out this article on Re-programming You Belief System


Growth Mindset Vs Fixed Mindset


A person with a growth mindset will always be looking for an opportunity to improve themselves, trying new things, learning from their failures and taking responsibility for their mistakes, whereas somebody with a fixed mindset will believe that the only things that exist are the things that they know of, there is no other perspective, no other possibilities - just the world as it is, and they also always tend to be the victim of circumstance too!




How To Develop A Growth Mindset 


You may by now have come to realise that you perhaps, up to this point, have had a fixed mindset, but want to make a change as you realise now that you want better for yourself, and unless you change then nothing will…

Well, the good news is that you can start to cultivate a growth mindset, simply by adopting the following habits and reflecting on them daily to make sure you are sticking to them:
  • Have defined goals that you are working towards - You should always be working towards achieving something. This not only gives you an opportunity to grow by learning new skills and knowledge required to attain the goal, but by setting goals, you have clarity of what it is you need to do. This is something a lot of people lack in life and hence why they go through life lost, not knowing what they need to do next, or worse, not even realising they are lost!

  • Take responsibility for the things that happen to you - Life happens to us all, we can’t control what it throws at us. What we can control is how we react to what it throws. If you play the victim and pass responsibility to someone or something else for your current situation, then you will never be able to grow past it. Even if you didn’t cause the situation, it is your responsibility to make the decisions to overcome it, otherwise you will continue to face the same challenges over and over again.
  • Stop focusing on what you don’t have - You can never attract more into your life by focusing on what you don’t have, this will only attract more scarcity and poverty, as you get what you focus on. Instead, be grateful for what you do have - look around you and imagine life without the things that surround you - how different would it be without water, electricity, clothes, a home?
  • Step out of your comfort zone - You need to have the courage to step out from your comfort zone and try new things. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you are doing right away, you will learn. Remember, nothing good grows in the comfort zone!
  • Don’t be afraid to fail - Failing is a sign of progress, it means you are trying and you are learning from your efforts. You never truly fail unless you stop trying. A lot of people are afraid to do something because they are afraid they will fail and that they will look silly in front of people, but it doesn’t matter what other people think. This is your life and you shouldn’t let it be influenced by the opinions of others.
  • Cut the negativity from your life - This is the negativity from yourself and others. For you, stop the negative self talk and foster an attitude of self-belief, because you can do anything you set your mind to. As for external influences, be it other people, the news, what you are reading, listening to etc., if it isn’t helping you to grow and maintain a positive mindset, then you need to remove it from your life before it poisons your mind!
  • Be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses - A key trait of somebody with a growth mindset is that they are acutely aware of what goes on around them, and in particular, they are self-aware. They realise when things are working well, and more importantly, when they are not - then they look to strengthen themselves in that particular area.
  • Read more books for ideas - Reading is the cornerstone of developing a growth mindset. They say that each book typically has 1-3 good ideas in that you can extract and transpose into your own life, whether this is an improvement in your productivity, the way you think or a business idea, the more books you read, the more you will flood your mind with positive messages of growth and development, which in turn will start to spark your own creativity!
  • Take time to think - Thinking time is an integral part of creating a growth mindset. Oftentimes people get lost fighting the fires, when sometimes it just takes you to step back and look at the bigger picture. Whether it is reflecting upon a previous activity, or thinking of a solution to a new challenge, be sure to allow some time in a quiet environment, free of distractions, with a notepad and a pen to think over the situation.




Growth Mindset For Kids

Kids these days have a lot of pressure on them to get things right and not to fail, whether it is their school punishing them for not getting the correct answer, or their friends mocking them because they couldn’t do something the first time.

All this does is condition their minds to avoid failure as it links it with the ‘pain’ of what happens when they don’t get it right.

Instead, we should encourage our kids to fail more often, as that will encourage them to try more things, and open them up to new experiences, and they will gain learning from all the times they have failed and be better for it.

Even the act of teaching kids about the differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, in that they are able to improve their skills by working at them rather than just assuming that they are not capable of certain things, has been shown to improve their results.

Another key to cultivating a growth mindset in children is not only giving them encouragement and praise, but the type of encouragement and praise they get. For example, telling a child they are smart may seem like a good thing to do if they are doing well, right? But, actually what this does is instill a fixed mindset, as it programs the mind into thinking it already knows everything therefore there is nothing more to learn.

This is another example of why we need to be careful of the words we choose and the information we allow to pass into our minds, as even what may seem to be a compliment on the face of it, can have lasting negative effects on the mind.

Growth mindset quotes


I’d like to finish off with some of my favourite quotes on growth mindset for that extra motivational boost!

  • Nothing is impossible, even the word says I’m Possible!
  • I haven’t failed, I have just found 1000 ways that don’t work
  • An expert is someone who has made every possible mistake in a particular field
  • The most certain way to success is to try just one more time
  • Nothing will change, unless you do

HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH THE RIGHT HABITS

Why not take the next step in your own JOURNEY TO SUCCESS and download our FREE 5 Rules For Success Guide to find out what else you should be doing if you want to achieve success in your life.

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