Ever heard of a growth mindset but not sure what it means? It could be the key you’ve been looking for to change your life and change your mindset today. A growth mindset is all within your control and you may even have it already.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is a concept created by Dr. Carole Dweck. After years of research, especially on students, the term “Growth Mindset” was born. She published all of her findings in her book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’.
The research revealed the differences between someone with a fixed mindset and others with a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset is unchanging and limited. In a fixed mindset, you may feel your life is determined by your intelligence, character, genes, environment, and talent. This person is completely closed to change and does not believe growth is possible.
Unfortunately, this creates a need for approval and proving that you are smart, enough and successful. Therefore, you rely on the validation from others and avoid situations where failure can occur.
On the other hand, a growth mindset is exactly what it sounds like. This mindset is much more flexible and believes that people are not limited by their current abilities and can learn. All potential is within and can be cultivated through growth and learning.
Often, those with a growth mindset welcome failure as a chance to learn and seek out challenges as opportunities to improve themselves.
Where do you sit between these mindsets?
Dweck’s research also showed that we all operate in both growth and fixed mindsets. However, it’s all about applying and using them in the right situations.
For example, a fixed mindset determines we cannot fly and therefore saves us from jumping off a cliff. Whereas, a growth mindset keeps you pushing on in a challenge and trying again rather than giving up.
How many times have you faced challenges or failures and decided to give up?
A growth mindset can completely change your perspective of everyday situations and ways that you can become your best self and nurture your mind.
How to Implement a Growth Mindset and Change Your Life
Taking time to reflect on your past behaviour, choices and struggles can reveal which mindset you naturally operate within. Ask yourself:
- What challenges have I faced in the past year?
- How did it make me feel? Like a failure or in a place of learning?
- Did I try again with a different approach?
- What did I learn from these experiences?
- Have I applied these lessons in my everyday life?
Reflecting on your previous experiences is key in understanding how you process these situations, how they make you feel and the action you have taken since.
This gives you the basis to start changing the way you think and tackle any challenges life throws at you.
The Power of Yet
This idea is a result of Dweck’s research into the growth mindset. The power of yet is the idea that, even if you fail, you are not there yet. You are still learning and will continue to learn until you succeed.
You can use this as an affirmation for empowerment and encouragement. If you are not there yet, then that means you have to try again and have the potential to be there with more growth.
This is to completely change your perspective of yourself in a positive way. Knowing you are not there yet opens you up to change and that you have not reached your full potential. You know success is out there, you are just not there yet.
Monitor Your Inner Dialogue
In addition to using the power of yet as an affirmation, you also need to analyse your other inner dialogue.
If you find yourself saying ‘you’re not smart enough to do XYZ’ then you are limiting yourself. Fixing your talent within boundaries, ingraining the belief that you are unable to grow or succeed. Again, if you say this to others, as Dweck’s research shows, this affects the mindset they hold too.
Instead, take away those limits by encouraging yourself and promoting growth from within. Tell yourself that you can and will succeed. Allow yourself time to grow and learn and know that you are on a journey to your best self.
Go Out of Your Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is the best place for a fixed mindset. Not only does a fixed mindset exist in your mind, but it can also be present in your physical environment.
Your comfort zone can restrict you from taking on challenges and keeps you within the boundary of safety and proven success. Ultimately, stopping you from growing and making the progress that you want.
By stepping out of your comfort zone you risk failure and therefore have an opportunity to learn and grow. This gives you the best chances of building a growth mindset by throwing yourself in the deep end.
Stop Seeking Approval
As we know, a defining feature of a fixed mindset is seeking approval and validation from others. It also leads people to avoid instances where they may fail as this can jeopardise what others think.
The truth is, you do not need approval from others.
Others may not understand the learning process you are going through and the growth you can have. But you do. Appreciate yourself for your efforts, for your growth and failures along the way.
The only approval you need is from yourself on your personal journey.
Take Charge of Your Growth Mindset
With these few tips, you can start to change your life from this very second. Take the time to recognise your current mindset, leap out of your comfort zone and encourage yourself. This will all lead to exponential growth and a positive perspective of every challenge.
Realise that you might not be there yet, but you are on the way. Open yourself to growth and learning from everyday life and any failures you might have. Embrace your journey.
Brittany is the co-creator of Mind Medicine, where holistic health and wellbeing are the focus. Changing your mindset, consuming healthy nutrition and undertaking fitness to encourage health, happiness, and fulfilment in everyday life.