How to get a growth mindset: how can you cultivate a growth mindset?
What Is a Growth Mindset?
According to Ryan Gottfredson, there are 4 separate axes of mindset:
#1: Fixed vs. Growth
A fixed mindset involves the belief that your intelligence and skills are innate (you are born with them) and incapable of changing. With a growth mindset, one believes that talents can be developed with practice and effort.
(We will talk more about these mindset types below.)
#2: Closed vs. Open
An open mindset is how much you believe you could be wrong and how seriously you take other’s ideas or suggestions. A closed mindset is how much you believe you are right and how often you avoid new perspectives. (Source)
People with an open mindset are willing to consider new ideas or beliefs. While they care about being right, they care MORE about finding the truth. They see disagreements as opportunity for learning, and they invite new perspectives.
#3: Prevention vs. Promotion
A promotion mindset is how interested you are in working outside your comfort zone, and trying new things. A prevention mindset is more concerned with taking as few risks as possible, trying not to lose, and making mistakes.
People with a promotion mindset take more chances because they focus on the best case scenario. They may also fail more often, but only because they take more risks for the potential reward. They thrive off positive feedback, and hate missing a chance to advance.
#4: Inward vs. Outward
An outward mindset focused on meeting the goals of a group, whereas an inward mindset focuses primarily on your own goals, with a low interest in the goals or benefit to the group.
Those with an outward mindset enjoy collaboration, sharing information that benefits others, and sees individuals as people with their own needs, values and challenges.
In each of the brief descriptions above, it’s easy to see which of each mindset is more OPEN, loving and beneficial to the greater good. One of the mindsets in each contrast feels open, and full of opportunity. And the other feels small, constrained, and limiting.
These are all really important components of a healthy, fruitful life.
However, in this article we are focusing in on Fixed vs. Growth mindsets.
Fixed Versus Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is the belief that a person’s ability to succeed comes from continuous learning over time. In other words, a growth mindset is a state of being open and receptive to new ideas and ways of doing things.
A fixed mindset, in contrast, is the belief that one’s competence and ability are unchangeable. With a fixed mindset, your traits and talents have been defined since birth; it’s not possible to change that in your lifetime.
People with a fixed mindset tend to run away from challenging situations. They are insecure and feel apprehensive when compared to other people.
When someone has a growth mindset, they believe that their intelligence stems from their capacity to learn, and equate learning with effort.
It’s important to remember that with a fixed versus growth mindset – AND with any of the other mindsets described above – most of us will sit on a spectrum. We won’t be 100% growth minded or 100% fixed for example. The goal, however, is to move towards more of a growth mindset with practice and awareness.
Benefits of a Growth Mindset
The benefits of a growth mindset include:
- Increased self-esteem
- Learn new skills
- Welcome and accept new challenges
- Keep progressing despite mistakes
People with a growth mindset focus on positive thoughts that empower them. It helps them to feel more confident and stop underestimating their abilities.
Having high self-esteem means that you believe that you can accomplish what you set out to do, and it shows when you take action despite obstacles.
Learn new skills
A growth mindset will help you remember all the times when you thought you were too old, too far behind to start, not smart enough – but you persevered and succeeded. The truth is everyone can make progress by learning new skills and achieving new goals. The latter is far better than achieving nothing at all.
Life is definitely more productive and positive if you give it your “all”.
Welcome and accept new challenges
Recent events highlight the need to be able to adjust and have high stress tolerance to face new challenges. This is one of the most important benefits of a growth mindset – being able to adapt to challenging situations.
A growth mindset allows you to adapt to change. You can treat favorable circumstances as an opportunity to grow more and not settle for the progress you already made. When things get tough, you can treat it as a way to get out of your comfort zone to create new solutions to problems.
Keep progressing despite mistakes
People with a growth mindset own their mistakes. They take responsibility for any mistakes they make, and don’t point fingers to blame others for what they did.
In times of disappointment or failure, they get up and try again. Instead of fearing failure, they have learned to see it as a stepping stone to success.
Here are some signs that you already have developed a growth mindset:
- When everyone else has given up, you are still there to give it one more try.
- While others hesitates to take the risk, you move forward.
30 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset
Why should you consider cultivating a growth mindset? Well, because it’s going to be hard to change who you are and what you do if you have a fixed mindset.
To be successful you have to be able to be flexible. A growth mindset is essential to:
- reach your goals
- feel more gratitude in your life
- see more opportunities
- feel more confident
- know that you can improve
- accept feedback without getting hurt
- have better personal and business relationships.
- be positive toward other people – you know that what they do isn’t the same as what they are
- be grateful for other people’s example, instead of envious of their success
You can start improving your mindset by changing the way you think. Here are some ways you can begin to uplevel your mindset:
1: Read About It.
Read about people with a growth mindset. There are many incredible stories out there about people who have achieved great things despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Reading about their journeys can help you develop a growth mindset of your own.
2: Keep learning new things.
Pursuing new hobbies, professional qualifications, etc., can help keep your mind open to change and growth. Consider gardening, healthy living, exercise pets, technology, or business.
Whatever it is, stay curious and willing to discover and grow.
3: Surround yourself with like-minded people.
Everyone around you has an impact on the way you perceive things. They can influence your attitude, mood, and decisions.
Surround yourself with people who pursue growth and don’t fear failure; the impact this can have on your life is hard to overstate.
4: Write down your goals.
Having specific, measurable goals is one of the best ways to maintain a growth mindset. Make sure to write down both short-term and long-term goals so that you can track your progress over time.
5: Find a role model.
Identifying someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve can be incredibly motivating. Look up to them as an example of what is possible and let their success inspire you to keep going, even when things get tough.
6: Get rid of the perfectionism mindset.
One common barrier to a growth mindset is perfectionism. If you’re only ever happy with perfect results, you’ll never be satisfied with your progress and you’ll never reach your full potential. Instead, learn to embrace mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth.
7: Be grateful for feedback.
Feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, can be incredibly helpful in achieving your goals. Learning to accept feedback graciously, and using it to improve your performance, is a key part of having a growth mindset.
8: Take on challenging tasks.
Embracing challenge is one of the most important things you can do to develop a growth mindset. Whenever you’re feeling scared or unsure, remember that it’s during these times that we grow the most.
9: Persevere through setbacks.
Not every day is going to be filled with rainbows and butterflies. Setbacks are inevitable, but it’s how you deal with them that counts. Remember that each setback is an opportunity to learn and grow, so don’t let them get you down.
10: Be willing to put in the hard work.
A growth mindset doesn’t mean that things will always come easy to you. There will be times when you have to put in extra effort to reach your goals. But if you’re willing to work hard, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
11: Practice visualization.
Visualizing yourself achieving your goals is a powerful way to stay motivated and focused. Every day, take some time to close your eyes and imagine yourself achieving the things you want most.
12: Create a support network.
Having supportive people in your life is crucial to maintaining a growth mindset. These people can provide encouragement and advice when you need it most. Find friends, family, or even a mentor who will help you on your journey.
13: Be patient with yourself.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are lasting changes in mindset. It takes time and practice to develop a growth mindset, so be patient with yourself and celebrate your small victories along the way.
14: Be resilient in the face of failure.
Failure is a natural part of life, but it’s how you react to it that counts. If you have a growth mindset, you know that failure is simply an opportunity to learn and grow. So instead of letting it get you down, use it as fuel for your success.
15: Surround yourself with positive people.
The people you spend time with can have a big impact on your overall outlook on life. If you want to develop a growth mindset, surround yourself with positive people who will support your journey.
16: Take care of your body and mind.
Having a healthy mind and body is essential for maintaining a growth mindset. Make sure to exercise regularly, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. Also, take some time each day to relax and de-stress.
17: Be persistent.
One of the most important things you can do to develop a growth mindset is to simply never give up. No matter how many times you fail, always pick yourself back up and keep going. Remember, it’s not about how many times you fall down, it’s about how many times you get back up again.
18: Be grateful.
Gratitude is a powerful tool for developing a growth mindset. Every day, take some time to reflect on the things you’re grateful for in your life. This will help you appreciate your progress and keep things in perspective.
19: Take risks.
In order to achieve big things, you have to be willing to take risks. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be scary, but it’s also where the magic happens. So don’t be afraid to go after what you want most in life.
20: Learn from your mistakes.
Mistakes are inevitable, but they can also be incredibly valuable learning opportunities. If you have a growth mindset, you know that there’s no such thing as a mistake, only an opportunity to learn and grow.
21: Be flexible.
Life is full of surprises, so it’s important to be flexible in your thinking. If something doesn’t go the way you planned, don’t get discouraged. Instead, view it as an opportunity to try something new.
22: Embrace change.
Change is the only constant in life, so it’s important to be comfortable with it. If you have a growth mindset, you know that change is an opportunity for learning and growth. Embrace it instead of resisting it and see what amazing things happen.
23: Focus on the process, not the outcome.
It’s easy to get caught up in the end result, but it’s important to remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. If you focus on the process and enjoy the ride, you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goals.
24: Be present.
One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to live in the present moment. Instead of worrying about what could happen or what has already happened, focus on what’s happening right now. This will help you stay calm and focused on what’s most important.
25: Let go of perfectionism.
Perfectionism is the enemy of progress. If you’re constantly striving for perfection, you’ll never be satisfied with your accomplishments. Let go of the need to be perfect and focus on making progress instead.
26: Be mindful of your thoughts.
Your thoughts have a big impact on your overall mindset. If you want to develop a growth mindset, it’s important to be aware of the thoughts you’re thinking. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, challenge them and reframe them in a more positive light.
27: Practice self-compassion.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to practice self-compassion. Cut yourself some slack and be kind to yourself, especially when you make mistakes. Remember that you’re human and that everyone makes mistakes.
28: Change how you define success.
Think of success as doing your best, not being at your best. Defining success as a process, rather than a state or a destination, frees you from becoming paralyzed by a perceived lack of success, or becoming stagnant in what you already know.
29: Be proactive and avoid envy.
Whenever your friend or coworker has a new project or has been promoted at work, instead of being envious, be grateful that they are showing you that success is possible! Work on your own talent; brainstorm, and start conceiving fresh ideas uniquely your own. Ask yourself:
- What project can I start to improve my situation?
- How can I take advantage of the resources at my disposal?
- How can I improve myself professionally?
30: Self Assessment
The best way to continue improving your mindset involves gaining more self awareness of your current mindset. Reading the description of a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset above: which one feels more true for you right now?
There is no wrong answer and you are probably somewhere in the middle, and might even be more growth minded or more fixed minded in different areas of your life. For example: maybe in your marriage, you feel you have a growth mindset because you and your partner have overcome many challenges together and love each other more deeply every year. However, maybe at work you feel more fixed minded, because until now, you’ve felt that your job tied to your current skillset and it doesn’t seem possible to expand those skills.
The starting point doesn’t matter, only that you’re honest with yourself.
31: Talk to others who have a growth mindset.
Another great way to impact your mindset involves networking with people with a growth mindset. Some ways to do this are by joining a mastermind, or finding a local networking group with like-minds.
Or, if you can already identify people in your life with a growth mindset, simply start paying more attention to how they see the world and themselves.
When you open your mind about changing for the better, that implies being proactive, and you are starting to show a growth mindset. A small idea can grow into opportunities you never would have imagined.
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