Have you ever noticed that the people who are most successful at whatever they set their minds to tend to have one thing in common? They all have a growth mindset.
A growth mindset focuses on being able to achieve your goals, versus a fixed mindset which believes you’re either great at something or terrible at it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
One of the most important factors in determining your success in any endeavor is your mindset or the way you think about what you’re doing and how successful you are at it.
What is a Growth Mindset?
To have a growth mindset means that we more often than not, see challenges as opportunities to grow, learn and improve ourselves. It’s about always asking how we can improve ourselves in any given situation.
A strong growth mindset comes from believing that:
- Any problem has many possible solutions.
- Our past success doesn’t predict our future success.
- It’s okay if I make mistakes
- I am capable of improving myself
- Effort is more important than ability
A key aspect of having a growth mindset is being comfortable with not knowing everything and being open-minded to new possibilities.
Benefits Of Having A Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is crucial to reaching your full potential. People with growth mindsets don’t see failures as setbacks, but rather just one step closer towards success. When you’re driven by passion and hard work, instead of fear of failure, it’s easy to overcome challenges and develop key skills needed for advancement in any area of your life.
Developing a growth mindset will set you up for success in whatever part of your life you are looking to improve.
People with growth mindsets are more likely to face challenges head on, rather than run away from them in fear. Those who understand that setbacks are inevitable will work hard to overcome them and walk away feeling proud of their accomplishments.
Having a growth mindset gives people confidence and determination to conquer anything they set their minds to. Whether it’s starting an online business, writing an e-book, having meaningful relationships, or going back to school for an advanced degree. When you have a growth mindset, any goal is achievable!
Growth Mindset Example
People with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity.
What does that mean?
They know that in order to get better, they have to push themselves out of their comfort zone and experiment, which inevitably means sometimes failing at something.
Instead of being afraid of failure or thinking it’s bad, people with a growth mindset embrace mistakes as part of learning and improving. In fact, they love having obstacles thrown in their way because it challenges them!
People with a fixed mindset see failures as proof that they are inadequate. They believe that if they fail at something, it’s because they lack talent or skills. This is often why people don’t pursue things they want even if they have an innate talent or skillset for it.
Fixed mindset versus growth mindset example
A person who is a natural writer writes a book and shops it for publishing. After being met with several closed doors, she thinks “maybe I am just not meant to be a writer”. She then gives up on her dream of being a published author.
A person who loves to write decides to start writing a book. They go through the process of learning how to self-publish. Publish the book. Only sell 100 copies when the goal was to sell 500.
The writer then goes on to figure out how to turn the book into an audiobook and eBook. Lists it for sale in the two new formats and sells thousands of copies.
The person in the second example didn’t attach the outcome to their abilities. They may have done some research and realized that people don’t buy and read handheld books as much anymore in their genre. They may have surveyed their audience and got feedback that suggested they would have enjoyed it more if it was in another more accessible format.
At any rate, they did not stop. They did not hang on to the outcome and look at it as a failure. They put it in the gas tank and used it for fuel to keep going. Leading them to not only reach their goal but to exceed it.
How To Have A Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is a belief that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—as opposed to a fixed mindset, which says that intelligence is fixed from birth.
Understanding how to adopt a growth mindset will have far-reaching implications for your career, your relationships, and basically every area of life.
Here are some tips for adopting a growth mindset
A key part of having a growth mindset is seeking out challenges and opportunities for stretching yourself. When an opportunity comes along, ask yourself: What’s exciting about it? What are my skills and what do I know? What will I learn in doing it? Will it grow my skills or help me develop something new? If an opportunity doesn’t have those elements, don’t pursue it.
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Use the successes of others as motivation instead of being discouraged by them.
Surround yourself with growth seekers. If all of your friends are interested in being average, it might be hard for you to adopt a growth mindset. Look for people who want to stretch themselves and challenge themselves. It’s also important to develop mentors who will support you as you grow.
Many people feel that they are not intelligent enough or don’t have what it takes to succeed. But if they could only realize their potential through practice and perseverance then there is no way that they couldn’t succeed!
Common Myths About Growth Mindsets
A lot of people think that having a growth mindset means thinking positive, always believing in yourself, and never challenging yourself.
In reality, it’s more about setting and meeting realistic expectations for success. The best way to go about developing a growth-oriented mentality is by keeping these five myths in mind:
Myth #1: You need to see yourself as successful before you can be successful.
In reality, people with growth mindsets succeed because they’re always challenging themselves. If someone has an unconditional belief in their own ability, it’s unlikely that they’ll work hard or persevere through challenges because there’s no failure.
Instead, these people acknowledge challenges and view them as opportunities for improvement.
Myth #2: You need to think positively all of the time.
When it comes to thinking about our abilities, we don’t just fall into one category or another. In reality, what’s important is how we respond to challenges and setbacks. Do we see them as evidence that we aren’t capable, or do we view them as opportunities for improvement? Those with growth mindsets have more positive thoughts, but they also have negative ones. They just don’t fixate on the negative.
Myth #3: People with certain personalities can’t have growth mindsets.
Our personality traits are relatively stable over time, but even if we’re extroverted or introverted, for example, we can still work toward changing and improving ourselves. When it comes to developing a growth-oriented mentality, actually believing that you are capable of change is more important than personality type.
Myth #4: You shouldn’t challenge yourself if you have a fixed mindset.
In reality, it’s important to push yourself in order to improve and master new skills. Even if you have a fixed mindset and believe that there are limits on what you can do, pushing past them is still useful because it will give you valuable experience, boost your confidence and maybe even cross you over into a growth state of mind.
Myth #5: You shouldn’t be open to negative feedback if you have a growth mindset.
Not everyone is going to understand or support your journey toward self-improvement, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. In fact, being able to reflect on challenges and setbacks is an important part of success for anyone who wants to see real change in their lives. Growth mindsets don’t come from avoiding criticism; they come from accepting it as useful feedback for improvement and discerning what can be applied and what can be discarded..
Endless Possibilities With a Growth Mindset
Creating a positive mindset is instrumental in staying on track. You will be more motivated, you will be able to take criticisms with grace and understanding, and you won’t be so worried about failing that you don’t try at all.
It’s true that it takes work – hard work – but if you have what it takes to learn new skills, think outside of yourself, develop yourself into an expert of what matters to you, then nothing is impossible. Your possibilities are endless when you have a growth mindset.
No matter what challenges you face, with a growth mindset there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
Find some time today to reflect on what skills need work and where your confidence needs an extra boost. This is one of those small steps that will result in big changes down the road.