A mindset is a set of beliefs that help you perceive and make sense of the world around you. One can have a mindset that allows them to persevere in the face of challenges by showing strength and flexibility, or one can have a mindset that poorly affects their life and doesn’t leave much space to grow and learn. Your mindset can impact how you think, feel, make choices, and behave.
Your mindset will ultimately have an impact on your work, relationships, friendships, routine, etc.
According to Dweck (2015), there are two kinds of mindsets- fixed and growth. Someone with a fixed mindset is likely to believe that their abilities and traits can’t be changed, and therefore cannot be developed.
On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset is likely to believe that their abilities and traits can be changed and developed over time through effort, learning and persistence.
As you can maybe tell- having a fixed mindset does not leave a lot of space for one to grow. Someone with a fixed mindset will constantly rely on their natural talent or intelligence to succeed instead of learning new skills. They might also not be equipped to face challenges due to the fear of failure or “shoot for the stars” if they believe that something is out of their league.
Someone with a growth mindset is capable of coping with and learning from failure in order to build their strengths and upskill themselves. They are likely to work harder to achieve things and develop their competence as opposed to being satisfied with whatever they get. They believe that you get the things you work for!
As it may seem obvious, having a growth mindset is an important quality for one to be able to take on challenges and develop their skills. On the plus side, one can shift from having a fixed to a growth mindset!
Firstly, the easiest way to develop a growth mindset is to instill it in children right from the beginning.
This can be done by giving them an opportunity to explore, make mistakes, and learn from them, rather than being handed all the solutions or not being encouraged to take risks at all! Facing challenges and outgrowing them can help build resilience, confidence, and eagerness to learn.
However, one can also develop a growth mindset in their adulthood!
Here are a few tips on how to develop a growth mindset:
It is difficult to embrace all the learnings from your journey if you are only focused on the outcomes. Despite success or failure, you may have learnt several things along the journey. It is important to acknowledge all your growth, even if it doesn’t result in a successful outcome.
It is necessary to reflect on how you are approaching your tasks. Pay attention to when you are behaving in fixed patterns that do not help your growth. It will take conscious and directed effort to go out of your way and accept challenges and embracing failures.
Your thoughts and words have an impact on your actions. Engage in affirmative and positive talk rather than criticism. Words like “I cannot do this”, “I always fail anyway”, “I am incapable” simply do not help!
Create a plan to work towards your goals. It always helps to write down exactly what you would like to achieve, how you plan on achieving it and by when you would like to do so. Having a timeline will allow you to reevaluate and modify your plan as you go along, and mark your progress.
Take on tasks that are more challenging and allow you to go out of your comfort zone. You may fail or receive negative criticism, but remember that all feedback will help you grow. Take initiative and do not shy away from failure or challenges!
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