In her groundbreaking book, Mindset; Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck introduced the concept of fixed and growth mindsets.
She explains that people with a fixed mindset believe that abilities are fixed so are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset, who believe that abilities can be developed.
Funny enough, you can have a fixed or growth mindset, or both but the good news is that our mindset is not permanent – we can change it!
We could have a growth mindset but find ourselves slipping into a fixed mindset in certain situations so it’s important to be mindful so we can switch back into a growth mindset when this happens.
Fixed mindset beliefs can sneak up on anyone at any time, for example, if you’ve ever thought that:
• “It’s hard for me to lose weight.”
• “I’m not good with numbers.”
• “I’m not a natural athlete.”
• “I’m not creative.”
• “I’m a procrastinator.”
Then you were in the grips of a fixed mindset so you avoid experiences that make you feel like a failure and don’t learn or grow in that area. But with a shift to a growth mindset, you can change the things you believe about yourself, and actually, achieve your goals.
Ways to shift into a growth mindset
Believe that your talents and true potential are unknown
We all are better at some things than others, call it luck or God-given talent; people with a fixed mindset see this as carved in stone so they try to prove this over and over again, and try to show perfection just to gain approval and never try anything because they’re scared of failure and other peoples judgment.
While someone with a growth mindset sees this ‘talent’ as a starting stone and tries to get better through trying and learning, failure and setbacks hence achieving mastery.
The bedrock of having a growth mindset is that a person’s true potential is unknown; that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.
A Growth mindset creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Why waste time proving how great you are, when you could be getting better?
Learn to love failure
So many people fear failure because they believe it makes them look bad and people will judge them. This is true for you if you have a fixed mindset. Shifting to a growth mindset lets you see failure in a different light. You start to see failure as an opportunity to learn from your experiences and apply what you have learned.
Create a new compelling belief system
Having a growth mindset is all about redefining what you think about yourself, your skills, and your abilities. So beliefs like ‘I’m not good at math’, turns into ‘I’m not good at math right now but I’m putting in the work and will persevere until I master it. With a growth mindset, you can become better at anything you put your mind to.
Of your talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Get feedback from those who know you best and put it together for a comprehensive view of yourself. This will allow you to know what areas you need to improve, and with a growth mindset, you can become better at anything you put your mind to.
Become a lifelong learner
The whole point of having a growth mindset is so you can reach your full potential and achieve success. That comes through lifelong learning, improving your skills, and acquiring new ones, and also having grit so you can persevere through the many setbacks and failures that will come your way.
It’s not easy to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset but small consistent changes to the points mentioned in this article will help you make the switch.
And don’t beat yourself up if you slip up, simply attempting to make these changes show a growth mindset and know that people who have a growth mindset do have challenges too.
There is the danger of slipping back into a fixed mindset in certain situations so the key here is to be vigilant.
And maybe grab a copy of Carol S. Dweck’s Mindset because it’s one of those books you don’t read once but keep referencing throughout your life because it reveals how to achieve great things. It is highly recommended!