In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck coins the phrase "growth mindset". People with a growth mindset have the belief that through diligence and positive action, they are able to transcend their limitations and move towards a successful outcome.
On the other hand, those who have a "fixed mindset", often feel stuck and remain in dead-end, unsatisfying jobs and relationships because they feel they can do no better. People with a fixed mindset, believe that you are dealt a certain amount of intelligence and talents at birth, and there is very little that can be done to improve their lot in life.
Fortunately, mindsets, just like other situations in life, can be developed in a positive way. I will share some ways to develop a growth mindset from a Psychology Today article, 15 Ways To Develop a Growth Mindset, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/.
1. Acknowledge and embrace imperfection in self and others, as it is the spice that makes us individuals. We all have our flaws, peculiarities, and weirdness. Our imperfections make us unique.
2. Face your challenges bravely. If you find yourself terrified in the face of a serious challenge, stop and reframe the situation in your mind. Consider your challenge as an “opportunity”. Fear is an acceptable feeling and you can discover abilities you didn’t know you even possessed.
3. Pay attention to your words and thoughts. Start to pay attention to the words you speak, even the words in your mind. Replace negative thoughts with more positive ones to build a growth mindset. Replace judgment with acceptance , hate with compassion.
4. Stop seeking approval from others. Approval from others can often prevent a growth mindset. Cultivate self-acceptance and self-approval.
5. Take a step deeper into authenticity. Pretending to be someone who you are not disrespects who you really are. It makes you a fake. Becoming truly authentic is a process that takes time and a lot of inner work. Once you do, you'll likely be more driven to pursue your true goals, which puts you in a growth mindset.
6. Cultivate a sense of purpose. Does your life feel like it is purpose-driven? If yes, define for yourself what that purpose encompasses .
7. Redefine “genius.” We all have strengths and weaknesses. Explore and appreciate your strengths, and work to improve your weaknesses .
8. Turn criticism around until you find its gift. The purpose of criticism is to make things better. Someone else can see what you are doing from a slightly different perspective than you and may have some valuable suggestions for you.
9. Value the process over the end result. Remember, it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.
10. Learn from the mistakes of others. If you can learn from the mistakes of others, then you may be able to make fewer mistakes.
11. “Not yet” is OK. When struggling with a task, remind yourself that you just haven’t mastered it “ yet. ” If you stick with it, time and practice will lead to improvement and self-development .
12. Take risks in the company of others. Try not to take yourself too seriously. Be willing to make mistakes in front of others, because if you're growing, this is bound to happen.
13. Be realistic. It takes time, sometimes lots of time, to learn a new skill, like learning a new language or learning to play an instrument or learning how to become a good lawyer.
14. Speed is not important. Fully engage and put effort into the process, no matter how long it takes. Incidentally, focusing on the process often also improves results, because you did put a lot of effort in along the way.
article continues after advertisement
15. Own your attitude. If you value having a growth mindset, then take the time and make the effort to develop it. Persist and opportunities will come. Cultivate resilience along the way.