A Growth Mindset is a Success Mindset.
Consider this example and how you would feel if it was you: How would you react? What would you think about yourself?
Imagine you had a bad day. You started out by waking up late because you overslept. You spilled coffee on your shirt as you rushed to work. You got pulled over by a police officer and got a speeding ticket. You arrived late for a work meeting, and your boss was not pleased with you for presenting a report with several major errors.
Here are are two possible responses or reactions:
a) You’d feel bad about yourself for being clumsy, unintelligent, and unlucky. You will beat yourself up constantly. You’d accept that this is just how your life goes.
b) You’d be upset but you’d be thinking about how this is not a usual pattern in your life. You’d be thinking about why things had happened this way and how you’d make it better next time. You’d be thinking how you should probably use a better coffee cup, be more careful when you drive, and double check your work before presenting it.
While the first response or reaction tends to be linked to a fixed mindset, the second response is linked to a growth mindset.
A growth mindset is a belief and understanding that we can develop our abilities and intelligence and can make changes. A fixed mindset is a belief that these same characteristics are fixed at birth or become locked in by a certain age. While a fixed mindset can hold us back from success, a growth mindset is a foundational point of view that unlocks the true potential of individuals to make changes and drive toward success.
We all have fixed mindset tendencies in one way or another. No one is either totally fixed or totally growth orientated. We are all on a spectrum between the two. For example, while someone may hold the belief that their intelligence is fixed, they may also hold a growth mindset by believing that they can develop their dancing ability. Our life situations can impact how we view ourselves and others.
The good news is that a fixed mindset about success and growth can be changed and learned. Dr. Dweck, who first coined the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset,” explains how a growth mindset leads to a focus on learning, increased effort, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. People with this mindset are more resilient, and better at coping with challenges and failure. The reverse is true for those who completely lack it and are unwilling to cultivate it. They tend to be less resilient, poor at coping with failure, and they avoid challenges that might expose their flaws.
Here are four (4) fundamental steps to cultivating a mindset for growth and success.
Awareness: We all have an internal voice. Part of this voice is an inner critic, inner hater, or inner doubter—it is the fixed mindset character. You can hear this character expressing itself through the negative self-talk that happens in your thoughts and mind. It can sound like: “If I’m not naturally good at this, I should just quit. I am not good enough. I am going to fail. I don’t even want to risk it or try it. My life is doomed forever. I will never change.”
Instead of allowing this fixed mindset character to gain dominance, you can take its power and retrain it to do better, and to move you forward. How?
- First, develop awareness of how it thinks and acts and its impact on your life.
- Second, give your fixed mindset character a name. Naming it can help you remind yourself that this mindset or habit of thinking is not who you are! For example, I will name mine as “Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs).
- Third, develop awareness of the triggers. Know the situations that tend to trigger your fixed mindset character or ANTs. Notice when they start coming up and know what they are trying to tell you when you are in each situation. What do they tell you when you are thinking about taking a big challenge or learning a new thing? What do they tell you when you are about to make a change? What are they telling you when you are trying to develop a commitment to go for your dreams or reach your goals? What about when you fail at something, go wrong, or get criticized?
- Finally, develop awareness of your reaction or self-talk in the moment. Ask yourself: “How am I rationalizing or judging this situation? Am I beating myself up or blaming others? What are my ANTs or my fixed mindset characters telling me?
Changing Your Perspective: You may not always be able to change what happens around you, but you always have a choice of how you respond, react, and view the situation.
When you catch your fixed mindset character supplying you with limiting thoughts, ask yourself some questions: “What else might be going on here? What is a more realistic and optimistic way to look at this situation? What are the good aspects of this situation? How can I look at this differently?” And then, reframe your perception to replace your fixed mindset with a growth mindset. Replace your Automatic Negative Thoughts with Uplifting Empowering Thoughts. Examples: When you hear yourself thinking, “What if I’m not good enough? I will be a failure.” Change it to: “Everyone starts out not being good and successful people all fail along the way.” When you hear yourself thinking: “If it’s this hard, I am probably just not good at it.” Change it to: “If it’s hard, it means I need to put in more effort, and it will be a great achievement when I get good at it.”
Taking Action: First, notice your fixed mindset character or trigger. Secondly, change or reframe your perspective. And finally, take the next step which is the most important factor for developing a growth and success mindset: ACTION!
Ask yourself, “What did I learn from the experience? What could I do differently next time or going forward? What would help me achieve this goal that I haven’t tried? What do I need to learn or what information do I need to gather? What steps will I take? List out the steps you will take, and for each, identify exactly when you will do it.
Spend some time to visualize yourself taking each of these steps. Imagine how they will play out, including achieving the goal and outcome you are aiming for.
Practice a success mindset and develop daily uplifting affirmations: Remember that your mindset can change and develop! It takes practice to cultivate and keep a mindset that will elevate your growth and success. It’s important to note that just being positive or open-minded doesn’t mean you have a growth mindset. It takes time to cultivate a new way of viewing the world and changing our perceptions of our capability.
Come up with a list of uplifting affirmations and put them somewhere you will see every day. You can put the list next to your bed, or on your mirror, or on the cover of your day planner.
For example: “What other people think about me is none of my business. I no longer allow other people’s opinions and judgments to hold me back from living a life of fulfillment and reaching my potential.“ “I am always looking for the meaning and lessons contained in all situations that can help me fulfill the greater purpose in my life.” “I have skills and knowledge today that I didn’t have before because I learned and grew in those areas, so I know I can develop any ability I want.” “If my talents, abilities, and intelligence are not fixed, I believe that my potential is limitless!” “I am the master of my thoughts, emotions, and actions and I do not give my power away by reacting to others’ criticism, judgment, or actions in a negative way.”
Take Action Today!
With our complete guide to “Inside-Out Transformation” coaching package, you will be equipped to learn simple but powerful proven tools to easily re-engage your mind, and thoughts for a better life and happy life. Your mind is responsible for your thoughts, which in turn oversee your emotions. Your emotions are what determine your actions, which ultimately produce the changes and results you which to see in your life.
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