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Growth Mindsets are Cool

July 27, 2018

From my experience, I have seen through myself and others the benefits and downfalls of adopting certain mindsets. Perspective plays a large role in reaching your full potential, achieving the things you’ve always wanted, and becoming the person you want to be. Whether this be in your career goals, lifestyle goals, relationship goals, and even breaking it down further to simple daily tasks at work, home, school, or life. The two mindsets mostly responsible for driving your full potential are fixed and growth. Now, fixed mindsets and growth mindsets are two completely separate mindsets.


Fixed mindsets believe there is only a certain amount of intelligence, creativity, potential, and character one can achieve based on their natural talent or intelligence. There is a fixed level of each trait. A fixed mindset does not believe one can progress and improve themselves, rather they remain static. They typically avoid anything that may lead to failure or expose their weaknesses. Fixed mindsets constantly need reassurance of their self-worth, talent, and intelligence to remain themselves. Instant gratification of others approval or need for hearing they are good at certain things are a must. They need to prove themselves.


On the other hand, people with growth mindsets believe there is room for improvement in all aspects of life, with the result of reaching their full potential and success. With experience, effort, and time, growth mindsets believe they can become smarter, better, and reach their goals. Ultimately, resulting in higher achievement. The skills, talent, and character they were born with can be changed. What they were born with, is just the beginning of their growth over their lifetime. I have explored the difference in certain situations between a fixed and growth mindset. I hope to guide you through efforts taken to develop a growth mindset, or strengthen your current growth mindset.


Failures are not seen as Failures


A person without a growth mindset recognizes when something does not turn out favorable, they will treat a situation as a failure, setback, or problem. They may get bummed out, disappointed, and take a step back rather than to move forward. Thoughts such as they are not smart enough, intelligent enough, or good enough may sink in. Blaming others for the downfall, rather than themselves is common practice as well. Fixed mindsets resort to seeking validation and acceptance for their successes. When they hit a wall or “failure”, they cannot affirm their greatness to themselves and others. A growth mindset will view what others may see as a failure, as a learning experience. Rather than feeling disheartened, they see the situation as gaining knowledge through experience to better themselves. Their perspective shows it as a challenge to level up, and learn to become smarter. Challenges are seen as opportunities to grow for growth mindsets. The word failure rarely crosses a growth mindset, for it is better understood as a learning process. This knowledge then becomes applied to their next challenge, therefore moving the needle forward towards future success. Growth mindsets have a deep passion for learning, ultimately contributing to creativity and innovation as well.


Employ Major Effort and Rid Praise


Putting continuous effort into something, a task for example, drives success for those with a growth mindset because they push past challenges of leveling up. On the other hand, fixed mindsets will only put in enough effort to create the illusion they are smart or successful to others. Let’s unpack this. To switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, I ask you to begin instilling a new habit and method into your daily life. Begin praising yourself and others on effort, rather than completion. This may be in the form of a small task, large task, short term goal, long term goal, or whatever you are working towards achieving. Praising effort and hard work, encourages another to continue putting their best effort forward. By praising yourself or another on the completion, you will believe you have mastered the skill or skills needed to succeed. Once we believe we have mastered something, there is little to no room for growth. For example, instead of saying “I did a great job, I’m so smart”, begin thinking “I did a great job, thanks to all of the effort I put into it”. Altering small thoughts and stories we tell ourselves, especially about trying hard and putting in effort, will help develop the growth mindset.


Quick Tips on Developing a Growth Mindset:


1. View challenges or “failures” as opportunities.

A great perspective I have adopted into my lifestyle is when I am “rejected” by someone, a job, or something else I see it as it was not meant for me. There are greater opportunities coming that surpass what has rejected me. This has always rung true in the long term.


2. Don’t seek validation, prioritize learning.

When you become so deep into learning, improving, and developing yourself, the last thing you will think about is what other people think about you. This is because you are true to yourself, knowing you put in the time and effort to get to where you are and where you’re going. No one needs to validate that for you, because you put in the work for yourself.


3. The process is where you will learn and grow, not in the result.

Personally, once I reach a certain result, I never feel satisfied because I am already thinking about the next step or challenge I need to attack to reach my full potential. If you think about a process, it has many steps and I believe the process of embracing your full potential is infinite over a lifetime.


4. Praise effort and action, not traits, results, or talk.

With yourself and people you surround yourself with, the more you encourage hard work the more you or someone else will want to continue putting in hard work. We all know people who are a lot of talk, and no walk. I choose to praise others and myself on actions taken over fantasy talk. It all relates back to mindset and almost a subconscious push to continue putting in effort than seeking immediate praise.


5. Improve your weaknesses, or just own them and move on.

For me, there are many topics I do not talk about in my life or online because I simply do not know much about them. I have picked and chosen which weaknesses directly relate to my future goals, and have improved those. Or, I have improved weaknesses I care about. Others, I accept and have moved on from. For example, I know absolutely nothing about fitness and health. I own it and speak my truth when the topic comes up because I have no desire to improve it. Bonus tip: Do not get caught up in current trends if they don’t mean a lot to you because trends always fade. Think about the future, always, as a growth mindset.


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