As we continue to navigate the unpredictable climate of 2021, our mindset has the power to ultimately control the outcome of our individual journeys.
To create effective change in our lives, we must first identify what we’re working with inwardly. According to a study conducted by researcher and psychology professor Carol Dweck, people take on one of two mindsets in a learning experience — Fixed or Growth.
Fixed vs Growth
In a fixed mindset, people believe that their personality traits, skills, and qualities are inherent. They’re set in stone from birth and therefore unable to change. They also believe that pure talent leads to success with little to no effort needed.
Those with a growth mindset believe that learning and intelligence can improve over time and with experience. They recognize that effort has a direct impact on their success. As a result, they’re much more passionate and willing to do the work, knowing that their abilities are just the starting point for potential.
Below we explore 10 key tips for developing and strengthening a growth mindset:
- Embrace challenges. When someone is stuck in a fixed mindset, the person tends to avoid change, new experiences, or difficult situations. Fear is typically at the command center, fueling the brain with self-doubt. It’s important to remember that challenges are incredible opportunities for growth and learning. The more we challenge and push ourselves to achieve the goals we want, the more opportunities will come to light.
- Discover your purpose. What are your goals? Get clear on your path, what you want to achieve in life or in a specific area or context, such as career, health, relationships, etc. Write your goals down and always keep them close. Be resilient and persistent — you’ll find it gets easier to unlock new opportunities along your journey.
- Be your own biggest fan, not critic. Do any of these phrases sound familiar? “I’m not good enough.” “What if I make a mistake?” “I don’t want to look foolish.” “I should just give up.” While we’ve all dealt with a pesky, negative inner voice before. The difference between a fixed and a growth mindset is how we choose to engage that voice. Be kind to yourself, cheer yourself on! We must kick negativity to the curb to evolve into our best selves. By shifting your inner dialogue to positive phrases, you’ll begin to feel the truth behind the words and uncover the confidence to take you where you want to go in life. There is immense power in the act of self-talk. As we know, what we believe is what we achieve. Read more from Timothy on creating a better belief system
- Find the positive in the negative. Negative outcomes don’t always have to be viewed as such. Every occurrence has a reason, so a negative outcome is likely serving you a valuable purpose. The trick is to turn the negative on its head and embrace its existence. For example, if you’re going through a bad breakup, you’ve been given an opportunity to evaluate what you truly do and do not want in a relationship moving forward.
- Focus on the process. Major change rarely happens overnight. Sometimes it can be a slow burn. It’s important to be realistic about your timeline for achieving your goals. Creating a routine and implementing healthy habits will help keep you aligned and on your path toward success.
- Approval isn’t everything. If we’re more concerned with getting acceptance from others, we lose perspective on the real benefits of reaching our goal. We must focus on improving ourselves for our own benefit to increase our growth potential. Remember— don’t let the opinions of others hold too much influence over your personal needs.
- Speed is not the answer. If you’re feeling consumed by an urgent need to cross the finish line, it’s time to slow down. Make sure you are fully engaged in the present and take time to appreciate how far you’ve come. Always put in the effort, no matter how long it takes. Not only will this make you stronger, but you’ll also recognize and value your well-earned accomplishments.
- Celebrate small victories. Set mini milestones to reward yourself for the amazing effort and progress that you’ve made along your journey. Treating yourself will energize and encourage you to push forward on the path to your ultimate goal.
- Learn from others. No one has all the answers. Tap a friend, colleague, or family member for advice. Learn from their own experiences to help you grow. A fresh set of eyes on a situation can help open you up to new ideas and strategies you once thought impossible.
- Reflection and gratitude. Journaling is a great way to reflect on your learnings and the things you are grateful for. Keep track of your goals, habits, as well as your physical and emotional feelings to get a better sense of your journey thus far. This can help identify what’s working well or if any changes need to be made.
To continuously improve your life, it’s important to adopt a growth mindset. Once you realize your ability to succeed, there’s no obstacle you can’t face! You’ll start noticing the positive changes within your personal and professional relationships, and your self-esteem will sky-rocket.
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