Researchers and psychologists have studied mindset’s influence on learning and personal fulfilment for decades. Based on over 30 years of research, Carol Dweck formulated a theory of mindset that states that we all lean toward one of two primary mindsets.
• The fixed mindset believes our talents and traits are innate, determined at birth, and do not develop much over our lifetimes.
• In contrast, a growth mindset believes that all our abilities, skills, and traits can be developed throughout our lives, which means learning occurs at all stages of living.
Those who embrace a growth outlook can positively change their lives at any age. They recognise that learning opportunities exist in all that we do, and they learn to set higher goals for themselves, which allows them to live their dreams and come closer to self-actualisation.
To implement a growth mindset, you need a regular practice of attitude and behaviour that, over time, can change how you see the world. Here are five ways you can start cultivating your growth mindset today.
1. Adopt a Positive Outlook
Those with a growth-oriented attitude consider opportunities instead of challenges and learning experiences instead of failure. A positive outlook on life helps you see possibilities where others see obstacles and value the struggles in life, which have a great deal to teach you. A positive attitude lets you look past the adverse outcomes in situations and embrace the possibilities.
2. Stop Avoiding Challenge
To embrace the growth mindset, you must be open to challenges, setbacks, and adversity. That means saying “yes” to challenging tasks, new experiences, and activities outside your comfort zone.
Those who avoid challenges lose the ability to persist, exercise self-discipline, and strengthen problem-solving skills. Instead of avoiding a challenge, walk toward it. The more you embrace these opportunities, the more you will reap the benefits they have to offer your life.
3. Celebrate Your Hard Work and Successes
To embrace new opportunities and try new things, you must believe in your capabilities and talents. To boost your confidence, you need to recognise the challenging work you put into your goals, celebrate the milestones and intermediate successes you have along the way, and honour your strengths and talents. Remembering past achievements and accomplishments enhances your ability to learn and keeps you focused on the positive benefits of your hard work.
4. Practice Self-Awareness
Knowing how your thoughts, actions, and beliefs affect your success and happiness helps improve your growth and personal development. Self-awareness helps you identify areas for growth, realise which strengths you have to build on, and what your essential goals and values are. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself and others, how you describe learning, the biases or preconceived notions you may have, and how your mindset and habits affect your ability to accomplish your goals.
5. Reconsider Your Position on Failure
Most people have an extremely negative attitude about failure. They assume it says something significant about them, that it will “mark” them forever, and that it is something to fear or avoid at all costs.
You must see failure as a stepping stone, a learning opportunity and welcome failures for all you can learn from them and grow.
In reality, failure is simply information about what did not work, which is why you need to adopt a more positive outlook. Author and fitness expert Fred DeVito summed this thought nicely when he said, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”