How to Embrace a Growth Mindset

Mindsets are ways of thinking about goals you pursue in your professional and personal lives. A mindset refers to whether you believe qualities can be developed/strengthened or are inborn/fixed traits. Also, they determine how you experience change and challenge. You can either avoid challenges because it makes you feel uncomfortable, not talented or smart or you can seek and thrive on challenges because you know that these are great opportunities to learn, develop and achieve your potential.

Consciously or unconsciously, you can see the impact of mindsets in three ways:

  1. Your mindset determines what kinds of information you pay attention to in a given situation.
  2. Mindsets determine how your brain deals with errors, mistakes and failures — either by triggering learning and planning centers or by triggering negative emotional reactions and an inadequate or disorganized mobilization of physiological resources.
  3. Mindsets influence how you construe your achievements and setbacks and how you remember those events in your long term memory.

According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, there are two different mindsets: Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. Let’s get familiarize with these mindsets’ thinking and behaviors!

Associated behaviors with two mindsets

People with a fixed mindset suppose that their character, intelligence and creative abilities are static givens and won’t change in any meaningful way. They believe you are born with natural talents and abilities and success comes along with it. They focus more on proving that they have a lot of ability, and already know exactly what they are doing. They have one consuming goal which is proving themselves in their schools, in their careers, and in their personal and professional relationships. Their experiences are dictated by an internal monologue of constant judging and evaluation, and using every piece of information as an evidence either for or against assessments like whether they are “successful” at something, whether they are “better” than the person next to them. They see their performance as a test of their competence and worth. That’s why they need to prove themselves each and every time. When they talk about their conflicts, they assign blame — blame themselves or their partners. Therefore, they are tend to hide mistakes, give up quickly and feel helpless or unmotivated after a setback.

On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that skills and abilities can be improved, and that developing your skills and abilities is the goal of the work you do. They recognize the value of challenging themselves and the significance of effort. As a result, even if the outcome is not a “success”, they feel the effort was rewarding and fruitful in itself. With a growth mindset, the internal monologue is not one of judgment but one of scanning opportunities to learn. It is about stretching yourself to learn something new and developing yourself. These individuals are likely to adapt to change and find new ways to take constructive action. When facing a problem such as trying to find a new job or ending a relationship, those with growth mindset demonstrate greater resilience. They are more inclined to persevere in the face of failures while those with fixed mindsets are more likely to give up.

Don’t worry, it is possible to change your mindset to shape your live! Following are some practical tips to shift from fixed mindset to growth mindset and to strengthen itself.

Refocus Your Thinking

Notice your mindset — cultivating self-awareness is key to a growth mindset. evaluate your skills and performance to measure where you are, observe and understand how you value learning process, how you experience setbacks, how you approach to a challenge

See change differently — don’t feel threatened by change, try to see opportunities in change. chances for growth and for expanding your current abilities

Focus on growth — rather than believing you can’t acquire a new talent or improve your skills by practicing, believe you can always improve and seek out opportunities to learn

Always Improve

Experiment — try out a new procedure, idea or activity and sometimes fail. It’s okay to fail, don’t view it as a failure or disappointment, perceive as a learning experience that can lead to grow and positive change

Value progress — value progress over time: where you were before, where you are now and where you are headed, try not to focus only on a “snapshot” of your performance

Learn from others — seek knowledge and guidance, seek out mentors, get feedback from your peers, managers and coworkers, be transparent about your growth areas

Encourage Others

Share mistakes — own your mistakes and share learnings from your mistakes with others, not hide your mistakes and don’t concern about making mistakes — remember: we are all humans, we all make mistakes, we are not pure histories of success

Acknowledge progress — focus on performance over time, not today’s performance. it’s about the journey, not just the destination. a good way to track your progress is having a weekly 1:1 with yourself, writing down your challenges, obstacles and thoughts about your performance and most importantly using it to guide your development over time

Ask questions — demonstrate a desire to learn and encourage colleagues to learn from one another, don’t scared of asking questions or admitting what you don’t know

I encourage you to apply these tips in your daily life and try to embrace growth mindset more frequently. And please remember this is a never ending journey, keep learning and relearning!

Highly future focused, out-of-the-box, logic-driven thinker I Passionate about innovation, influential leadership & growth I Management consultant