Words by Tara Wagner
7 Mindset Habits That Changed My Life 🌻 | Growth Mindset Examples
I’ve seen a lot of videos on habits that change my life and it got me thinking about the mindset habits that have quite literally changed everything for me – my life, my relationships, my business.
So I thought it would be cool to share seven growth mindset examples that have turned into daily habits for me, as well as the impact that they’ve made.
Watch here or read below.
This was a really fun blog to put together because it gave me the opportunity to take a really good before and after look on my own personal growth, and really see how these seven mindset habits, or growth mindset examples, have made an impact on my success, definitely my happiness, and in every area of my life.
They’re certainly not the only things I’ve had to work on. Homegirl has put in some hours in the personal development department, let me tell you, but they are some of the most influential. So let’s jump in with number one.
#1 – taking radical responsibility for the things that are happening in my life
Number one has been “Taking Radical Responsibility” for the things that are happening in my life, which is not the same as taking the blame for things, but basically the way that I started to view “responsibility” was “the ability to respond”.
As long as I had an ability to respond, I took responsibility for what was happening. Regardless of who caused it, regardless of what was happening, regardless of the area of my life that it was in, I stopped feeling disempowered, or stopped blaming other people, or stopped waiting for someone else to fix problems.
If I could take action, I felt like it was my responsibility to do so.
This has probably had the biggest impact of any of the mindset habits or these growth mindset examples that I could possibly portray to you. This has been the biggest.
- It’s impacted my marriage. If we were struggling somewhere in our marriage, I took responsibility to make the first moves to correct it and get us back on course.
- It’s made the biggest difference in our parenting. Instead of looking at who’s to blame or pointing fingers or getting frustrated, I looked at what could I do to make this situation better.
- It’s most definitely impacted my business because instead of feeling like things were out of my control if I failed at something, I took responsibility for that failure and instead of blaming the economy or something or someone else, I took responsibility and said okay, “how can I learn from this? I’m going to say that this was mine, so how can I learn from this? How can I apply that lesson going forward?“
For me the thing about radical responsibility was that it meant I was no longer getting stuck and I was always looking for a way that I could take action and a way to move things ahead instead of just waiting for somebody else to fix things. Which let me just be honest, was kind of my MO. I’m always kind of looking for some hero to come in and save the day for me. Really bad habit happening in the back of my brain all the time.
So getting into this habit of “you know what, if this is happening in my life, I’m the common denominator, I’m going to take responsibility for it and move this forward“, has been one of the most empowering and transformational things I think I’ve ever done for myself.
#2 – assuming positive intent
Number two is “Assuming Positive Intent“, and this has most definitely been one of the harder ones for me to describe to people, and for other people to start practicing. For me, for some reason, as soon as I started to understand the concept it clicked into place very quickly.
The idea behind assuming positive intent is that someone else is doing the very best they can with the tools they have access to in that moment, and it may look like total crap, and it may feel like total crap, but I’m going to assume that they’re intent is actually in some way, shape or form them trying to do their very best to create a positive outcome. Most of us just don’t know how to do that very well.
Now I realize that this is a very careful balance between assuming positive intent and allowing people to walk all over you, so I’m not talking about a lack of boundaries here.
I want to be really clear on that. You can see the best in people and assume positive intent with people and still have boundaries on what you won’t allow.
I want you to imagine for a second you on your very worst day and you’re just biting peoples heads off.
From the outside it’s easy just to perceive a person having that bad day as just being a giant a-hole, right? But what if somebody were to treat you with love and respect? What if they were to say something along the lines of like, “Hey. I realize you’re having a bad day. I need to ask you to not say that to me, but I do really want to support you right now.” And maybe they bring in some humor and they bring in some kindness.
What does that do for you? It really has the potential to shift your entire day.
I’ve had this happen for myself and it had a huge life changing impact on me, so it’s what I try to do for other people (I’m not always perfect at it, but it is what I try to do). I try to look beneath people’s behaviors and really understand who they are and where they’re coming from and what might have lead them to where they are right now.
- This has had a huge impact on every relationship in my life, but especially with clients or customers. I don’t take feedback or negativity or crankiness personally like I used to.
- I used to really take on other peoples emotions, but when I was able to start seeing behind those emotions, I didn’t attach myself to them. So other peoples bad moods didn’t become my bad mood.
- This means I was no longer feeling drained or upset or derailed because somebody else came in with their bad day and crapped all over my good day.
- So this really made a huge difference in my ability to just feel good and stay on track with what I’m working on, or how I’m wanting to do something, instead of I have one bad interaction and it throws me off and I get nothing done for the rest of the day.
- It’s probably pretty obvious in parenting how this would have a big effect. I feel like this made me a much more patient and also playful parent because I wasn’t just looking at his behaviors, I was looking at what was really underneath his behaviors. Why was he doing the thing that he was doing? What need was he trying to meet? Or was there maybe a gap in understanding or something that I could do to solve the underlying problem, which would naturally turn around the behavior. So we used very little discipline, we rarely eve punished and if we did it was usually because I was low on reserves and I was drained and I didn’t have the time and the patience and the energy to slow down and really look beneath his behavior, so I went back to old patterns.
So this was huge for our parenting because we really created a really strong relationship, we rarely ever argued and to this day, he’s almost 20, we have a really great relationship with a lot of open communication, simply because he knows that I’m going to do my best to look beneath what he’s doing to understand why and to help him figure things out.
Really – I think it just comes down to it has helped me to build better relationships with people, both personal relationships as well as things like business networks, because people can really trust and feel that I love and respect other people, to the best of my ability.
Again I’m not perfect at any of this stuff, but it is kind of my go-to habit unless I’m in a really bad place, in which case I might need somebody to do the same thing for me.
#3 – Assuming Positive Outcomes
Number three is about “Assuming Positive Outcomes” and what I mean by this is I have a tendency to always believe that there is a solution, that there is an answer to something or that a win-win scenario is possible.
The way that I think about it is I cannot possibly be the first person in the world who has come across this challenge or this problem and if we’ve gotten this far in humanity, I’m sure someone has solved this problem. So I really feel like it’s my job to just figure out how this problem has already been solved in the past.
So maybe I’ll turn to different books or resources or experts or people that I know with a lot of experience and it really encourages me to get out and learn new things, because I always assume that there’s a solution. I never feel like something is the end of the road, just because it’s challenging me or it’s frustrating me. And where this has impacted me is that I don’t quit when it gets hard, and this really I think is the secret to my success.
I get this question all the time or I see this all the time in people, where they’re like, “How did you get to where you are?” or, “I tried to do this but I couldn’t because I got stopped at this one obstacle.” To me I’m like, “so why didn’t you problem solve or troubleshoot or brainstorm and get around that obstacle?” I see so often people running into obstacles and thinking of them as permanent red lights where to me I’m just like “Okay there’s a boulder in my path. How do I get around it? Somebody has gotten around it, I know somebody has gotten to where I want to get to, so how do I get there?”
Honestly, that’s why I think that I’m successful today and why I know I’ll be successful in future years, because I am persistent AF and I don’t give up and I’m relentless and I just keep looking for solutions to the problems that I run into in my business, in my marriage, in my parenting and other relationships and skills that I’m learning. In anything, I always assume that there’s a solution out there. Somebody has figured this out and it’s my job to find that solution.
Which leads into growth mindset example #4 which I’m just going to call “Curiosity”.
#4 – Curiosity
I am relentlessly curious about things. I am always learning, I’m always examining why people do what they do, or how did they get to where they got to. I’m always doing research to try to figure out what’s the best way to do something. Instead of getting jealous I get curious.
Instead of getting angry or frustrated over something, I get curious.
I really think that this has been one of those key things that ties right into the last one where instead of getting stuck, I just get curious. This leads to me exploring more things than other people, or testing more things out, experimenting with things. I end up asking more questions than more people (I’m actually known in a lot of circles for asking really good questions and I think part of it is just because I want to be more thorough).
I remember being a little girl and I would always have these scenarios play out and I would always say “what’s my lesson in this?“, and I would try to boil it down to one lesson, one tiny thing. When I was about 10 or 11 years old I was thinking over some of those and I realized that all of them kind of boiled down to be more thorough and since that point I think that that has really been just a habit of mine, to stay curious, to ask lots of questions, to examine things from all angles, to make sure everything is covered in an effort to “BE MORE THOROUGH”. So thank you to my 11 year old self. It’s served me pretty well.
So where this has impacted me specifically… like literally everywhere.
- Business especially, because instead of getting stuck at that five figure glass ceiling that a lot of us get stuck at, the first one that we get stuck at, it really encouraged me to figure out a way to move past that. Or when I was trying to hire people in my business, and it was so hard.
<P>I’ve seen other people say “I just can’t find anybody” and they give up, and they keep trying to do everything themselves. I was like “you know what, other people have figured out how to hire someone and how to be a good boss. I can do this too, I just got to find the right resources“.</P>
<P>So being thorough, asking those questions, staying curious – it just helped me get through any hurdle, any challenge, personally or professionally.</P>
#5 – Feelings Aren’t Facts
Number five is “Feelings Aren’t Facts“, and I can probably do a whole video on this one, maybe multiple videos, because this is probably one of the ones that took me the longest to learn and I still get to practice it on a daily basis.
I am what is called an Enneagram Type 4. We are highly emotional people. When we’re not very healthy we can kind of be the divas in the party and it has not served me very well when I was in those unhealthy levels because I would take my emotions, I would turn them into facts and I would just wallow in them. I would just wrap them around me and roll around and say, “no, they’re real, they’re real, they’re real. I need to validate these. You need to validate these”. Just because I feel it, it means everything that I’m doing from those feelings is true.
Overcoming that, moving past that, learning that my feelings are not actually facts, they’re actually just representations of what I’m needing in that moment, or something that’s been triggered in that moment has really helped me to create a lot of emotional freedom in my life, which has allowed me to grow as a person, to not be triggered by things or to not hold onto things for ever and ever and ever, when I am triggered by them.
Now I realize it is not very popular advice to tell you that your feelings are not always based on fact, are not always helpful, don’t always need to be acted on, and sometimes don’t even need to be paid attention to at all.
But the truth is, is feelings aren’t facts and my really getting this has meant the difference between joy and love and emotional freedom and being a hot mess.
Now I’m not advocating for burying your emotions but when I was allowing my emotions to be in charge, it was one of the most unhealthy things. I would ruin birthdays, I would ruin holidays because I was really using them to keep me under my upper limit of happiness.
Anytime I started to get too close to something, I would really cling on to some negative comment, or something that wasn’t perfect, or something that someone did to just help me to just feel a little bit crappier.
This isn’t always the case for everybody, but it is the case that if we don’t master our emotions, they will master us.
#6 – Breathing
I know sounds a little bit silly but somewhere along the line I picked up this habit of taking a deep breath every time I heard the word “BREATHE” and not just any breath either, I also learned how to do diaphragmatic breathing and so when I hear that trigger of the word “BREATHE” I will take a diaphragmatic breath.
The reason I’m calling this a mindset habit is that breathing is the only part of our autonomic nervous system, which is what controls the stress responses, that we have any control over. So when you take control of one aspect of your stress response it starts to tell the other stress responses to calm the F down.
Stress is one of the biggest things that throws me, and most people, off of our A game. It really derails what you’re trying to do in a huge way, and throws you out of your healthier routines but when you learn how to hijack the stress response through proper breathing, it really gives you the control to keep yourself on track.
Then couple that with something like aromatherapy, which also impacts your stress response, your autonomic nervous system, as well as your limbic system where all of your thoughts, emotions and memories are stored, and it’s powerful y’all. If you’re brand new to the idea of using aromatherapy in mindset work or stress responses, you can learn more here.
#7 – Radical Honesty
Now my 7th growth mindset example is one that I am still working on and that is radical honesty.
I’ve always thought myself to be a very honest person in the fact that I have a hard time lying to people. If somebody asks me a direct question, I have a really hard time not telling them the truth. But what I do have a hard time with is feeling like I need to kind of sugar coat it a little bit. That I may not want to say it in a certain way or I may want to present things in a certain way, instead of just saying it like it is and being willing to take any of the fallout that might happen if I need to say something that’s awkward or uncomfortable or difficult for that other person to hear.
Instead of taking responsibility for their emotions and for their reaction, I’m really learning how to just be radically honest, under the philosophy that the truth will set you free.
It might piss you off first, it might make a little bit of a mess, but it will ultimately set you and everybody else free.
Where this has impacted me so far is really in my energy levels. Physically especially, but moreso emotionally which ties into the physical energy for me. I really feel like I’m no longer trying to walk on eggshells, although I haven’t perfected this, and I am still working on it and so sometimes that can take a lot of energy to kind of work up the courage a little bit to say what needs to be said
But once I do it’s like taking bricks out of a backpack when you’re trying to do a hike up a mountain. It’s just freeing. You unload so much when you just focus on the fact that “the truth will set you free”.
Again, it might piss you or other people off, but it will set you free.
By the way, if you are new to the process of changing your mindset be sure to grab my free Bottlenecks to Breakthroughs training.
It’s a short 15 minute training that will show you exactly where to focus and it’ll teach you the process I’ve developed and used for nearly 10 years to help my clients overcome their own limiting beliefs and up level their mindset.
Again it’s 100% free and you can grab it here or by clicking the button below.
What about you, boss lady?
Let me know which of these 7 mindset habits you practice or were most inspired by, or any other growth mindset examples from your own life, to help encourage others who are looking to do the same thing in theirs.
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About the Author
I’m the breakthrough coach for self-employed women who are barely surviving their business. I help you to identify and overcome your old habits – both practical, as well as emotional and mental – learn a better way of approaching the work/life/family juggling act, and gain confidence in your new role in your growing businesses. Learn more about me here.
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