You know what’s super sexy? Your Growth Mindset. It doesn’t just look good on you. It looks good on everybody.
So let’s have a little Growth Mindset moment and talk about how we can cultivate more of it.
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Last week, we talked about a Fixed Mindset and what that looks like and what that means.
It’s not a very fun, sexy topic. So we need to talk about a Growth Mindset because it’s way better, way sexier, way more fun to talk about. I want to talk about what it is. And give some examples of it to hopefully inspire you to cultivate more.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A Growth Mindset is the belief that character traits, talent, skill, and so on are capable of being developed or growing and expanding with the right kind of attention, effort, and strategies. It also applies to resources, opportunities, and circumstances.
It’s the belief that things can change. They can grow. They can get better when they’re approached in the right ways. A Growth Mindset doesn’t say things are good or easy or that they should be good or easy. That’s actually a Fixed Mindset that does that. A Growth Mindset just says that things can be figured out and become better and easier as we go.
Where a Fixed Mindset sees limitations, a Growth Mindset sees potential.
And just as most people have a Fixed Mindset in at least one area, most people also have a Growth Mindset in at least one area as well. And the more you can cultivate that Growth Mindset in all areas, the more you reach your goals, create a life that fulfills you, and ultimately enjoy your life.
Just like with a Fixed Mindset, it tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Examples of a Growth Mindset.
Starting again with the stories we tell about ourselves:
I’m just not good at that.I’ve yet to learn that, or I could learn this. It takes a lot of luck to be successful.It takes a concentrated and deliberate effort to succeed and I can develop that. I’ll never get good.I can figure this out. Why not? Life is just unfair.Life can be messy, but it can also be good. This is too hard.I’m still learning this. I can’t do it.What else can I try? I’ll never get there.I’m getting better and better at this. I shouldn’t have to try this hard.This is a fun challenge. It’s not okay to fail.You win some, you lose some and you’ll learn from every experience.
These statements empower us. They remind us that we have the capability if we so choose, and they encourage us to make decisions based on what will serve us in the long run, not just look good in the short term.
So now let’s look at some examples of a Growth Mindset through the stories that we tell about other people:
They just got lucky.They were well-prepared for this opportunity. They weren’t just born into the right family.Their family worked hard to provide those opportunities. And I hope to do the same thing. They probably lied, cheated, or stole.Their success is an inspiration to me. She was just born with it.How can I do this?
- It’s everybody puts in the time to get good.
It comes naturally to them.They’re now at the point where it seems natural to them. It’s because they’re attractive.It’s because they’re committed, they’re dedicated, they’re resilient. It’s because they’re so smart.They really learned a lot. I can’t believe they failed or messed up or they did that.Everyone encounters challenges.
- Everyone makes mistakes of some kind. What can I learn from theirs?
These statements respect, congratulate, and strive to take inspiration and learning from other people’s successes, strengths, opportunities, or even flops.
A Growth Mindset doesn’t compare or criticize, it encourages and uplifts.
When it comes to emotions, a Growth Mindset can still experience emotional highs and lows. They can still get discouraged, frustrated, or feel the unwanted emotions that a Fixed Mindset does. The difference is how long they stay with those emotions and what they do as a result of them.
Someone with a Fixed Mindset’s stories and their actions from it tends to lead to emotions of hope, of personal pride, motivation, openness, greater optimism, contentment, fulfillment, and over time, a deep sense of happiness that comes from a life well-lived. These stories and these emotions lead people with a Growth Mindset to act cooperatively and to help other people more. They encourage others as well as encouraging themselves.
If you have a Growth Mindset, you’re more likely to give more praise than you require. And you’re more likely to take deliberate and consistent action. You’ll make peace with your mistakes and you’ll use them to help yourself improve next time, which means over time, you end up making fewer mistakes.
You’re also more likely to try new things and take calculated risks when it’s right to do so.
You carefully assess all of your ideas and prioritize them according to what’s realistic or what you’re ready for. You’re more likely to stick with projects, stick with goals or tasks for longer, even when they’re hard because you know, you’re learning and challenging yourself. And you keep trying when the first strategy doesn’t work out, this means that you see things through to the end versus having a dozen unfinished plans. You’re more likely to ask for help and get the support that you need to be happy and successful.
Examples of a Growth Mindset and relationships
Examples of a Growth Mindset and relationships include things like encouraging your partner or your children or your team members and their goals. Not telling them in the middle, “it’ll be easy“, but telling them that they’re capable. Helping them develop what they need to be successful. It means saying thank you when you’re complimented and just enjoying the moment of a win and giving and receiving support freely, without judgment. Not thinking they should already have this, or they shouldn’t need this, but if they’re asking for this, that means they need more support in this area.
It also means understanding that people will make mistakes and being able to forgive them appropriately. You’re more likely to communicate openly and easily about your needs instead of expecting them to know what you need.
Examples of a Growth Mindset when it comes to your goals
This might mean using pep-talk-style affirmations that don’t just hype you up so you feel good but really encourage you to learn and grow and do good. It can mean setting goals that stretch you outside of your comfort zone when you’re ready for that, goals that you might not succeed in, but that you’re excited to challenge yourself with anyway.
This might mean setting small goals if that’s what’s called for in that situation- if that’s what will help you make the most progress in the long run.
It most definitely means celebrating the wins and the progress you’re making all along the way, as well as being proactive about potential obstacles and focusing on new solutions to problems encountered versus focusing on the problem themselves.
This means you’re taking problems in a healthy stride. You’re remembering that they’re natural, that they’re not a reflection of you or what you’re capable of, but they’re just another opportunity to sharpen your skills and your mindset and get better at what you’re doing. All of this means you’re focusing more on the process, the learning, the growth, the wins, rather than the outcome.
Examples of a Growth Mindset in business
This could be working to develop your weaknesses as well as your strengths because you know that your weaknesses will be your downfall if you ignore them. It means doing work that aligns with your own long-term vision and goals and values, even when it’s not sexy or popular. It means not taking those vanity goals so seriously, using them as a means of learning and developing your skills and not as a reflection of your personal value.
You’re also going to be more likely to hire people with a desire to see them grow and expand, not with the desire for them to fix all your problems. And you’re going to have realistic expectations of the people that you work with, or for respecting their perspectives, their needs, and their ideas.
This keeps you open and listening to feedback, comments, or complaints looking for healthy ways to improve. It also means that you’re open to gaining insight or answers from other people, but only to help you make better decisions for yourself and never to assume that they have all the answers or can fix your problems.
If you’ve got a Growth Mindset, you also know that there’s something to learn from every course, every coach, every book, every YouTube video, every blog post, every retreat, every seminar, every person you encounter, but that only you will determine your success in the end
You’re more likely to get inspired by the success of other people. And that means you’re going to immerse yourself in environments, conversations, and communities that encourage you in your goals and in your values, not just in keeping up with the Joneses.
Moral of the story
If reading this list encouraged you or inspired you, there’s a good chance. You have a Growth Mindset already in at least one area, but if it discouraged you or it brought up all kinds of resistance or “shoulds” or “yeah, buts” that might be a sign of a Fixed Mindset lurking beneath the surface.
Like I mentioned in the last blog/video, it’s not always fun or sexy to look at these things in ourselves, but it is necessary because, again, how we view the world becomes how we live in it.
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What about you, boss lady?
I want to hear from you! Share your own example of a Growth Mindset in the comments! What comes to mind?
Scroll down to leave your comments below!