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April 3, 2024

What Exactly is a Growth Mindset & How to Get it

So what exactly is a growth mindset? Ultimately, it’s holding the belief that everything is figureoutable. Our mindset is how we view our experiences and ourselves. It is what we believe about ourselves and it dictates our behavior, which means it determines our life path, our success, and our happiness.
A growth mindset assumes that we are capable and sees failure not as evidence of an inability, but as an opportunity for learning and growth. When we have a growth mindset, it means that we are open to trying new things and can push resistance aside, or at least tell it to take a seat. A fixed mindset assumes that we are who we are, we believe what we believe, and that it is what it is. A fixed mindset looks like trying only when we know we will succeed. Thankfully, our mindset is not set in stone nor is it an either-or. We can be fixed or growth-based in different areas or situations. The good news is, we can learn to adopt and train a growth mindset over a fixed mindset.
A growth mindset is a resilient mindset, which supports us when we hit the road bumps that life inevitably tosses our way. A growth mindset sounds like “I’ve got this, I am enough, I believe in myself, I can do this.” It is encouraging and supportive. And considering we walk through every minute of our days with ourselves, why not do it with an encouraging perspective, as opposed to negative Nelly telling us that we can’t and preventing us from experiencing things that just might bring joy and reward?

Here are three ways to help develop a growth mindset:

  1. Think about the process and not the outcome. Visually put the outcome in a little container and up on the shelf. What will be, will be. When we focus on the task and we are doing our best, we will get to where we want to be. Like another classic taught us, slow and steady wins the race.
  2. Learn new things & do habitual things a new way. Research shows that stimulating the brain with new things triggers dopamine which kick starts motivation and stimulates the creation of new neurons which is healthy exercise for the brain. Walking to work a different way, taking an art class, going to a new coffee shop and even learning a new card game all count for new.
  3. Compare yourself to you and only you. Take notice of your thoughts about other people and how you may be comparing yourself to them. What we have, don’t have, have accomplished, or have not accomplished does not make us more or less. A growth mindset means we build on something to get better from a place of individual desire, not for social acceptance.
Our brain is malleable and can without a doubt learn new ways when we utilize consistency. When we stretch our belief system consistently, we can develop new skills. We cannot build muscle if we simply read a book about how to build muscle. We have to do the thing over and over to get results. The same goes for the brain.
A growth mindset means instead of shying away from difficult tasks, we approach them with open-mindedness. It means we understand that setbacks are temporary and that everything is indeed, figureoutable and it means we know our potential is limitless, and that we can do anything we set our mind to.

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