In this post, I’m going to be teaching you the difference between a fixed versus a growth mindset, which might help you identify which camp you are in, as well as the three steps you can take to develop a growth mindset starting today.
As a Digital Business Strategist for women in business, one of the core foundations of helping my clients achieve lasting, transformational change is by cultivating a growth mindset. It’s one of my favorite topics to cover.
In short, someone with a fixed mindset believes that you are born with innate intelligence, skills, and talent and that these things cannot be changed.
Or you could say that this person believes that their life, the things that happen to them, their circumstances, wealth, health, etc are entirely out of their control.
A fixed mindset persona, if you will, might say things like: I’m not good enough, I’m not good at this so I shouldn’t even try, I’m going to fail, It’s not my fault, I shouldn’t have to try so hard, I shouldn’t risk it, I’m never going to amount to anything, etc.
If as I’m saying some of this, you are resonating with these things, you might be currently operating with a fixed mindset.
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But, here’s the awesome thing about our minds -- we have the power to consciously choose differently.
Someone with a growth mindset believes that through hard work, growth, and knowledge, you can expand your intelligence, skills, and talents. You believe that your life and what you are able to achieve is entirely within your control.
Some of the things you might think or say are things like: I may not be good enough right now, but everyday I am growing or learning.
Or failures are events and people can’t be failures. Or I have everything within me to be able to live the life I want to live. I am responsible for the decision that I make and where I am in my life right now.
If as I am saying some of this, if you are resonating with these things, you are likely operating with a growth mindset.
By now, you likely have the awareness that you are sitting within a fixed mindset, right?
You are aware that you tell yourself some of the things I shared earlier like I’m not good enough, I’m going to fail, It’s not my fault, etc.
But, now that you are aware -- I want you to give this persona a name, because this is no longer you, this is your fixed mindset alter ego. Give that alter ego a name. This is the person you are going to talk to if you start to slip back into your fixed mindset.
And don’t judge yourself if you have these thoughts, because the next step of awareness of a fixed mindset is identifying your triggers and re-framing them.
So, in what situation do you find yourself reverting back to a fixed mindset? And here are a few examples:
Consider how you are rationalizing, blaming, or judging the situation and start to think how you can react differently.
We cannot control everybody and everything around us, but we definitely can control how we react to things.
When you are feeling triggered, I want you to pause and gain some perspective. You might ask yourself some questions like:
What else is going on here?
Am I being realistic about my reactions?
What are the positive outcomes in this situation?
How else can I react to this situation?
In other words, do what I like to call a re-frame of the situation.
Instead of saying, I’m not good at this. You could say I’m not good at this right now, but if I continue to learn each day I’ll get better and better.
Instead of saying, I’m going to fail. You could re-frame it and say, “I’m going to fail if I don’t try. Failure is all a part of the process. Everybody who has ever tried anything has failed at something.”
Instead of saying, “I’ll never achieve x,y, or z.” You could re-frame it and say “Other people have done this. I just have to start at the bottom and learn as much as I can along the way, but it’s important to keep going.”
You see, it all starts with shifting our perspective from something that’s fixed and limited to something that’s more positive and allows us to grow.
Simply re-framing our thoughts and adjusting our perspective isn’t all that’s needed to cultivate a long-lasting, transformational growth mindset, we must also take action as growth is a lifestyle, not just a mindset.
So, when we find ourselves in a situation that challenges us to grow, we can take action by always inquiring how we can do better, what else could we learn, what other steps can we take right now, how can you get from point A to B, what goals can we set in that area, etc.
Growth mindset is, you guessed, all about growing and moving forward, so by creating awareness, gaining perspective, and taking action in your life you can continue to become the best version of yourself, be always learning, and working towards your goals.
And there you have it, friends! Your fixed vs. growth mindset definition as well as the three steps to developing a growth mindset.
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