Do you ever feel that you are as smart as you’ll ever be or that you couldn’t possibly be any more successful than you are? Are you a “that’s just the way it is” type of person? If so, you might unknowingly be stuck in a fixed mindset with beliefs that your life is set and you have no meaningful way to take control or make changes to it. Many people fall into a fixed mindset from time to time. In some instances, people get stuck in fixed mindsets living lives that leave them unfulfilled and, at times, unhappy. Though having a fixed mindset is common, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Your mindset about your circumstances and your life in general plays a major role in who you are and your level of success. People who are adaptable to change and feel that their skills and intelligence can always be improved are people who live in a growth mindset. People in growth mindsets have faith that they will achieve their goals and move through life failing forward and succeeding. Though you may naturally fall into having a fixed mindset or a growth mindset, there is always room to change your beliefs (whether you believe that now or not!).
In this article, we will help you understand what a growth mindset is, why you want one, and strategies you can use to achieve a growth mindset. Always remember that having a growth mindset is not necessarily something that is fixed. It’s normal to lose sight of your growth mindset and fall into fixed mindset thought patterns. Use our tips below to boost your mindset or consider reaching out to a certified life coach for guidance in taking control of your mindset and in turn, your success.
What Is a Growth Mindset?
In simple terms, a growth mindset is when you hold the belief that you are capable of growing, changing and improving any aspect of your life. People with growth mindsets do not believe that their intelligence, opportunities or circumstances are fixed. Instead, they hold a belief that they have the power to change their lives through learning and being willing to work towards their success.
Having a growth mindset is similar to having a positive mindset but goes beyond simply being positive about your situation. It is possible to have a fixed mindset and be happy and positive, though sometimes people with fixed mindsets carry more negative feelings. When you have a growth mindset you not only feel positive about your situation, but you also take action to make the changes you desire in your life be it in business, education or everyday success.
Growth Mindset Strategies
One of the top things you can do when it comes to developing or boosting your growth mindset is to be introspective about your own beliefs. Take time to evaluate your limiting beliefs and look for ways that you could frame your belief in a more positive and growth-focused way. For many, this is a skill that takes time and practice. Consider using the tips below as a guide to focusing on the growth side of any problem or challenge you may face.
Embrace Failure – when you have a fixed mindset you may believe that if you fail it is because you were never going to succeed in the first place. You might even feel that there is no point in trying because you will fail. The belief that you will fail might actually be correct, but failure is a good thing and not something to be afraid of. Failure is uncomfortable but it is also a reminder of the fact that you were brave enough to try. Embrace that failure is a natural consequence of growth and you will fail time and time again before you succeed. Welcome rather than fear failure.
Believe You Will Succeed – as you embrace failure on your journey to success it is important to also embrace the belief that you will succeed. Know that your efforts are guiding you toward your goals and you will find success if you continue to allow yourself to try and grow. Your success may not look like what you had originally imagined, but, as you move through life your successes and failures will guide you to where you need to be.
Be Willing to Learn – having a growth mindset means that you believe you are capable of learning. Just because you have never done something before doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to do it. If you are looking for change but feel held back by needing to learn a new skill, change that thought pattern. Be willing to learn and allow yourself to change your mind about who you think you are.
Get Curious – having a growth mindset does not always feel natural to some people. Get curious about why you believe that you cannot change, learn, or live the life of your dreams. Challenge your current belief systems and ask yourself why you truly feel the way you do. Our previous post “what to do when feeling like a failure” offers some insight into how you can challenge your beliefs and move past your fixed mindset beliefs.
Set Goals – Setting goals is important for your success. Setting goals that you can achieve will go a long way towards boosting your growth mindset and affirming your belief that you can succeed. Try not to set lofty long-term goals that are unrealistic. If you set yourself up to fail you will simply confirm your belief that you can’t succeed. Instead, set realistic, measurable and achievable goals. Give yourself a timeline to complete it and be willing to adjust your goal if need be due to factors that are out of your control. See our previous article “How to Set Goals & Achieve Them” for more tips on setting goals and crushing them.
Celebrate Success – if you never take the time to acknowledge your success you might not recognize all the ways in which you are successful. Always celebrate your big wins, but do not forget to celebrate the small ones too. Get excited about achieving your micro goals and re-enforce the belief that you are a successful person. Let yourself know that you are proud of your hard work and are willing to and able to do the work required to reach your next goal.
Celebrating your success does not have to be about the big scary goal only. Allow yourself to see how successful and capable you are by celebrating the small successes you have at every step of the way. If you struggle to see the success in your life, consider reaching out to a confidence coach to help you find clarity and live a life you love.
Focus on What You Can Control – sometimes those who are stuck in a fixed mindset feel as if they can’t make meaningful change, so why should they even try? It is true that there will always be things that you cannot control. But there are also many things big and small that you can take control of. One of the most important things you can control is your mindset. Though this is not always something that is easy to do, it is possible to work towards changing your mindset. You cannot control the actions of others and you cannot control everything that happens in your life. Focus on the part of each interaction or occurrence that you can control, often this might just be how you think about it. Working on controlling how you respond to your environment is a powerful tool that comes from having a growth mindset.
Why You Need a Growth Mindset
Having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset will serve you well as you work towards achieving your dreams and living a successful life. Though it may not come naturally to you, it will likely be beneficial as you go through the ups and downs of life while working towards your dreams. When you believe you are capable, you become capable, and you do all the things that will support you in fulfilling your dreams.
If you are having difficulty developing a growth mindset it can be helpful to reach out to your support network or even speak with a personal coach. Talking through your challenges with those around you can help you find clarity and boost your confidence. A personal coach or life coach can give you strategies to set you up for long-term success. Don’t be afraid to share your fears and success with others as you work towards a lasting growth mindset.