Researchers and psychologists have been studying the influence of mindset on learning and personal fulfillment for decades. Based on over 30 years of research, Carol Dweck formulated a theory of mindset that states that we all lean toward one of two primary mindsets.
• The fixed mindset us one that believes our talents and traits are innate, they are determined at birth, and they do not develop much over our lifetimes.
• In contrast, a growth mindset believes that all our abilities, skills, and traits can be developed throughout our lives, which means learning occurs at all stages of living.
Those who embrace a growth outlook have the capacity to positively change their lives at any age. They recognize that learning opportunities exist in all that we do, and they learn to set higher goals for themselves, which allows them to live their dreams and come closer to self-actualization.
To implement a growth mindset, you need regular practice of attitude and behavior that, over time, can change how you see the world. Here are five ways you can start cultivating your growth mindset today.
#1. Adopt a Positive Outlook
Those with a growth-oriented attitude consider opportunities instead of challenges, learning experiences instead of failure. A positive outlook on life helps you see possibilities where others see obstacles and value the struggles in life, which have a great deal to teach you. A positive attitude enables you to look past the negative outcomes in situations and embrace the possibilities that exist.
#2. Stop Avoiding Challenge
To embrace the growth mindset, you have to be open to challenges, setbacks, and adversity. That means saying “yes” to challenging tasks, new experiences, and activities outside of your comfort zone.
Those who avoid challenge lose the ability to persist, to exercise self-discipline, and to strengthen the skills necessary for problem-solving. Instead of avoiding challenge, walk toward it. The more you embrace these opportunities, the more you will reap the benefits they have to offer your life.
#3. Celebrate Your Hard Work and Successes
To start embracing new opportunities and trying new things, you have to believe in your own capabilities and talents. To boost your confidence, you need to recognize the challenging work you put into your goals, celebrate the milestones and intermediate successes you have along the way, and honor your strengths and talents. Remembering past achievements and accomplishments enhances your ability to learn and keeps you focused on the positive benefits of your hard work.
#4. Practice Self-Awareness
To improve your growth and personal development, it is helpful to know how your thoughts, actions, and beliefs are affecting your success and happiness. Self-awareness helps you identify areas for growth, realize which strengths you have to build on, and what your important goals and values are. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself and others, how you describe learning, the biases or preconceived notions you may have, and how your mindset and habits affect your ability to accomplish your goals.
#5. Reconsider Your Position on Failure
Most people have an extremely negative attitude about failure. They assume it says something significant about them, that it is something that will “mark” them forever, and that it is something to fear or avoid at all costs.
You must see failure as a stepping stone, a learning opportunity and welcome failures for all you can learn from them and therefore grow.
In reality, failure is simply information about what did not work, which is why you need to adopt a more positive outlook about it. Author and fitness expert Fred DeVito summed this thought up nicely when he said, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”