Even if you’ve never heard of a “fixed mindset,” I bet you can guess what it entails. Yup. It’s that mentality that dictates whatever we’ve been dealt – including our basic skills, intellect and talents – are inherent from birth. Not good at soccer? You never will be. Just give up.
Funny enough, people with a fixed mindset ironically try to focus on the positive. Meaning they prefer to keep exploiting what they’re good at – aka what’s always come “easy” to them – while avoiding anything that might hint at a weakness or shortcoming. It’s the epitome of, “you either have it or you don’t.”
But you’ll never really know everything you’re good at – particularly if you’re not willing to put yourself out there for fear that you’ll fall short or look foolish. These are two classic traits of the fixed mindset.
Enter growth mindset. These people are up for new things, including challenges. They understand they may have some natural abilities, as well as weaknesses, but they view them as starting points. Where someone begins says nothing of their long-term abilities or potential for progress.
The growth mindset group also appreciates that failure is likely along the way, but they choose to view these instances as learning opportunities. After all, how do you learn and improve if you don’t fail? Even if you’re a natural at something, if you never stumble every now and then, you’re just resting on your laurels.
According to Entrepreneur, this starts with:
– Deciding to change.
Think about what a growth mindset could do for you, and what a fixed mindset might be costing you.
– Identifying any fixed beliefs.
Are there areas where you feel stuck? How do you feel about failure – opportunity or embarrassment? What about challenges – exciting or fear-inducing? Try to sit with why you feel the way you do, then think about the ways this may be holding you back.
– Replacing fixed beliefs with growth beliefs.
Flip any fixed beliefs on their heads by writing down what that same belief would look like under a growth mindset. So when you hear yourself say, “I can’t start posting videos to social media, I’ll look stupid,” change that into, “I’m excited to jump into this new world and am sure I’ll learn a ton about how to make these great.” We all know practice makes perfect.
– Acting “as if.”
This one is easy. Every task starts with, “what would a growth mindset do?”
Change isn’t easy, so give yourself credit! Celebrate the wins – even if they’re simply reframing a phrase – and acknowledge your progress. You already know the journey will have some bumps, so take it all in stride and keep putting yourself out there!
Ready to embrace the growth mindset, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you? Let’s do it!