When Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., wrote “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” her groundbreaking research sent shockwaves through the personal development community. However, what most of us understand about a “growth mindset” is how it differs from a “fixed mindset.” In short, if you have a growth mindset, you have the belief that you can grow and change. Contrast that mindset with a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset suggests that our intelligence, ability, and character are innate and can’t change in meaningful ways.
Understanding the difference between the two mindsets is straightforward, but what can you do to develop a growth mindset? You can cultivate your growth by following a few best practices.
- Accept and Recognize Mistakes
Dweck says that ignoring your weaknesses isn’t helpful because doing so limits your ability to overcome them.
- Stop Seeking Approval and Recognition
If you’re working on your growth mindset, you’re doing it for yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself. Avoid the temptation to strive for recognition. Everyone is on their own journey. Focus on yours.
- Monitor Your Thoughts and Words Carefully
Thoughts are things, and words matter. No one listens to you more than you listen to yourself. What are you telling yourself every day? Try to replace negative thoughts with constructive thoughts, and do the same thing with the words you use when you talk to yourself and others.
- Understand the Importance of Effort
In a growth mindset, it’s essential to focus on effort instead of ability. Our effort is as deserving of praise as our abilities and accomplishments.
- Proactively Seek Feedback
No news is good news, right? Not if you’re working on your growth mindset. Instead of waiting for people to offer feedback for your efforts, proactively seek it out. Ask for constructive criticism.
- Do Hard Things
When we have a fixed mindset, we tend to take the path of least resistance and do the easy stuff. When you do difficult things, your life will be transformed because of the confidence you’ll gain.
- Learn from Other People
You can learn from their success of other people, but you can also learn from their mistakes. Pay close attention to people who have a growth mindset. Watch how they handle challenges and setbacks.
- Set Goals Constantly
The secret to getting more things accomplished is setting goals. It feels good to complete a goal, and your growth will soar right along with your confidence.