"A tendency to believe that you can grow"
Most people in the education and sport worlds now know the difference between fixed mindset and growth mindset. A “growth mindset” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a tendency to believe that you can grow. A ‘fixed mindset’ assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens, which we can’t change in any meaningful way. A ‘growth mindset’ thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. How do we actually help develop a growth mindset? What are the sorts of behaviours and habits that we should be encouraging?
Here are 10 ways you can develop a growth mindset -
- Acknowledge and embrace imperfections: We all have imperfections. Hiding from your weaknesses means you’ll never overcome them.
- View challenges as opportunities: You can’t stay in your comfort zone and keep learning and developing. Having a growth mindset means relishing opportunities for self-improvement, which means becoming uncomfortable.
- Try different learning tactics: There’s no one-size-fits-all model for learning. What works for one person may not work for you. It may mean learning by ‘doing’ not just listening or maybe you learn from writing things down. Perhaps you’re more visual, so YouTube would work for you – whatever you need to do, to absorb the information.
- Follow the research on brain plasticity: The brain isn’t fixed; the mind shouldn’t be either.
- Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning:” When you make a mistake or fall short of a goal, you haven’t failed; you’ve learned.
- Stop seeking approval: When you prioritise approval over learning, you sacrifice your own potential for growth. Focus upon how the need for approval is holding you back from doing the important things.
- Value the process over the end result: Intelligent people enjoy the learning process, and don’t mind when it continues beyond an expected time frame.
- Emphasise growth over speed: Learning fast isn’t the same as learning well and learning well, sometimes requires allowing time for mistakes.
- Redefine “genius:” The genius myth has been busted: genius requires hard work, not talent alone.
- Portray criticism as positive: Criticism can hurt for most part, but sometimes knowing when to listen to your biggest critics, can be the biggest learning of all.