10 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset

"A tendency to believe that you can grow"

"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. But how do we actually help develop a growth mindset? What are the sorts of behaviours and habits that we should be encouraging? Read 10 ways to develop a growth mindset.

  1. Acknowledge and embrace imperfections.
    We all have imperfections. Hiding from your weaknesses means you’ll never overcome them.
  2. View challenges as opportunities.
    Don't think you can stay in your comfort zone and keep learning. Having a growth mindset means relishing opportunities for self-improvement.
  3. Try different learning tactics.
    There’s no one-size-fits-all model for learning. What works for one person may not work for you.
  4. Follow the research on brain plasticity.
    The brain isn’t fixed; the mind shouldn’t be either.
  5. 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.
  6. Stop seeking approval.
    When you prioritise approval over learning, you sacrifice your own potential for growth. Focus upon how the need for approval I holding you back from doing the important things.
  7. 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.
  8. Emphasise growth over speed.
    Learning fast isn’t the same as learning well, and learning well sometimes requires allowing time for mistakes.
  9. Redefine “genius”.
    The myth’s been busted: genius requires hard work, not talent alone.
  10. Portray criticism as positive.
    Criticism hurts for most, but given right, it can inspire both the critic and the critiqued.

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