I love this quote by Rupi Kaur, “You don’t just wake up and become the butterfly. Growth is a process.”
Let me repeat that “Growth is a process”. It doesn’t happen overnight. Some days will be easier than others. But I guarantee that developing a growth mindset will be an adventure you will never regret going on.
What is a Growth Mindset vs a Fixed Mindset?
People who have a fixed mindset believe that talent and abilities are fixed traits that cannot be improved. Therefore, they view effort spent on developing their abilities as a waste of time. They give up easily and often will blame others for their failures.
People who have a growth mindset however, are focused on learning, working hard and trying new things. They believe that abilities can be developed. They believe that the process of learning is just as important, if not more, than the final result.
Characteristics of a Growth Mindset
Here are some common characteristics of people who have a growth mindset:
- They are focused on learning,
- They try new things,
- They see effort as a way to grow and learn,
- They are inspired by the success of others, and
- They reflect and incorporate feedback received from constructive criticism.
Why Developing a Growth Mindset Matters
People who have a growth mindset are happier, more successful and less stressed out than people with a fixed mindset. The main reason is that even if something doesn’t work out, people with a growth mindset view the situation as a way to learn. Then they try again, applying the lessons learned. The result? Success and happiness!
12 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is all about effort and learning. It helps to keep an open mind and always ask yourself, “What is this situation teaching me? What can I learn from it?”. With any learning adventure, the key is to taking small steps, on a consistent basis.
Here are 12 ways to develop a growth mindset:
- Acknowledge and embrace imperfection.
Trying to strive for perfection is a sure way to unhappiness. That’s because perfection is usually focused on avoiding failure at all costs. Sounds exhausting, right? Instead, embrace imperfection. Work towards cultivating a healthy attitude and mindset toward imperfection. A great place to start is by saying the mantra “good enough” whenever you feel the perfection monster lurking around.
- See challenges as opportunities.
In order to grow, you need to leave your comfort zone. Sometimes, we do this willingly. And at other times, we only leave our comfort zone when life gives us a kick in the butt. Otherwise known as “challenges”. When we view a challenge as an opportunity, then we ready to grow and become a better version of ourselves.
- Use constructive criticism as feedback.
It can be difficult to be able to step back and see life through another lens. Fortunately, other people have different viewpoints. They can see things that we have missed. So, when someone offers you constructive criticism, stop to consider what they have said. Use it as feedback to see how you can improve.
- Don’t fear making mistakes.
Mistakes are a part of the learning process and are natural. Sometimes we learn more from when we make mistakes then from when everything goes perfectly. When mistakes do happen, see what you can learn from them and apply the knowledge going forward. As Sophia Loren once said, “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”
- Words and thoughts matter.
As an introvert, we never seem to stop thinking. So, let’s take a moment to reflect. Notice the words that you use and the thoughts that you have in your head. Are the comments/thoughts positive and helpful? Or negative and judging? Change the narrative in your head – positive and helpful thoughts will get you much further ahead than negative thoughts.
- Be yourself.
It takes a lot of energy to be someone you aren’t. Introverts are always being pressured to live up to an extroverted standard that seems to have become the norm in our culture. Understand and own your introverted nature.
- Embrace your strengths.
Write down all the things that you are good at. Your list may include things like, good listener, incredible writing skill, and many more. When you are done, review your list. How many of the things on your list are due to your introvert nature? Always remember, even if it doesn’t seem like it at times, introversion is a strength.
- Acknowledge your weaknesses.
It takes courage to acknowledge and accept your weaknesses. You can’t improve something if you don’t know it exists. Once you have done this, you can do two things. One, ask for help from people where your weakness is their strength. Two, look for ways or strategies where you can improve your weaknesses.
- The word “yet” is very powerful.
Let me demonstrate the power of the word yet with an example. If you take the phrase “I can’t do this” it sounds final. But turn the phrase to “I can’t do this, yet” and now it reframes the situation to one where you will be able to do it after some time and effort.
- Be realistic.
It takes time to learn a new skill. For me, learning something new is exhausting and I usually have a headache from trying to process so much new information. When I find myself becoming impatient (I want to know it all right away), I remind myself that learning takes time. I force myself to take breaks and to learn one thing at a time. Before I know it, I have learned a new skill.
- Focus on the journey.
Life isn’t a race. It’s not how fast you get to the finish line that counts. Or how much faster someone else has mastered something. Instead focus on the process. It helps when you develop a love of learning.
- Develop a love of learning.
A love of learning comes from being curious and asking lots and lots of questions. It also helps to know your learning style. Everyone learns differently, so it helps to figure out how you learn best. Even better, when you are learning about something you are interested in, passionate about or can see how you would benefit from it, then learning is so much easier!
Until my next blog post, here’s wishing you lots of joy and happiness!