Some of us look to the future with high hopes and positivity, while others get bogged down believing that things just “are the way they are” with no hope of ever changing. In reality, most of us are a mix of both, and, depending on the day and situation, can be found practicing either mentality.
When you’re in a fixed mindset, you may catch yourself saying things like, “I’ll never be good at that”, “I hate change”, or “there’s no point trying because I know I can’t do it”. Whether you’re working on a new project at work or trying to eat healthier, we all tell ourselves “I can’t” stories sometimes to lessen the blame we put on ourselves. You can’t help it if you have a natural affinity for donuts, right?
You have the power to choose the kind of life you want to live. With time and experience, you have grown into the person you are today, and the longer you spend on this earth, the (hopefully) more you evolve and change for the better. But this doesn’t happen naturally, and it takes time to cultivate a growth mindset.
Instead of telling yourself you could never give up sweets or will never be good at networking, change your mindset to yet. Sure, maybe you aren’t an all-star at social gatherings yet, but that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t be with a little time and effort.
If you attacked each area of your life with this mindset, think of how much you could accomplish. You may not be naturally great at writing or public speaking, but what if you want to be? You have the power to improve the hand you were dealt.
Here are my 10 tips for practicing a growth mindset in your daily life.
1. Challenge = Opportunity
People who reject challenges at every turn are likely not the people who you’d view as successful. In fact, quite the opposite — those who seek out challenges, even when it is hard/uncomfortable/scary, build their resilience muscle; they learn how to adapt and evolve. Inviting challenges into your life is a good thing, and they will bring you more opportunity for growth and success.
2. Live in the ‘Now’
We’ve all made mistakes and blunders that make us cringe just thinking about it. But learn to let it go! Things rarely go as planned, but always end up working out the way they were supposed to. Be present and only focus on the now and what’s ahead.
3. Embrace Imperfection
Seeing as how we all make mistakes, there is no such thing as perfection — so don’t get so strung up on it! If you hide from your imperfections, you’ll never be able to grow and move on from them.
4. Big Picture Thinking
A key part of having a growth mindset is being able to look at the big picture. People with a fixed mindset may get stuck on why they’re doing something that they don’t feel is equal to their skill — but those who are focused on growing are more likely to see situations as a whole, and how each little thing adds up to benefit your life.
5. Eliminate Failure
“But I thought you just said that failure is inevitable?” It is, which is why you should just eliminate the word failure right out of your vocabulary. Replace what you’d normally deem a failure with something like “learning opportunity” in order to recognize that each setback is an another opportunity to become more wise and motivated.
6. Always Persevere
People looking to grow in life are good at persevering. You will experience heartbreak, defeat, and even sometimes catastrophe, but channel that feeling into making you push even harder and harder.
7. Be Open
Growing is innately connected to open-mindedness. Step out of the box and away from seeing the world as black or white. Instead, be open to the millions of different possibilities and opportunities that are out there. When something doesn’t go as planned, be receptive to other options. Reject the idea that you need to stick to the status quo, and instead follow your intuition.
It’s possible to reflect on what’s working and what isn’t without dwelling in the past. Reflect on where you’re at and where you want to go.
By engaging and sharing with others your growth goals and mindset, you are doing two things: helping people hold you accountable for the type of person you say you’ll be, and encouraging others to adopt a similar outlook. It’s extremely valuable to share and communicate, so do it often if you’re looking to really adopt a growth mindset.
10. Don’t Seek Approval
Well, you can seek approval, but it should only come from one person… yourself. Too often, we wait for our friends, colleagues, or spouse to give us the affirmation we need, but likely, that never comes. You will be miserable if you wait for others’ approval. Instead, be your biggest cheerleader and recognize that true growth and power comes from within.
Whether you want to be better in business or just life in general, adopting a growth mindset is really the best way to make the most out of the life you got.