Mindset refers to a way of viewing challenges and setbacks. A fixed mindset is where people believe their natural abilities and skills are set from birth whereas a growth mindset believes that everyone can improve their skills with hard work and a commitment to personal improvement. A growth mindset is committed to lifelong learning. Here are ways to develop a growth mindset.
Recognize you have a choice
Begin by interrogating your present mindset. This isn’t an exercise designed for self-judgment, merely one to get understand where we’re starting from. This is a key step to changing your mindset. Next, recognize that you have a choice. Nothing is set in stone. You can begin to change your mind.
Acknowledge and embrace imperfections
Learning new things can be tough. In order to stick with it, it’s important to acknowledge and embrace imperfections. Accepting imperfection instead of striving for perfection can make it easier for you to accomplish your goals. Don’t let the fear of making mistakes keep you from trying new things.
Take on challenges
It’s human to shy away from difficult tasks that make you feel inadequate and unskilled. Part of developing a growth mindset includes shattering negative perceptions around challenges. Embrace challenges, that’s how you build your learning muscles. It’s also important to remember that there are areas in which you will always be a novice, so don’t shy away from being a learner. Open yourself up to new possibilities.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses
When trying to learn a new skill, identify your strengths and weaknesses in the skill and write them down. Consider your learning journey in the past. What areas do you struggle with? Will you need external help to learn and stay focussed? If you will, consider getting outside assistance. Try different tactics. A certain method may not work for you, you may find a different tactic is a better fit.
Value the process
Often people focus on the end result and so as long as they don’t have an end product to show, it all feels like a failure. To cultivate a growth mindset, it’s important to see value in the process, especially with learning. The destination matters but so does the journey. Don’t devalue the journey. Respect where you are in the journey and extend the same grace to other people. Celebrate the effort.
Often in the beginning people set unrealistic goals, expecting too much from themselves in too short a time period. It takes time, a lot of time to learn a new skill and become good at something new. This is critical to keep in mind when developing a growth mindset. Write down your goals and be open to adjusting them as you proceed while still making sure they remain a challenge.
In order to grow, it’s important to measure your progress. Tracking your progress and seeing the growth will build your confidence and motivation. It’s not easy to stay on track when learning something challenging so tracking and seeing progress is beneficial.
It’s important to understand that the buck stops with you. Take responsibility for your learning. Put in as much effort as you can. Practice. Practice. Practice. Cultivate a growth mindset by finding outside help if you need it.
Believe that you can do it. You can gain that skill and understand that concept. Reframe any negative self-talk with better language. For example, reframe failing as improving or learning. Making these small changes can go a long way in developing a growth mindset. Celebrate yourself and your efforts and replace any negative self-talk with this new talk.
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