Updated: Aug 27, 2021
To improve a skill you have to believe you can do it.
You might have heard that sentence before and before you roll your eyes, hear me out.
Carol Dweck, a researcher for motivation found an interesting concept. The Growth Mindset.
She described it as: “A Growth Mindset is a belief you can develop abilities.”
“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”- Carol Dweck
Ok, but what does that mean?
Behind this sentence are a lot of hidden implications. The illustration gives a nicer overview of the difference between this belief called growth mindset and the belief that your abilities are fixed, called a fixed mindset.
When you have a growth mindset it is said you have the following characteristics:
You embrace challenges
You persist in the face of setbacks
You see effort as a path to mastery
You learn from criticism
You find lessons and inspiration in the success of others
And if you are now thinking, "That doesn't sound too bad" then the next question will be.
But how do you get there?
First of all, there are probably already areas in your life in which you have a Growth Mindset without knowing it. Or you use it sometimes and sometimes not. The idea is to move the needle a bit further towards the growth mindset and improve what's already there.
The short but unsexy answer is practice.
The following part describes an exercise that you can use to strengthen your growth mindset in more areas. Attention: Turn the brain on and take pen and paper. You might learn something 😉
1.When did you recently face a challenge? something that put you in a difficult position and maybe even feeling a bit helpless or not knowing how to continue?
Pause here and really think about a situation before continue reading.
Do you have one?
Remember a couple of thoughts that were connected to it. What were you thinking?
Now, how would someone with a growth mindset go about this? Maybe someone you admire or a fictional superhero character?
In what way is it different from how you reacted?
Start by reflecting on other situations and sooner or later these changes will happen more often in real-life, in real-time.
The gist of the Growth Mindset is that when you use it you are more likely to be curious and eager to learn whereas in a fixed mindset you are consumed by your fears and insecurities.
So next time you are facing a challenge you can ask yourself
"How would I solve this if I would use a Growth Mindset approach?"
Below are some useful exercises that might help you to develop your Growth Mindset further.