Why a growth mindset is worth learning
12 Advantages Of A Growth Mindset That Could Accelerate Your Career
A “fixed mindset,” on the other hand, assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens, its what we were born with, which we can’t change in any meaningful way. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, comes our belief about whether or not we believe we can succeed at whatever we want to be. We are not what other people said we were at a young age. Ever had a parent or teacher say this to you as a child,” You’re drawing is terrible. You just don’t have math skills. You are not athletic.” They were wrong. Here’s the good news. No matter your current mindset, you can adopt and nurture a growth mindset but you have work to do.
Most people have one mindset or the other. Some have a combination. The good news is that we can all adopt a growth mindset, simply by putting ourselves in one. It’s easy to change. Just knowing about the two mindsets can make us think and act in new ways. Once we can spot the thoughts, words, and actions that go with the fixed and growth mindsets, we start catching ourselves in fixed mode and we can learn to switch into growth mode. And once you know how to switch from a fixed to growth mindset, you can eventually stay there.
People with growth mindsets believe that intelligence, and qualities we’re born with are just the foundation for future development. They can be improved through learning and hard work. Some people can do certain things well with little or no training or practice, but others can learn to do those same things, just as well or better, with training and practice. As a result, they say things such as: “I have the rest of the week to get the project done.” “I realized I had a choice. I could sit in my misery or I could do something about it.” “All my life I’ve been playing up, meaning I’ve challenged myself with players who were older, bigger, more skillful, more experienced.” “I don’t walk on water. I just run faster than a lot of people.”
And here’s what they do: try new things. Experiment. Make mistakes and correct them along the way. Reject what doesn’t work after trying to see what might. Tweak, iterate, and maintain an upward trajectory in effort and progress. Here are some tips on transitioning from a fixed to growth mindset, all to drive your career potential:
Acknowledge and embrace imperfections: Hiding from your weaknesses means you’ll never overcome them. Pick a weakness and improve it to at least neutral and to, at best, a strength.
View challenges as opportunities: Having a growth mindset means relishing opportunities for self-improvement. Learn more about how to fail well. Attack a small challenge until you succeed. Learn how to code or cook.
Try different learning tactics: There’s no one-size-fits-all model for learning. What works for one person may not work for you. Take an online course and learn a new language or skill.
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. Instead of regretting a failure, study it for strategies to win in the future.
Stop seeking approval: When you prioritize approval over learning, you sacrifice your own potential for growth. Do something well at work and don’t tell anyone. Let the recognition come to you.
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. I returned to school and got my MBA at the age of 52 so that I could teach at a university.
Emphasize growth over speed: Learning fast isn’t the same as learning well, and learning well sometimes requires allowing time for mistakes.
Reward actions, not traits: Tell employees or colleagues when they’re doing something smart, not just being smart.
Utilize criticism as a positive: You don’t have to use that hackneyed term, “constructive criticism” but you do have to believe in the concept of being positive leads to learning.
Cultivate some grit: People with that extra bit of determination and effort will be more likely to seek approval from themselves rather than others.
Take risks in front of others: Stop trying to save face all the time and just let yourself admit that you’re imperfect. It will make it easier to take risks in the future.
Own your attitude: Once you develop a growth mindset, own it. Acknowledge yourself as someone who possesses a growth mentality and be proud to let it guide you throughout your career.