What mindset will help you become your best self and reach success? The growth mindset.
Your mindset is key when it comes to being successful. We all have an inherent capability to achieve great success, but we must develop the right mindset to reach that level.
The problem with developing the right mindset begins at our core beliefs where many of us set limits for ourselves and our abilities. This type of mindset is called the fixed mindset. Individuals who live with this mindset attribute success to talent and luck, believing that the things that come easy to them are the only things they are successful at. They believe that their abilities are limited and therefore, they will not put in the effort to learn or improve their capabilities. They simply surrender to the few talents they were born with because they are afraid they will not be able to be successful in any other area of their life.
This is the mindset that you want to avoid because YOU are capable of doing anything that you put your mind to. The mindset that you want to work towards is having a growth mindset. Individuals who adopt this mindset believe that they can get smarter and better with effort. They know that if they put in the work to learn, then they can achieve anything they put their mind to. They essentially believe that your basic qualities are something you can cultivate through your efforts.
A key in differentiating someone who has a growth vs. a fixed mindset is the way they perceive failure. Individuals with a fixed mindset are constantly striving for success and avoid failure at all costs. They fear failure because they let failure define them, so their main objective becomes to prove to everyone else that they are “smart enough”. On the other hand, individuals with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity for growth, not as a paralyzing event that defines them.
Cultivating a growth mindset is something that I really struggled with in the past. I struggled because of my perspective on failure. I am extremely high-achieving and therefore every time I failed, I would take it personally by labeling myself as a failure. This is something that I am still working on as I am starting new projects and working in different environments. In this process, I have created 3 steps that I believe can help anyone build a growth mindset:
(1) Take risks and fail lots.
Become comfortable with the feeling of failure. Take lots of risks and refuse to let the outcomes of those risks define you. They are simply learning opportunities. If you succeed, then that’s great. But if you fail then just grow from the process. Don’t take the failure personally, it has nothing to do with who you are as a person. Remember, only you define yourself, not your successes or your failures.
(2) Become curious.
When you come across a limiting belief, explore it! Begin to question where it comes from and what caused you to develop it. When you fail, explore the failure! Ask yourself what caused you to fail and most importantly, how you are going to learn from it. Take away judgement from yourself and fear away from failure by becoming curious about your core beliefs.
(3) Be consistent by setting goals.
Just like anything in life, you must practice this consistently. If you want to become someone who habitually lives in the growth mindset state, then you have to keep working at it until it becomes a habit to you! One way you can make this consistency easier is by setting goals for yourself. This will allow you to track your progress as you transform your mindset to one that is no longer afraid of failure and loves the process of growth.
These 3 steps are a great starting point for anyone who wants to work on changing their mindset to one that embraces growth and learning. You are in charge of what you can achieve. If you want to learn a new skill, you can. If you want to work in a career that you have no previous experience in, you can. With effort and consistency, anything is possible. Cultivate the growth mindset so that you can become your best self.
*Carol Dwek is the researcher who defined the terms growth and fixed mindset after conducting a study on university students. He found that students who adopted the growth mindset took more risks and were more successful than the students who had a fixed mindset.