5 Steps Toward Developing a Growth Mindset

Nov 07, 2022

How do we get past the gap from here to there? How do you reach your goals? How do you even set the right goals? A lot of this comes down to how we think and look at thinks.

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, ‘The man who thinks he can, and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.’ There’s a lot of truth in that. Same reality, different mindset. And that’s what we’re talking about here: your mindset. There are two relevant types of mindsets that we’ll consider in this article. A growth mindset, and a fixed mindset.

A growth mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed. This view leads to a love of learning and a willingness to take on challenges. People with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. They are not discouraged by setbacks but see them as a normal part of the learning process.

Someone with a growth mindset will say, “I may not be good enough at this moment, but I can learn and develop the skills to accomplish what I want to accomplish.”

A fixed mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence are set in stone. This view leads to a focus on looking smart and avoiding failure. People with a fixed mindset see mistakes as a sign of personal inadequacy. They are discouraged by setbacks and see them as a permanent reflection of their abilities.

Someone with a fixed mindset will say, “I am not good at things like that, so why bother?”

When you learn that you can learn, the whole world opens up to you.

Look at your mindset in terms of how you interpret your own ability to do something. The tone with which we interpret our own failures affects whether or not we will get past the gap. An obstacle or failure can become a coach or a judge. You can either use your bump in the road to coach yourself to grow, or you can give up and tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.

Be aware of your fixed mindset beliefs.

The first step to developing a growth mindset is to become aware of any fixed mindset beliefs you may have. These beliefs might be that you are not good at math, that you are not a “natural” athlete, or that you are not smart enough to be successful in life. Once you are aware of your fixed mindset beliefs, you can start to challenge them.

Challenge your fixed mindset beliefs.

The second step is to challenge your fixed mindset beliefs. One way to do this is to look for evidence that contradicts your beliefs. For example, if you believe you are not good at math, look for evidence that contradicts this belief. Maybe you are good at balancing your checkbook, or maybe you are good at doing math in your head. Once you start to find evidence that contradicts your fixed mindset beliefs, you can start to change your beliefs about yourself.

Practice “growth mindset” activities.

The third step is to practice “growth mindset” activities. These are activities that help you develop a growth mindset. One example of a growth mindset activity is to set a goal for yourself and then work toward that goal. Another example is to try something new and challenging, even if you are not sure you will be successful. By doing these activities, you will start to develop a growth mindset.

Talk to others about their own growth journey.

The fourth step is to talk to others about their own growth journey. This can be a great way to learn from others and to get support on your own journey. You can find people to talk to by asking friends and relatives about how they have faced challenges, how they have responded to setbacks. You can attend workshops or conferences in areas that are personally or professionally relevant to you. A conversation is not absolutely required: you can listen to podcasts and read books or articles.

Keep growing by seeking opportunities to grow.

The fifth and final step is to keep growing and developing a growth mindset, continuously. Just like any other skill, the more you use you develop these new ways of thinking and acting, the better you will become at it. So keep practicing those “growth mindset” activities, talking to others about their journey, and setting goals for yourself. With time and effort, you will develop a strong growth mindset that will benefit you in all areas of your life.

Don’t let your mind trick you into false limits. Don’t tell yourself what your limit is. Let reality tell you what your limit is.