When it comes to achieving success, your mindset plays a crucial role. It can either propel you forward toward your goals or hold you back from realising your full potential.
There are two prevalent mindsets that exist – a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
What’s the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset?
A fixed mindset is underpinned by the belief that we come into this world with a certain amount of intelligence, talent, or ability and there’s not a lot we can do to change it. This mindset causes us to judge ourselves — and others, by the outcomes we achieve.
Through her research, Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, highlights that the consequences of fixed mindsets include fear of mistakes and failures, avoidance of challenges, stress and anxiety, achievement gaps, and perfectionism.
On the other end of the spectrum is the growth mindset. According to Dweck, a growth mindset is one in which intelligence, abilities, and traits are viewed as something that can be cultivated with effort, like a muscle. Her research further found that someone with a growth mindset will live a happier, less stressed, and more successful life than someone with a fixed mindset.
For many women, embracing a growth mindset requires getting comfortable with stepping out of their comfort zone and letting go of tightly held outcomes. At first glance, this may feel counter-intuitive. How could focusing less on the outcomes you want to achieve make you more successful? Let’s explore how to cultivate a growth mindset further….
How do you cultivate a growth mindset?
- Change the words from ‘not’ to “not yet” – Are you not smart enough to solve it …. or have you just not solved it yet? This simple shift in language acknowledges that learning and growth take time, and it encourages us to keep working toward our goals.
- See challenges as opportunities – Instead of fearing failure, look at challenges as a way to stretch and challenge yourself. When you face a challenge, break it down into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate each small victory along the way and keep moving forward.
- Stop looking for approval – While validation from others can feel good, it can also be limiting. When we focus too much on what others think, we may be less likely to take risks and try new things. Instead, trust your own judgment and be confident in your abilities.
- Celebrate others’ growth and achievements – When we recognize and appreciate the progress others have made, we can learn from their experiences and be inspired to continue our own growth journey.
- Value the process over the end result – While achieving our goals is important, the journey is just as valuable. When we focus on the process, we can learn from our mistakes, grow our skills, and gain valuable experience that will help us in the future
Cultivating a growth mindset takes time and effort, but it is well worth it in the end. People with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace challenges and changes which lead to personal development. Reframing failure as an opportunity gives you permission to try things that might not work. In taking that risk, you might discover something entirely new.