Developing a Growth Mindset

Growth mindset
Researchers have concluded that there are two types of mindsets. You can have a fixed or a growth mindset. Researchers have also determined that the best one to foster is the growth mindset. This applies to everyone but is particularly relevant when you run your own business.

What is a ‘Fixed Mindset’?

As its name suggests, a fixed mindset is immovable. It is a belief that your character, talents, expressions, intelligence, and so on cannot be altered.

Fixed is fixed!

Constantly proving oneself to others is one of the key characteristics of a fixed mindset. It seems as if these people must constantly prove themselves in everything they do, be it work or relationships.

This originates from the ever-present desire to ratify their existing abilities and intelligence.

The fixed mindset personality is constantly concerned with how they are perceived by others, such as whether they look intelligent, talented, successful, and accepted.

A fixed mindset can be summarised as follows:

  • Believes abilities, intelligence and character are static,
  • Plateaus early on,
  • Craves approval,
  • Avoids new challenges,
  • Avoids situations that risk failure,
  • Gives up easily,
  • Snubs negative feedback and criticism,
  • Threatened by the success of others.

What is a Growth Mindset?

This is just the opposite of a fixed mindset. It does not require you to constantly prove your existence and allows you to change and grow with different experiences and practices.

Nothing is fixed. You do not have to be perfect in anyone’s eyes because we are all consistently learning and growing.

Having the desire and enthusiasm to learn new things, accept change, and grow are the key elements associated with success.

A growth mindset:

  • Believes abilities, intelligence and character can be developed,
  • Constantly reaches to achieve more,
  • Has a passion for learning,
  • Believes mastery comes with effort and persistence,
  • Embraces challenges,
  • Accepts failure and learns from it,
  • Persists when facing obstacles,
  • Learns from others’ successes.

Why Do Some People Have Fixed Mindsets?

If you have ever known someone who succeeds at something quickly but never improves beyond that, you are probably looking at someone who has a fixed mindset.

Their subconscious inner voice has already convinced them whether they are good at something or not.

At the other end of the spectrum, people with a growth mindset may learn slowly and steadily, tackling new challenges and overcoming obstacles along the way.

You can see these different mindsets early in a child’s life. Some children relish contests and puzzles, love learning how to solve them, and become engaged with the challenge, while others don’t last long if they think they are failing.

You can also see this happen to others later in life. You may have thought someone you knew at school had everything going for them and was bound to succeed. However, you later found out that they did not fulfill those expectations. It is highly possible they had a fixed mindset that prevented them from growing.

On the other hand, it is highly likely you will know others who have started a business or had other achievements well beyond your expectations.

Why Do You Need a Growth Mindset in Business?

Let’s face it. When you own a business, the buck stops with you.

In my experience, there are many people who have all the skills they need to “do the work” of the business but have a very fixed mindset when it comes to sales, asking for money, holding staff accountable, and even making telephone calls.

Unless they can find a way to overcome this obstacle, their business is never going to fulfill its potential.

Keys to Nurturing a Growth Mindset

Step 1 – Awareness

The first step is to be aware of your inner critic or negative inner voice when you hear it. (By the way, we all have it. It is a question of how you handle it.)

Identify the voice when you hear it and try to remember what led those negative thoughts. This often occurs when you are attempting something new or challenging.

Step 2 – Reframing

I once had an issue with the way my supervisor was treating me. A wise colleague gave me some advice I have never forgotten.

He simply said I could choose whether to be upset or not. How I reacted to the situation was my choice.

Reframing is the process of how you interpret the new challenges, obstacles, or criticism you receive in life. The way you do it is up to you.

However, this can be difficult with all the baggage built up over many years.

Imagine that you’re giving advice to a good friend. You would not be harsh and critical with them as you tend to be with yourself.

Each time you become aware of your inner voice, picture it as if it was a good friend talking to themselves. Now, reframe the negative message as if you were advising them.

Step 3 – Choose a Growth Mindset

Having developed awareness of the negative voice and reframing the message, it is now time for action.

What can you do to promote a positive attitude?

Options might be:

  • Select a task or challenge you have been procrastinating on,
  • Maybe there is a skill you’ve wanted to learn, such as playing the guitar, but the idea gives you a sense of anxiety,
  • There might be an important customer you need to contact but keep postponing.

Pick one challenge and start with that. Then once you have success with that, move on to the next one.

Remember the advice of my friend; it is your choice to be positive or negative.

It will take patience and persistence, but you can do it!

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