Introduction For Cultivate a Growth Mindset and Flourish

To cultivate a growth mindset is about believing in your ability to grow and develop your abilities. With a growth, mindset failure doesn’t spell disaster but instead challenges us to discover why we failed, what can we do to overcome that failure, and what can we learn from the experience.

The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. The fixed mindset essential says that you are born with a certain level of talent and ability. You have it or you don’t. 

 

“In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.

In this post, we talk about the impact of the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck some of my own insights, and splattered with Quotes from the book and affirmation to help cultivate a growth mindset. 

Now before I go on you might be interested in my Be-Inspired Enthusiasts Group where you interact with people who have similar interests and who are there to support and encourage you. Join the Be-Inspired Enthusiasts group now,

 Below is a new video with ten Growth Mindset Affirmations to help you cultivate a growth mindset or to help you bolster your growth mindset. 

Fixed or Growth the Basics.

 Much of our fixed mindset thinking comes from an old and now defunct belief that you have fixed abilities that can’t be changed. The best example of this is the IQ test. It was once believed that your IQ couldn’t be improved.

A growth mindset on the other hand says that skills and abilities can develop over time when coupled with coaching and effort.

Below is a graphic I found which I feel defines the two types of mindset simply and clearly.

 Mindset Info-graphic about two mindsets Source: Unknown (If you know the source please let me know so I can include it here.)

In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I'm going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here's a chance to grow.

Growing Up With a Fixed Mindset.

cultivate a growth mindset image A Brain doing weighs As you start exploring this book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck you might at first be alarmed to discover that you operated from a fixed mindset in the past. Or even worst, you might think, currently operate from a fixed mindset.

This is not bad. Being able to see which of the two mindsets we operated from under various circumstances is instructive. As we come more aware of how we deal with challenges, difficult tasks, and failure we start to recognize the limitation we’ve put on ourselves.

It’s the first step in freeing ourselves from a fixed mindset and transitioning to a growth mindset. (See below for Carol Dweck’s 4 step action plan to develop a growth mindset.)

Carol Dweck talks about this, saying that we all have various degrees of both mindsets. 

Action Step

Using the graphic in the first section take some time to think about what mindset you might have been operating from as you were growing up. 

Many years ago we believed that people had either a fixed or a growth mindset. We now recognise that we are all a mixture of both. There are times when we believe we have enormous potential and we overcome set backs and see failure as a necessary part of getting better. While at other times we believe that our potential is limited by our deficiencies. When we adopt this view we give up at the first obstacle and let failure define us. No matter what your current ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.

 My Own Ahha Moment

 

As I absorbed all this I had a sudden insight into why I did so well in Public School and really struggled in high school. I came up against the “natural” (read fixed mindset) limits of my abilities and to succeed I would need to put in some effort and hard work (growth mindset) in order to flourish in high school. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Carol’s book to move me to adopt a growth mindset. 

But that wasn’t my only insight. I also suddenly saw a “family” if such a thing can exist, a fixed mindset that ran through much of our “family” think. 

After discovering these fixed mindset attributes I wrote this affirmation.

We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.

Carol Dweck's 4 Step Program: A Journey to A Growth Mindset

Step One

Embrace your fixed mindset. 

With anything we want to improve or change about ourselves, we first need to learn to embrace it. This is the path of nonresistance. First, we must open ourselves up to  the reality that we do harbor elements of a fixed mindset within us,

Carol says: ” It’s not a shameful admission. It’s more like, welcome to the human race.”

Once we accept we can start the journey toward a growth mindset. 

 

Step Two 

 

Become Aware of Your Mindset Triggers.

When you might be triggered.

  • Thinking about or taking on a big challenge.
  • Struggling with a situation where you keep hitting dead ends.
  • Failure
  • Finding someone who is better than you in an area you think you do really well in. 
  • What fixed mindset do we have about others? Do we like to rate people based on the idea of a fixed mindset?

Watching out for these triggers will set us on the path to a growth mindset. 

Step Three

Give Your Fixed Mindset Persona a name.

 

 This might sound strange but it is very effective for spotting when your trigger. 

I named mine Victor. 

Here is a sample of this from the book. 

A financial executive is talking: “When we’re in a crunch, Duane shows up. He makes me supercritical of everyone and I get bossy and demanding rather than supportive.”

Victor shows up when I’m challenged with working on a big piece of content. Victor makes me feel like I’m an imposter, playing at being a writer and he often triggers impatience and anger in me.

What does your fixed mindset persona do? How do they manifest. 

Spotting your persona is easier when they have a name. From that, you can take a breath and move back towards a growth mindset.

Step Four

Educate Your Fixed Mindset Persona. 

 

When your persona shows up during one of your triggers…say stepping out of your comfort zone, thank it for its input.  Then explain to it why you want to take that step. Get its agreement to come along with you. 

When you hit a snag, a challenge, or an obstacle, your persona is liking to show up. “Don’t suppress it or ban it, just let it do its thing…and when it settles down a bit, talk to it about your plan and what you plan to learn from the setback and do forward.”

By educating it to your new growth mindset you are co-opting its support.

You are gently retraining your mind. 

Understanding that everyone has a fixed mindset persona can give us more compassion for people.

Conclusion.

 We can change. We can cultivate a growth mindset. 

One of the reasons I so thoroughly enjoyed this book was all the very interesting probing exercises and tons of great examples.

The insights gained from reading the book certainly helped change my mindset to a more growth-oriented one.

I also got introduced to Victor my fixed mindset persona. I am training him to answer to me. Whereas before, I answered to him.

My summary here isn’t meant to liberate you from reading the book, but to encourage you to read it, do the thought exercises and learn to focus more on a growth mindset. 

I promise you it will change your life. 

What name did you give your fixed growth mindset? Let me know in the comment section. 

 

© Nicholas Grimshawe. Property of Beautiful Summer Morning.

Further Resources

   Books Recommend in this post.

You might also enjoy watching Carol Dweck’s TED talk. 

The Power of  Believing that You Can Improve

 

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