Developing a Growth Mindset
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t…you’re right”, is a famous quote by Henry Ford. Your approach to learning and growing determines whether you have a growth or fixed mindset. Developing a growth mindset is not always easy, especially if you are always doing things well that come naturally to you. Let’s first talk about a fixed mindset…
It was a college Statistics class that challenged my growth mindset. I have never been naturally good at math but I had earned A’s in Accounting I & II and a tax class so I was more confident that I would do “okay” in my Statistics class – that was not the case. I not only failed the first test but blew it altogether. My score was 20%. I decided I would never be able to pass this class and was ready to give up.
I had a fixed mindset about my math abilities. Upon reaching out to one of my professors who was extremely understanding and supportive, she encouraged me to try tutoring. It’s a wonderful thing when you encounter the right person at the right time. So, I started getting tutoring on Saturday mornings. I dreaded going and being there at first but as light bulbs started turning on in my brain, I found encouragement and motivation to learn. Having a growth mindset simply means being intentional about always learning. I had to be very intentional about learning Statistics. I did and pulled out a B!
Harvard Business School says someone with a growth mindset views intelligence, abilities, and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. On the other hand, someone with a fixed mindset views those same traits as inherently stable and unchangeable over time. So how do you begin to develop a growth mindset? Here are a few tips we will explore:
- Get Fixed Mindset out of the way.
- Pursue a path of growth.
- Get your ego out of the way!
- Believe in yourself.
In order to develop a growth mindset, you first need to be honest to yourself about areas you might have limiting beliefs. Don’t worry…we all have this hurdle to clear. Just like I had a limited belief about passing a Statistics class, we all have areas in our lives where our natural talents and abilities do not necessarily help us to excel. We have to be intentional in growing in those areas and tap into any skills and talents that can assist us in those areas. In my Statistics example, I tapped into natural persistence, goal orientation, and problem solving. Begin taking inventory of areas where you might have a fixed mindset and start working toward developing a growth mindset. That brings us to the next tip…
Network. If you do not already network with other business professionals, do it! This does not mean you have to attend a mixer or coffee hour – although both are good for the right people – you can join a business group with like-minded professionals. Find your niche and get connected. This will allow you to see ways other businesspeople are succeeding and to learn from them. Morever, you can reciprocate.
Read. Read inspirational/educational/trending articles and books. This is not a lump sum strategy. It is a habit to form and pursue over time. It is also beneficial to read just for fun. I love to read Reader’s Digest and have learned so many behavioral strategies from stories shared there.
Brainstorm and problem-solve. We should all embrace challenge when it comes our way. Imagine all the things you would have not otherwise learned if you had not been challenged. Approach problem-solving with a “can do” attitude and brainstorm with a “no limit” mindset. You may be surprised how freeing both of those approaches are and how they help you get to a solution.
These tips are just a few of many in pursuing a path of growth. What other things can you think of that are helpful here? Write them down and please share with us here.
It is important to know you do have some limitations. We are not rockstars in everything. Be transparent about your weaknesses…everyone knows them already anyway! Welcome challenges and embrace failures as learning opportunities. Ask for and accept critique. As a result, you will not only reap growth benefits but will also build trusting relationships and networks.
Get out of your head. Believe that skill and intelligence is something you can develop. Do not listen to the ‘imposter syndrome’ which causes you to doubt yourself and says you are a fraud. You are worth everything you have achieved and will achieve! Seek to become the best version of yourself and those that matter will walk along with you or better yet, allow you to lead them.
You are enough!
Clear Leader Group can give you the tools and coaching to develop a growth mindset. Connect with us today to get started.