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A growth mindset is necessary for achieving your goals and living the life you desire. It allows you to adapt quickly and accomplish much more.
When someone has a growth mentality, they feel they can change when they need to. To adapt to whatever life throws at them. Errors are accepted as a regular part of the learning process. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn.
This is how successful people learn and grow.
A fixed mindset, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of a growth mindset. These people believe that the hand they were dealt at birth is all they have to work with. This primary belief affects their thoughts, actions, and attitudes which in turn affects how they live their lives.
When confronted with huge obstacles, people with fixed mindsets become overwhelmed because they believe they lack the ability to make the necessary changes.
This person believes that things are just the way they are. They hardly ever choose to leave their comfort zone. In a variety of scenarios, this trapped perspective can easily lead to tragedy.
These two mindsets, fixed and growth, came out of the work of Carol Dweck, a professor and scientist at Stanford University. Her research is based on years of study and literally thousands of test subjects. If you would like to see her Ted Talk, a link is provided at the end of this article.
So let’s delve a little deeper into these two mindsets. And it’s important to know that every individual has both mindsets. The question is - which one predominates? And what can you do about it if you realize you have a fixed mindset?
That is what we are here to
talk about in this article. How, if necessary, to change your mindset from fixed to growth.
This is the belief that the hand you were dealt at birth is all you have to work with. That belief affects what thoughts, actions, and attitudes you will live with. If it predominates, you will accept the life you see.
Why? Because you don’t feel there is much you can do about it. Events just happen. That is a big mistake.
Changing within themselves is not a part of their consciousness. The fault for their problems in life is always external. It is someone else's fault.
If they do not take that attitude, and are the kind of person who realizes they are the problem, depression becomes a big part of their life because they don't feel they can change.
Earlier I said that we all have both mindsets. In those moments when a person with a fixed mindset feels they will change no matter what, they feel desperation, they are leaving the Fixed Mindset behind and going forward with the growth mindset. It's a choice that they have had enough.
So with the Growth Mindset, you will take conditions you have and improve upon them. And you will exert a lot of effort to make yourself better. No matter how often you fail, you continue trying. You will do this because you believe effort channeled in the right direction, over time, will make you smarter and more talented.
You start the process by learning techniques and strategies that help you grow in whatever endeavor you are trying to master. Your first priority is your effort to learn. After you have learned enough to get started, you take action to make the necessary changes in yourself which in turn will make the necessary changes in your life.
As Jim Rohn teaches, “If you will change, everything will change for you.” His student, Tony Robbins, took that to heart. Tony owns many companies and is worth over $500 million.
Another clue comes from Jim Rohn when he says: “You can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are.” Now that is uplifting. That will not happen, however, without having a growth mindset.
Soon, I will talk about changing to a growth mindset if you are presently a person with a fixed mindset. Take heart.
By definition, someone with a growth mindset is going to have ambition. They want to live a better life. Every year is meant to be better than the previous one. An ambitious person wants to reach as much potential as they can. An ambitious person sets goals, plans their path, and takes action.
Let's talk about taking initiative. Here's the definition, "Taking initiative is the ability to judge what needs to be done and to take action." Part of having a growth mindset involves judging and making choices. And to make choices, you need to decide what course of action has the better chance of helping you achieve your values. What is it you want in life? Be ambitious and go for it. Learning how to change your mindset makes it all possible.
One way to achieve your goals is to look for opportunities. An opportunity seeker knows that a brighter future is always possible. They also know that while opportunity exists everywhere, if you really want to find it, you have to seek. Seldom does opportunity come looking to find you.
Let's take a look at two individuals who epitomizes having a growth mindset.
Sam Walton became the richest man on the planet by learning, taking action, observing what worked and what didn’t, and making the necessary changes. He was growing as a merchant, and that growth was reflected in the growth of the company.
Even when he was on vacation, Sam would go into competitive stores to see what they were doing, and if it seemed to be working he would incorporate it into WalMart. That comes from having a growth mindset.
Then there is Michael Jordan. He was kicked off his high school basketball team early on. He decided he was going to be the best he could possible be and he accomplished it by working harder than pretty much everyone else. First in at practice, and last to leave.
If Michael would have had a fixed mindset, he would have accepted being kicked off the team and figured he just wasn’t good enough. That he wasn’t born with enough talent. What a loss that would have been.
Everyone has choices to make. One of those choices is deciding if we believe we were born with a fixed mindset and that life just happens to us. The other choice is the determination to hold the belief that we can create the life of our dreams by having a growth mindset.
There are no guarantees. That's obvious. But if you have a fixed mindset and don’t make the effort to change, your life will be created by happenstance or the decisions of others.
What happens when you leave your future to a plan someone else has for you. Hmmm...what if what someone else has planned for you is not what you want?
If you have a fixed mindset, and want to change, how in the world do you get a growth mindset? Well, you need a method to guide you.
A good method to use is The Slight Edge Philosophy.
What if there existed a simple, doable, and effective success philosophy?
A strategy that has proven to work over and over again and has changed many lives in the process? What if it worked for you like it has for so many others?
Why not try it on for size?
The Slight Edge was created by Jeff Olsen. It is a philosophy he
developed while building one of his companies. The fact that he has
created more than one successful company is a major clue of the potency of the philosophy.
But first, here is a simple rule that states a great truth most people haven't heard before and probably don't think about. Direction Determins Destination. If you keep going in the right direction, you will reach your destination.
So the first thing to decide is where you want to go. What is your goal?
Then, the question becomes what do you do after deciding what you want? Well, if the goal is long term, it will require time to achieve it. There are going to be lots of small steps to take before you reach your destination. It is here where a lot of people make a mistake and failure begins. This is where The Slight Edge Philosophy comes into play.
There are small, mundane steps your goals require. And these steps might be very boring. But they have to be taken. So you have a choice. Take the boring step or not.
The Slight Edge Philosophy helps show you the results of taking all those small steps. At first, not much success is seen. So it's easy to not the importance of taking small steps.
But then, let's say, a distraction or a major obstacle happens. Too many people stop taking those small steps. Because they are small steps, they don't realize how that choice is the difference between success and failure.
People who succeed continue to take the small steps that seem to make no difference at first, but, over the long term, make all the difference in the world by their accumulation. This is a good way to get a growth mindset. One small step after another.
Summing up, there is always a lot to learn and a lot to do. But it is your life. And as been said before, “This is not a dress rehearsal.” You only get one shot. That's it. Why not make it so you can grow and change and bring about a life of good possibilities?
A good start is to go to the index of affirmations/quotes, pick a quote that resonates with you and start saying the affirmation that goes with that quote morning and night. It will take more than that to create a great life. But you have to start somewhere and you want to start with something easy. Saying an affirmation morning and night is easy to do. Of course, it is also easy not to do. The question becomes, “How much do you want a better life. And…are you will to take the necessary effort to grow."
If you would like to see the Ted Talk of Carol Dweck about growth and fixed mindsets, click here.
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