Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 11, 2021

17 Ways To Develop a Growth Mindset

17 Ways To Develop a Growth Mindset

What if your learning potential was something you didn’t even know? What if it was impossible for you to know what you could achieve in the span of a few years?

According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, that situation I mentioned isn’t hypothetical. There are many of us who don’t know where our work or effort would take us. But there are those who do know.

How much people can achieve comes down to their mindset — a growth mindset. Dweck outlines all of this in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In the book, she outlines what a fixed mindset is and how a growth mindset thrives from challenges and failures alike.

But there is more than Dweck’s research and analysis. There is a lot of information outlining how beneficial having this type of mindset can be.

What Is a Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset, according to Lexia Learning is like this:[1]

Growth mindset is the idea that, with effort, it’s possible to increase intelligence levels, talents, and abilities. Students who demonstrate a growth mindset believe their abilities develop over time, tend to seek out opportunities to gain new knowledge and broaden their skills, and do not typically shy away from challenges .

To best understand what a growth mindset is, it’s important to know another mindset. When people talk about it, they often compare a growth mindset to a fixed mindset.

A fixed mindset is a belief that our intelligence and our talents are static. Those who think this way judge whether they have the skill or not. If not, they’ll turn down anything that allows them to grow.

We see this all the time in everyday life.

People turn down management positions because they don’t believe they’re good enough. Or maybe you don’t bother applying for a job because you don’t think you can do the job justice or you’re not qualified.

This is a fixed mindset at work because we compare our own skills with what’s being asked of us.

A growth mindset, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. These are the people who will throw out resumes for the sake of it, not worried so much if they get the position or not.

What’s the Point of a Growth Mindset?

As you can piece together, a growth mindset is essential to learning. When we believe that our talents and skills aren’t static and that they can adapt and grow as we do, we start to put more effort into all manners of life.

Advertising

While what Lexia Learning focused on is the teaching environment, this mindset can apply in all aspects of our lives. From getting more in shape to being a better partner or friend, and more.

When we have a growth mindset, we:

  • Start to look for challenges.
  • Perform better than others. That’s because we see failures as reasons to try again with more knowledge than before.
  • Have a better grasp of why success and advancing in life means for us.

This is only the beginning though. There are all kinds of perks that come from being better at the aspects of our life on top of that. Better health means having more energy to do things and be around the people you care about.

You can say that this mindset is a foundation for a variety of perks that stretch over our entire lives.

17 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset

There are a number of avenues for us to be developing a growth mindset. Pick out the methods that work best for you and implement them into your life.

1. Focus on Your Effort

Effort is an obvious one, but in terms of a growth mindset, it’s one you have to be careful about. While we will be working towards our goal regardless, there are elements along the way that can disrupt us.

For example, consider praise. Praise can help us in pushing forward. After all, we all love a nice pat on the back or some words of encouragement. But it’s something that you have to be careful about.

One study has already toted praise as a good intrinsic motivator.[2] But it doesn’t mean any sort of praise works.

It’s important that while putting in the effort, we are praising our efforts instead of our abilities. For example, don’t praise your ability of being great at your job. Praise the effort and devotion to your craft instead.

Why?

Dweck explained it best:

The ability praise pushed students right into the fixed mindset, and they showed all the signs of it, too: When we gave them a choice, they rejected a challenging new task that they could learn from. They didn’t want to do anything that could expose their flaws and call into question their talent.

Even though this was in a student case, adults are no different. When we focus on our abilities, we push ourselves into thinking of them in a static way. That we’re not able to improve them and that we’ve plateaued.

Advertising

2. Ask Different Questions

Questions are the building blocks of learning when you think about them. Going back to what I mentioned above, when we push ourselves to “just try harder next time,” we’re not learning anything.

Instead, whenever you fail, reword your questions. Ask yourself “what could I do differently”, or “what worked and what didn’t?” This strategy helps with kids so they’re not working hard and getting similar results. This applies to adults as well.

3. Get Feedback Proactively

Those questions are part of feedback of course, but you can always look for feedback in other ways.

When you have a growth mindset, it’s almost instinct that you look for feedback. For some, it’s akin to looking for new challenges.

Here’s How to Learn Faster with a Feedback Loop.

4. Be Persistent with Your Purpose

Part of learning is failing and getting back up and trying again. It’s persistence at its core, but you do need to be cautious.

As I hinted at with asking questions, you don’t want to fall into a loop where you’re doing one thing over and over again and getting nowhere. That’s the definition of insanity, keep doing the same work but expecting different results. Instead, make sure that you are moving forward with a purpose.

How you get to that purpose is up to you. It could be looking for a new method of execution, looking at yourself and what you could change.

5. Do Things That Are Tough

Those who have a fixed mindset will avoid tasks that present challenges to them. They would rather stick with what they are comfortable with.

Instead of doing that, throw yourself into the deep end. Even in situations where you’re not fully aware of what you need to do. I’m not saying do anything reckless, but rather be strategic with them.

Ask yourself if you could see yourself getting into that type of work or doing that project. If you have a passion for it, then you’re going to learn more about it; even though at the moment you don’t have the skills to handle the job well.

6. Have High Standards

Having high standards for ourselves has more weight than you can imagine. For some, it could be stressful, but I’d put those standards into something you are passionate about and want to get better at.

Take a study that focused on limits for example.[3] It focused on a group of cyclists who were told to bike as hard as possible for 4000m. Later on, those same participants were asked to do the same track and were given an avatar to race against.

Advertising

What the participants didn’t know about was the avatar was programmed to be faster than their previous time. What happened next was the cyclists either kept up with the avatar and some surpassed them.

What this means for us in setting higher standards is that when we place higher standards in ourselves, we’ll often reach out and strive to hit that standard or surpass it on instinct.

7. Rewire Your Mindset

Our mindsets are all based on what we believe and think. With this in mind, there are a number of things you can work on to rewire your mindset.

Some things to consider are:

  • Acknowledge your faults and look for ways to overcome them.
  • Look at challenges as opportunities.
  • Replace the word “failing” with “learning.”
  • Redefine “genius” too. Being a genius requires hard work. It’s not some unobtainable talent.
  • Seek criticism as positive too.

8. Don’t Look for Approval All the Time

This could also be considered as a way to be more independent when it comes to approval. When we place our efforts towards pleasing a person other than ourselves, we start to lose ourselves.

Instead of focusing on what others think, focus on your own learning and growth in the area.

9. Enjoy the Process over the Result

While the end results are great, that’s not the reason we pursue learning and growth. Yes, there are more perks, but the end results are fleeting and often, people who do something for the sake of end results find themselves stalled. They’re stuck and not sure what to do next.

Instead, when we value the process and find joy in putting the effort and learning, we begin to grow more that way.

10. Spend More Time in Reflection

Self-reflection

is an invaluable tool. It provides opportunities for us to ask ourselves questions. We can also use it as a means to rewire ourselves and to see things in a new light as well.

You can use the reflection time to learn and to process what you are learning.

11. Seek Expert Help

If you’re struggling in an area, sometimes you need someone more skilled in the field to show you the ropes. That’s self-improvement at its core.

Try these tips if you’re not used to asking for help: How to Ask for Help When You Feel Silly to Do So

Advertising

12. Abide By Brain Plasticity

It’s a fact that our brain isn’t fixed. It’s always making new pathways and is expanding in its own way. Our minds shouldn’t be fixed either.

13. View Improvement as Separate from Failure

We are quick to assume “room for improvement” is another way to say we failed or are a failure. That’s not the case at all.

Train yourself to see it for what it is: room for improvement and growth.

14. Start Saying “Yet” More

Or “not yet.” It’s a powerful phrase because it leaves room for growth. You have not yet reached where you want to be. Sounds powerful right?

15. Learning from Others’ Mistakes

There have been people over years and decades who have gone the same way you’re going now. Sure there may be differences and their journey took different turns, but you can still learn.

Don’t go and compare yourselves to them, but look at those stories to remind yourself that other people have the same weaknesses as you do.

Here’re 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On.

16. Always Be Setting Goals

Whenever you achieve a goal, focus on setting another goal. Getting into the habit that there are more mountains to climb and things to achieve stops us from asking the dreaded question:

“What’s next?”

That question stalls growth and you don’t need it. Avoid it by setting some more goals. More targets to work towards.

17. Think Realistically About Your Time And Effort

It takes time to learn and it takes time to put in effort. Some things will take longer to learn than others.

Be wary of that as some people think they’ll master something in one sitting. It doesn’t always work that way.

Final Thoughts

A growth mindset is limitless as there is always new information being put into the world. We may not be soaking up every bit of information, but having a strategy to grow in areas we care about can help us in our lives overall.

Advertising

When we start to change the way we think, act, and learn, great things can be achieved.

More About Ever-Growing

Featured photo credit: Luke Carliff via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques What Are The Levels Of The Mind And How To Improve Them How To Improve Short Term Memory: 7 Simple Ways to Try Now

Trending in Personal Development

1 What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement 2 When You Never Stop Learning, These 5 Amazing Things Happen 3 20 Best Books on Personal Development 4 10 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021 5 8 Most Important Life Skills For Adults To Build

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

What Is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.

Advertising

You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:

Strengths

What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

What achievements have I been awarded?

What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?

Weaknesses

Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

What bad habits do I have?

What thoughts tend to hold me back?

Advertising

Opportunities

Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?

Threats

What competition do I face in a certain area?

What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.

Advertising

More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.

Advertising

4. It Minimizes Risk

Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

Read Next