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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

10 Ways to Step Up Your Personal Growth and Succeed in Life

When you apply what you’ve learned about yourself in your day-to-day, you’re setting yourself up for achieving success. There are many ways to develop and grow as a human.

Personal growth is a divine transcendence involving the physical, mental and emotional aspects of ourselves. To me, challenges act as a passageway or path toward greater awareness and a better understanding of your self — the self which is multilayered, dynamic and complex and demands (but resists) change.

Personal growth, however, is bigger than simply changing. If you’ve ever experienced losses or setbacks in your life which forced you to rebuild, that is one way to identify and evaluate the inner workings your self.

You don’t have to go through a major devastation to begin the process of personal growth. All you need to do is take the time to identify where you’re at, especially mentally, which can open many doors you might never have thought were possible to open.

A family member sent me a three-minute and thirty-five-second video on YouTube that changed the way I think, perceive, and respond to life situations. In the video, you’ll learn how to locate yourself mentally by asking the question: “where am I?” It might sound silly, but really, if you think about where you are, you’ll get a sense of how you’ve been navigating in the world and perhaps why you’re not making the progress you’d like, whether in your personal life or career.

Many people are wired to thrive on ego and reject anything that threatens their ego. In fact, our brains often struggle to detect a real threat from a threat to our ego (which you’d know already if you watched the quick video). If you are close-minded or functioning below the line, you’re not allowing personal growth to manifest. Instead, you may think, well, I don’t need personal development or growth. I’m perfect and everything is figured out.

What you might not realize is that personal growth is happening on a daily basis. Each day, things are unraveling and unleashing all around you for the sole purpose of teaching you something or to make you take (healthy) action.

As of recently, I underwent a life-altering mindset shift after I assessed where I was at. I recognized bad habits and things that I needed to work toward and shift. The way we think, whether you accept this or not, influences our actions which thus becomes our behaviors. These behaviors may even induce our daily habits, good, bad or indifferent.

Identifying where you’re at mentally is even more important than asking the question, “what do I want?” You won’t likely get what you want out of life if you’re too close-minded and not willing to improve areas in your life. The biggest challenge I faced was recognizing and being mindful of the ways I was functioning on a mental and emotional level.

This year has been, I thought, an awful year; the worst of my life. Six months ago, I felt that I’d lost everything. In recent weeks, this mindset shift occurred when I began painting again for the first time in quite a few years. I’d concluded that in life, what’s meant to come apart will and if something isn’t meant to manifest, it won’t.

Life can often feel like a series of chaotic events that you can’t control. But in this chaos, something is trying to take a new shape. And that something is you.

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The only control we have is how we think and respond to the things happening around us. Our actions are an extension of our thoughts. How we think determines more than you may realize.

I put to the test, on myself, to try and be more open-minded to new things and experiences. This experiment led me to finally finish yet another novel I’d written and produce the kind of artwork I’d always dreamed of producing. And, this new openness also directed me towards getting the job of my dreams.

So, here are the 10 ways to step up your personal growth for success.

1. Establish an Effective Morning Routine

Morning routines are a great way to develop new and healthy habits. The most successful people wake up way before 8:00 in the morning. If you want you to start your day off on the right foot, sleeping in until the eleventh hour won’t help.

Beginning your day with ease and moving slowly will guarantee smoother transitions throughout the day. Even if you have a chaotic job, how you greet a new day determines a lot.

Statistics now say that a morning routine, which may involve accomplishing personal goals like making your bed or doing an exercise regimen, improves your mental and emotional health immensely, by a large percentage.

Create the ultimate morning routine to accelerate your personal growth and you will see greatness unfolding all around you.

Take reference of this Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day.

2. Establish an Enriching Evening Routine

Evening routines are just as important. My evening routines consist of journaling, meditating or doing some meditative artwork while listening to interesting music.

At the end of every day, after dinner, I write out what I accomplished and what still needs attention. Doing this increased my success because it inspired me to do more, create more and always be engaged in something positive.

After three weeks, I found myself producing about forty paintings, finishing edits on a book project, and completing some overdue tasks.

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Here’s a guideline on how to build a night routine: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

3. Spend at Least 15 to 20 Minutes a Day Reorganizing and Cleaning

A clean office, workspace, or home is the best way to achieve self-efficiency.

A video on Netlix I watched about minimalism influenced me to implement that in my home and work. Minimalism is extremely beneficial for your mental, emotional and even physical health and well-being. A tidy space allows one to move freely and accomplish a lot. It can even be inspiring.

As an artist, a polished space inspires me and promotes calmness. In turn, this mental clarity allows me to work without distractions and interruptions, ensuring a nice flow.

Inspiration and influence drive creativity and working in a dreadfully messy and chaotic environment will hinder and impede your ability to finish tasks. Organization is a big part of personal growth and will set you up for success and achieving a great deal of work.

4. Consider Time-Blocking

Time-blocking is the best time management tool out there.

I am a creative individual and enjoy doing many things including painting, drawing, sewing, photography, and writing. These activities are my lifestyle and passions. Without them, I feel like something is missing. And yes, I do a lot each day. So, time-blocking keeps me in check and disciplined. If I set aside three hours in the morning to write, I stick to it and do nothing else.

Time-blocking can also prepare you for the workforce if you plan to get a job in the future. In a job, you must be punctual and spend a set amount of hours. Even time-blocking your hobbies and wellness activities is a great way to set up personal growth for success.

Learn more about time-blocking here: Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks

5. Make an Appoint to Check-In with Yourself Each Day

Daily self-check-ins have a wide array of benefits. I spend only fifteen to twenty minutes each morning or afternoon to evaluate how I’m feeling and where I am mentally and emotionally.

Taking the time to identify where you are mentally can also improve your ability to manage stress and anxiety. You might use these check-ins to journal and empty your mind of useless thoughts or worries. I call this ‘brain dumping.’ A clearer mind makes more room for you to focus on what truly NEEDS focus.

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Have you ever found yourself obsessing over something silly, something that you later realized doesn’t need so much attention? This is one reason these check-ins are so empowering. You’re in control of the inner workings of your thoughts and perceptions.

6. Cut Those Bad Habits Out

We are habitual creatures and our minds are hardwired to thrive on habits. Unfortunately, bad habits are easier to cultivate than good ones. Stepping up personal growth means leaving those bad habits behind so you can stop sabotaging yourself or getting in your own way.

Bad habits can force us to miss out on great things. If there are bad habits you’re having a difficult time scrapping, use journaling to identify them and work through them. Writing is a great tool for getting to the bottom of and resolving issues.

7. Practice Self-Love Regularly

At a meditation group I’ve been going to lately, a poster on the wall in the room caught my attention. It said that if you’re peaceful with yourself, the world will be peaceful too. This is so true. Inner peace promotes peaceful responses and actions. Practicing self-love fosters this peace and promotes inner growth.

Meditation is one way I implement self-love in my life. Doing so has resulted in a calmer and quieter mind devoid of useless nonsense.

There are many ways you can implement self-love into your life: 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself

Just do what feels good to you, what enriches and moves you.

8. Give Back, for No Reason at All

When I began giving back, either to my community or supporting organizations, this gave me new insights. Everyone experiences similar struggles and setbacks and we’re always trying to overcome something and better ourselves.

Volunteering is a great way to step up personal growth. You’re giving your time and attention to other people (instead of yourself) and spreading goodness. That’s one thing the world needs right now: goodness.

Volunteering also creates peace in environments that may otherwise be chaotic and in disarray. Invest your time in helping others and you’ll be surprised by how this changes you.

9. Strive for Simplicity

We can’t always avoid complicated situations in life. Again, it’s imperative to be mindful of how you’re responding to the things that happen to and around you.

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Simplicity is the key to happiness, less stress, worry, and negativity. If you’re living in an environment that is utter chaos and in shambles, you’ll find yourself functioning at an extremely unsatisfying level.

We don’t always realize the sources of our stress. Something as small as a disorganized and messy house can have such an unforeseen and monumental impact on our mental sorting and functioning.

Strive to apply simplicity in as many areas of your life as you can. This will set you up for success down the road.

10. Practice Mindfulness as Often as You Can

At a conference I attended a while ago, the speaker introduced mindfulness by telling the audience to sit with feet planted on the floor, eyes closed and focus on breathing. But mindfulness is so much more than that. You can find joy in the mundane by simply being fully aware and in tune with your inner self and outer environment.

Even if you’re someone who is leading a rushed, jet-set lifestyle, no one is too busy for practicing mindfulness. Move slowly, breathe normally, and be completely aware of everything around you.

Being mindful increases your chances of success and will help you achieve tasks in a calm and peaceful manner. And, you’ll accomplish more! You’ll make fewer mistakes and the likelihood of causing further stress in your work or personal life will hugely reduce.

Final Thoughts

If you want to step up your personal growth and achieve success in life, it all begins with you. Stress has detrimental effects on all aspects of health. We might not realize that that is the reason we’re self-sabotaging or remaining stagnant.

Personal growth means you’re willing to truly grow and expand mentally, emotionally and physically. How you navigate life has a ripple effect–good or bad. It’s important to recognize that sometimes we all make things bigger or worse than they actually are, which only can interfere in relationships and friendships.

Asking yourself the fundamental question, “where am I at” and actually doing what you can to be more open-minded will change your life. Because knowing where you are will put you on the path towards achieving your long and short-term goals.

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Featured photo credit: Stanislav Kondratiev via unsplash.com

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