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Published on March 10, 2020

9 Growth Mindset Examples To Apply In Your Life

9 Growth Mindset Examples To Apply In Your Life

Whether you are a manager, parent, business owner, educator, or are in a serious relationship, understanding the core differences between a growth and fixed mindset is important. Depending on which circles you are in, the idea of a proper mindset is discussed all the time these days.

That is due to Dr. Carol Dweck, who wrote a popular book talking about this concept. One thing that stands out in the book is that while Dweck talks about these mindsets, many of the examples that she presents are based around learning.[1]

There is nothing wrong with that, but I believe that when we see growth mindset examples that stretch beyond learning new things, we can see what it means to be successful in life.

What Is a Growth Mindset?

Before jumping into more detail on growth mindset examples, it makes sense to discuss what a growth mindset is.

Going into Dweck’s book, we’ll find she discussed two distinct mindsets: “fixed” and “growth” mindsets. Those that have fixed mindsets believe that everything from traits, talents, and intelligence is fixed. They’re something that is inherited.

A growth mindset, though, is the belief that the foundation of all of our skills can be developed when we devote time and hard work toward them. This, in turn, creates an enthusiasm for learning and resilience when times get tough.

While this all seems straightforward, it’s not always the case. Years later, as Dweck gained more knowledge on this, she looked at how her message was applied.

And the results from others were mediocre — or worse.

Because students and educators alike think about learning and intelligence in different ways, the actions that happen in response could impact learning for everyone, for better or for worse.[2]

For example, one poor application of this information has led to people developing a “false growth mindset.” This could have been a result of improper praise (i.e. “You are so smart.”) from parents or educators. Or it could have come from the belief that growth only comes from intense effort.

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When Dweck came back to her research, she realized that it’s not always about effort, praise, and persistence.[3] A growth mindset is what I described above, but there is a bit more.

It’s recognizing our fixed-mindset triggers and mitigating them, too. Whenever we face challenges or receive criticism, we can become defensive or insecure. This inhibits our growth. The concept of a growth mindset is recognizing what causes this and working around our triggers.

Now that you have a better grasp of what a growth mindset should look like, here are 9 growth mindset examples. Keep in mind that some of these examples contain fixed growth mindsets in order to demonstrate how a growth mindset can solve certain issues.

1. Receiving Criticism

As mentioned above, criticism can lead us to be defensive as our brain can interpret these as attacks on our character and identity. We can run into these scenarios in all kinds of ways, but a common one includes talking to our boss or manager about our performance performance.

In this scenario, a growth mindset example would be walking into those kinds of meetings with an open, relaxed mind. One thing to keep in mind about this is that you and your boss are on the same side. Therefore, whenever there is talk about performance or areas that could be improved upon, know that your boss is keeping your best interests in mind and that this is an opportunity for you to grow and learn.

This can lead to you doing better with your craft.

2. Approaching New Tasks

It doesn’t have to be new tasks specifically. It could be a new path in your life or a new client. Whatever the case is, we tend to experience anxiousness whenever we step out of our comfort zone and have to do something new.

A fixed mindset in this scenario is convincing yourself that you can’t make them happy or that things won’t go well for you at all.

A growth mindset example for this is having the confidence that you’ll make it through. Sure, it’s possible that you will make mistakes, but it’s an opportunity for you to learn.

3. Changing Roles

Another solid growth mindset example is allowing yourself to take on different roles. While it may be similar to doing a new task above, keep in mind that someone is swapping with you. If you’re a manager, you could ensure that someone on your team in a lower position gets that spot.

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This leads to a chance for you to keep sharpening your skills in one area while the other person begins developing a new skill set.

4. Eagerness to Learn

This a prime trait for anyone with a growth mindset, but it’s still a good growth mindset example, nonetheless. This example can also be extended into other areas of work and life.

For example, if you are adopting this mindset, this can change who you wish to spend time around or who you want to let in.

If you’re a manager and want a more engaged and motivated group, it’s important that your employees want to be paying attention and improving their skills.

If you want a stronger and better relationship with your partner, they should be someone who is learning along with you, not just in their career but in their understanding of themselves and the relationship.

When hiring other people into your team, make sure that they are eager to learn new things.

5. Jack Ma’s Story

Jack Ma was the creator of the powerful eCommerce store Alibaba, but his story is a prime example of a growth mindset. Before he founded that company, he had already experienced a great deal of failure.

He failed his college entrance exams three times.

He was turned down by Harvard ten times.

And out of a group of twenty-three applicants to KFC, he was the only one rejected.

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When he created Alibaba, it took him roughly 25 years to get it off the ground.

Jack Ma has a growth mindset partly because of the sheer resilience that he has, but also his openness to learning as well. The fact that he kept on applying himself meant he was learning during and prior to each attempt.

6. Nike’s Beliefs

Nike is one of the top sport shoes company in the world and holds a series of beliefs: innovation, great performance, sustainability, and customization.

Time and time again, we see these through the various shoes that they put out. After all, many customers are coming out satisfied with the shoes they get.

How is this a growth mindset example? Consider their values. In order for a company to continue to retain these values, it’s essential for a business to adapt and change with the times. People’s taste in shoes changes, and as the years go by, we learn that new materials are stronger or can perform better.

A company that wants to stay relevant and satisfy their customers must adapt and remove older ideas and concepts that no longer appl. This behavior is similar to growth mindsets which are constantly evolving as more knowledge is gained.

7. Nokia’s Failure to Adapt

On the reverse side of Nike, we have Nokia. There was a time where Nokia was adaptive in the cell phone market. The fact that any phone they put out was virtually indestructible was something customers remember to this day and loved about this company.

However, how they made phones wasn’t the problem. It was their willingness to adapt. Whether it was stubbornness is hard to say, but refusing to change or adapt is something that a fixed mindset would do. As a result, Nokia can no longer break into the market as it’s been outraced by Android, Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft.

8. Blockbuster’s Refusal to Change

Another growth mindset example can be found looking at Blockbuster. Similar to Nokia, this company has vanished into obscurity as streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and others took over the rental industry.

Though Blockbuster had other issues as well, refusing to change late fees and rental prices also hurt it.

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All of this leads back to a fixed mindset and an example of what can happen when we refuse to grow and adapt. Refusing to change in a world that is evolving every day means you’ll get left behind.

9. Venturing on to New Paths

A growth mindset is all about experimenting and doing new things, but it comes with a certain attitude. When someone has a fixed mindset and are performing well on a particular path, most tend to stick to that task and don’t bother branching out.

We see this in children when they think, “I’m really good at this, so I’ll keep doing this so I don’t disappoint anyone.” Unfortunately, this mindset can stick with us as adults. We can find ourselves refusing to change paths or accept new positions.

In some cases, it can be that we’re happy with everything in our lives, but in some cases, it may simply be a reluctance to trying something new.

On the other hand, a growth mindset example for this would be freely exploring and trying new things. Every new path brings experience.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have some specific growth mindset examples, you will be able to better engage with your own growth mindset. Not only that, but these examples can shed some light on where new decisions may lead us or where past decisions have limited us.

Regardless, what matters moving forward is that we are growing and adapting as best we can.

More Tips on Developing a Growth Mindset

Featured photo credit: Stanislav Kondratiev via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

Fortunately, meditation can help.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

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If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

    Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

    3. Challenge Your Brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

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    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

    4. Take More Breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

    However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

    This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

    When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    5. Learn a New Skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

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    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

    It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

    If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

    6. Start Working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

    Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat Healthier Foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain, too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – Improves memory
    • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
    • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

    Final Thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

    You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

    More on How to Improve Memory

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

    Reference

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