Some people drop out of school and twenty years down the road are millionaires.
Others try one profession after another and at the end of it all, they quit! Some people are good at coping with life challenges while others only see a dead end! But why?
Humans are incredible creatures, but our superiority largely depends on our mindset. Mindset is everything and impacts the way we perceive failure or success. Philosophers assert that life presents equal opportunities to all individuals, but it’s all about the way we apprehend and utilize them.
More so, all individuals are highly prone to several life events such as stress, depression, medical conditions, and the loss of a loved one, but coping abilities matter a lot. Stress may not be detrimental to an individual with a positive mindset or attitude. Largely because they perceive it as part of life and seasonal.
Those with a negative mindset may suffer severely because they perceive stress as a threat and at times fail to cultivate effective coping strategies. People with a positive mental attitude are able to sail through life happier despite what life throws at them or the highs and lows.
To add to that, the world we live in today is ever-evolving and has become more competitive than before. It is now a platform for those with creativity, positive attitudes, resilience, and above all those with a growth mindset. For personal or career growth and development, you may also want to explore the difference between a scarcity and abundance mindset. There is a definite link between all these forms of mindsets that can help individuals advance incredibly in life.
A growth mindset and a positive attitude can largely help any human live a meaningful life. Therefore, let’s explore the diverse reasons to embrace a growth mindset and how to develop it.
Growth Mindset: What Does It Really Mean?
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. Coined by Carol Dweck and popularized in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, the professor explains “Growth mindset” as a situation where one believes that their abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and study.
People with a growth mindset strive to better themselves through taking initiative, hard work, and cooperation. They also see challenges as opportunities and grounds for growth or bettering their skills. They are open to learning and improving skills with any given opportunity.
On the other hand, a fixed mindset is when one believes that their abilities are innate and can’t be changed. Such people tend to fear challenges and have a negative perception of failure. They may not be open to learning new things and their outlook on things highly differs from those with a growth mindset.
They may at times believe that they have it all, yet knowledge and intellectual capabilities are always learned and updated from time to time.
People with a growth mindset tend to have higher motivational levels and don’t give up easily. They generally believe that they can work through things to unlock their full potential. All of us have either a fixed or a growth mindset, but it’s essential to note that a growth mindset is highly cultivatable. So, why strive to develop one?
7 Prime Reasons for Developing and Embracing a Growth Mindset
Adopting a growth mindset in the modern world is highly essential. People with one, have higher abilities to detect trivial matters and focus on what matters most. With that, here are other reasons for embracing a growth mindset.
1. Impacts on Cognitive Function
Cognition has everything to do with the brain and any cognitive ability is powered by the brain. In simple terms, cognition is how one perceives the world and everything around them. Cognitive skills also influence the way we act upon things, for example, the way we respond to sad news or how we handle stress.
Cognitive abilities determine or influence our learning processes, perception of bigger goals, memory, attention, and solving problems. Practicing a growth mindset is one of the best approaches to improving cognitive function, especially when trying to achieve SMART Goals.
A growth mindset helps you realize where you’re lagging. For example, in case you have a poor memory, you can work on how to improve knowledge retention and its application. In return, one earns competent cognitive abilities that set them apart.
2. Impacts Personality
Personality refers to the set of beliefs and patterns of thoughts among other traits that make us who we are. The way we see ourselves and what we think others say about us highly impacts our self-worth and esteem.
There is a direct correlation between “personality” and “persona”. Persona is a Latin word that means a mask worn for role play, impersonation, or disguising one’s identity. Personality traits make us unique from others and it should be noted that there are different personality types with different traits.
In presence of personality disorders, one is negatively impacted. An individual may start experiencing irritability, negative self-talk, and low self-confidence. Having a growth mindset or a positive attitude can help work things through. It can help you show positivity amidst challenges, develop resilience, and work to better personal traits.
3. Helps Us Embrace Imperfections
So often people struggle to become perfect in the eyes of other people. Unfortunately, the need to appear “all-accomplished” or perfect is one of the major causes of mental distress. Having and displaying a growth mindset can help one know that it’s okay to be imperfect or harbor flaws. Embracing imperfections is also one of the best ways to self-improvement and live a more satisfying quality life.
On the other hand, it also helps one to accept others the way they are, knowing that all of us aren’t perfect. The need to be perfect and ensuring unnecessary perfectionism are some of the major roots of the urge to control others. Despite the fact that people are free to make choices. Displaying a growth mindset here shows maturity and points to emotional intelligence.
4. Alters the Way We Perceive Challenges
Teaching is known to be a challenging profession and in fact, learning is at times tough. As per Carol Dweck, individuals with a growth mindset display a different attitude towards learning and challenges. They believe that innate intelligence and abilities are foundations for additional skills and intelligence.
They aren’t afraid of challenges or failure and tend to explore more to attain excellence. Similarly, they see challenges as learning opportunities. Instead of giving up, they tend to think through and develop strategies to overcome obstacles which isn’t the case with individuals with a fixed mindset.
5. Helps Identify Opportunities
One of the greatest attributes of people with a growth mindset is optimism. They aren’t afraid to take risks or see opportunities amidst crises. They are more courageous, and resilient, and never incline to seek approval. Despite the challenges, they try out new tactics to achieve the intended goals.
When it comes to managing organizations, supervisors with a growth mindset are fond of giving more positive reviews about their employees than those with a fixed mindset. They are good at identifying employee potential and cooperative abilities.
However, supervisors with a fixed mindset are more bent on perfectionism and at times unrealistic demands which build up into negative reviews.
6. Helps You Value the Process
Behind every success story, is a rugged road! Quite often people celebrate achievement without understanding the path that led to excellence. In reality, the way to the top isn’t a definite path and there is no guarantee that ambitions will obviously become a reality.
However, the process of learning and trying out new things makes dreams a reality. Many times, people with a growth mindset value the effort and the process of learning. Generally, the process is the price for positive outcomes. Besides, people with a growth mindset also value other people’s initiative, hard work, and effort in getting things done.
7. Helps in Goal Setting
At least we’re all familiar with new year resolutions, and monthly or daily targets. Many times, people start on a good note, but along the way, things take the opposite side. A growth mindset plays a pivotal role in goal setting and accomplishment. It may not all be about setting cumbersome goals, but setting realistic, even though tough ones.
A growth mindset helps people set their minds on bigger goals whereas a mediocrity mind only focuses on small ones and those within one’s comfort zone. People with a growth mindset strive to learn more, think outside the box, explore more options, and adjust to new changes easily.
With the help of their cognitive flexibility, they develop strategies that can motivate them and drive them to accomplish the set goals. In the long run, they focus on staying creative and innovative.
How to Develop a Growth Mindset
Fostering a growth mindset requires time and practice. It’s not a talent that one is born with, but it can largely be developed and nurtured. There are a variety of ways through which people can develop a growth mindset and these include embracing challenges and tagging failure as learning opportunities.
Other approaches include daring to take risks, avoiding negative talks or seeking approval, and focusing on the outcomes rather than the obstacles and possible risks involved. In addition, positivity, being open to constructive feedback, and taking initiative, can help adults develop a mindset of growth.
At least all of us have felt like giving up at one point, but only if we focus on the possible positive outcomes, this can help us keep going and live perhaps a more satisfying life.
Having a growth mindset is highly rewarding and everyone should at least endeavor to develop one. W. Churchill asserts that success is not final, failure is not fatal, and it’s the courage to continue that counts. These words can help anyone attain a different perspective on success, failure, and potential.
It should be noted that one can’t have a 100% growth mindset, because different situations can be associated with varying perspectives. However, it is better to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed one.