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Why you need a Growth Mindset

Why You Should Have a Growth Mindset

By Marianne Renner, Leadership Coach, Speaker, Author

Why is it some people thrive in the face of challenges, while others throw in the towel? Why will some celebrate new ways of learning, while others instinctively resist?

That’s what psychologist Carol Dweck set out to determine when she published her groundbreaking book, Mindset in 2006.

Dweck observed how people approach learning and found that they fall into two categories: growth mindset and fixed mindset.

Those with a growth mindset have a belief that skills, talents and abilities can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and good mentorship from others. Therefore, this group keeps trying, perseveres through setbacks, and welcomes the opportunity to learn from others.

Those with a fixed mindset hold the belief that we have a certain amount of skills, talents and abilities that can’t be changed. This group avoids challenges, gives up easily, and even feels threatened by others who might appear smarter or more talented.

Reasons for a fixed mindset.

There are many reasons someone may have a fixed mindset. No matter where we are on the growth mindset journey, we all have times when a fixed mindset can be triggered.

This can happen when we feel overwhelmed or threatened in some way. We may feel our jobs or reputation are at stake. Perhaps it feels safer to stay within our comfort zones.

That’s when we might hear phrases like, “why do we have to change? Let’s just do it the way we’ve always done it.”

Why this matters.

When people feel their skills and abilities can’t be developed, they worry about looking smart. Internally, they’re asking themselves, “what will people think of me? What if I sound stupid?” That makes this group less likely to work collaboratively and more likely to create roadblocks to solving problems.

When a growth mindset is prevalent among teams, organizations thrive. People feel empowered, and greater innovation takes place.

The good news.

A growth mindset can be developed. Like any skill, all it takes is a bit of practice.

A fixed mindset is a belief system. It comes from old, habitual thought patterns that can be broken like any other habit.

A fixed mindset begins when we adopt negative thoughts about the ability to succeed.  Those thoughts repeated over and over eventually become beliefs. Those beliefs take hold like deep-rooted weeds in a garden, resulting in negative outcomes that impact our work and other important areas of our lives. This can be reversed with consistent practice.

Action steps.

One of the best tools to develop a growth mindset is my Limiting Beliefs Worksheet. This has been incredibly impactful for my clients in helping them root out old limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering thoughts that support a growth mindset.

Download my Limiting Beliefs Worksheet, and follow the instructions below to complete the worksheet: 

  1. Limiting Belief. Identify and write out the limiting belief. Example: “There’s no way I’ll ever recover from this setback.”
  2. Empowering Belief. Next to the limiting belief, write a new, empowering belief. Example: “I’m resilient and resourceful and can overcome any obstacle.”
  3. Evidence. Identify the evidence or reason for your belief. Example: “I remember a particular setback I experienced. I thought I would never get through it. But I came out even stronger.” This is perhaps the most critical step. It might seem hard for your mind to accept the new belief. Writing evidence helps your brain to actualize the new reality.
  4. Read Repeatedly. Practice reading and repeating your new beliefs to create new habitual thought patterns. Replacing any old habit with a new one takes time, attention and repetition. 

Example:

Limiting Belief Empowering Belief Evidence
I’ll never recover from this setback.   I’m resilient and resourceful and can overcome any obstacle.   I remember a particular setback I experienced. I thought I would never get through it. But I came out even stronger.

 

Download my free Limiting Beliefs worksheet to help you say “Yes” more often.

Saying yes could help you win GOLD! Find out how I made that happen by checking out my TED talk

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