By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better – John Wooden
It is incredible how the human mind works. One of the most fascinating facets of our psychology, without a doubt, is how two people, under the same conditions, can look at the exact same objects at the same time yet see different things.
Because of this same phenomenon, two people with similar upbringings can face the same life’s challenges and come out with different outcomes. One falters while the other emerges triumphant.
So what exactly is it that made one successful while the other failed? While some would blame the fate of the person, but the determining factor can often be traced not to any significant difference in physique or intellect but in mindsets.
It is not new psychology of success; it is an evergreen saying; mindset is everything.
With the proper mindset, we can achieve anything in life. Thankfully, our minds are not set in stone.
Anyone can choose to undergo the process of facilitating a change in their mindset, thereby setting themselves up for building new neural pathways leading to mindset changes for success rather than failure.
Growth Mindset View is Essential in Today’s World
Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist who spent decades studying human response to failure and challenges, carried out a study to reinforce the belief that mindset is everything.
Her research concluded that lot of people who triumph in the face of defeat do so thanks to what we now know as a growth mindset or healthy mindset.
A healthy mindset is a positive subconscious disposition which some successful people have towards life’s challenges. Those with a such mindset view challenges and failures as an opportunity to grow rather than something to be disheartened or discouraged by.
○ The Impact of Fixed Mindset
The direct opposite of having a healthy mindset is having a fixed mindset. To say that this is a negative mindset with negative thoughts would be an understatement.
A fixed mindset, at its basic level, stops one from growing. Those with fixed mindsets believe that they can never change their characters, intelligence, or creative abilities.
They are convinced that failure only confirms innate ability of ineptitude and flaws. They believe that whatever they find themselves with is the apex of their ability.
So instead of trying to grow and challenge their inner fears, they become fixed on either maintaining what they have or avoiding challenges altogether.
○ Why Growth Mindset Matters Now More than Ever?
From the surface, it is evident that having a fixed mindset can mean crushing defeat even before any huge challenge is faced, whereas having a healthy mindset tends to guarantee success before even taking the first step.
It’s an understanding that intelligence and talent aren’t fixed traits. They’re things that can grow and develop through hard work, creativity, and determination.
While a person with fixed mindset will succumb to inner fear, but a person with growth mindset will defeat his inner shadow and move ahead.
If you think you’re not good at something, don’t give up on it. Start working on it in a healthy mindset – try out different strategies for approaching the problem, make adjustments to your work schedule or environment, take classes or read books in your spare time.
Another particularly fascinating importance of having a healthy mindset can be found in the reaction of those who have this mindset to failure.
People with fixed mindsets allow themselves to get crushed by disappointment. Others with a growth mindset choose instead to learn from it. Their emotional intelligence and and strong mental game helps them try again until that failure is turned into success.
13 Keys to Master Growth Mindset
The beauty of a healthy mindset is that it does not leave room for rigidity. This implies that even it, itself, can be learned and mastered.
Below are 15 key points that get us closer to the ultimate mastery of a healthy mindset.
1. Brain Plasticity
A growth mindset is an positive attitude that isn’t just about intelligence. It’s also about the brain’s ability to change when faced with new challenges or information.
One of the most important concepts in the quest for a healthy mindset is the concept of brain plasticity. Brain plasticity shows us that the brain is not a rigid organ.
The brain is a flexible living organism that adapts based on the information given to it. This straightforward theory already demolishes the basis of fixed mindsets.
If the brain is flexible, adaptable, and can grow, why would anyone believe there is no room for improvement?
So to cultivate the right mindset, it is imperative always to have the concept of brain plasticity in mind. Our brains are living and are capable of immense achievements once we’re open to it and provide it what it needs to grow.
2. Turn Fear into Excitement
Fear is a natural phenomenon that can be both constructive and destructive. Fear can help us fulfill our potential or it can stop us in our tracks. It’s the fuel for many people’s success.
When a person with fixed mindset is faced with a challenging and uncertain situation, they will try to find a way to avoid the situation than take it on. They want to prevent themselves from feeling the fear that comes along with taking on such new experiences.
Most of us deal with some degree of fear every day, but the way we react to it can make all the difference. Those who practice a growth mindset choose to view fear as a signal that tells them they’re on the right track. They know that if they push themselves further and take more risks, they will turn their fears into excitement and increase their chances of success.
Once we let go of the fear of failure, we can open ourselves up to the possibility of building a healthy mindset. And how do we let go of the fear of failure? We let go of fear by recognizing that failure is indeed a stepping stone; by realizing that every setback is indeed an opportunity.
3. Recognize Setbacks as Opportunities
Challenges and setbacks are an absolute facet of human existence. No matter what class, sect, nationality, or gender one falls into, one inevitably faces a few mental challenges and setbacks.
The difference, however, between those with a growth kind of mindset and those with a fixed one is that the latter see setbacks as a confirmation of their incompetence, while the former sees setbacks as precisely what they are – a learning opportunity.
They recognize that they may be tested. They may even fail. But so long as they learn and leave the experience better than they were before, they are never really a failure.
Whoever learns this gets a step closer to building a successful mindset.
4. Face your Weaknesses
We should embrace our weaknesses because it will push us to work hard to become better at them. Embracing your weaknesses will teach you how to find new ways to solve problems other than being so dependent on your strengths which could be the thing holding you back from achieving your goals in life.
People with fixed mindsets suffer from a significant problem. They believe that weaknesses are unnatural. Thanks to their rigid views of life, they think that once you have a liability, it is near impossible to overcome it. So they hide it from the world. They become obsessed with showing people what they can do so that nobody questions what they can’t.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, lie those with growth mindset. People on this side never go out of their way to prove anything to anybody. They also never try too hard to hide their weaknesses.
The first step is to realize that your weaknesses are not personal, they are contextual. This understanding should be the basis for any successful strategy to address them. Next, use cognitive reappraisal to view your weaknesses as opportunities. Channel your strength into new areas, and do what you need to do to either learn the skills you need or find another way of solving the problem.
5. Choose Learning over Approval
Individuals with fixed mindsets obsessively fixate on strong facets of their lives. They do this because, to them, it is their only way of getting approval and recognition.
Since they feel they are doomed to remain the way they are, their only hope is to find approval by showing people every little thing they’re capable of. This obsession with showing off becomes so vile and unhealthy that it starts to become unbearable. It alienates valuable people from their life and leaves them worse off than they were.
To master a growth mindset, one must choose learning over approval. Through learning, we become better. We gain approval without even searching. Most importantly, we process praise differently and open up paths to further success.
6. Be Open to Constructive Criticisms
A common characteristic of a fixed mindset is a tendency to reject all forms of criticism and feedback. This is done for two reasons. The first is that individuals with fixed mindsets believe that nothing positive can come of any input. The second is more of a question of ego.
It is important to be able to receive constructive criticism in a positive way. Putting the criticism into a growth mindset will allow you to listen and learn, as well as change your perspective on important things.
To do this, try and separate yourself from your work and see it objectively. Spend some time thinking about the possible improvements that could be made. Be open minded and try not to think of it as a personal attack on you or your abilities.
Lastly, use this criticism as an opportunity for learning and personal growth. Put the feedback into action with what you can do differently or how you can improve what has already been done with no judgment included in the process.
But it is important to know the difference between healthy criticism and plain disrespect. A healthy criticism is very rewarding, while it is essential to not tolerate disrespect at the same time.
7. Discipline beats Motivation
When we think about growth mindset, it is easy to believe that the only way to achieve success is by being motivated. However, discipline plays a crucial role in achieving success.
Discipline is not a natural human trait. We have to be taught discipline. Discipline is a mental muscle that needs to be exercised and built up over time.
Discipline beats motivation in the long run because discipline will always win no matter what comes up in your life. You can’t rely on motivation, you need to rely on discipline because it’s the only thing that will push you through no matter what circumstances come your way.
8. Prioritize Progress Quality & Longevity Over Speed
It is not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer – Albert Einstein
A healthy mindset does not necessarily imply growth at all costs. This is a common misconception many have about positive mindset practices. They think having a growth mindset requires striving every minute of the day to achieve unquantifiable success in little to no time at all. This is, of course, very wrong.
A healthy mindset implies being open to sustainable growth. This kind of growth takes time and must be done patiently and carefully.
Ensure you have a clear understanding of what your time is worth and the value of your focus – both in terms of quality and longevity.
Quality can be measured by how it contributes to the user’s long-term goal, while longevity is measured by how sustainable it will be in the future.
9. Cherish the Process
Since the journey towards sustainable growth is long and arduous, it is easier to get tired of trying to be strong all the time. This is especially true for those who only look forward to what’s at the end of the process.
Instead of focusing only on the end goal, a more accurate growth mindset emphasizes the importance of the process.
Once we recognize that the process of building a strong mindset can indeed be as enjoyable as the goal, we start to enjoy everything more. Subsequently, everything becomes more straightforward, and before you know it, we’re much closer to the goal than those who see the journey as a tedious task to complete as fast as possible.
10. Prioritize Time Over Money
Time value of money, asset growth over time, financial concept : Dollar bags, sand clock or hourglass on a balance scale in equal position, depicts investment in long-term equity for more money growth
Prioritizing time over money is a sign of a mature mind. Maturity, in a way, is a prerequisite for a growth mindset.
People with a fixed mindset focus on a rigid goal that they know they can achieve (having a level of financial freedom, for example) and let go of everything else. People with a healthy mindset see the synergy between things and find a way to strike a balance.
When you have a positive mindset, you are willing to sacrifice some money now for more time later. To further understand this theory check out our article Time vs Money.
This is the case with many entrepreneurs who start out working at their own company without getting paid. They want to make their business successful and they are willing to put in the work now so that they can reap the rewards later. It takes a lot of courage to do this, but it’s important for an individual to be self-aware and know what they are capable of.
11. Celebrate the Growth of Others
Reaction to the growth of others is one of the significant distinctions between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
Now when someone with a fixed mindset sees other people triumph, they become threatened by it. They are reminded of their subconscious belief that they are stuck where they are, which scares them.
On the other hand, those with a positive mindset celebrate those who are successful and are inspired by them. They let it drive them. They know that if someone else can do it, with the proper work and mindset, they also can.
This form of mindset will lead to better way of serving others, without injecting ourself with self destructing thoughts of selfishness.
12. Cultivate an Abundance Mindset
What is an abundance mindset, you ask? Well, it is not so different from a growth mindset. An abundance mindset is a kind of positive mindset which fosters self-awareness of endless possibilities, no matter how dark the circumstances.
People with an abundance mindset choose always to have positive own thinking in life. They find opportunities where others only see roadblocks. They choose happiness in the face of overwhelming sadness, and they never stop to seek opportunities for growth in every circumstance.
To know more about how to build abundance winning mindset, feel free to delve into our in-depth guide on abundance mindset.
13. Always Ask What’s Next
An essential characteristic of growth is that it is a continuous process. People with a growth mindset are aware that there is still room for improvement no matter where one is in life.
To this end, mastering a healthy mindset means that we always have to keep asking ourselves what’s next.
“How can I be better”? “How can I keep growing?” “How can I stay positive in my personal life?” “What am I doing good that could be improved upon”? All of these are questions that can go a long way in helping us develop a more robust positive mindset.
Overview: Mindset if Everything
The most important takeaway from this article was that mindset is everything. If you have a growth mindset, you believe that you can improve your skills. If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that you can’t improve your skills.
It is important to have a healthy mindset because your skills will never plateau and working hard on practicing will always yield more progress.
This Mindset is important now more than ever, with the onslaught of new knowledge about the world, it is difficult for people to keep up.
The science of the brain has shown that our ability to process information declines with age. Entering into adulthood, people’s brains are less able to grasp new concepts. However, with right mindset, this decline is postponed. People are able to better process new information and to continue learning throughout their lives.
It is not about having all the answers or being perfect. It’s about understanding that life is a journey and if you are willing to learn from failures, move forward, and take risks, your journey can be both fun and fulfilling. It’s not about being the best, it’s about being the best you.