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Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

Having a growth mindset can yield wonderfully beautiful results including new hobbies discovered, new friends met, businesses created, new opinions formed, different habits developed and so much more.

The possibilities are outside of our current understanding but can be discovered by open mindedly asking, "What might that look like?"

Growth mindset allowed me the opportunity to evaluate all my thoughts and begin to question them. I wanted to consider new things for my career ahead but felt stuck with what I knew at the time.

To explore, I began asking, "What thoughts have served me well? What thoughts do I own? What statements or opinions or beliefs do I hold that are something I have just always believed or assumed? What do I know to be true?"

Before coaching, I wasn't aware of my limiting beliefs but with some purposeful reflection, I discovered that I had several.

It was uplifting (not damning) to discover that once I recognized that those thoughts existed, I knew that I could start the work of understanding them......and then changing them.

And when I did, that made me feel powerful.

One of my limiting beliefs was, "I am not creative." It was that simple. I am logical and analytical but not creative....I had always told myself.

What would it look like to be creative? What could work look like for me using that creativity?

I started using my journal differently to capture new thoughts that I had, in many forms. I noticed that many themes came up in my writing and when I recognized them, I allowed space to think and write more.

Once I allowed myself to be creative with my passion work, I couldn't stop. I started to think about so many topics that I had to begin writing them down so I didn't lose them. I couldn't sleep because I'd think of another idea that I had to get down on paper. These thoughts changed my thinking. The process of generating topics to write about was my creative work and that's what being creative looked like for me.

Without challenging my own limiting belief as part of my growth mindset, I may have missed the opportunity to begin something new. You surely would not be reading this post!

So what are fixed mindset and growth mindset?

Someone with a fixed mindset views intelligence, abilities and talents as inherently stable and unchangeable over time. Talents and intelligence are fixed.

Someone with a growth mindset views intelligence, abilities, and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. Talents and intelligence can be improved.

The differences between the mindsets can best be demonstrated through some examples:

Fixed Mindset may think:

Growth Mindset may think:

"I've never been a numbers person."

"I can find a solution to this budget problem."

"I am frustrated, I'm just done."

"When I get frustrated, I keep trying new approaches."

"That's just who I am. I can't change it."

"I am a constantly evolving work in progress."

To yourself or your kids: "You messed up. Shame on you."

To yourself or your kids: "That wasn't the best choice for you. What did you learn from that?"

How to cultivate a Growth Mindset

A fixed mindset can keep you from learning from mistakes made, while a growth mindset can empower you to instead, perceive mistakes made as learning opportunities.

In order to continue challenging yourself in your growth journey, you must provide ample opportunity to learn new things.

Examples of these types of opportunities are:

  • Networking and knowledge-sharing with others taking on similar challenge as you

  • Reading articles and books on topics you’re interested in

  • Brainstorming and problem-solving with others

  • Listen to others who can offer new perspectives

  • Taking online courses can be a simple, rewarding way to maintain your growth mindset

  • Visit new places

  • Create new experiences

Utilizing a growth mindset with kids can teach them that mistakes are how we learn and grow. For more ways to think about growth mindset with kids, read this article.

Remind yourself that you can learn new skills to make any new venture a success. Remind yourself that you can challenge the thoughts about yourself and experience tremendous growth and opportunity.

Growth mindset makes you a driver and not a passenger in your life. What could it look like for you to approach something with a growth mindset rather than staying in a fixed mindset?

Email me and tell me more about what you think!

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