Do You Have a Fixed or a Growth Mindset? Why It’s Important and How To Change It
What is Mindset?
Your mindset is, simply put, the way you see the world. It defines your beliefs, influences how you behave and sets your expectations for your life.
Most importantly, however, your mindset is a deciding factor in whether you believe you have control over your own success.
In turn, believing that you can influence the outcome of your life is the best way to achieve it.
Fixed versus Growth mindset
What is a Fixed Mindset?
“Why try if I’m just going to fail? I’m not one of the lucky ones” 😒
A fixed mindset centres around the idea that ability, skill, and intelligence are all innate and unchangeable.
Some people are just ‘born with it’, others aren’t. More often than not, they put themselves in the ‘arent’ category and believe there is no point fighting it.
Key characteristics of a fixed mindset
- They see mistakes as bad and shameful. They should be covered up.
- Other people’s successes make them feel uncomfortable.
- Believe their future prospects are in the hands of the Government, the economy, their boss, the National Lottery, etc.
- They’re risk averse – why try just to fail?
- They view helpful feedback as criticism.
What is a Growth Mindset?
“No matter what situation in life you find yourself in, there is room for you to take control of little things, which ultimately adds up to big things.” – Lisa J. Shultz
A growth mindset is all about, hold on to your hats…. growth. 🤯
Those with this mindset never allow themselves to be defined by past events, successes or failures. They continually seek to learn and grow, so they never torture themselves over their present shortcomings.
Growth mindsetters also know they may be rotten at something today but that with enough persistence and practice, they will become good in the future.
Crucially, they concentrate on the job at hand, work at improving their skills, and do not fixate upon distant outcomes.
And they never compare themselves with others. How far anyone else is on their path in life is irrelevant.
As Liane Cordes said, ‘Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.’
Key characteristics of a growth mindset
- Have true belief in themselves
- They take calculated risks, understanding risking and failing is better than not risking it at all.
- Believe action matters more than the outcome
- A great degree of self-discipline (which they work on, continuously)
- Help others achieve success
- They believe past failure does not predict future results
Fixed versus growth mindset – which do you have?
Photo by Daniel Mingook Kim on Unsplash
How Do I Change My Mindset?
“The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.” Idowu Koyenikan
We can change our mindset simply by developing new habits.
In a recent London University study, they found it takes an average of 66 days to ingrain a new habit. The brain over time will rewire itself to reflect our choices.
At school, I had a fixed mindset. I would never study for exams because I believed that the outcome was largely beyond my power (healthy attitude, right?). These days I work on my growth mindset, celebrating the small victories and understanding I have the power to determine my future.
So what are the steps?
A great place to start is a gratitude practice. Looking at the abundance in your life trains your brain into seeing the world as a force which helps you, rather than drags you down.
Add into your evening routine a quick 5 minutes where you go through your day and pick out all the things you’re grateful for. The aim is to search for the thing you’re most grateful for that day – once you’ve found it, write it down, say thank you, and try to feel the gratitude as powerfully as you can. Spend a few moments with your eyes closed thinking about how lucky you are.
Don’t complain about anything for seven days, neither aloud nor inside your head. The frequent temptation to complain will make you aware of your belief that life ‘should’ be better – a sure sign of having a fixed mindset.
Every time you catch yourself starting a complaint, don’t just stop it but replace it with something positive. If that chair is uncomfortable, swap in the thought that you’re grateful to have somewhere to sit rather than be forced to stand.
Make a Plan
What do you want a year from now? Looking at where you want to be and putting steps in place is an effective method of feeling you’re in the driver’s seat of your life.
Start at the end of 12 months and work your way back each month with actions you need to take to get there. Once you put this in place it becomes easy to see how the efforts you make can and do make a difference in the outcome of your success.
Our free 12-month goal planner is a great way to get started.
This works because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between reality and what you tell it.
There is only O N E voice that matters, the one in your head, and you can force it to say what you want it to.
You don’t even need to believe it because in time you will. The internationally renowned therapist Marisa Peer has a lot of useful knowledge on this topic. Take a look at her TedX talk.
Yes, seriously. Laugh at yourself, laugh at your worries, laugh at your slip-ups.
Learning to take past failures in our stride and, even better, to take pleasure and teachings from them can transform your world. Most of what you worry about will never happen. A good sense of humour is the perfect antidote to ‘desperate energy’ – the fearful energy that pushes things away from you.
Final thoughts on a Fixed versus Growth mindset
We all want to have a growth mindset, right? Even before you get one, believing you can get you halfway there.
It’s a key indicator of success – who doesn’t want that?
But its not always easy. Changing your brain takes time and focus, and repetiton, constant repetition. Putting in place some of these practices will take effort, but every day it gets a little easier until one day you don’t realise you’re doing it at all.
What mindset do you have currently? Having a fixed mindset is one of the key barriers which often block career success. We specialise in helping young professionals change this mindset to one of confidence and growth.
Get in touch for a free chat to discuss how we can help. Call us on +44 (0) 203 130 0295, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article updated on 26/12/22 for accuracy