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Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset

Changing perspectives changes everything.

The above statement is a powerful and simple one, which helps us to see our ‘true’ potential. We often believe that if we are not good at anything, our abilities are fixed and unchangeable. Our ability to perceive things from a particular perspective prevents us from becoming the best version of ourselves. Our negative perception of things often prevents us from growth and development.

Experiencing moments of doubt and becoming discouraged by inevitable setbacks is part and parcel of life. But sometimes, these moments of discouragement become formidable growth barriers, especially if we see traits like intelligence and talent as static traits when they are not. A fixed mindset is when we start to believe that the traits we are ‘naturally’ blessed with do not have a scope for improvement. When faced with negative feedback, it is ingrained in our minds that ‘we are simply not good enough’ at a particular thing.

As Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, said, “Change is the only constant in life’, the key to becoming an unbeatable version lies in shifting the perspective. When we constantly try to improve ourselves and start to look at our setbacks as steppingstones, we gradually become better at a skill. This empowering perspective acknowledges that our intelligence and abilities are not just limited but are dynamic, and we, as humans, can improve through learning, effort, and perseverance. The Growth mindset is all about turning your setbacks into comebacks.

Returning to your childhood, you will remember the first time you rode a bicycle and must have fallen at least once, if not more. But then, when you got hurt, you picked yourself up and returned home. The next day, you tried again but fell again, but your love for trying something new and learning the new skill was far greater than failing at riding the bicycle. With constant effort, in a few days, riding a bike became the favorite part of your day.

This is the power of a growth mindset: it transforms you from a bystander to an architect of your destiny. By adopting this mindset, we equip ourselves with a resilient shield from setbacks. We can view our failures as temporary, and we do not let our failures define us in any manner. It also makes us believe that ‘learning is a continuous process.’ It helps us in embracing challenges with a ‘can-do’ attitude. Gradually, as we learn to embrace growth and learning, we develop an unshakeable belief in our capabilities that radiate self-assurance to conquer any challenge.

A growth mindset also helps one remain relevant in today’s information-saturated world. With innovative technologies and industries constantly emerging, people who are open to ‘continuous learning’ may find themselves frequently left behind. To lead a more fulfilling life, personally and professionally, one must be up to date with the current trends and developments in their fields.

Lifelong learning can also have an impact on mental health and well-being.

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If you give yourself the healthy challenge of trying out one thing every single day, it will positively impact your mental health and well-being. You will not feel ‘left behind’ in life and it gives you a good confidence boost.

Having a ‘student mentality’ can play a vital role in your life. If attending seminars you’re keen on learning, you can take up formal education at a university. Moreover, many learning options are available, such as attending seminars and workshops, reading books, and participating in online courses. You can also upskill yourself very easily and put your foot forward in the freelance and gig domain, which has been the talk of the town in recent times.

For becoming a lifelong learner and to reap its benefits, you need to build a solid mindset as well. It becomes difficult for most people to build a strong mindset because they have spent all their lives with a fixed mindset. It is a rather tricky process because it requires a willingness to change every perspective that prevents you from becoming the best. It requires a willingness to embrace challenges, strong beliefs in the power of effort, and a desire to learn from mistakes.

Cultivating a growth mindset empowers you to approach challenges with a headstrong attitude and achieve your aspirations. Some skill-up tips are:

  1. Eliminate the negative self-talk:
    If you have a narrowed view of yourself, you will not be able to think big for yourself. The attitude of ‘What If’ and ‘I can’t’ will not take you to greater heights in life and will keep bugging you. Try to replace those thoughts with positive affirmations that will fuel your confidence.
  2. Life is full of challenges, embrace them.
    Challenges act as a catalyst in making you strong. Pursue them as bonuses which offer valuable rewards. With a positive attitude, focus on the process and not the result, because then even if you fail, you will have learnt something greater in that process.
  3. Seek Feedback and Learn from Mistakes: Utilize the “Retry” Button
    When you are faced with a challenge, and you repeatedly fail, don’t view your shortcomings as a permanent roadblock. Instead, push yourself and reflect upon where you’re going wrong. You can ask your friends and peers to give you ‘constructive criticism’ so that you can improve on the negatives. Treat your mistakes as opportunities for growth.

Seek Inspiration from Others

Don’t become jealous of somebody just because they are more successful, and you are not. Instead, work with them. Observe the differences between you and them and try to inculcate those habits in your daily life. Surround yourself with individuals who embody the growth mindset. Observe how they strategize, overcome obstacles, and continuously learn. Remember, the most successful people work with the right kind of people.

As Carol Dweck, a renowned psychologist and pioneer of growth mindset research, states: “The power of your belief will determine the heights you will climb.”