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Growth mindset is important: how to cultivate one for success

growth mindset
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Maybe, like me, you’ve known people with a fixed rather than growth mindset. People who believe we come into this world fully formed and can’t change.

They’re not interested in self-help because they don’t see any way to improve. Rather than looking at the “log in their own eye”, they point the finger at shortcomings of others.

That doesn’t mean they think they’re perfect. Just that there’s nothing they can do about their flaws. They feel helpless to change weaknesses they believe to be ingrained.

Fixed mindset people see flaws as reminders of how they can’t change. How they’re “stuck” with what they’ve got.

These are the people in your life who mock failure and avoid it at all cost. That would be too costly to their fragile sense of self.

They rarely go outside their comfort zones, and stick to topics that won’t challenge them too much.

If you have a growth mindset, however, you see your weaknesses as opportunities. Here are three ways to have a growth mindset and how that sets you up for success.

1. Learn from your mistakes

Growth mindset people learn best from their mistakes. They see failure as an opportunity to grow and a necessary step on the path to success.

Growth mindset people learn best from their mistakes. They see failure as an opportunity to grow and a necessary step on the path to success. Click To Tweet

Failure, to people with a growth mindset, could even be considered success because it denotes that you tried.

It gives you information you can use to plot your next step in the right direction.

Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” This is a perfect example of a growth mindset.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Edison

2. Know you can change

Changing beliefs as life marches on is another example of a growth mindset.

Fixed mindset people see their set of beliefs as, well, fixed. They scoff at those whose viewpoints change, attacking their character as weak or hypocritical.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Having the honesty and integrity to admit that you were wrong, or that your values have shifted, takes tremendous courage.

To stick to the same unexamined ideology means compromising truth for the sake of propping up a weak self-image.

To stick to the same unexamined ideology means compromising truth for the sake of propping up a weak self-image. Click To Tweet

Fixed mindset people think their beliefs define them so they refuse to change. Even in the face of evidence that their view needs revising.

Instead, they double down and dig their heels in deeper. This irrational clinging to a flimsy belief keeps the fixed mindset person stuck and floundering.

growth mindset

3. Growth mindset people like a challenge

Fixed mindset people tend to surround themselves with those who affirm their false sense of self.

While growth mindset people are more likely to enjoy the company of those who challenge them.

The latter view friendly criticism as helpful because it shows them how to improve. They may even prefer it to praise which they see as offering no opportunity for growth.

As you may have guessed, fixed mindset people handle criticism poorly. They see it as an attack on their sense of self, rather than a neutral comment or one with positive intent.

Fixed mindset is based so much on how others perceive us. There’s an element of people pleasing that defines the person’s whole character.

That’s why if you know these people you may notice their obsession with image or how they appear to others.

To them, life is about seeming smart and successful. That means avoiding any risk of public humiliation or vulnerability.

It seems like a very hollow way to live. One that quashes the true self in favor of others’ opinions. A life with little truth, integrity, or inner peace.

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