How to develop your growth mindset
Over the summer, I have spoken to many friends, colleagues, and clients. There is a common theme emerging. Whilst the last 18 months have been difficult, some incredible achievements have occurred.
With the summer juggle coming to an end, it is the perfect time to reflect on your last 18 months before settling into your autumn routine.
Too many of us fail to make time for this, always racing ahead instead. And yet, the value to your growth is immeasurable.
My last article talked about the difference between a fixed and growth mindset. A fixed mindset may hold you back and therefore moving towards a growth mindset can offer incredible benefits. Not least, helping you move forward in the direction you want, despite the challenges you’re experiencing.
For many people (without deliberate intervention), your brain tends to focus on past failures and difficulties rather than all of your positive actions and accomplishments.
Consciously developing a growth mindset can enable you to focus more on the positive. This will need constant attention for some people – it is not a one-off thing to do. And yet when we manage, it makes a huge difference to us personally and professionally.
Focusing on the positives helps you reframe life and build confidence when it matters. Your self-awareness and self-belief will grow as you appreciate your strengths and weakness fully. And it will make you mentally stronger.
This does not mean negatives cease to exist. Nobody is in control of everything. It simply means your brain focuses on the actions in your life that will help build a better future for you.
You can learn from everything
You can learn from every single experience – good and bad. No experience is wasted.
By remaining curious and considering everything, you can learn from your past. What worked? What failed? What could you do better?
Fearing failure is dangerous. It holds you back and stops you getting where you want to be. Everyone experiences failure in life sometimes. Better to embrace it and look for your learnings. They are fantastic feedback to shape future actions.
Curiosity not only helps you build a better future, it means you are better equipped to help others too.
Techniques to change your mindset for the better
How you achieve and build on a growth mindset varies. No single method works for everyone. There are three techniques, however, that help many people make positive progress in their mindset.
We are all busy being busy. Even more so during the last 18 months. It is important to block out time for reflection, though. And committing this to paper helps your brain acknowledge it.
Write down what you have achieved during the pandemic. Despite everything, what worked for you? Your list should include personal and professional results – small and large.
Now consider what did not work and what you have learnt from these experiences. What can you put in place now to help you do better in the future?
You cannot change what has happened, but you can learn from it and move forward more effectively.
Documented reflection is incredibly useful when you want to refresh your CV or pitch for a project too. You have something constructive to draw from.
Many people find huge value in journaling. With practice, it becomes an easy daily habit at a time to suit you.
Journaling is your space to write down what you are thinking, knowing your thoughts are utterly confidential.
Some people use the process like a diary, noting what they have done during the day. Others put structures in place – such as listing things they are grateful for that day or things they want to focus on in the days ahead.
Journaling helps your brain process information effectively. It can help you think through obstacles and decide how to tackle them. It can identify what your main concerns are to deal with.
Even on a bad day (and we all have them) journaling can help you make sense of it and reframe your thinking.
By writing things down, you have something to refer to as well, confirming the progress you have made from month to month, for example.
Your goals might feel too big to achieve. This is where considered planning can really help.
Try writing down your ultimate goal and then breaking down how you aim to get there in smaller steps. You cannot do everything at once. Those mini goals will feel more achievable and leave you feeling more confident of your eventual success.
Thinking about a plan is not the same as writing one down. Creating a picture of what the plan looks like is far more likely to result in progress.
Should your plan need to change, change it. Should you make a mistake, learn from it, adapt, and move on.
And to keep you on track, lean on your cheerleaders. Friends, family, colleagues, and coaches can all help to power you forward when your motivation wanes.
Building your mental resilience
Discovering what techniques help you develop your mindset heath is incredibly important. You can only learn this by trying them.
Without doubt, the future continues to be uncertain. Nobody knows what the next six months look like. But with a stronger growth mindset, you will build on your mental resilience to deal with this better – to the benefit of your personal and professional life. Despite everything, you will continue to thrive and grow in the direction you choose.
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