Are you feeling overwhelmed and kind of stuck?
Well, join much of the world. Challenging times. But the stuck overwhelmed train does not land in a good station. I’ve been there. Just trust me. Don’t go there if you don’t have to and if you are already there know that there is an escape.
As much as I love and believe in personal development this is not going to be one of those “change your mindset and your life magically transforms” kind of posts so stay with me.
I mean, let’s be real, there are things we cannot control. Still there is a lot we can do. And it starts with moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
“In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.”
If you have a fixed mindset you believe that you either have certain abilities or you don’t. It is unchangeable. Which can lead to that victim mentality which is not very empowering.
A growth mindset empowers you to believe that you can improve your skills and abilities through practice. Yes, no magic wand. It takes work but there is hope.
A growth mindset then is the belief that the talents and abilities you have are a great starting point but you can grow, change, and develop from there. Failure is a way to learn not the end of the world.
John Spencer breaks it down nicely in this video:
Can you learn a growth mindset?
Good news. Yes you can!
“Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.”
We give ourselves and our brains a hard time. But our brains are amazing and they can and do change. Changing your mind is science… Neuroscience.
Though our behavioral are mostly controlled by the prefrontal cortex of our brains, it can get a bit complicated involving other areas of our brains, as well.
But as we have heard, the brain is like a muscle. It develops with training. And that is great news!
Just check out this great video by Khan Academy:
What we believe really can change our performance. In this video by National Geographic we can see a demonstration of the difference that positive versus negative feedback can make and our beliefs about what we can do.
Poor guy. The booing and perceived failure really seemed to remove his confidence. This is a short and simple demonstration but think about the impact over time.
It sounds nice, we can learn anything. But how?
How DO you Develop A growth Mindset?
It turns out that this idea of a growth mindset is Biblical. Our Creator would not tell us to “renew our minds” if we could not do it.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 KJV
There is strategy involved with developing a growth mindset. It takes persistence and grit. But it is something that we can work on continuously little by little.
Here are some strategies…
Growth Mindset Strategies
Do I believe I can figure things out?
Not knowing how to do something is fine. Believing that you do not have the ability to figure it out is not. Begin to question the labels and limits you put on yourself when they come up. Is it really true? Is there something you could learn or understand differently to change the situation?
There are so many resources to learn in our modern world and many are free.
Times can be difficult and sometimes we have to do as Brendon Burchard says and “honor the struggle.” That is a big part of leaning into a growth mindset, letting your failures be what they are- a learning opportunity. Not the self-talk like, “I’m so stupid” or “I’m never going to get it” or “Why do I keep messing up like this!” No.
Start talking like, “Wow, that didn’t go as planned, but I’m going to figure this out. I can figure this out. Let me see if this works…”
Learn and Grow Because You Want To
Often we do things because we are seeking approval which can lead to performance instead of authenticity. This holds us back from doing and learning things that truly help us grow as people. Start letting go of the need for approval from others, especially those that are “not in the ring.” As Brene Brown would put it.
Think about how you want to learn, what you want to learn, and what you would were not afraid.
We are not going to know exactly what we are doing when we start something new. It’s normal and ok. Give yourself the chance to start and learn and adjust as you can.
Say Yes and No
There is a certain amount of time and energy so saying yes to something means you are saying no to something else. Start evaluating deeper the things you say yes and no to. Be brave and try new things. Say yes more to the things you are afraid to do and see them as learning opportunities. Challenge and push yourself.
But also do not be afraid to say no to the things that are draining your time and energy and not helping you meet your goals and serve others.
Put Your Focus on The Process
When we get stuck on wanting a certain result we feel like it is win or fail. But there is so much more to enjoy and learn if we focus on the process rather than the result. Think about a road trip.
If all you want to do is get to the destination you will miss all the wonderful things that could be waiting for you on the way.
“Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.”
Reach a goal, take time out to celebrate. Then set another. Sometimes when we achieve a goal we feel let down. It’s like the end of something and maybe it was not as big of a payoff as we expected. Don’t leave at a finish line. Celebrate but then set another goal and another.
Pull yourself forward. You can always grow more.
Give Yourself a Break
Have grit, work hard, but know that it takes time to grow as a person and develop and learn and implement and repeat. Don’t expect overnight success on all things and don’t be hard on yourself when learning something new takes a bit longer.
Remember process not result.