If your alive there’s a part of you that longs to experience the thrill of living life on your terms but for many of us we give up when we meet the first hurdle. If you are easily disappointed, if you know that you give up easily, then you really will want to learn how to shift from a fixed to a growth mindset. To survive in 2021 your mindset is just the piece that determines how 2021 will ultimately unfold.
Listen from time to time each of us will find ourselves on the short end of the stick in a situation. The question becomes not so much how we got there and instead what are we going to do about it? Is it a repeat of past habits or is it time to put some thought into applying a different strategy?
I don’t know a single person that hasn’t had the feeling of being overwhelmed either at work or home. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum where our lives are just plain boring from living day to day without any meaning. Who wants to live like that?
The good news is you are not alone. We all go through periods like this at some point and we can do something about it.
In Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she writes:
What are the consequences of thinking that your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait?
How we view ourselves determines everything in our lives. People with a fixed mindset believe things cannot change they use language like, “that’s just the way it is” or “that’s how it’s always been for me.” What’s interesting is because we hold this as a belief we will search for proof that it exists and guess what… we find it which perpetuates the belief even more. It keeps us safe and gives us a false sense of accomplishment.
With a growth mindset, the belief is that our basic qualities are things we can cultivate through our efforts. A growth mindset carries with it a deep yearning for learning. It’s about understanding your deficiencies and then overcome them rather than looking for approval of how great you are. It’s about stretching ourselves and “becoming” better than pretending to be better.
For every shift we have in a growth mindset, we improve other aspects of ourselves. Growth is rarely isolated, it creates a ripple effect throughout all parts of our lives.
“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
2020 was a challenging year for many of us. Our values, beliefs, expectations, and habits were laid bare for us to see. 2021, doesn’t need to be a repeat of last year especially when we realize that a fixed mindset showed up more often than we cared to admit.
Here are some tips to help shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset:
Embrace the suck
All of us suck at something. Maybe you’re just a lazy person so you suck at getting after it. The first step is admitting this to yourself. Then start to tackle the issue. Review your goals are they so big that they become demotivating? Chunk them down into daily action steps that you can easily accomplish. Then as you gain consistency with those, up the ante. See, you're already shifting into a growth mindset.
It’s not a challenge it’s an opportunity
This is all about how we view risk or our risk tolerance. Unless we’re planning on jumping out of an aeroplane without a parachute the risk we are about to encounter isn’t going to be life-threatening even though it may feel that way. Sure, there’s a chance we might fail but is it a failure or is it an opportunity to expand our knowledge about what works and doesn’t work? It’s a simple choice. Stay in our comfort zone or grow a little.
Get your priorities straight
Pay attention to your actions and ask yourself are you doing this to seek approval or so you can learn new things allowing yourself to grow? The less we worry about what others think about us the further we will go in our growth. Make it a goal to spend at least 10 minutes a day on self-education, where your focus is on mastering one new thing.
Focus on the process, not the end game
It is often said, that Jack Nicholas visualized every shot he took before he took it. What is less mentioned is the pre-work he did before getting to the pivotal moment of playing in the Masters. To get there, he focused on the process. How he approached the ball, his stance, his grip, alignment. All of these things he worked on in the practice range thousands of times setting up the framework for when the chips were down. Stay focused on the process, mastering each step along the way. You will get to your ultimate goal much faster.
Cultivate a sense of purpose
In the previous tip, I wrote about the process in this tip, the goal is long-term. The key here is to create a grand vision of your “why.” Ask yourself regularly what the purpose is of the work that you are doing. Are you doing it because you enjoy it, or is it part of a bigger goal? Always work with a purpose so you have the motivation to keep working.
To grow requires us to change our beliefs about what we are capable of. To move from the belief that we are stagnant with no ability to stretch ourselves. We make this shift from taking action, not giving a rats patootie of what others think or say about us and finally by staying motivated keeping our purpose top of mind.