Many believe that when they are born, they get delivered with a given set of thoughts and ideas. They believe that their intelligence level, skill set, and personality cannot be changed from what they are born with. These people are what we call a fixed mind-set kind of people.
On the flipside, those that believe that their minds are powerful enough to grow and change as they grow and change would be our growth mind-set kind of folk.
The former tends to always stick to what they know and feel comfortable with. The term “comfort zone” was a direct result of such people.
A good example would be the person that finds they really struggle to process math formulas. They keep telling themselves that their mind just isn’t built that way and therefore they will never be able to master math. They will avoid all activities and situations that involve having to use their brain in a math related manner. They will reach for the calculator and excel spreadsheet with built in formulas before they will try to figure it out themselves.
This isn’t the way. These types of people will eventually stagnate, never move forward and possibly always complain that they are bored with their lot in life and that nothing ever happens.
The sad state of affairs is that they don’t realise it is up to each individual to make those changes, to take the bull by the horns as it were, and grow from within.
Adopting a growth attitude towards all areas of life is both exhilarating and rewarding. It is not to say that we are not born with certain skills, ideas and particular personality traits, it is more that we are able to develop and grow said features from what they are.
How can we firstly identify which mind-set or attitude we naturally lean towards?
Taking the step to realise that you are one or the other when it comes to your mind-set is a truly a great step in the right direction.
You may not realise that you have a fixed mind-set. You may tell yourself that you just know who you are and you are happy with that person. But, if you find that you as a person or your business isn’t growing and exploring, then more than likely it is your fixed-mind-set that is holding both back.
We are all creatures of habit but sticking to a habit that is detrimental and debilitating isn’t a good habit to hold on to.
If you are the type to be the first to put up your hand when someone mentions a new endeavour or project, then you are more of a growth mind-set kind of guy … or gal.
If the idea of going to a new restaurant where you don’t know the menu or people sounds like a nightmare evening to you, you are more than likely a fixed mind-set person.
Breaking the barriers isn’t easy and you will need to take baby steps, which is also fine.
How to encourage a growth attitude in yourself and others?
As a leader of others and yourself, you need to be looking at ways to praise and place value on efforts to learn and develop self. Praising someone because you think they have a great level of intelligence or a certain skill set isn’t the way to get them to grow. Telling them they did amazingly after they tried, is far better.
Reasons why you should be taking on a growth attitude
Growing self and others can be both personally inspiring as well as inspiring to others. Seeing growth happen before your eyes can instil a sense of accomplishment and spur a person to do even more.
The sense of self pride can be overwhelming when you find you have stepped out of a comfort zone and decided to take on a new way or avenue. In addition, when you find that fulfilling space within yourself, you will again have others feel inspired to find that fulfilment themselves.
Taking bold steps will sometimes lead to failure, but it is in those moments of failure that one builds resilience. Never trying something new will mean you will never fail but in fact, there is failure in actually never trying something new. Those struggles make it real and in the getting up to try again, we learn about how to improve and appreciate others that have managed to achieve their goal.
How do we develop a growth attitude?
Engage with new people often
Exposing yourself to new people will bring on new ideas. Be prepared though, as you will need to have an open mind and allow their opinion to penetrate your set ideas.
Realise that failure is a given
It is not to say you must go into a new venture expecting to fail, but be aware that it is a possibility and that by failing, you must take what you can from the experience in order to better yourself. Getting up and trying again is one thing but working out where you went wrong the first or even second time is how you improve and get better.
Try a new something everyday
Our minds are marvellous and we are capable of so much more than we realise. Set yourself a goal to try something new, no matter how small, each and every day. It may be as simple as joining a new network or making a cold call or even replying to an email which you have been putting off forever.
Don’t justify everything you do
Finding a reason for doing something each time will not only exhaust you but make you find reasons not to do it. You don’t need to justify an action to yourself or to anyone else. Just do it because you want to.
Always have a dream and a hope
Vision boards are a great way to realise what your dreams and aspirations are. We all have them but not everyone puts it down on paper. Finding a visual image of a dream or hope, or even just writing it down, makes the dream more real and more tangible. Without a dream, we are merely just living from one day to the next and of course, not growing.
Enjoy the experience, rather than seeing it as a chore
It really is about the journey and not the destination, as cliché as that statement is. Sometimes you just have to try something, and not worry about whether or not you will be good at it. You may very well be awful but at least you will know, and at least you can improve on it. Not every new thing you try will be fun. Sometimes, it will be downright hard and “barf” material, but most times it is worth it in the end. Focus on the experience and not the end result.
There is something to be said for finding that balance and the only way to do that is to try new things. How will you know what activities work for you in your life if you don’t try them first? From your business to your personal life, you have to take the plunge and do that which makes your eyes roll, that which may make your skin crawl and even that which your mother told you not to do.
Jokes aside, the most interesting people I know are those that have lived a varied and exciting life. Their stories will leave you breathless and wanting more. If you are not sure on that new something, go listen to someone who has tried it or even better someone who is a pro at it. You will probably be pleasantly surprised to find out that when they started they weren’t sure and even were terrible at it.
Grab that bucket list and get writing. Put up that vision board up and get cutting and pasting. Pull out that list of friends you haven’t touched base with in years and make that call. Sign up for a course and learn something new.
Don’t wait for that “right moment”. It will never come. Just do it. (yes, we just used that famous saying) The boldest moves have been from people who have fallen far and then picked themselves up again, and again, and again.
Be that person. Be that growth-attitude individual who everyone wants to be around. Be exciting. Be daring. And, expose your mind to all the wonderful possibilities that are out there.
You won’t regret it!