“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
Do you believe that you have the ability to grow and change beyond your current capabilities? Do you believe that others have the same ability? Do you think that we can really change in significant ways? These are important questions to consider because they speak to our mindset, which in turn can greatly influence our behavior and success.
Fixed vs. Growth Mindset Explained
Of all the different mindsets, the growth mindset is probably the most well-known. It has been characterized by TED talks and a great book by Carol Dweck, as well as corresponding research. The two sides of this are having a fixed versus a growth mindset. Someone who has a fixed mindset is someone who believes that their traits and their skills are pretty fixed. They believe that they have an innate talent but that alone is what fosters success. They see that in other people and that’s kind of what they assume. They believe that they are unable to significantly change, grow, or develop.
Kind of sad, right?
Personally, I can relate to this. I have always struggled with art, so I actively avoided opportunities to perform art or draw. I thought I was no good at it, so why bother trying to get better? However, this mindset meant that I didn’t put any time into trying to improve, and as a result, I didn’t get better. I regret that now, but at the time, it was a very fixed trait, and I felt like I was held down by a boulder or rock, limiting my progress and opportunities.
The other side is the growth mindset. This is the belief that talent and skills can grow over time. This mindset allows for growth and development, instead of just being stagnant. It leads to a focus on opportunities for learning and more effort, as well as a willingness to learn from mistakes. Even when we don’t do well at something, we can try to learn from that experience.
Having a growth mindset doesn’t mean that we aren’t leaning into our strengths, but it means that we recognize that there’s always room to learn and grow. It also allows us to give better feedback to other people because we believe that they can change too. Our mindset influences so many of the behaviors we make in our lives.
Cultivating a Growth Mindset
If you want to improve your growth mindset, I invite you to find some sort of challenge and ask yourself, “what can I learn from this?” Even if you don’t reach your intended goal, you can still learn something valuable.
Another great strategy is to use the power of the word “yet”. For example, if you struggle with art like I do, instead of saying “I’m not good at art”, you can say “I’m not good at art… yet”. This small change can open up your mind to the possibility of improvement.
Journaling can also be a helpful tool in developing a growth mindset. You can think back to times when you failed and ask yourself, “how are you better now because of that experience?” It’s important to reframe failure as a learning opportunity rather than a fixed mindset that prevents success. We all have both fixed and growth mindsets at different times and in different situations in our lives. By recognizing this and striving to develop a growth mindset, we can change how we operate in the world and grow significantly faster in all areas of our lives.
In conclusion, having a growth mindset is a powerful tool that can greatly impact our lives. By believing in the possibility of growth and development, we can approach challenges with a positive mindset, learn from our mistakes, and ultimately achieve greater success. It’s never too late to develop a growth mindset, so start today and see the difference it can make in your life.
Watch more in the video below:
Accelerate Your Career
If you’re ready to accelerate your career and leadership further and want some help doing it, here are a few ways I can help when you’re ready:
- Watch a FREE Engineering Career Masterclass – the 4 Keys to Intentional Engineering Career Transitions
- Enroll in the Engineering Career Accelerator – the exact system that hundreds of engineers have used to go from confused to thriving in their careers.
- Schedule a free call with me to talk about getting personalized 1:1 and group support on your goals.