25 Aug Developing a Growth Mindset
Happiness leads to success in every area of your life—work, health, relationships, creativity, and energy.
This isn’t just something I know.
Positive psychology researchers did a meta-analysis (a study of other research) of more than 200 studies of 275,000 people worldwide with amazing results.1
- Happy people tend to be more helpful, creative, prosocial, charitable, altruistic, and healthier.
- Happy people live longer.
- Happy people are more likely to marry and tend to stay married longer.
- Happy people have more close friends and casual friends, and they earn more money.
Happiness and life satisfaction are available to the young and the old, women and men, blacks and whites, the rich and the working-class. This means you can have happiness and life satisfaction and all of the benefits that happy people experience.
But what does happiness have to do with developing a Growth Mindset?
Well, our thoughts have the potential to become our realities. I’ve seen this over and over in my lifetime. What you believe about yourself impacts your success or failure.
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck tells us that our beliefs play a pivotal role in what we want and whether we will succeed. According to Dweck, our mindset plays a significant role in determining achievement and success.2
It’s All About The Mindset.
The word mindset encompasses how we view ourselves and the world around us, especially intelligence and talent.
There are two primary types of mindset I want to tell you about. The first is a fixed mindset. Those with a fixed mindset believe intelligence, talent, and other abilities are inborn, fixed, and unchangeable.
The second is a growth mindset. Those who have a growth mindset believe abilities can be developed and strengthened. If you’ve listened to my sermons and teachings, you know I am a firm believer in the growth mindset.
Yes, some people seemingly have inborn abilities, and Scripture even tells us that God grants some abilities to certain believers to help them accomplish the tasks He puts before them.
But Scripture also tells us that we all have the ability to GROW. Jesus spent His entire ministry helping those around Him develop and strengthen the abilities and qualities they would need to grow His church.
Those who have fixed mindsets were often taught that to succeed. They needed to look smart instead of putting in the effort to learn and grow their intelligence.
They are more concerned with how others are judging their appearance. Those with a fixed mindset fear they may not live up to the expectations of those around them.
Sound familiar? I see this every day on social media. So much of our culture now centers around the expectation of perfection.
We are taught that we need to LOOK a certain way, and few people put in the work actually to become the person they are pretending to be.
Look at the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Those with a growth mindset were taught to explore. They learned to embrace experiences and enjoy challenges.
Instead of seeing a mistake as the end of the line, they were taught mistakes are learning experiences and a chance to improve.
Those with a growth mindset learned to try new things and make mistakes to learn and reach their true potential.
That is the key. A GROWTH MINDSET helps you live up to your potential!
Developing a Growth Mindset
Your mindset directly impacts your life. Developing a growth mindset helps you achieve more, and it gives you the focus you need to work harder to achieve your goals, become more resilient, and persevere when you face difficulties.
A Growth Mindset makes it possible for us to change our lives and achieve our goals. So how do we develop a strong growth mindset?
The first step is to rationalize.
Understand that it’s normal to mess up and make mistakes. REFRAME errors as a part of life, something you can learn from.
What error have you recently made or witnessed? How can you reframe that moment to make it easier to accept and learn from?
Next, develop a sense of optimism.
Use that optimism to put a spin on apparent failure.
Instead of saying, “Well, that’s that. I’m never going to be a good artist.” Instead, tell yourself, “I didn’t get the concept down the first try, but I’ll do better next time!”
Think of a moment when you felt like a failure. How can you put an optimistic spin on that moment?
Understand and embrace the value of practice.
Progress comes from trying to improve.
Focus on the learning process and your incremental improvements instead of how far you have to go.
What goal can you apply the principle of incremental improvements to?
A role model can be valuable in changing your mindset. If you have a mentor or coach, look at how they deal with mistakes and growth.
Who do you know who can serve as a role model you can learn from? Think of something they’ve done that inspires you to want to change.
Realize that change can be difficult. There are no easy or quick solutions. Instead, build enthusiasm and embrace the challenge.
How can you embrace the challenges you will face as you pursue your goals?
Try to deal with reasonable challenges yourself. Don’t hide from them or pay someone else to deal with them. If it is not beyond your capability, you will learn and develop new abilities!
What challenges are you facing right now that you can try to deal with on your own before you bring in “expert” help?
Reframing your thoughts also helps you develop a growth mindset. Reframing often starts with changing the way we think and the questions we ask ourselves.
You can change your perspective on experiencing events, ideas, concepts, or emotions to find the most valuable, positive alternative to move ahead, adapting, and implementing solutions for achieving goals.
Choosing to see a different perspective is essential to problem-solving, decision-making, and new learning.
Remember this affirmation: As I turn my thinking around, I break free in a new direction toward the solution.
When we shift our thinking or perspective on something, we refer to that new point of view as a “frame.”
Different frames represent varying possibilities for perceiving the same thing in different ways.
When we use frames, they help us interpret the world around us and represent that world to others. Understanding reframing can also give us insight into understanding self-fulfilling prophecies.
Our beliefs unconsciously direct us in our moment-by-moment choices and actions. However, what we believe actually drives our viewpoint and our mindset in every situation.
Self-fulfilling prophecies have been called the “Pygmalion effect,” a term derived from a play that later became the Broadway musical My Fair Lady.
Professor Henry Higgins won a bet to prove his opinion that nurture was more powerful than nature in the story.
To make his case, he located a crude, unrefined young woman named Eliza Doolittle. With his coaching, she transformed from a street urchin to a charming, enchanting beauty.
The fictional story presents how our self-perception, or who we think we are, is a prime basis for how we will experience life.
We behave according to who we believe we should be.
Not only does what we believe about ourselves impact our destiny, what we believe about others affects their behavior, even without their knowledge.
Meaning is found inside reframing, no matter how bad the circumstances might be.
Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker and Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.
She was imprisoned for her actions in a Nazi women’s labor camp along with her sister Betsie. Corrie wrote years later of her conversation with God regarding the condition of their barracks.
The circumstances for the inmates were unimaginable everywhere in the labor camp. Still, Corrie had come to discover that her barracks were the most uninhabitable due to an infestation of fleas.
According to Corrie, she complained to God about fleas when she suddenly realized they kept the correctional officers from entering their barracks.
Because of the fleas, she and Betsie were allowed to lead worship services after the hard days at work, using a Bible they had managed to smuggle in.
The very thing she despised was the thing protecting her ministry.
By reframing problems, you can get closer to the new ideas, solutions, strategies, and resources you need for a breakthrough in your growth.
To reframe your thinking is to create a new, positive pathway forward to success intentionally. Reframing is an essential attribute if you want to maximize your leadership.
Reframing lets you change your perspective on how you choose to experience relationships, events, ideas, concepts, or emotions to find a more positive alternative for your purpose of moving ahead, adapting, and implementing solutions.
Your choice to see a different perspective is essential to problem-solving, decision-making, and new learning. It also helps you improve your mental health!
Want to develop your Growth Mindset? Download my free resource packet!
- Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life. New York: Currency (2018).
- Carol Dweck, Mindset – Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential. 2017