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How to Develop a Growth Mindset

What is a Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset means that you thrive on challenge, and don’t see failure as a way to describe yourself but as a springboard for growth and developing your abilities. Your intelligence and talents are all susceptible to growth.

How Will a Growth Mindset Help You Succeed?

Individuals that come into their life with the attitude of “I’m not good at this,” rarely find success. The people who accomplish the most display determination and discipline, not just natural talent.

Individuals and companies that foster a growth mindset are able to tackle complications, overcome obstacles, and work harder to find success. They don’t give up easily, and understand that setbacks don’t indicate that they are not good enough.

How Do I Implement a Growth Mindset?

1. Listen to the mindset voice inside of you.

Internal dialogue like “What if you fail?” or “If you don’t try, nobody will see you fail,” means you have a fixed mindset voice inside. It’s important to listen to your internal mindset voice so you can truly discover what type of mindset you have. This is the first step to successfully changing your mindset.

2. Recognize that you have a choice.

You understand the mindset voice inside of you is telling you not to try, to protect yourself from failure. Now, the choice is up to you. Will you listen to the voice?

3. Talk back with a growth mindset voice.

Instead of falling for the fixed mindset voice, talk back to your internal dialogue with a new mindset. Say things like, “I’m not sure I can do it, but it will be worth it to try.” or “If I don’t try at all, it is a failure. There’s no dignity in that.” This new voice will help you drown out the fixed mindset voice that is crowding your thoughts and ambition.

4. Practice.

Put yourself in situations that are challenging to help you practice your new voice. School is a great place for you to start to practice a mindset of growth. With new challenges around every corner, there’s many opportunities to thrive from setbacks and trials.

5. Find outside help.

Cultivating a growth mindset isn’t something that can be done alone. You’ll need outside help to offer encouragement and advice. WGU has Program Mentors and faculty that will be with you when you face challenges, to help you navigate them and keep positive talk coming your way. As you listen to others with a positive mindset about your situations, you’ll start to say those things to yourself as well.

6. Stop seeking approval of others.

While you need outside help, you also need to stop worrying about the approval of others. Comparing yourself to others, focusing on how you look to others, and hiding failures are all hindering you from developing a growth mindset, and finding success. Keep focusing on yourself and how you can grow, and stop worrying if others are looking at your progress. Chances are, nobody is.

7. Replace the word “failing” with “learning.”

As you come to recognize that failing is just a new way of learning, you’ll stop being so afraid of it. By embracing failure as an opportunity to continue learning and growing, you’ll be on your way to understanding what a growth mindset is really all about.

8. Take action.

You need to follow through on the actions your new mindset voice tells you to take on. Sometimes, you may not succeed. But that’s ok. As you practice talking to yourself with a growth mindset, and follow through on the actions, you’ll cultivate the mindset of growth that you desire over time.

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