What’s all this buzz about the benefits of having a growth mindset? Well first it’s important to understand how your mindset has a critical influence on your overall wellbeing. So let’s start there. If you’re impatient and want to get right to the action, scroll down to learn five growth mindset exercises that will change your life.
Having a Growth Mindset is an Inside Job
Own Your Best’s mission is to inspire you to take ownership of what it truly means to try, do and be your best. If this journey means taking it one thin layer at a time, then so be it. No one is going to do the work for you for this very reason – no one else can. But what you can do is lean on us. Acquire our strategies. Implement these growth mindset exercises and make them your own. While we work together to reset your mindset, know that, at the same time, your will be freeing yourself from self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs. You will be releasing your mind from all of the negativity that has been cluttering up your precious space. You will be making room to grow. So let’s stick together and do this!
Intrusive, negative thoughts steal from us like thieves. They rob us of fully appreciating what is and striving towards what can be. They take us away from being present to the things that matter and prevent us from thriving. In other words, negative thinking and insecurities can make us complacent and stagnant. If you want to drive your life in a forward moving and positive direction, and tackle obstacles head on, it’s really important to develop a growth mindset.
While we list and talk about five of the best grow mindset exercises a little further down this article, the first step in making any positive change is to focus on the only thing that is real – the now. For it is the now where you are safe to build that foundation and openness for growth.
You see by staying present, you are not weighed down by past experiences. We can avoid reverting to old or unproductive behavior. Even if your past is full of success and great memories, we can still tend to hold on to things too much and consequently stunt our own growth.
It’s always about a growth mindset. It’s the fact that you know that you can do better. Even at our age, even with our accolades, even with what we’ve done in our careers, we still feel like we can improve.Professional athlete / NBA superstar – LeBron James, New York Post
Don’t be hard on yourself if you lose touch with the present. You have thoughts that are knocking on your mind’s door begging to come in… worries, bills, job, a friend, a foe, an argument, an excursion you’ve been anticipating. When you are in touch with your state of mind enough to have realized your mind had wandered, it means you are experiencing mindfulness. And there you are back in the present – good job! So again, be gentle enough with yourself that you can allow for this mindfulness experience – as long as it strengthens your ability to be in the present.
Carol Dweck, renowned Stanford University professor and researcher with groundbreaking work on developing mindsets, explains that there are two types of mindsets – a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Often times a person with a fixed mindset struggles and avoids problems due to fear of failure. Those with a growth mindset are more likely to see problems as interesting challenges and ways to learn. Check out the cool whiteboard video to help further understand the differences between a fixed and growth mindset.
Growth Mindset Exercises
1| Fixed mindset mode awareness
Negative self-talk and a self-limiting belief system plays a monumental role on preventing us from being happy and successful. Having an awareness of your fears and any negative inner dialogue conversing in your mind is the only way to confront self-doubt and move beyond it. When you allow yourself to become complacent and avoid challenges, you have failed before even trying.
Learn more about how to stop being complacent and start moving in a positive direction.
2| Adjust your vocabulary
So Dweck’s findings also say that there is an especially empowering way someone with a growth mindset eventually succeeds: instilling the words “yet” or “not yet” in to your vocabulary.
Just these words will make a world of difference in your potential for success and happiness. For example, after experiencing a setback, having been told that you have not yet achieved your goal “creates greater confidence and persistence,” says Carol Dweck. Even scientifically speaking, by pushing out of your comfort zone to learn something new or challenging, and to stick with it, is how your brain’s neurons actually form new stronger connections. Over time this persistence helps you learn more and become smarter.
There are other empowering words you can add to your vocabulary in order to transform the meaning of difficulty and challenge to a more forward moving mentality. Click here for more on that!
3| Practice resiliency
So just because you find yourself developing in to the awesomeness of a growth mindset, don’t rest on your laurels! I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer, but you will have some setbacks here and there. Are you prepared for them? After all you’re only human.
Just be mentally prepared to be tempted by the dreaded fixed mindset. When any self-limiting thoughts creep in, be patient and self-forgiving. Being aware of intrusive self-talk doesn’t mean you are going backward and unlearning what you know! You’re getting better at this, so just remind yourself to redirect and focus on the process and progress.
4| Celebrate progress
Okay so we don’t mean that everyone deserves a medal for participation. This isn’t necessarily about achieving success as an end result. It’s just as much about the journey, if not more. Since success is subjective for the most part, and it often changes it’s definition throughout life, we continually change too. What shouldn’t change is our determination and how we exercise a positive, growth mindset.
Progress is often about failure and falling down … and getting back up. Effort is just as much a part of the achievement as the achievement itself. Don’t feel threatened by the possibility of failure, feeling embarrassed or taking a risk. Take it step by step, recognizing each one along the way. While we talk about celebrating our efforts, this doesn’t mean we reward them. So let’s move on to our fifth exercise for maintaining a growth mindset.
5| Recognize that you are in control
Maintaining a belief system that progress, happiness, success, or whatever it is you are striving towards, will come your way is a choice. How you navigate through challenges along the way is up to you. You can interpret criticism and set-backs in either a positive or negative way. Use failure or any challenges as a reason to reevaluate your approach to a situation.
Don’t limit yourself by fear and doubt. Ask yourself what is this situation telling me? Do I need to work longer, harder, seek help or change my strategy? Maintaining the upper hand in creating any adversity as a learning moment is the key to keeping yourself in control.
Growth Mindset Exercises Recap
So there you have it! Do you best to implement these 5 growth mindset exercises as much as possible. Repetition is key! The more you practice, the more normal and natural growth mindset exercises will become.
5 Growth Mindset Exercises
- Fixed mindset mode awareness
Awareness of fears and negative inner dialogue is the only way to confront self-doubt and move forward.
- Adjust your vocabulary
Science proves that positive language such as, “I have not yet achieved my goal” creates greater confidence and persistence.
- Practice resiliency
When self-limiting thoughts creep in, be patient, self-compassionate and then get back to business.
- Celebrate progress
Determination and how we exercise a positive, growth mindset is critical.
- Recognize that you are in control
How you navigate through challenges or setbacks is up to you.
Eventually you will no even recognize them as growth mindset exercises. They will simply be a part of you. A wonderful, continually growing, forward moving, you!
Putting Growth Mindset Exercise into Daily Practice
Finally exercising a growth mindset is not only about keeping a positive attitude. It’s the PRACTICE and EXERCISE over time. Treat your mistakes as learning opportunities. Focus on YET or NOT YET language as you face challenges and look to the future: I may not be able to do this “yet” but I can put in the time and work to get better. Create those new neuro pathways in your brain and continually build upon your skills, talent and knowledge. Each of us sees the world based from our individual perceptions and experiences. So each of us will move forward at a different pace.
Just remember that through hard work, resilience, productive strategies, as well as an openness to the input of others around you, are what will help you grow both professionally and personally. Surround yourself with positive influences and be a positive, productive influence to others as well. Through mindful practice and growth mindset exercises, you will find yourself fully equipped to face life’s obstacles and a positive and empowered way!