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growth mindset

How to Develop a Growth Mindset for Success

 

Growth mindset - Have you heard this term before? Did you know that highly successful people have this in common?

 

What about you? Do you think that you have everything it takes to succeed? Potentially the answer is no. Here comes a very important question: Do you believe you can adapt and learn any new skill you need to succeed? If you answered this with a YES, congratulations, you have a growth mindset.

 

People with growth mindsets believe that their skills and abilities can be actively developed through personal efforts. Additionally, failure and challenges are seen as learning opportunities and essential to personal development. That is a powerful thing!

 

I used to think that being successful is all about talent, connections, and/or luck. And if I don't have these, I just cannot achieve success. A few years down the line I would contest my former self because I have experienced first-hand that a person's success doesn't happen by accident. It is rather created through a person's growth mindset that seeks continuous and deliberate development of skills and abilities.

 

A growth mindset is essential to success, in your career and life. And if you already have one you need to continue cultivating it. However, if you are not there yet, don't worry. It is something you can develop. To help you with this, I am sharing with you the essentials to develop and cultivate a growth mindset.

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Effective Habits to Develop a Growth Mindset for Successhow to develop a growth mindset

 

1. Don’t Fall for the Talent Trap

To many, success is limited and conditional. One of the conditions often mentioned is talent. You either have it or you don’t.

 

I don’t agree with that sentiment because often what is needed to succeed on a goal, personal or professional, is a set of skills and abilities. This can be acquired with time and practice. If you have a natural talent for these skills that surely makes things easier for you. That’s great but mastery is achieved through practice, and not being the most talented doesn’t hold you back from achieving great results in what you set out to do.

 

Let’s take me as an example here. I started this blog to help people achieve their career ambitions, especially if they don’t have access to mentoring yet. For this, I must write but writing this blog is not coming easily to me and getting my experience into useful and concise writing is hard. I accept that writing is a skill I must develop, and I am patient with myself thanks to having a growth mindset. I am now several blog posts and months into this endeavor and it is getting easier every time.

 

2. Accept Failure and Challenges as Unavoidable and Necessary

Think about Thomas Edison trying to invent the light bulb. It took him 10,000 failed attempts to come up with a working design. I am sure that he would have been happy with it working the first time around. Nonetheless, he learned from each failure and improved until he had figured it out.

 

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

 

Success often looks easy from the outside and like it happened overnight. That might be possible but will be the exception. Most people had to go down a long path before that which was not a straight line. On their way to success, people will have said ‘no’ to them, they didn’t get every job they wanted, they will have failed in a very important situation. However, a growth mindset will have allowed them to use these situations to tune their approach and learn about the ways that don’t work for them to achieve better results the next time around.

 

The same has been true for me. I have received harsh criticism in my career, and I had certain situations in which people threw proverbial stones in my way. I could have given up, instead, it lit a fire in me. Now I still receive criticism and not everything goes my way. I love this because I just learned about another way that won’t work.

 

3. Review Yourself by Practicing Self-Reflection

Self-reflection is the most powerful thing a growth mindset can give you!

 

Most people I meet are on the extremes of the spectrum of self-evaluation: either they overestimate or underestimate themselves and their abilities greatly. Neither of these are helpful. Overestimating yourself gives you confidence but makes you turn a blind eye on your development needs. Underestimating yourself makes you see weaknesses which are not their and demotivate yourself.

 

No one is perfect and no-one is useless! There is always a balance between strengths and weaknesses which is okay as long as you are aware of these. Awareness will give you the gift of self-development.

 

What helps me is to take stock of my strengths and weaknesses in regular intervals. At the same time, I review my short-, mid- and long-term goals. This will give me strong direction on what abilities and skills I will need to develop. Doing that also clarifies to myself that not every weakness is a problem, and every strength is an advantage. This all depends on what you are setting out to do.

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