I’ve been researching a growth mindset for kids lately. This is a bit proactive on my part as I believe my son will be facing many challenges in the next 6-9 months as we continue to navigate a pandemic environment. The more I read, the more I kept thinking “this stuff applies to me just as much as him!” Now, I’ve studied growth mindset before. Especially for professional purposes as I lead through major changes at work. Growth mindset has a significant impact in a transformational environment.
What my recent refresher on growth mindset really provided was the idea that growth mindset is a daily practice, and that my brain can grow and stretch even in the smallest ways.
What is Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is the belief that our basic abilities can be developed and improved through dedication and hard work. This powerful belief is what helps us take on challenges and new experiences so that we can improve ourselves and create a life we desire.
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. According to Carol Dweck, a psychologist who studies motivation and why people succeed, a fixed mindset makes you believe you are stuck in the “tyranny of now.” What you have now is all you get. Below is a great diagram that compares a growth mindset to a fixed mindset.
Where do you see yourself most of the time?
How to Develop a Growth Mindset
Lucky for us, a growth mindset can be fostered at any time in your life, and really should be throughout your entire life. Throughout the month of September, I’ll be sharing with you just how to do this. But let’s start with one of my all time favorites.
Yet. A word that lets you know anything is possible.
Add the word YET to the end of the sentences you say when you get frustrated.
I can’t do this…yet.
This doesn’t work…yet.
I don’t know…yet.
It doesn’t make sense…yet.
I don’t get it…yet.
I’m not good at this…yet.
The bridge to “yet” is founded in how we praise each other. A person with a growth mindset will praise effort, focus, continuous improvement, and progress. With this type of praise, we allow ourselves to embrace challenges and take risks, even when we know that it will take effort and we will experience difficulty along the way. Somewhere over time, the meaning of effort and difficulty came to equal “bad.” That is just not true! When you have to give a lot of effort and face difficulty or challenges, it means you are striving to grow!
Think of something you would really like to be able to do? What is the goal you want to reach for? Write down all the reasons you think you can’t achieve it.
Now, have the courage to add YET and go for it!
Here is an example for you using a real goal of mine from this past summer. When I thought about creating Talent Uplifted and launching a virtual presence, I decided I really wanted a website. I had never built a website before and was a bit intimidated. Here are all the reasons, straight from my pro/con list regarding “should I start my own business.” Look how powerful they become when I add YET to the end of them.
I have never created a website…YET
I don’t know how to create a website…YET
I don’t know what platform is best for a blog…YET
I’m not good at creative design…YET
I don’t have enough time to focus on it…YET
It turned out none of these were a real barrier. I gave myself permission to be new at something, and new that something was better than nothing. I learned to create a website. I asked others who blog what platform they liked best. I created designs, and recreated designs, and recreated designs, and even outsourced my logo work to someone more experienced. I figured out how to make time and was patient with starting slow. I knew I would grow into this business and learn as I go. You can too!
Start by using the power of YET to help change your perspective.
More Bonus Resources – I started this entire post talking about my son. If you have kids in your life, here are a few cool resources for you. Big Life Journal has a sweet set of pre-packaged resources, a journal, and fantastic weekly newsletter for you. They also have a private Facebook group you can join called “Raising Kids with a Growth Mindset.” Consider sharing the motivational music of CJ Lucky. Here is one of his songs called “The Power of Yet.”
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These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.
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