When it comes to achieving your goals, the way you think can be your biggest asset or your worst quality.
Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship, your health, career or net worth, approaching life’s challenges with clarity of purpose can have a huge impact on both your self-esteem and your definition of success. In my practice as a fitness and wellness coach, I’ve seen clients achieve tremendous results by adopting something called growth mindset.
So what is growth mindset and how do you know if you have it?
Start by asking yourself: Do I value process or outcome?
For example, perhaps one of your life goals is to own a house. The outcome is living in a beautiful house. The process to get there is saving up for that house until you can afford it. This is your plan, but maybe renting a house is more economical for you and your family due to rising housing prices. You evaluate your situation:
- Your house savings are actually ahead of your goals due to robust returns on your investments
- Renting has freed up more cash flow than expected
- You absolutely love the neighbourhood you are renting in.
Despite all these positives, being a renter isn’t what you envisioned and even though things are fine , even better than fine, you still feel frustrated and anxious about the fact that you don’t own a home. This external, outcome focused thought process is defined as a fixed mindset. The outcome has more value to you than the process.
In contrast, someone with a growth mindset embraces the process, their satisfaction and fulfillment comes from the fact that they are following their plan and sticking to the process. They understand the process may not result in the outcome they had hoped for but that doesn’t matter, as you can always change the process and/or the goal. For example, you can change where you want to buy a house, it could be a different area, different city, a different size of home or even purchasing a cottage outside the city and renting in the city. Same process but different outcome goals. Remember, you can always change the process or the goal. If the process gives you satisfaction you might be someone with a growth mindset, someone who values the process over the outcome. Remember outcomes can change but committing to processes can build permanent habits.
So how do you shift from a fixed to a growth mindset? Through effort and deliberate practice . Deliberate practice comes from getting feedback and practicing that feedback until it becomes a habit. Developing a growth mindset is in itself a process. It is normal to resist feedback because many of us associate feedback with being judged. Committing to the process of deliberate practice is committing to the process of seeking feedback and understanding that feedback is an opportunity for you to get better and not a personal judgement. When receiving feedback, remember you are not a bad person, just someone who is has an opportunity to get better at …. If you can become someone who seeks feedback, practices the feedback and gets better then you will become someone who has a growth mindset. No secrets to doing this, just self-awareness, emotional control and a commitment to the process.
Will your growth mindset journey succeed right away. Probably NOT but developing a growth mindset comes through process, focused effort, and learning to FAIL. No human has ever achieved their biggest goals without falling down along the way. Failure is your First Attempt In Learning. If your plan isn’t working, you have the power to change it by putting the pieces into place. Shifting to a growth mindset is not easy, accepting feedback about your areas of weakness is not easy, attempting things that you know you are most likely going to fail at is not easy but the personal growth is not easy. It is a process and having a growth mindset will create learning opportunities, personal fulfillment and prosperity. At the end of your life, instead of saying ‘I wish I had’ you’ll be saying, ‘I’m glad I did’.