How to Embrace a Growth Mindset

growth mindset senior-man on a surfboard

If you are to improve your life you may need to adopt a growth mindset. To push past your self-imposed blocks and kick start your future.

Everyone has off days. Even the most effervescent personality runs out of fizz. Sometimes that feeling of flatness, like yesterday’s champagne, tastes bad.

You can pull yourself up from this and reinject some sparkle in your life. And if you know how, it does not have to be hard.

You have dreams and ambitions. Yet, sometimes there will be times when you feel as if you are bobbing along in your little boat. Struggling with life’s latest storm. Bailing water with a chipped mug. The shiny yacht of happiness and your dreams, fast disappearing towards the horizon.

You feel disillusioned. Even foolish to have thought you could succeed. But you’re not happy. And you want to get your bounce back. No matter how flat you feel now.

So how can you get yourself back on track?

How Fixed is Your Mindset?

First, you must take responsibility for the way you view the world. The perspective you have on life. Your mindset.

You may believe that you have an open attitude. But you may surprise yourself with how you limit your options.

You have a set of self-beliefs that you have gained over the years. Some of these you will have developed from personal experience. Other viewpoints you will have inherited from your role models, mentors, and peers.

Some of these beliefs are so ingrained into your life you may laugh at those that question them.

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees
  • Life is not fair
  • The love of money is the root of all evil

And some of these will be holding you back from where you want to go.

These insidious beliefs are powerful as they allow you to accept the status quo. To give up. You may push money away as you believe it is dirty or you are greedy to want more.

Perhaps you see yourself as lacking in education and so are not able to learn new skills.

Maybe you think age is a barrier to doing many things.

You will find ways to prove these self-beliefs repeatedly. You will see the greed in someone with more than you. Or the ill-health in older people that prevents them being active. You subconsciously search out confirmation of your belief systems.

Other people in your life may also reinforce these ideas. This could be due to their habits, behaviours, or attitudes. Or they may dismiss your dreams or your abilities.

And then there are the words that ring those self-limiting-belief bells. ‘I can’t’ or ‘Yes, but’… Powerful words that give you permission to hold back. To make excuses. To confirm your mindset and keep you in the same place. Sneaky thoughts that wrap a warm blanket around us, often masquerading as a valid reason.

So, are you happy with your current situation?

If not and you want to change your life it is time to open yourself to possibility.

Push Yourself into a Growth Mindset

Once you become aware of your self-beliefs you need to question them.

Think about what you believe and ask yourself why you believe this is true. Search out contradictory evidence to those beliefs that are limiting you. If you have people around you holding you back or belittling you think about if you still want them in your life.

You may also have well-meaning friends giving you advice that holds you back too. Remember this is your life, not theirs. It is fine to listen, but you do not have to accept their views as truth.

Also, look at your own habits and behaviours. How many of them reinforce your perspective on life? If you believe you can’t get up in the morning is that a real biological fact or down to poor sleep habits?

To shift into a growth mindset to change your life may need you to make some other smaller life changes first.

When You’ve got Lemons…Make Lemonade

So, you have problems? And you have some genuine limitations. Doesn’t everyone?

Re-question yourself to check to see how many are real. If you still cannot remove them think about how many you can repackage and label as challenges. A problem is a challenge wearing a different coat. Or even a magic cloak of hidden opportunity.

Shift your view of your personal limitations too. What you see as a hindrance about yourself may be an asset. You may be shy and quiet but this reservation allows you to bring a sense of calm to a team. And age, for example, often brings experience and hopefully, patience and wisdom.

Some limitations are circumstantial. Down to your environment. Issues with time and money, other people’s demands on you. But even these you can choose to re-evaluate.

If you approach each restriction with an open mind you can look for creative solutions.

Where time is a problem do you need to improve your time management? Can someone else help you? Before you assume no-one will, question where that belief came from. Have you reached out to others and asked them?

If money is a constraint, how can you achieve your aims with a smaller budget? Or can you work on your project in phases?

Whatever you see as an obstacle, real, or imaginary, you choose whether it will hold you back.

And if you feel that negativity creeping back in watch out for the limiting self-talk or excuses to quit. You take control and fire up a growth mindset to get you where you want to be.

You may not have your yacht yet. But today, be grateful for your boat and your chipped mug.

You could be floundering in the water with nothing at all.

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