How to Develop a Growth Mindset
Do you want to learn how to develop a growth mindset?
What kind of mindset do you have? Are you always looking ahead and trying to become a better version of yourself? Then you probably have a growth mindset.
Yet, if you feel you are behind and can’t seem to accomplish your goals, you may need to learn how to develop a growth mindset to grow and get ahead.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is a mindset of moving forward. Instead of saying you “can’t” do something, you can rephrase and say “I can’t do this yet.” In this linguistic programming, you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow.
Often we do not realize how important the word “yet” actually is. In using the word “yet” you are allowing yourself to continue learning, instead of giving up.
Can You Reach Your Full Potential?
People that do not have a growth mindset, often feel they were programmed with their abilities and that using what they have IS reaching their full potential. Yet, this belief is limiting and can be changed, if the said person recognizes and wants to grow.
A growth mindset can be learned and is now commonly taught in schools.
Learning how to push through and keep going and never giving up are all part of a growth mindset.
Does a Growth Mindset Really Help Us Succeed?
A growth mindset can help you become successful. If you learn that failing is okay, you can learn to be successful.
Yet, many see failure as “the end” of whatever they are working on. However, if you tend to look at things as being “the end” and not the beginning, you are missing out.
The key is to learn from our failures and use that as fuel to thrive. Perhaps the first project you set out to accomplish didn’t work out, but can you take that knowledge and learn from it to start something else.
How to Develop a Growth Mindset: 5 Tips
Although you may have discovered you do not currently have a growth mindset “yet”, it can be learned.
Your brain is like a muscle and if you start forming small habits today, you can change the way you think over time.
It is possible to do away with negative thinking, and be a “glass half full” kind of person.
Use the tips below you help you on your path.
#1 Change Your Language
There is an entire field of science and the brain, that teaches neuro-linguistic programming. In programming or retraining your brain, be aware of the language you use.
Are you hard on yourself?
Do you feel defeated if things do not go your way?
What is the “inner-voice” saying? If you are constantly thinking negatively about yourself, growth can be difficult.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
Yet, you can learn to give yourself grace and leave room for growth.
Moreover, learn how to treat yourself and talk to yourself, like you would talk to a dear, loved one.
This will not happen overnight, especially if you’re used to this type of thinking, but you can start by finding some positive affirmations that support a growth mindset.
Here are a few you can tape to your mirror so you can start and end your day with a growth mindset:
Growth Mindset Affirmations
- I am a _______ (fill in your goal i.e. I am a writer.)
- I can be all I am meant to be.
- I thrive on loving myself and growing.
- I will grow to my full potential.
- I will keep on going when times are tough.
- I was born to do this.
- I will not give up.
- This is my calling.
Say these positive affirmations to yourself daily. You will see after time, that it is easier to be positive and push yourself to keep growing and learning.
#2 Change Your Attitude
Are you more of a negative or a positive person?
Remember, we become our thoughts. If you are often looking at life in a pessimistic way, you will have a difficult time growing.
So it is time to let go of the “whoa is me” attitude and remember, life is happening “for” you and not “to” you.
It is best to develop a positive attitude in life. If you are focusing on the sunshine, instead of the rain you will be more apt to achieve your goals and grow as a person.
A pessimistic person will often feel victimized. This negative energy can and will radiate to people around you. If you are a parent, your kids will pick up on this and learn to also be a victim of circumstance often believing that the cards are stacked against them.
However, this negative view can also be changed.
You CAN change a negative mindset
My Dad used to tell me, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” It has already happened. There is nothing you can do about it. The past is in the past and we need to keep pushing forward to grow.
However, a negative attitude can be changed. It will be hard, but changing your negative thoughts to positive thoughts will literally change your life. The only problem is, your brain may be hardwired as an adult to think negatively, depending on how you were raised and the hand life has dealt you.
Yet, the best time to plant a tree was yesterday, and the second-best time to plant a tree is right now.
Surround yourself with positive people, self-help books, and positive affirmations.
Start your day with positive thoughts and end your day with positive thoughts.
Oftentimes, in anger management classes, the recipient is asked to set a timer on his or her phone and stay five to six things they are grateful for. This method can also be used by anyone trying to make a positive change and grow.
Live each day with a grateful heart. With each step, remind yourself of something you are grateful for.
Are you breathing? Are you walking? Are you living? Then you have reason to give thanks.
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#3 Change Your habits
As discussed above, the brain is like a muscle. The more you do something the more neuropathways are formed and eventually, your new growth mindset will become a habit.
I’ve spent a lot of time studying the human brain over my years of teaching (I was a special education middle school teacher for ten years, and an elementary resource room teacher for three.) During my studies, the most interesting point of the human brain for me was/is neuroplasticity.
Although be it a “big word” all it really means is that you have the ability to change your brain. Hence why we should keep this in mind when thinking about a growth mindset.
How are habits formed?
A habit is essentially a feedback loop in the brain. Your brain wants to make life as easy as possible for you. It craves the familiar and wants to set things on autopilot.
That is why forming a new habit can be difficult. If you have already formed habits that lead you to feel negative and afraid, your brain is going to give you some pushback when you try to change.
That is why I recommend keeping a habit tracker. You can use paper or check out my habit tracker in the printable shop.
You can also use an app to help you. Set a goal to work on something you are dreaming about and use a habit tracker to stick with it.
Form new habits
Do you need to exercise more? Do you want to be more grateful? Can you try meditation for calmness?
I am personally working on two habits currently. I aim to write at least 500 words per day and run for at least ten minutes. I am using my habit tracker to make sure I complete these two goals.
As these become habits for me, I will add new goals.
Start small, but start. Find a small habit you can work on and use it to grow. Progress will help you change and little by little, you will be the best version of yourself.
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#4 Change Your Goals
Do you set goals for yourself? I feel we should all be working on at least a few goals at any given point in time. Here are some goals ideas to get you started:
The key to goal setting is to set short-term and long-term goals and check progress often.
To set a goal, one must first look at where they want life to go. “Often people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in a decade.” (credit Tony Robbins via brainy quotes).
So set a monthly goal, but also look at what you want your life to look like a year from now. And also look at where you want to be in five years and ten years.
In fact, write the story of your perfect life. Where would you be? How would your relationships be? How much money would you be making?
Once you have jotted down your perfect life, take some steps to start you on your path to growth. It doesn’t have to be huge, but your small habits are what will eventually change your life.
Perhaps you want to work on finances. Can you set a goal to save $100 each month to set up a small emergency fund? Once you have met this goal, perhaps you can set aside money to start investing.
Or maybe you want to exercise and get healthy. Can you set a goal to walk, if even for just five minutes twice per day? Starting small will give you the kickstart you need.
Use a Growth Mindset to set goals
Use your growth mindset to keep going. After a few weeks, increase your time to seven minutes, then ten. You will be amazed at how these small changes will eventually add up to a HUGE change. In two months you could be walking 30 minutes at a time and feeling stronger than ever.
All I’m asking is to give goal setting a try. See how it works for you and adjust as needed.
A growth mindset is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach, so you need to do what works for you, but setting goals for yourself will set you up on the right path.
#5 Change Your Life
The above recommendations of changing your language, attitude, habits, and goals WILL change your life. If you could look at your life a year from now, where would you be? Take the time to take care of yourself and use the small changes to eventually make BIG changes.
My son wants to learn computer coding. Yet, coding is like learning a new language and in the beginning, he is getting frustrated. I told him to learn just one new thing per day. Although this seems insignificant and small, if he follows this path at the end of the month, he will know 30 new things and in two months 60 new things. You get the point. The small things add up.
These small changes will equal BIG changes in the long run. And setting your mind in the right space by using a growth mindset will keep you growing, making progress, and staying motivated.
You’ve got this. This stuff is “life-changing.”
How to Have a Growth Mindset Final Thoughts…
Having a growth mindset is a great attribute in life. If you feel like you are always being pulled to negative thoughts, you can change this by using the tip listed above. Learn how to change the following:
By having a growth mindset, you will see progress. By making progress you will keep going. And by changing small things, you will eventually change big things.
Keep going! You’ve got this.
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