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5 New Habits to Help You Cultivate a Growth Mindset

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As we raise children, we often teach them that grit, perseverance, and resilience lead to mastery and success. They do. But what are we teaching them about their intelligence and capacity to learn?  When children believe that they have been born with predetermined skills and abilities or with a fixed intelligence that they cannot change, they are more likely to avoid challenging subjects and create artificial limits on themselves that will impact them into adulthood.

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success psychologist & researcher Dr. Carol S. Dweck suggested two general mindsets: fixed and growth. Someone with a fixed mindset believes that character, intelligence, and creative ability are unmoving givens that can’t be changed in any meaningful way. Looking perfect and avoiding failure at all costs becomes a way of maintaining that inner sense of competence. When challenged or frustrated by a task, you may hear people say things like, “I’m so stupid because I don’t know how,” or “I’m lousy at this, and I can’t get any better.” They don’t know how to do something and don’t want to make an effort because they believe they should only do what they already know how to do or what feels easy. This risk-averse mindset can lead to an unwillingness to push yourself to do challenging things. 

By contrast, Dweck suggests that a person with a growth mindset thrives on challenge, seeing it as a launchpad for growth and for extending existing abilities instead of evidence of unintelligence. With a growth mindset, you focus on continuous improvement and self-awareness through ongoing feedback. You recognize that you can improve through your specific efforts and deliberate practice. You can see yourself changing and growing through application and experience. Having a growth mindset means that for you, challenges are an opportunity for growth. You understand that your brain can learn new, complex tasks (at any age) and develop with training and effort. You may start thinking things like, “I can do hard things,” “It’s ok to make a mistake; that’s how I learn,” “With practice, I can and will get better.”

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” – Carol S. Dweck

So why is it vital to know about and develop a growth mindset?

The truth is that having a growth mindset and doing the hard things will absolutely help you accomplish more than you could even imagine. However, if you were born and raised in the 20th century, you were most likely not raised with a growth mindset. Before 2006, when Dweck’s Mindset book was published, children were more likely to be raised to believe that talent, intelligence, and ability are given at birth and governed by genetics. There are probably several skills and abilities that many may have given up on developing or not focused their efforts on because they believe that they lack the capacity to do them well. When they allow their default programming and conditioning to dictate how much effort is put into learning new skills without challenging norms, they will be subconsciously holding themselves back and miss out on exploring the outer limits of their talents.

I know that for me, there have been many times in my life that I just decided, “I am not good at that,” and just avoided the challenge. I, like many others of my generation, grew up having a fixed mindset. For example, I was convinced that I was no good at math. As a result, I did not like it and made little effort because it seemed too hard. My fear and loathing of all things math-related meant that I did not get my bachelor’s degree in psychology or business, subjects I really liked, because both had an advanced math requirement, and I was certain I wouldn’t be able to do it. 

The ironic thing, however, is that ultimately, I had no choice but to overcome my conviction that I was lousy at math if I wanted to pursue any degree in psychology. I was required to take a statistics class at the undergraduate level to get into a program and then a graduate-level research and statistics course. What I learned by completing both courses with an “A” was that by being willing to ask a million questions and putting maximum effort into understanding what seemed challenging, I could do things I had previously believed were not possible for me.  At the time, I did not know that I was applying the principles of having a growth mindset.

If you have a fixed mindset, here are five habits to help you cultivate a growth mindset. For the next 90 days, focus intentionally on integrating them into your daily life; being intentional means writing them down, thinking about them, and asking yourself, honestly, if you are using them.

  1. Be Curious and creative. Challenge yourself to learn something new every day and go beyond your comfort zone. You will discover new strategies to implement that will help you achieve goals you previously thought were impossible or too difficult. Keep tweaking them for effectiveness. 
  2. Be Committed to the growth, goals, & promises you make to yourself. If you want to see progress, it is essential to toss out the excuses and stay the course. Decide what you are going to do and that there is no room for excuses. Commit to your decision and then do what you have committed to for the time you have committed to doing it. Hold yourself accountable for your commitments. 
  3. Be Consistent with your efforts. Consistency is the key to developing new habits and learning new things. It is also usually one of our biggest hurdles and where good intentions fall apart. Be focused with your efforts. Decide what, when, and how you will channel 
  4. Be Courageous in the face of challenges. Setbacks and challenges are learning opportunities. They are your most significant opportunity for growth. Embrace them. Seek solutions and make adjustments. No matter how exhaustive your plan or fine-tuned the details, obstacles will surface unexpectedly and, unless you have a crystal ball, you won’t always be able to predict exactly what obstacles will occur. So, don’t waste energy on that. Instead, face obstacles when they show up with the lens of curiosity and be focused on solutions. Be agile in both your mindset and approach. 
  5. Embrace Constructive feedback & leverage it for growth & expansion. Sometimes your best prospects for personal and professional development come from utilizing corrective feedback to grow. Ask mentors and supervisors for specific feedback to give you clarity on the skills needed to move forward and the blind spots, obstacles, and pitfalls you may not be able to see by yourself.

By deliberately and intentionally focusing on these five habits daily, your life and work will shift positively in ways you can’t imagine. You will have more confidence because confidence is built through working on your skills and seeing growth and improvement over time. Making an effort is the only way forward, so be willing to do the work. Each new day is an opportunity to try again, so try again.

Dr. Samantha Madhosingh has dedicated the last 20 years to researching, understanding, & solving the infinite possibilities of human potential, behavior, & performance. She trains leaders on how to dismantle & unlearn the stories & biases that impact progress. Leaders who work closely with her achieve mastery in mindset, communication, & relationships. Dr. Samantha has authored & co-authored four books & appeared on CW, FOX, NBC, CBS, Emotional MoJo, Daytime and Heart&Soul. Learn more at https://askdrsamantha.com.

Life

These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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Life

5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

home-electrification

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Life

How to Turn Inward and Detox Your Mind

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When we are overwhelmed by confusion, our psyche tries to establish certainty to alleviate our discomfort. This is usually accomplished by mentally imagining and acting out a plot. Unfortunately, much of the time, we mentally visualize pessimistic (or worst-case scenario) scenarios to provide certainty. (more…)

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