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7 Powerful Habits for A Growth Mindset

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growth mindset

Each of us as individuals are responsible for the direction of our own realities. Every decision we make has a consequence, whether it’s positive or negative. So what do we mean by growth mindset?

A growth mindset translates into the belief that our minds, including our skills and the abilities we possess, can be developed and improved throughout our day to day lives. The opposite of this would be a ‘fixed mindset’ approach to life.

The Facts

Researchers, such as Carol Dweck, have dedicated over 30 years of their lives in researching and exploring the attitudes of failures discovering why we think in the repressive ways that we do. Dweck was responsible for coining the growth mindset concept and thanks to advanced technologies that have allowed us a deeper understanding into neuroscience, it is now scientifically proven that our brains are capable of expanding and growing based on the conscious mindsets we have.

By developing and altering our mindsets to develop, we are enabling ourselves to make positive changes in our lives, allowing us as individuals to aim high, achieve our goals and live our dreams.

To give you a helping hand towards a more positive and inspiring way of life, here are a few personal habits that can change your life forever:

1. Believe In Positivity

Throughout our lives we are hardwired to believe and consider failure. Parents, even with best interests at heart, will tell their children to slow down, don’t fall out the tree and play safe. By being told this repeatedly, we are wiring our brains to always think of the negative outcome of a situation before we think of the positive, rewarding outcome.

To break free of this negatively driven mindset, envision the future. Imagine and truly believe what it will feel like if you achieve them. Many people are astonished when they find out how easy it is to achieve something once you can clearly see your goal.

2. Become Aware of Your Actions

Becoming aware of the decisions you are making and the effects they will have on yourself and the others around you will improve your successful mindset and help you to achieve your goals. This is especially important with other people. Consider the impact you are having on others with the words that you choose to speak to them.

Are you using words that are enabling the other person to grow, develop and learn from their experiences? Whether you’re at home, with friends or at work, choosing your words can massively impact the way people perceive you and your attitude and, if implemented in the right way, you can gain positive amounts of feedback and support when it comes to your personal situation.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” – Fred DeVito

3. Failure Isn’t the End, It’s a New Beginning

If you have attempted something, whether it’s a challenge as simple as going for a run or starting a new business and you fail, that doesn’t mean you should write that project off and forget about it. Failure is the first step in becoming successful and if you don’t allow for these little setbacks and you give up, you’ll never take that first step on the successful path towards your goals and dreams.

4. Take On the Challenge

It’s not unusual to feel scared of failure when presented with a new challenge. When life throws you a curve ball and you’re faced with a new challenge, take the chance to give it your best shot. The worst thing is that you’ll be given the opportunity to learn from your mistakes so you can succeed next time.

5. Open Up Your Mind to New Experiences & Information

As mentioned, individuals with a fixed mindset are only interested in questions or statements that they know the answers to or they know to be true. Those people mentally shut themselves off from the concept of learning. If you’re afraid of failure and unwilling to learn from your new experiences or take on new information, how can you ever hope to move yourself forward to achieve your dreams and goals?

“Be curious, not judgmental.” – Walt Whitman 

6. Be Self-Rewarding

You don’t need other people to tell you that you have achieved something great nor do you need their approval. By possessing the ability to believe in yourself and by taking the time to accept and congratulate yourself on learning a new skill or meeting one of your goals can be life changing and helps to open up a whole new world of possibilities.

7. Don’t Let Negativity Hold You Back

You can never make everybody in this world happy. Whether you’re committing to a new diet, changing your lifestyle or seeking out new ways to live your dreams, there are always going to be people who put you down or think you’re being ridiculous. Despite the comments causing obvious negative feelings and possibly even doubt in yourself, the simple trick is not to listen. You are doing what you are doing because you believe in yourself and you are doing what is best for you.

In conclusion, it can be hard for us as individuals to look forward, especially since our brains are managed in such a way from a young age to believe, unconsciously, that we are limited to what we can achieve. However, it has been proven time and time again that we as people can achieve anything we want to, as long as we put our minds to it. So the best way is to try and see the amazing results.

Do you have a growth mindset? Leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. She is a consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Academized. Freelance writer for Assignment help. She is passionate about covering topics on career, self-development, e-learning, blogging and others. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Elena

    Mar 12, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Awesome write up.

  2. Tara

    Mar 21, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Great article. I found it from a twitter link. I loved the part about achieving anything we want to as long as we put our minds to it. I have dreamed of being a writer for years. I finally started a blog. It has been very rewarding. I also tend to comment now on articles that I read that I feel have brought value to my life. Thank you for your article.

  3. Leslie Jones

    Jun 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I love this website I am in the learning phase and then will be starting my own company and i am super excited.

  4. Matthew

    Jun 2, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Any entrepreneur who hopes to be ultimately successful has to make peace with the fact that they are going to be wrong a lot … great post!

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In today’s world, an overabundance of information and a large number of distractions is making it increasingly difficult to concentrate on performing the necessary tasks. In this article, I propose 7 simple methods that will train your ability to concentrate, while not taking you from your usual activities. (more…)

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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The Problem Is Not Actually the Problem: Here’s Why

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